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Darren Kerstien


Darren Kerstien focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financings, and general corporate and securities law. He represents clients in a wide range of industries, including technology, consumer/retail, life sciences, industrials and manufacturing, energy and sports.

He has extensive experience representing buyers and sellers in structuring, negotiating and closing transactions for both public and private companies. These transactions have included domestic and cross-border mergers, stock and asset acquisitions, joint ventures and restructurings.

Darren advises venture capital and private equity firms on their strategic investments and acquisitions throughout the investment lifecycle, and also has significant experience advising boards of directors and companies in corporate governance, securities compliance and general corporate matters.

Darren received his Juris Doctor cum laude from the University of California, Irvine School of Law where he received Pro Bono Highest Honors for his healthcare and immigration pro bono service with the Legal Aid Society of Orange County.

Bar admissionsCaliforniaWashington


Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Represented private direct-to-consumer business in its sale to a strategic acquiror for $350 million
  • Represented founder, CEO and controlling shareholder as the buyer of a publicly traded technology company in a go-private transaction
  • Represented private industrial company in its sale to private equity investors for $450 million*
  • Represented private pharmaceutical company in its sale to an international pharmaceutical company for $600 million*
  • Represented nuclear energy company in its merger with a SPAC*
  • Represented consortium of private equity investors in tender offer and go-private transaction of digital security company*
  • Represented international energy services company in its $1.6 billion cross-border acquisition of a publicly traded global oil field services company*
  • Represented entertainment conglomerate in the sale of a casino and hotel property in Las Vegas for $825 million*
  • Represented entertainment conglomerate in the acquisition of a casino, hotel and racetrack property in New York for $850 million*
  • Represented international entertainment company in the acquisition of a casino and hotel property in Ohio for $1.06 billion*

Public and Private Financings

  • Represented life sciences company in multiple venture investments*
  • Represented Dubai-based venture capital firm in multiple investments and general corporate matters and transactions for its portfolio companies*
  • Represented numerous start-up companies in entity formation, initial corporate matters and capital raising efforts throughout the company lifecycle*


  • Represented ad hoc group of lenders in restructuring of one of the largest restaurant franchisee groups in the U.S.*
  • Represented ad hoc group of lenders in restructuring of national restaurant chain*
  • Represented successful bidder in purchasing a national restaurant chain out of bankruptcy* 

*Includes representations prior to Darren’s time at DLA Piper.

  • J.D., University of California at Irvine
    Pro Bono Highest Honors
    cum laude
  • B.A., Azusa Pacific University
    summa cum laude

Pro Bono and Community Involvement

Darren devotes a significant amount of time to pro bono work, with a focus on community economic development, advising nonprofits on business and governance matters, and helping families finalize adoptions.

He also mentors aspiring lawyers through pre-law diversity pipeline programs that are designed to demystify the law school application process and help BIPOC candidates chart successful legal careers.

Darren also serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for Western Youth Services (WYS), a nonprofit that serves the mental health needs of children and their families.  WYS has been at the forefront of raising awareness for treatment modalities focused on Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs) and building resiliency in our youth. Darren cares deeply about normalizing discussions about mental health and erasing the stigma associated with seeking mental healthcare.