Karen Seto specializes in corporate, securities, employment and consulting law, and she has extensive experience supporting companies as they grow though all stages of the corporate life cycle.
Before joining SWS, Ms. Seto served as Vice President of ZipRealty, a leading Internet residential real estate brokerage, in various legal capacities, including General Counsel, Corporate Counsel and Secretary. She advised the company for ten years, from its initial public offering until its acquisition in a tender offer, so she understands the legal needs and challenges that corporations face on both a daily and long-term basis. Ms. Seto’s experience includes:
- Counseling management as the company implemented its growth and financing strategies
- Overseeing all aspects of the company’s legal compliance and litigation practices, including with respect to employment, severance, consulting and independent contractor arrangements
- Creating and implementing the company’s corporate governance policies and procedures, as well as its SEC reporting processes
- Coaching directors and officers on communications with the investor community and insider trading obligations
Ms. Seto began her legal career at leading law firms in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, where she advised a wide array of clients on corporate governance, SEC reporting and equity transactions. Her background includes:
- Coaching Silicon Valley start-ups from formation through private placements, joint ventures and public offerings
- Advising multi-billion-dollar public companies on corporate governance and antitakeover measures
- Completing public offerings and a private placement for investment banks
- Closing foreign and domestic mergers, acquisitions and equity investments for multinational corporations and investment funds.
In addition to her work with for-profit enterprises, Ms. Seto counsels nonprofits on corporate formation, corporate governance, employment and consulting issues, with an emphasis on organizations that aid abused and abandoned children. She has served as a founding member of the Board of Directors and Secretary of ARM of Care, a nonprofit that provides therapeutic programs to girls rescued from the sex trafficking industry. She also helped incorporate Friends of Hogar del Nino, an organization that supports orphans in Todos Santos, Mexico. Outside of legal work, Ms. Seto volunteers as a religious education instructor at her church and as a Canine Training Partner at Dogs4Diabetics, a nonprofit that trains dogs to alert for hypoglycemia in diabetics.
Prior to attending law school, Ms. Seto worked as a financial analyst at Citibank in New York, including as Manager of Revenue Forecasting for its $30 billion credit card portfolio.
Corporate law, securities law, employment and consulting law, corporate governance policies and procedures, SEC reporting and insider trading obligations, investor communications, equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic ventures
ZipRealty, Inc., Emeryville, CA, 2004-2014 (Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary; Vice President, Corporate Counsel and Assistant Secretary)
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, San Francisco and Palo Alto, CA, 2000-2004 (Special Counsel; Associate)
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, Los Angeles, CA, 1994-2000 (Associate)
University of California at Los Angeles, School of Law, J.D., 1994
University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, B.S. Econ. (Finance), cum laude, 1987