Business Transactions

Getting to Agreement without the Drama

Ellen Lubell guides clients in developing business strategies and negotiating contracts, many involving intellectual property. Whether the transaction involves consulting, publishing, vendor relationships, curriculum development, or intellectual property, Ellen's approach is not just to win points, but to achieve a result in which both parties feel they've gotten a fair deal and mutual trust increases.

Beyond advising clients on the terms of individual transactions, Ellen looks to the larger business implications of her clients’ activities. Her tax-exempt clients benefit in particular from her knowledge of regulatory compliance to protect them from missteps that could jeopardize their exempt status. Will a proposed venture result in taxable “unrelated business income” that the client hadn’t anticipated? Will bringing on a new board member raise conflicts of interest? These kinds of questions need to be analyzed with a full understanding of the client’s activities and operations.

Intellectual Property

Ellen helps clients develop strategies to protect, and, where possible, generate income from their intellectual property. Copyrightable works such as books and videos, as well as trademarks or "brand names," are often among a nonprofit’s most valuable assets. Board members and managers should understand the steps required to assure that the organization owns the intellectual property it creates, that it uses others’ intellectual property legally and that it can appropriately benefit from its intellectual property.

Empowering Clients

Although the occasional client just wants legal issues to be taken care of and remain uninvolved, most clients feel more in control when legal issues are demystified and they are brought into the process of resolving them. Ellen works to empower clients to act on their own as much as possible and to serve as a partner in negotiating solutions. This approach has the benefit of often reducing legal costs, since clients are better able to solve problems themselves when they understand what’s involved and seek help in a timely way.

Ellen, I felt such enormous relief and gratitude after we spoke. Thank you for being so competent and thinking of all the things I wasn’t thinking of. I felt tremendously supported by you and safer being protected by your careful attention to detail. You helped me make decisions that are in the best interest of my organization, that I couldn’t really articulate before we spoke. Thank you!

Anne Hallward, M.D., Executive Director
Safe Space Radio, Inc.

Business Transactions Insights

Understanding Nondisclosure Agreements

Nondisclosure agreements or “NDAs” are legal agreements entered into by parties who wish to share information with one another on a confidential basis and control how that information is used. NDAs, also referred to as “confidential disclosure agreements,” may involve disclosure of confidential information by only one party or both parties. Confidentiality Provisions vs. NDAs…

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Just Winning Points May Not Win the Game

An email I received yesterday from a prospective client made me think about the last time I was asked by someone to negotiate a deal and told to drive a hard bargain.  Never, actually.  I work primarily with nonprofit organizations and perhaps they have less taste for combat, but most clients, whether nonprofit or for-profit,…

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New Sources of Revenue for Your Nonprofit

If you’re like many in the nonprofit sector, you’re looking for new ways to generate revenue. An important source to consider is your organization’s existing intellectual property. Do you have materials that you developed for one purpose, which might have new life if they were adapted or redirected to a new purpose? If so, repurposing…

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