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About me

over 25 years, I have been a Silicon Valley business lawyer with a specialty in early-stage tech startups.  I have practiced business, corporate,
commercial, and intellectual property law and have served as a business and corporate lawyer for a broad range of startup and business clients, from small family businesses to leading companies in the high tech field. I have concentrated on helping entrepreneurs, founders, executives, and the
companies they own and operate, in all types of industries. With
respect to the tech field in particular, I have worked with
startups in depth at every stage of their development: formation,
founder arrangements, intellectual property protection, funding,
technology licensing, strategic alliances, and acquisition. I function as a strategic adviser to startup businesses and bring
substantial experience and depth to that role. I have a direct style
that appeals to entrepreneurs as well as a credibility that serves
clients well in negotiations.


In each of the areas listed as my practice areas, I have done not only extensive transactional work but have also handled disputes and litigated cases - that is, business, corporate, and intellectual property litigation (not patent). I am a strong proponent of the view that entrepreneurs are well-served if a lawyer can handle deals and disputes seamlessly, and I have always sought to stay sharp in both transactional and litigation matters within the commercial field.


Concerning my 4-attorney boutique firm:  We are business lawyers with a specialty in early-stage tech startup companies.
Since 1984, we have helped small to mid-sized businesses, startups,
entrepreneurs, and executives – several thousand in all. We help form
companies - fund them - sell or merge or acquire them – sell their
assets - do their corporate work, employment work, contracts, leases,
and standard terms – licensing, trademark, and IP work (not patent filings) – founder and
equity incentive structures – commercial deals of all types. We also do
litigation: business - corporate - contract – fraud – trade secret –
unfair competition - employment - business break-ups (including corporate and partnership dissolution actions)  - commercial
litigation generally.


See for a representative list of current and former clients (while we specialize in tech startups, our roots lie with traditional small business clients of all types, and we continue to value small business clients as a part of our law firm).


As a law firm, we seek to be and remain readily approachable and thus offer free (short) initial consultations via phone or email and reduced rate initial consultations in-office - our policies are explained here (


Every California business, corporate, employment, intellectual
property (IP), and commercial litigation lawyer in our law firm has at
least 10 years' experience as a practicing attorney in Silicon Valley,
Santa Clara County, and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area.


attorneys represent clients in commercial deals and in commercial
litigation matters throughout the state of California, including San
Jose, Silicon Valley, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Cupertino, Los
Gatos, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Saratoga, Palo Alto, Los Altos, San Francisco, San Mateo and
Santa Clara County.


I have consistently been recognized as a leading
startup business and technology lawyer in Silicon Valley. I am a member of

the State Bar-CEB Business and Intellectual Property Law Advisory Committee and

a frequent contributing author to leading CEB publications (Counseling California Corporations (3rd

edition 2008); Advising California Partnerships (3rd edition 2009);

California Business Law Practitioner Journal, "Tips, Traps, and Strategies for Representing Early-Stage Startups" (Spring 2008)). I recently served as President

of the Sunnyvale-Cupertino Bar Association (2008-09) and have served on its board of

directors for many years.


I am a classicist who enjoys reading Latin and ancient
(and modern) Greek. I am an avid reader, a classical film buff,
and an opera lover. I was born and raised in the midwest but
have been a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area since 1968. I am married and serve as a deacon in my church.


Languages spoken: Greek

Practice areas


  1. Business: 50%
    31 years, 2 thousand cases
  2. Intellectual Property: 25%
    31 years, 1 thousand cases
  3. Corporate & Incorporation: 25%
    31 years, 1 thousand cases



Hourly ($310-480/hour), Fixed (sometimes), Retainer (always), Free consultation (15 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

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Contact info

20400 Stevens Creek Bl #280
Cupertino, CA, 95014-2298


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Best LawyersSan Jose Magazine2002
Best LawyersSan Jose Magazine2001
Best LawyersSan Jose Magazine2000
Chief Technical Editor, Law ReviewSanta Clara University School of Law1978
Law School Honors (Magna Cum Laude)Santa Clara University School of Law1978
Undergraduate Honors (Highest Honors in History)University of California at Santa Cruz1974
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Founder and Managing PartnerGrellas Shah LLP1984 - Present
AssociateBingham McCutchen1980 - 1984
Judicial law clerk to Honorable William A. IngramUnited States District Court, N.D. Cal.1979 - 1980
Association namePosition nameDuration
State Bar - CEB Business and Intellectual Property Law Advisory CommitteMember2009 - Present
Sunnyvale Cupertino Bar AssociationPresident2008 - 2009
Sunnyvale Cupertino Bar AssociationVice President2007 - 2008
Sunnyvale Cupertino Bar AssociationDirector2003 - 2007
Santa Clara County Bar AssociationMember1984 - Present
State Bar of CaliforniaMember1978 - Present
Publication nameTitleDate
Advising California Partnerships (CEB)Planning a Limited Partnership (Chapter 5)2009
Counseling California Corporations (CEB)Shareholders' Rights and Liabilities (Chapter 3)2008
California Business Law PractitionerTips, Traps, and Strategies for Representing Early-Stage Startups2008
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Santa Clara University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1978
University of California - Santa CruzHistoryA.B.1974