Jay Bettinger is a business attorney in Holland & Knight's Los Angeles office. Mr. Bettinger advises and counsels privately owned companies, investors, funds, family offices, trustees, entrepreneurs and executives on a variety of corporate and business matters. He handles domestic and international business transactions, commercial agreements, formations and entity selection, joint ventures, private equity and debt security offerings, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), corporate finance, corporate governance, executive employment and compensation agreements, and regulatory compliance. Mr. Bettinger has a very extensive network of existing legal relationships, and he seeks to bring the highest quality and best value counsel into each situation. Leveraging his tax education, Mr. Bettinger has a history and proven track record of effectively working with chief executive officers, chief financial officers, certified public accountants and business owners.

Mr. Bettinger has strong industry knowledge in technology, software, real estate, professional services, and domestic and international manufacturing and distribution of consumer and durable products. He has significant experience in technology and web-based business such as social networking, second screen, software as a service (SaaS), mobile operating systems, e-commerce, video content and media companies.

Mr. Bettinger provides advice to founders and owners of startups, early stage companies and larger entities on optimal ownership structures. In this capacity, he typically coordinates with private wealth planning specialists and trust and estate administrators and litigators to achieve an optimal corporate and trust structure that considers and balances factors such as business ownership, optimal entity organization, business risk mitigation, succession planning, multigenerational ownership, entity financing and exit planning, and tax optimization strategies. Mr. Bettinger often structures private investments and negotiates venture capital financing and private equity take-overs.

In addition, Mr. Bettinger has served as outside general counsel for hundreds of clients. In this role, he provides ongoing hands-on legal counsel and business advice to his clients. This includes services such as review and advice on various legal agreements and forms; budgeting; issue resolution for products, technology and service offerings; intellectual property acquisition and protection via patents, trademarks and licenses; direct business and legal advice to executive management; legal counsel to boards of directors during or outside of board meetings; and policy strategy and implementation across numerous enterprises, subsidiaries, divisions and business lines.

Mr. Bettinger also has significant experience with foreign clients. He routinely structures domestic operations for companies seeking to enter the United States. He is very experienced in issues unique to these organizations such as licensing arrangements and complex cross-border joint ventures and acquisitions. He has worked directly with clients based in Australia, Holland, China, India, Italy, Portugal and Vietnam.

Mr. Bettinger is very experienced at crisis management and has advised clients during natural disasters, social unrest, military actions and pandemics. Most recently, companies are seeking out Mr. Bettinger for his extensive expertise to respond to the challenging business and economic environment created by the international coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and he is providing business and legal counsel to his clients seeking economic assistance under the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic and Security (CARES) Act.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Bettinger was an attorney with a law firm in Irvine, California. In addition, he taught Advanced Business Planning: Financing the Startup and Venture Capital Financing as an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. As an entrepreneur, Mr. Bettinger has founded several companies, including a reputation management company, and he is the named inventor on several patents. Mr. Bettinger also founded a nonprofit organization that reinvented startup contests by using patents as topics for competitions for universities and colleges to educate students and to help patent owners. In 2017, Mr. Bettinger formed and led a business and technology team that participated in the XPrize that was focused on artificial intelligence (AI). The team submitted a sophisticated AI solution focused on solving the global issue of fresh-water scarcity, and the team finished in the top 32 teams out of 187 initial teams and thousands of applicants.


  • Successfully represented a real estate development company in an acquisition involving $700 million to a private equity fund, which included simultaneous resolution of a complex $50 million business dispute and involved significant debt and numerous subsidiaries and affiliates, some subject to complex joint venture features
  • Successfully structured a leveraged buyout involving $250 million in underlying holdings with complex tax implications and significant legacy liabilities
  • Handled hundreds of private offerings of securities
  • General counsel for 60-year-old company, operated and managed across three generations, to coordinate ownership, growth strategies and exit planning
  • Secured and responsible for all business and real estate transition and liquidation matters for significant trust and estate administration matter that included complex and extended trust litigation
  • Handled dozens of mergers and acquisitions
  • Structured a $100 million private equity fund
  • Created innovative ownership structure for high-velocity startup company to permit founders to accept venture capital financing while maintaining capability to engage in appropriate private wealth planning and trust and estate transactions
  • Created and implemented software as a service (SaaS) agreements for startup technology company that became widely adopted by the largest media companies from 2006 to 2008
  • Successfully represented technology company and led litigation and public relations teams in defense against an unrealistic investor in a business dispute that resulted in clawback of significant equity and forfeiture of investment
  • Successfully implemented data security breach preparedness planning and procedures for large enterprise companies with more than 10,000 employees, as well as formulated and led numerous responses and crisis management
  • Structured thousands of startups using C corporations, S corporations and limited liability company structures
  • Represented startup companies in numerous venture capital financings
  • Handled the first call-thru click business transaction between an internet provider and a mobile phone application, allowing a phone user to click and call on a mobile phone
  • Structured international operations and nationwide distribution agreements for a construction manufacturing company engaged in business in more than 50 countries
  • Prepared terms of use for numerous technology companies for SaaS solutions with no prior competitors or precedent
  • Handled significant master service agreements for multinational companies
  • Prepared countless companies for due diligence in financings and acquisitions


  • University of San Diego, LL.M., Taxation
  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, J.D.
  • Loyola Marymount University, MBA
  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • California
  • Orange County Bar Association (OCBA), Tax Law Section
  • California Bar Association
  • Bruin Varsity Club, University of California, Los Angeles
Honors & Awards
  • Southern California Super Lawyers magazine, 2017-2020
  • Rising Star, Southern California Super Lawyers magazine, 2009-2010

Speaking Engagements