High technology attorney Rob C. Masri and corporate attorney Brian S. Johnson join firm’s Charlottesville office.

Roanoke and Charlottesville, Va. Woods Rogers PLC today announced the formation of a new practice group–Emerging Growth–dedicated to serving companies engaged in start-up activities focusing on technology innovation and business growth opportunities.

“Start-ups and evolving ventures have many complex issues requiring sophisticated legal needs. The formation of the Emerging Growth group reflects the strengths and resources of Woods Rogers in serving these needs in the firm’s core Virginia markets,” said Woods Rogers’ President Dan Summerlin.

Fourd Kemper, based in Woods Rogers’ Roanoke office, will chair the new practice group. Two Charlottesville-based attorneys join the firm as part of the team–Rob C. Masri and Brian S. Johnson. They complement the current group of business, intellectual property, and real estate attorneys in Woods Rogers’ Charlottesville office. These two additions follow the October 1 merger of Woods Rogers and Lynchburg’s leading business law firm, Edmunds & Williams, which brought 14 attorneys to the firm.

Summerlin added, “Charlottesville, the Roanoke-Blacksburg corridor, and Lynchburg are all home to growth-oriented colleges and universities. They are the high quality of life cities where increasingly entrepreneurs want to live and start businesses. We are passionate believers in our hometown cities as the future for business growth. With the addition of Rob and Brian, the merger with Edmunds & Williams, and the launch of a dedicated Emerging Growth practice area, we are uniquely positioned to serve promising companies as they succeed.”

Alden English, Managing Partner of Woods Rogers’ Charlottesville office said, “Charlottesville is home to entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and fast growing tech companies. We’ve been working with many of them for years and decided the time is right to launch a formal practice team dedicated to fostering business growth across the Commonwealth.”

Rob Masri is an attorney and entrepreneur with extensive legal, finance, and business experience. He has started several businesses, including a mobile marketing company with a focus on developing customer loyalty. He has also served as Chief Development Officer for the University of Virginia Law School Foundation and as an EVP/General Counsel for a provider of online communication software and an on-demand, gig economy mobile marketplace.

Brian Johnson brings experience in multi-million dollar transactions in the fields of technology, pharmaceuticals, and real estate. His areas of expertise include private equity and corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, complex contract negotiations, and investment partnerships.

“Woods Rogers is the ideal law firm to further our work with the entrepreneurial community,” said Rob Masri and Brian Johnson jointly. “The firm is large enough to provide all of the support needed to properly build a practice in this area and is also able to move quickly and nimbly to anticipate and respond to a rapidly evolving market.”

The Emerging Growth practice team represents companies on legal issues ranging from business formation, to protecting and enforcing intellectual property, negotiating commercial agreements, advising on the capital raising process-including private placements such as angel and venture round financing-and mergers and acquisitions, as well as additional business, tax, and accounting issues. The team has experience helping companies involved in the fields of software, biotechnology, fiber optics, and marine and life sciences, as well as such growing businesses as breweries, wineries, and distilleries.