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Name and title: Kevin S. Lapidus, senior vice president and general counsel Age: 35 The company: YellowBrix Inc. provides industry-specific, real-time news and business information to large corporations for use on their Web sites, intranets, extranets and e-mail systems. The foundation of YellowBrix’s products is a proprietary technology that uses artificial intelligence, linguistic-pattern analysis and entity identification to analyze information contextually. Its 3,000 sources include The Associated Press, ProQuest, Knight Ridder, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, USA Today and the BBC. YellowBrix’s customers include Verizon, ConocoPhillips, SunTrust, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and the American Chemical Society, as well as “what you would euphemistically call the former dot-coms of the late 1990s.” YellowBrix formed in 1997 as a result of the buyout of intellectual property assets of Infoseek, a Web search portal, with financing from the Soros Group. Lapidus declined to divulge the revenues of the privately held company, but mentioned its capitalization of more than $55 million in private equity funds. YellowBrix has 30 employees in its sole location in Alexandria, Va. Roller coaster ride: The GC describes the history of YellowBrix as “a fascinating business school course on the rise, fall and rebirth of a technology company over the course of the last five years . . . emblematic of the tech companies that survived this turbulent time period.” Like many of its growth-oriented peers, YellowBrix invested heavily in technology, expanded its employee base and enlarged its office space in the late 1990s. Growth and “corporate euphoria” peaked with the filing of its initial public offering in late 2000. “Unfortunately, as the IPO team sat at the financial printer, we watched as the Nasdaq stock market melted down and the IPO window slammed shut.” So Lapidus, who had been recruited that year to lead the company through the legal aspects of the IPO, now had to focus on its very survival. “In one of my biggest challenges,” he negotiated private equity transactions, with an emphasis on raising venture capital. He hired outside counsel for litigation arising from the collapsed IPO, including a “near-death experience” in a lease dispute over a proposed world headquarters. He settled with vendors as YellowBrix worked out its debt obligations, managed the collection process with customers and was “intimately involved” in employment issues that were a byproduct of the downscaling of the company from 220 to 30 employees. He later worked on the acquisition of FluentMedia, a content licensing agency. When YellowBrix rallied and again achieved profitability, Lapidus managed its recapitalization, converting a significant amount of debt to equity. Symbolic of its turnaround, in 2004 YellowBrix was named to EContent’s top 100 list of companies that matter the most in digital content. Daily duties: Due to the budget constraints of a relatively small company, Lapidus’ duties are diverse and mostly performed in-house. He helps to manage YellowBrix’s board and investor relationships in areas such as capital structure, financing and corporate governance and communications. Sarbanes-Oxley internal controls are in place, although not publicly reported, and these responsibilities are on his plate. He also deals with IP licensing and contracts with content providers and customers, oversees the collection process and handles human resources matters, including employee benefits, stock options and terminations. Digital rights management is a growing issue in the field, and content creators are seeking greater control over the dissemination of digital IP and those who traffic in it. Accordingly, YellowBrix is adapting its licensing regime, moving toward a more enterprisewide licensing of content. The wireless space is of particular interest for future development, as the United States currently lags behind Europe and Asia in “going wireless.” For Lapidus, the key to succeeding in-house is combining business acumen with legal knowledge to forge an effective course of action for one’s company. Involvement with professional organizations and immersion in their publications are crucial for issue-spotting, gaining access to best practices and procedures and for networking with colleagues. Lapidus serves on the board of directors of Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association, an 1,100-member group of Washington-area corporate counsel, and he co-chairs its corporate and securities forum. Legal team: Lapidus manages the in-house legal load singlehandedly. “When you are in a small legal group, you are a mile wide covering different areas,” he said. He does patent and trademark work, immigration cases and tax-related matters, also relying on the Washington offices of Hogan & Hartson and Shaw Pittman. Lapidus reports to President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Massa, and also works closely with nonexecutive Chairman Brad Harries. Route to the top: Lapidus’ first career stops following Harvard Law School in 1997 were Hale and Dorr (now Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr) and Hogan & Hartson. (He is a 1992 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis.) He focused on mergers and acquisitions, venture capital work and securities matters with the firms. In 1999, he moved in-house to Internet access company OneMain.com, serving as senior vice president and general counsel. OneMain was acquired by Earthlink in September 2000, leading Lapidus to YellowBrix. “On a Tuesday I left the closing, and on Friday, I walked into an organizational meeting for the IPO for YellowBrix.” Personal: Queens, N.Y.-born Lapidus and his wife Nancy, a Shaw Pittman attorney, have two young children. He bikes and plays tennis, and recently took his son on his first skiing trip. Last reading materials and movie: Publications of the Association of Corporate Counsel and ALM’s Corporate Counsel, and Garden State.

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