Ira was formerly the General Counsel at EDGAR Online, Inc. (NASDAQ: EDGR), a partner at McGuireWoods LLP and co-chairman of the firm’s Internet and Technology Practice Group. McGuireWoods is a multi-national law firm with over 900 attorneys in 18 strategically located offices worldwide. Mr. Hecht's multi-disciplinary background as a business attorney, certified public accountant, software developer and former Computer Science teaching assistant at the University of Albany in Albany, NY allows him to bring a broad range of value-added expertise to representing his clients.
A primary focus of my legal career, as well as a significant focus in my personal life, including as an entrepreneur, has been the intersection of business and technology, especially computer software and the Internet. My interest in computer programming developed in the late 1970’s when a computer was a mainframe system that filled the room. As part of my coursework as an Accounting major in the School of Business at the University at Albany, I was required to take Management Science Classes (theory classes). I applied for, and was granted, the right to substitute Computer Science Classes (hands-on programming classes) for Management Science Classes. I took as many Computer Science Classes that I could, and excelled in all of them. While still an undergraduate, I was asked by the Chairman of the Computer Science Department to teach Computer Science as a teaching assistant, which I accepted. During the 1981-1982 school year, I taught computer science classes including Mainframe Assembly Language programming, mostly to graduate students.
My business, legal and accounting education and experience makes me an exceptional fit as outside General Counsel to closely-held businesses and as Special Internet and Technology Counsel to large and publicly traded companies. As the Internet started to become commercialized in the early 1990’s, I saw an opportunity to create a new dynamic in the practice of law through representing technology businesses as their outside general counsel primarily on a fixed fee basis. I assisted my clients with creating business models, raising capital through several angel and venture capital rounds, and negotiating and selling several of them to publicly-traded corporations. I maintained my independence for several years until I had in excess of 300 clients. In order to continue to deliver the level of service that I had always delivered to my clients such as 24-7 response to any phone call and same-day response to document requests, I decided to move my practice to a larger firm. I was offered a partnership at several highly respected, nationally recognized law firms to run their Internet and Technology Practices. I eventually accepted a partnership to run the Internet and Technology Practice Group at the New York office of McGuireWoods LLP, a highly respected nationally recognized law firm now with over 900 attorneys and 18 offices around the world, based in Richmond, Virginia.
With this background, I now work with many technology-focused clients and am still the “go to guy” on legal issues involving technology for the many business people who know me. I advise clients on purchasing, selling, outsourcing or providing technology-oriented goods and services. I still work with many clients that started working with me after I opened this firm in 1996. In fact, one of my clients, that I have personally been providing business and legal strategy consulting to, has become the industry leader in its field with a market value of approximately $100 million.
Ira delivers highly effective, efficient and valuable advice and services: Ira provides advice in the creation, structuring, acquisition, financing, expansion and sale of privately held and publicly traded businesses. Many of Ira’s clients are involved in creating paradigm-shifting technologies. As an experienced business attorney, Certified Public Accountant, software developer, and former Teaching Assistant in the Computer Science Department at the University at Albany, he has a very unique, well-rounded background with substantial expertise in many areas. Ira is a problem solver with no problem being too difficult to consider. Over his career, Ira has focused in assisting his clients to by delivering advice on business strategy, leverage and structure.
Ira has worked with various organizations including individual companies, groups of companies with similar insurance coverage requirements, and associations including trade associations, to develop and implement pure and group captive insurance programs as alternatives to commercial insurance. Ira has assisted several nationally recognized organizations develop captive insurance programs that utilized offshore captive insurance companies and layered reinsurance. He counsels organizations regarding the optimum captive insurance company ownership structure as well as the most attractive domicile for a captive taking into account local insurance regulations, capital requirements and types of permitted investments. He has experience in negotiating and drafting Captive Management Agreements, Investment Management Agreements, Broker and Agency Agreements, Third Party Administration Agreements, Insurance Policies and Reinsurance Agreements. He counsels clients in utilizing the federal Liability Risk Retention Act (the "Act") and the use of Risk Retention Groups and Purchasing Groups as permitted under the Act. Ira is experienced in dealing with the domestic and international issues involved in organizing and operating a captive insurance company.