Press Release

Travis Wilson and Ronald Poelman, Lawyers Known for Work With Utah Startups, Join Ballard Spahr

February 13, 2019

Travis Marc Wilson and Ronald S. Poelman, business lawyers well-known for their work in Utah's startup community, have joined Ballard Spahr in the firm's Salt Lake City office, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today.

They bring decades of experience in corporate transactions, governance, and compliance, with a focus on helping young technology companies organize and finance. Both Mr. Wilson and Mr. Poelman have significant experience and relationships within Utah's technology startup ecosystem, dubbed "Silicon Slopes" for its growing similarity to California's Silicon Valley as an epicenter of tech-focused entrepreneurial activity.

The addition of Mr. Wilson as a partner and Mr. Poelman as senior counsel provides enhanced depth to Ballard Spahr's Utah-based Business and Finance practice. The Salt Lake City office—one of the firm's 15 locations nationwide—is an important Western hub for the Emerging Growth and Venture Capital Group. The Group's attorneys provide strategic counsel to entrepreneurs, investors, and early-stage companies engaged in commercial activity ranging from product development and manufacturing to licensing and retail sales.

Utah ranks in studies as one of the best states for business and fastest growing markets for tech industry jobs. recently called Salt Lake City the "newest tech hub…built on a strong computer science industry dating back decades." The area's talented labor pool and overall economic strength are expected to propel continued growth in tech and other industries.

Mr. Wilson and Mr. Poelman advise Software as a Service (SaaS) companies and other high-tech, high-growth businesses in sectors including consumer products, biosciences and health care, investment management, blockchain and cryptocurrency, and data analytics. Their work with SaaS companies and other high-tech clients complements existing practices in Ballard Spahr's Salt Lake City office, where attorneys represent clients in the full range of commercial matters, from major corporate and real estate transactions to regulatory compliance and business disputes. The firm's Utah-based lawyers are particularly known for their work in the state's thriving resort and hospitality industry, advising major brands and developers.

"Because of their visible presence in the emerging companies space in Utah – particularly Silicon Slopes – Travis and Ron bring a new dimension to our Business and Finance practice in Salt Lake City," Mr. Stewart said.

Mr. Wilson focuses on representing entrepreneurs, startup and emerging companies, venture capital and private equity investors, and corporate boards of directors in a broad range of sophisticated business matters. His emerging-growth, technology company clients include those involved in artificial intelligence, data analytics, financial services, telecommunications, fleet management, information technology, direct sales, media, ecommerce, biotechnology, and consumer products and services.

Mr. Poelman has more than 35 years of experience advising businesses on corporate and securities laws and business matters. He has represented numerous companies in their organization and private stock offerings, including angel, venture capital, and private equity financings. He has also represented public companies in public offerings, SEC reporting, and corporate governance compliance. For both private and public companies, Mr. Poelman has handled mergers and acquisitions, as well as agreements for technology licensing and executive employment and compensation.

"We're thrilled to add Travis and Ron to our strong team in Salt Lake City," said Mark Gaylord, Office Managing Partner there. "They're exceptional attorneys and terrific individuals who complement our existing practices and personnel well. They are perfectly positioned to help national businesses succeed in Utah and Utah businesses succeed nationally as well as at home."

"Ron and I couldn't be happier about bringing our practices to Ballard Spahr," Mr. Wilson said. "The Salt Lake City office is highly regarded throughout Utah and beyond, and we look forward to contributing to the firm's culture of excellence and collaboration. Ballard Spahr's national platform will help us provide clients with the legal services they need throughout their corporate lifecycles, and the added value they expect from lawyers who partner with them as business advisers."

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