Veteran Technology Dealmaker Viqar Shariff Joins O’Melveny’s Emerging Companies Group in New York
October 29, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK—October 29, 2020—O’Melveny announced today that experienced deal lawyer, tech investor, and strategic advisor Viqar Shariff has joined the firm as counsel in its New York Emerging Companies practice.
A veteran of New York’s tech startup scene, Shariff will play a leading role on O’Melveny’s New York Momentum team, dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and innovators through the challenges of starting, financing, and growing technology companies. His accomplished 25+-year career as legal counsel and technology investor spans his work in private law practice, as a Managing Director at a major private equity firm, and as an executive at an artificial intelligence startup.
Shariff joins O’Melveny from Loop AI Labs, where he was Chief Strategy Officer, working alongside the CEO to implement the company’s plans as liaison with outside legal counsel, financing sources, and investors. Loop AI Labs is one of the leading vendors in the cognitive computing market, whose integrated platform enables development of cognitive robots to aid human workflows.
Prior to joining Loop AI Labs, Shariff spent a decade directing investments in growth-stage companies as managing partner at investment fund Rizvi Traverse Management LLC, and then as a co-founder and managing partner at SAFA Partners LLC. He oversaw the legal teams at both firms and led investments into such breakout companies as Lyft, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Boxed Wholesale, and Flipboard. He worked closely with O’Melveny lawyers on many of those transactions.
Earlier, Shariff was a partner in Clifford Chance’s corporate mergers and acquisitions department responsible for supervising transaction teams, negotiating and drafting contracts and other documents in connection with mergers and acquisitions, public and private offerings of debt and equity securities for both underwriters and issuers.
“We are building to serve the needs of a growing and geographically diverse innovation community and Viq provides the uncommon perspective of a lawyer, investor, and operator at the highest levels,” said David Makarechian, chair of O’Melveny’s Emerging Technologies Group. “Viq will be able to provide important strategic counsel to emerging clients in New York and around the world. We’re delighted to welcome him to our Momentum team.”
Shariff began his legal career in the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Mr. Sharif earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Tulane Law School. He served as clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Martin J. Feldman in New Orleans.
“I’m very pleased to take the next step in my career and join O’Melveny,” Shariff said. “Even under the substantial challenges imposed by the pandemic, this is an exciting time to help emerging technology businesses map out their growth, plot strategy, execute smart transactions, and position themselves for success. Having worked closely alongside O’Melveny lawyers for many years, I’m eager to apply my skills and experience to the Momentum team and its roster of clients.”
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