Morningstar Law Group – Raleigh Law Firm – Durham NC Attorneys

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Kip Johnson - Technology Lawyer - Securities Attorney Durham NC

W.H. ‘Kip’ Johnson, III


Kip Johnson is an experienced securities attorney who has helped clients raise more than $500 million of venture capital, private equity and angel investments to grow their businesses. He represents clients ranging from early-stage startups to mature operating companies with a focus on information technology, software-as-a-service, apps, gaming, e-commerce, social media, and fintech companies. Kip also works with investment funds on fund formation, syndication and portfolio company investments.

As a business and technology lawyer, Kip also assists clients with strategic alliances, technology transfer and licensing arrangements, mergers and acquisitions, employee recruitment and retention issues, and commercialization strategies for new technologies.

Kip works with college and universities to create and operate alumni angel networks. In addition, he holds a faculty appointment at Duke Law School where he teaches classes on Venture Capital Finance and Structuring Venture Capital and Private Equity Transactions.

Outside the office, Kip is an avid runner. For the last five years, he has completed the Emerald Isle Full Marathon and annually runs in local half-marathons including the Durham Bull City Race Festival, Historic Hillsborough, RDC, Wakefield Skinny Turkey, and Durham Holiday half marathons.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Work Hard. Play Hard.


  • Best Lawyers: Venture Capital Law (2018-2024), Corporate Law (2021-2024), Mergers & Acquisitions Law (2021-2024), Securities/Capital Markets Law (2021-2024), Securities Regulation (2021-2023)
  • Chambers USA: Corporate M&A (2015, 2016)

Representative Experience

  • Represented local, national and international technology companies in equity and debt financing transactions, including Promissory Note Financings, SAFE transactions and Preferred Stock Financings (Series A through Series I)
  • Represented a leading venture capital fund in the sale of portfolio company securities
  • Represented university in spin-out of patented technology and associated Series A Preferred Stock Financing
  • Represented purchaser in an acquisition of the world’s largest independent provider of smartphone apps
  • Represented management in spin-out of smartphone business from a leading provider of mobile data solutions and associated Series A Preferred Stock Financing
  • Represented mobile data solutions provider in $125 Million Preferred Stock Financing to fund the acquisition of a division of a NASDAQ-GS publicly traded company

Presentations & Publications

  • Investor Ready Entrepreneur Seminar: Panelist. NC Biotechnology Center (2019)
  • “Private Equity Term Sheets.” Wake Forest Babcock School of Management (2019)


  • Duke University School of Law, J.D. (1994) with high honors
    Order of the Coif. Duke Law Journal: Editorial Board. Moot Court Board.
  • Duke Fuqua School of Business, M.B.A., Finance (1994)
    Fuqua Scholar. Fuqua Fellow.
  • Duke University, A.B., Economics (1988) summa cum laude
    Phi Beta Kappa


  • North Carolina State Bar (1994)


  • Duke University School of Law: Faculty
  • Duke Law Start-up Ventures Clinic: Founding Director
  • Iron Dukes
  • Duke Alumni Association
  • Duke Law School Alumni Group, RTP Area: Past President