Scott Kerr has been through what many in-house lawyers would consider a nightmare: working for a company that's being sold. And he's done it twice.
"It will probably happen again somewhere in my career. It's something that comes with the territory when you're working with small technology companies in Austin," says Kerr, deputy general counsel of Charleston, S.C.-based Blackbaud Inc.
Kerr was vice president and GC of Convio Inc. of Austin when Blackbaud acquired the company in June 2012 for $330 million. Kerr became one of Blackbaud's three in-house lawyers, adding corporate and securities expertise to the company's in-house legal skills.
"The Austin location is a significant growth opportunity for Blackbaud, and so it was very easy for them to rationalize an attorney in this location and especially one who brought experience they didn't have in-house," he says.
Blackbaud provides software and services that help nonprofits and educational institutions raise funds, manage donor databases and volunteers, and run events, Kerr says. In 2012, the company generated approximately $450 million in revenue and it currently has about 2,700 employees, he says.
Kerr initially had planned to be a tax lawyer. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in professional accounting at the University of Texas at Austin in 1997.
He says he realized that tax accounting was similar to tax law and decided to add a law degree to his credentials, earning a J.D. from UT's School of Law in 2000. He joined the Austin office of San Diego-based Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich (now DLA Piper), where he had been a summer associate in 1999, as a corporate and securities associate.
While in law school, Kerr decided to expand his expertise beyond a tax specialty.
"A neat thing about being a corporate lawyer is that, from the very beginning of your practice as a junior attorney, you are working with the executive teams of your clients," he says.
Kerr went in-house as an associate GC in 2005, with Austin-based SigmaTel Inc., a semiconductor company and client he had taken through an initial public offering.