Rickie M. Sonpal


  • Overview


    Rickie Sonpal is co-chair of Robinson+Cole’s Business Section and a member of the firm’s Business Transactions Group. He has a broad-based corporate and transactional practice that encompasses mergers and acquisitions, partnerships and joint ventures, debt and equity financing, and general corporate and commercial matters. His clients represent many industries, with a special emphasis on the food and beverage and renewable energy industries. 

    Mergers and Acquisitions

    Rickie regularly represents corporate clients and strategic and financial investors in domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, and carve-out transactions. He counsels both buyers and sellers in structuring transactions and in negotiating the terms of a transaction and related financing. Rickie routinely represents renewable energy developers and investors in the sale or acquisition of renewable energy projects throughout the United States and has handled the sale of several of the largest solar generation projects in Rhode Island.

    Partnerships and Joint Ventures

    Rickie helps clients with structuring, documenting, and implementing a broad range of commercial partnerships and joint ventures. He has handled numerous joint ventures involving real estate and renewable energy development projects around the country, including assisting a client with a joint venture involving a large-scale Massachusetts-based residential, office, and retail development.

    Debt and Equity Financing

    Rickie frequently represents emerging, high-growth companies and entrepreneurs in capital raises and convertible debt financings. He also represents venture capital firms and other investors in connection with equity financings. Rickie represented 'I and Love and You,' a premium pet food and product company in Boulder, Colorado, in connection with multiple successful rounds of equity raises, including growth investments from venture capital and private equity firms.

    He also assists borrowers and private lenders in connection with secured and unsecured debt financing transactions, many of which include bespoke terms or are otherwise highly transactional-specific.

    General Corporate and Commercial Counseling

    Rickie serves as outside general counsel to a number of businesses, advising on strategic and commercial matters. He regularly assists corporations with corporate governance matters, supply chain and other commercial contracts, employment and equity incentive agreements, and general corporate matters. Rickie routinely advises clients in the food and beverage industry on supply, co-manufacturing, distribution, logistics and other operational agreements.

    Rickie previously practiced in the New York offices of Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman LLP and Shearman & Sterling LLP. He served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Peter K. Leisure, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Rickie was an investigator of police misconduct with the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board. He speaks fluent Swedish.  

  • Experience
    • Experience


      • Represented The Nielsen Company (U.S.) LLC in multiple investments, acquisitions and dispositions.

      • Assisted a privately held research and development lab with the reverse merger of its wholly owned subsidiary and simultaneous PIPE financing.

      • Represented a leading technology-driven healthcare services company in connection with its sale to a global information solutions provider. 

      • Handled the sale of numerous solar power generation facilities in New England.

      • Represented an independent investment firm in connection with its acquisition of a provider of engineering, design, assembly, and integration services. 

      • Guided a personal protection equipment company through the sale of fifty percent of its outstanding equity to an international strategic partner and the subsequent sale of the remaining shares in the corporation.

      • Represented the operator of the Port of Providence in obtaining “local match” financing in connection with a TIGER II grant from the United States Department of Transportation. 

      • Represented Natpets, LLC, or “I and Love and You,” a premium pet food and pet care product company, in connection with a growth investment from a consumer-focused private equity firm, an investment that will fuel the company’s growth and expansion nationwide.

      • Assisted client with acquisition of the controlling interest in a joint venture involving a large-scale residential, office, and retail redevelopment project in Massachusetts.

      • Represented a socially conscious apparel company focusing on ethically produced garments in connection with a Series B Preferred Equity financing.

      • Represented the acquirer of a granite curbing business in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. 

      • Assisted client in connection with the acquisition of a retail shopping plaza in Massachusetts with a joint venture partner. 

      • Represented a property and casualty insurance company in connection with the acquisition of multiple independent insurance agencies.

      • Represented a producer of widely recognized laundry care brands in the negotiation and drafting of a tolling agreement for the production and packaging of liquid laundry detergent products.

      • Represented a specialty spirits producer in the negotiation of a requirements contract with a private label distiller for the production of premium light vodka.

      • Represented an alternative energy investor in the structuring, negotiation and documentation of a joint venture with a renewable energy service provider for the development of a portfolio of solar power generation systems.

      • Counseled Sarla Analytics, LLC in connection with the sale of its SmartGlance mobile reporting product to Invensys plc (subsequently acquired by Schneider Electric).

      • Represented a national water utility in the sale of its Connecticut and Arkansas water systems to strategic buyers.

      • Representation of Camuto Group in connection with its acquisition of the remaining shares of Bernard Chaus, Inc., a designer of women's career, casual sportswear and dresses.

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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      Rhode Island Bar Association
      Business Organizations Committee

      SEG Food & Beverage
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Recognized by Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly as a 2021 “Rhode Island Go To Lawyer” in the area of Business.

    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      Town of Barrington
      Resilience & Energy Committee (2016 - present)
    • News

      R+C in the News

      • October 25, 2021

        Roger Peters and Rickie Sonpal Recognized As Rhode Island "Go To Lawyers"

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      R+C News Releases

      • August 9, 2018

        Robinson+Cole Helps Facilitate Significant Transactional Health Deals

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      • November 18, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Elects New Partners

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      • February 1, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Forms Sustainability Cross-Practice Team

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      • December 4, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Elects New Partners and Counsel

      • June 11, 2012

        Rickie Sonpal Joins Robinson & Cole as New Transactions Lawyer in Rhode Island

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