Van Katzman


Ascent Law Partners LLP
1191 Second Avenue, Suite 1800
Seattle, WA 98101
United States

Tel: 206.264.3076


Van is an experienced business and transactional attorney and investor with over 25 years working in legal, strategic and operating roles for start-up and Fortune 500 companies. He is the co-founder of Ascent Law Partners, LLP and Ascent Investments, LLC, advising technology start-ups and other businesses on their life-cycle decisions from inception to exit.

Van brings a pragmatic, business-centric approach in counseling companies and senior management teams. He has negotiated countless transactions, helped companies raise capital (venture, angel, and senior debt), spearheaded mergers and acquisitions (buy-side, sell-side, and private equity), forged business development opportunities and joint ventures, counseled companies on employment, regulatory, and ethical issues, and served as a trusted sounding board to many CEOs. Van also counsels investors on angel and venture financings, as well as other strategic investments.

In addition to his broader technology practice, Van has a deep environmental business and policy background and works extensively with clean tech and other environmental companies, providing legal and business development advice to a broad array of entities focused on renewable energy, alternative vehicle fuels, waste conversion and recycling, water conservation, biofuels, and other related areas.

Van’s legal career began with Perkins Coie in Seattle. He then transitioned to the business sector, co-owning and managing Communicore, a Seattle-based technology consulting firm. Van served as Assistant General Counsel for Waste Management, the largest solid waste collection and recycling company in North America, where he helped manage all legal affairs for the Western United States. Van joined (later WorldCatch) as Vice President of Business Development and General Counsel, and helped guide the company in its transition from B2B marketplace to a bricks-and-mortar operating company.  From 2004 through 2012, he co-founded Beacon Law Advisors, a successful boutique corporate law firm based in Seattle that works extensively with emerging technology companies. He co-founded and launched Ascent Law Partners in January of 2013.

  • B.A., Yale University (Varsity Soccer Team)
  • J.D., University of Virginia Law School (Virginia Law Review)
  • M.A., Environmental and Natural Resource Policy, George Washington University
  • Selected to Washington Super Lawyers (2015 — present)
  • Managing Member, Ascent Investments, LLC (current)
  • Managing Member, Double Eagle investments, LLC (current)
  • Board of Trustees, University Prep (current)
  • Board of Trustees, UCDS (current)
  • Adjunct Faculty, University Prep (teaching Entrepreneurship to high school students) (current)
  • Adjunct Professor, Seattle University Law School (teaching Start-Ups and
    Entrepreneurship to law students) (past)
  • Board of Directors, PAWS (past)
  • Board of Directors, Parent Trust for Washington Children (past)
  • Board of Directors, Hope Heart institute (past)
  • PNW Chapter, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2)
  • Element8
Our attorneys have years of experience working with innovative start-up companies as well as mature mid-market and Fortune 500 businesses. We have handled hundreds of transactions across a broad spectrum of industries, including software, cybersecurity and other technology, solid waste and recycling, infrastructure, environmental services, telecommunications, manufacturing, professional services, food processing, contracting, real estate, natural resource development, clean technology, and alternative energy.

We are lawyers who are also business people. We have started businesses and have held key executive positions in enterprises with nine and ten digit revenues. And we continue to invest in, manage, and operate businesses alongside our law practice. We use that experience to counsel businesses as they confront their life-cycle decisions, opportunities, and crises. The founders of Ascent Law Partners have successfully handled hundreds of these matters over the last three decades.

We believe this operating perspective and business experience makes a qualitative difference in how we counsel and advise companies.  Our approach is more pragmatic and results oriented, and this resonates with both start-up entrepreneurs as well as seasoned CEOs of more mature companies.  Our clients appreciate that we are not only technically proficient (through decades of experience practicing law), but are a constructive extension of their management team, helping solve problems to drive their business forward.

Our boutique model and technology-leveraged overhead structure also allows us flexibility to work with clients in ways that meet their unique needs.  Legal and business advice is efficiently delivered by a partner with personal experience dealing with issues like those faced by the client.