As far back as 1981 with Amoco (Standard Oil of Indiana) in Chicago, then Mitchell Energy & Development in The Woodlands from 1984 to 1986 through to the present in private practice, Jeff Harder has been at the center of venture capital and angel investor transactions in a wide variety of industries. This experience and passion led to Jeff’s engagement as VP for Corporate Development and General Counsel at a Nasdaq listed public company.

 Over the years, Jeff has advised and assisted innumerable entrepreneurs, officers, directors, and investors on matters such as:

  • Corporate governance
  • Private offerings
  • Public offerings, including IPO’s, PIPE’s and shelf registrations
  • Going private transactions
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Strategic alliances
  • Licensing transactions, both in-licensing and out-licensing
  • SEC compliance
  • Executive compensation and stock incentive plans
  • Employment and consulting agreements

Jeff’s role with start up companies is often similar to that of an in-house, general counsel position. His engagement with Jackson Walker and the nearly 400 attorneys at JW allows him to bring the right advice quickly and efficiently to bear. In many cases, Jeff is also involved with the entrepreneur and start up as an advisor or board member, using his extensive experience and contacts in industry to provide additional services as an added value for his clients.

Jeff also regularly represents numerous middle market and more established companies, both public and private, and provides experienced counsel to their executives or senior in-house counsel, in complex matters such as insider trading, regulatory compliance and public disclosure issues, merger and acquisition transactions, joint venture arrangements and employment and litigation related disputes. Jeff’s previous employment for over 10 years in-house at companies such as Exxon Corp., Amoco, MEDC and ForeFront and over 25 years in private practice has provided him with a unique blend of experience and a more practical, business-like approach to his practice.

Practice Experience

Jeff’s representation of a leading life science industry venture capital firm over the past 30 years has positioned him at the forefront of the technology industry in Houston, as well as nationwide, serving clients from Florida and Georgia to California. Due to his unique background and long-term involvement, he now represents emerging companies in the following industries, among others:

  • Retail
  • Cosmetic
  • Life science, both drug development and medical device
  • Healthcare
  • Software, B2B and B2C
  • Cyber-security
  • Drones
  • Water treatment
  • eSports
  • Energy tech


Career Highlights


Sale of The ForeFront Group, Inc., to CBT Group in 1998 for $160 million, while serving as VP Corporate Development and General Counsel.

  • Taking The ForeFront Group, Inc., and SunPharm Corp. public in the mid-1990’s.
  • Representing Triplex Pharmaceuticals in connection with the three-way merger between it, Argus Pharmaceuticals, a public Nasdaq listed company, and Oncologix to form Aronex Pharmaceuticals.
  • Representing the merged entity, Aronex Pharmaceuticals for several years, and the ultimate sale of Aronex to Genzyme.
  • Representing Chrysalis Biotechnology in connection with the exclusive license of its technology to Abbott and the return of the technology.
  • Representing Chrysalis Biotechnology in connection with its sale of assets to OrthoLogic Corp.
  • Representing Repros Therapeutics, Inc., a public biotech company located in The Woodlands, Texas in connection with its $85 million public underwritten offering in 2012.
  • Representing Repros Therapeutics in 2004 in connection with its reverse Dutch auction tender offer.
  • Serving on the Board of Directors of Repros Therapeutics, a public Nasdaq company, from 2005 to 2009.
  • Representing Pernix Therapeutics, a public Nasdaq company in connection with its acquisition of Somaxen, a publicly traded company.
  • Representing the founder of SunBiopharm (a publicly traded company) in connection with the formation of the company, the exclusive license of the technology from the University of Florida, and its initial corporate matters and financing transactions.
  • Representing QSpex Technologies, Inc., an Essex Woodlands Health Ventures portfolio company located in Alpharetta, Georgia, following its initial investment on all general corporate and compliance matters and financings.
  • Representing Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, a leading life science industry venture capital firm, in connection with its investment into a startup company and concurrent merger of that entity with another much larger entity that is now public.
  • Opening The Woodlands office for Andrews & Kurth 1993, the first major Houston firm to open a branch office in The Woodlands.
  • Managing The Woodlands office of Andrews Kurth 1993-96 and then returning to manage it 1999 to 2004 after the sale of The ForeFront Group.
  • Managing The Woodlands office of Winstead PC 2005 to 2012.


  • Houston Technology Center, Advisory Board
  • HTC North’s Advisory Board, Chair
  • Houston Angel Network
  • Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
  • Montgomery County Women’s Center
  • Interfaith of the Woodlands
  • Carlton Woods
    • Founding Member
    • Board Member

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