For over 40 years, Mark Cassanego has provided legal advice to privately owned businesses and business owners, including venture-backed and other privately owned entities. His work with clients spans their entire growth cycle, from start-up phase to exit strategies. Mark has handled scores of M&A transactions during his career, equally adept at negotiating and documenting small as well as larger, complex transactions, whether working alongside investment bankers or as the client’s principal representative of its negotiating team. While Mark represents clients across industries, he has a specialty focus on the food industry.

Mark often serves as general counsel for clients, directly handling many legal matters or working alongside in-house team members and outside counsel. In this role, he acts as an integral member of the business’s management team and works with colleagues in specialty areas such as real estate, employment, IP, tax, and dispute resolution matters.

With each client, Mark builds an in-depth understanding of the business operations, strategic growth plans and industry issues so he can anticipate issues and deliver timely, pragmatic solutions. Clients rely on his counsel in areas ranging from complex financial analysis and strategic initiatives to tax-efficient structuring opportunities.

Mark is active in his community, having served on the boards and committees of national and local non-profit organizations. He also served as President of the firm from 1996 to 2014.

Key Areas

  • M&A transactions
  • Venture capital transactions
  • Private placements of securities
  • Debt financing
  • Entity formation, including start-ups
  • General counsel services
  • Joint ventures
  • Employee incentive plans

Experience & Affiliations

Representative Matters

  • Served as general counsel (since the client company’s inception) to an international food manufacturing company with both food service and retail distribution. Advises in all aspects of the company’s business, from acquisitions and contract negotiations to branding and employment matters.
  • Represented a multi-state independent supermarket chain in multiple acquisitions and financings; served as general counsel leading the firm’s teams in areas relating to real estate, IP and litigation.
  • Represented a third party logistics/distribution client in the sale and lease of its assets including one million square feet of warehousing space in multiple locations to a global corporation serving high technology, food and beverage, and consumer packaged goods sectors.
  • Represented an electrical component distributor in a “stalking horse” Bankruptcy Code §363 transaction in which the client acquired core assets from competitors that had recently filed for bankruptcy.
  • Represented a privately held horticultural company in a complex, multi-state sale of three business divisions to three different buyers. The transaction included the sale of California wholesale nursery division to seller’s largest competitor, as well as the transfer of a Texas-based division to a management buyout firm.

Professional Organizations

  • San Mateo County Bar Association, Business Law Section, Former Co-Chair
  • State Bar of California, Business Law Section


  • All California State Courts

Civic and Charitable

  • United States Province of the Religious of the Sacred Heart | Former Finance Committee
  • Oakwood Retirement Community | Board Member
  • Better Business Bureau, Inc. | Former Counsel and Board Member
  • Parca, Former President
  • Santa Clara University | Family Business Forum, Former Board Director
  • St. Charles Parish Council | Former President
  • St. Charles School Board | Former President

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, "Raising Your Tax A.Q. (Awareness Quotient): Tax Issues Facing Companies that are Expanding their Business Footprint", iACC, April 10, 2014

Honors and Awards

  • AV® Preeminent™ Martindale-Hubbell