Michele Leonelli

Attorney at Law

602-457-2191 | michele@phocuscompanies.com

G’day! I’m Michele Leonelli. I’m half-Australian, half-Italian, and I’ve lived the last 20 years of my life in America. I’ve lived all over the USA, completing high school in the deep south, graduating cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis, and then cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center. 

After law school I worked as an associate in the Environment, Land & Resources department of the Los Angeles office of Latham & Watkins, LLP. A multidisciplinary practice group, I was exposed to a broad range of matters including: corporate transactional, finance, real estate, land use, regulatory, and litigation. After four intense and rewarding years there, I left to become General Counsel and VP of an incredible, industry-changing start-up called Urban Mining Company (UMC).

In my current practice I serve as outside general counsel to entrepreneurs, startups, and established small-to-medium-sized businesses across almost all industries. In this role I handle the legal needs of my clients including the following: (i) entity formation and corporate governance (LLCs, corporations, etc.); (ii) fundraising (equity, debt, convertible debt); (iii) M&A (company sales/acquisitions, asset sales/acquisitions, etc.); and (iv) drafting and negotiating a wide range of corporate or commercial contracts such as MSAs, NDAs, Joint-Venture Agreements, Terms & Conditions of Sale, Consulting Agreements, SaaS Agreements, etc.

But work isn’t everything, and I love my free time. I’ve been an avid traveler since my parents put me on a plane to Italy at 9-months old. I’m pretty confident that I could draw with my eyes closed the safety instruction card in the seat back pocket of an airplane. I’m also a music nut, and am still looking for that perfect client that will engage me to explain why Dark Side Of The Moon is the greatest album of all time. Having grown up in a remote, and gorgeous corner of Australia, I feel a strong connection to nature, and love being in the elements. And when I’m not outdoors, I’m often furthering my meditation practice or reading (recent favorites include War and PeaceSteppenwolfBe Here Now, and Catch-22).

I now maintain a Spotify playlist and email blast called the “Groovy Advocate”, where I share music that I am currently enjoying with a few thoughts about each song. I’ve included the playlist below. If you’d like to receive the email blast, send me a note at michele@phocuscompanies.com and I’ll make sure you get added!