"When it comes to licensing and deals, they’re the people I want at the table with me. They do a great job understanding the smallest detail while still keeping the big picture in mind."  – Client quote in Chambers Global


Rooted in the heart of North Carolina’s Research Triangle region – one of the world’s leading agricultural research hubs – Smith Anderson provides AgTech and FoodTech businesses with sophisticated legal counsel. We represent more than 100 of the world’s most innovative AgTech and FoodTech companies, with clients headquartered in at least 15 countries around the world and 15 U.S. states, ranging from public to private equity- and venture capital-backed growth companies of all sizes.

The breadth of our experience on mission-critical AgTech transactions is international in scope, reaching every continent relevant to agriculture. Our AgTech practice is one of the top eight practices in the world, consistently recognized for five years running in the Agribusiness Market Leaders chapter of Chambers Global, a guide delivering insight and analysis on the global legal profession that is unrivalled in its reach and depth. We have advised or worked across the table from nearly all of the major agricultural technology and seed companies. We have counseled our clients in hundreds of AgTech collaborations, including over 50 international deals involving more than 40 different partners outside the United States, with billions of dollars in total deal value.

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We recognize that the challenges confronting AgTech businesses are numerous, as we must increase global food output to adequately feed the planet, but we are confident that our clients will continue to find opportunities to grow and thrive. That is why we have built a team of AgTech lawyers who understand the industry, including lawyers with backgrounds in biology, chemistry, engineering and related areas. Our team has extensive experience advising companies in all phases of technology development and commercialization, including in areas such as genome editing, gene discovery, trait development and licensing, crop protection, cloud biology, plant-made pharmaceuticals, microbials, systems biology, animal health, biofuels and precision agriculture. In addition, we advise AgTech companies on protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights, including trademark prosecution, maintenance and counselling, advertising counselling and strategic litigation risk management.

As part of a full-service law firm, our AgTech work often crosses over into other practice areas, including private equity, venture capital financing, M&A, litigation, land use and manufacturing facility development. This experience enables a deep understanding of our clients’ business goals, which in turn leads to practical advice and meaningful results.

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Highlights of our experience include:

  • Over $1 billion in venture capital, financing, acquisition and public offering transactions for AgTech companies ranging from animal health to crop/trait development and genome editing.
  • Over 100 AgTech research, development, license and collaboration agreements, totaling in excess of $1billion in cumulative value plus royalties.
  • Represented a venture capital-funded AgTech company in a license agreement of next-generation genome editing technology from a university to advance innovation in agriculture, and a related $100 million strategic alliance with a global, publicly-traded agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology company, to progress agriculture research by leveraging gene editing technology.
  • Represented a venture capital-funded biotechnology company that uses the plant-associated microbiome to create innovative agricultural products in an R&D collaboration with a leading global agricultural biotechnology company for discovery, development and commercialization of crop trait products.
  • Represented a private ag biotech company in a $400 million sale to public ag company in a cash and milestone-based transaction.
  • Advised a biotechnology company focused on discovery of complex traits for improving intrinsic yield in plants in multiple research collaborations and commercial partnerships with agricultural biotechnology companies in the U.S., France and Brazil.
  • Represented a leading genome editing company in over a dozen research, collaboration, licensing and development agreements ranging from human therapeutics to row plant crop applications and specialty plant crop applications.
  • Represented a venture capital funded agricultural biotechnology company in its acquisition by a public company buyer.
  • Represents institutional investors in portfolio company financings, including seed financings of technology, life sciences and ag biotech companies.
  • Advised in a worldwide exclusive license and research collaboration between our client, a biotechnology company and a leading global animal health company, to develop and commercialize animal vaccines.
  • Advised in worldwide non-exclusive licenses by our client, an agricultural biotechnology company, to leading global agricultural companies for development of agronomic traits.
  • Advised in a worldwide exclusive license of genome engineering technology by our client, a charitable organization that supports development of agricultural disease resistance technologies, to a global biotechnology tools company.
  • Represented a software development and data analytics company in collaborative development agreements related to platform software solutions and licensing of algorithm and data processing technologies for the agriculture industry.





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