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Joe Wallin
Joe Wallin

—Two of Seattle’s top startup lawyers are taking their talents to a new firm. Joe Wallin, a former partner at Davis Wright Tremaine, and Mike Schneider, an app developer and former attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, have joined Seattle-based Carney Badley.

“We are going to be helping Carney build its tech startup and emerging companies practice,” Wallin tells GeekWire. “We will be a new, unique choice for startups to consider for their legal needs in Seattle. I bring the corporate side; Mike brings the technology transactions and licensing practice.”

Wallin spent 7 years at DWT, working on a number of transactions such as financing rounds for HasOffers (now Tune) and the sale of 3Tier. Before that, he worked alongside Schneider at DLA Piper.

Schneider left WSGR in 2009, focusing his efforts on developing iPhone apps, meeting with plenty of success along the way.

Mike Schneider
Mike Schneider

“We are bringing our experience in corporate securities, financing, technology transactions and intellectual property to handle business-side needs, and the Carney Firm has an amazing team of litigators to handle disputes and help our clients enforce contracts and IP rights,” the attorneys write in a blog post.

Last year, Wallin was instrumental in helping to write the Washington state’s Crowdfunding bill.

Both attorneys will work with startups, as well as angel investors and venture capitalists in their new practice.

—Bryan Hale, one of the first employees at fast-growing IT automation startup Chef, has joined DFJ’s Seattle office as an entrepreneur-in-residence. Hale worked at Chef, formerly Opscode, for about five years, He most recently served as vice president of online services at the company, which is backed by DFJ, Ignition and others.

Bryan Hale
Bryan Hale

As an entrepreneur-in-residence, Hale will scout new opportunities with the goal of starting a new company. Hale will work alongside Bill Bryant, a veteran Seattle venture capitalist who was recently elevated to partner at the firm. With Hale joining the Seattle team, Bryant said that they “very much committed to the Pacific Northwest” and eager to find the next Chef.

Hale, a Seattle native who attended Lakeside School before heading east to Harvard, said he’s looking forward to the new gig.

“DFJ has a great set of folks who will encourage me to bring a lot of ambition to whatever I end up doing next,” he said. “My career experience at salesforce.com and CHEF will lead me to explore opportunities in enterprise software, though I’m hoping for serendipitous encounters with all sorts of great Seattle area entrepreneurs.”

Kevin Knoepp
Kevin Knoepp

—Speaking of former Chef employees, University of Washington spin out, AnswerDash, just announced that Kevin Knoepp has joined as vice president of engineering. Knoepp previously served as vice president of product and managed the client and cloud engineering teams at Chef, and before that worked as CTO of InstantService.

“Kevin is an incredibly talented engineer, with immense experience in core business functions from product development to sales and operations,” said AnswerDash’s CEO Jake Wobbrock in a statement. “He has the invaluable ability to understand both the technical side of a product as well as its overall sales strategy.”

AnswerDash is building a contextual Q&A service for Web site and mobile applications. The company, which last year named former Drugstore.com CEO Dawn Lepore to the board, is backed with $2.4 million from Voyager Capital, WRF Capital and Seattle angel Geoff Entress.

—AlphaCipher Acquisition Corporation, a provider of digital privacy and security solutions which operates under the name Vadium, appointed Phil Laverson to the board. An economist, Laverson previously worked at hedge funds and investment management funds such as Eaton Vance, Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, Prudential Securities and Morgan Stanley. In addition, the company recently added Cinthia Portugal, formerly of Microsoft and Amazon; Scott Hazeltine, formerly of Deloitte Consulting; and Bill Yakamovich, formerly of SysJen Solutions, to the senior leadership team

Drew Kelton
Drew Kelton

—Electronic signature powerhouse DocuSign continues to bolster its team, naming Drew Kelton as vice president and managing director of DocuSign APAC. He will report to Chief Revenue Officer Neil Hudspith. Kelton previously worked at T-Mobile USA and Telstra Corporation, and served as CEO of Saturn Global Network.

“Drew brings a wealth of senior leadership experience in international sales and operations to his new role leading DocuSign’s Asia Pacific operations,” said Hudspith. “Drew’s deep background in technology and telcos, along with his success implementing DocuSign’s Digital Transaction Management platform as a customer, will help fuel the continued rapid adoption of the DocuSign Global Trust Network throughout APAC.”

—John M. Fluke Jr. has been named to Seattle life sciences company M3 Biotechnology, a company working on drugs for the treatment of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Fluke is the president of private investment firm Fluke Capital Management.

—Tiger Oak Media digital president John Kueber has joined the advisory board of Tack, a Seattle media startup that is attempting to connect local businesses with new customers.

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