Partner - General Counsel

Brett Nissenberg

I admired both the firm’s performance and, in my view, its unusual humility regarding its success.

As Lightspeed’s General Counsel, Brett believes that people are central to the success of a business and a fulfilled life. So it comes as little surprise that the people of Lightspeed—”smart, collaborative, approachable,” he says—drew him to the firm.

“I admired both the firm’s performance and, in my view, its unusual humility regarding its success,” he says. “When I thought about a general counsel role at a venture capital firm, Lightspeed was a great fit.”

Before Lightspeed, Brett spent a decade as general counsel at Riverbed Technology. During his time there, he helped the company grow from a small startup to a global organization, giving him “an appreciation for how difficult it is to grow and scale a business, and an understanding of the points in a deal that are actually likely to matter, both to the company as well as to its investors.”

He began his career at a law firm representing VCs investing in emerging growth companies. It was there that he learned the importance of team dynamics. “I saw firsthand how choosing the right partners early in a company’s lifecycle can accelerate a company’s growth and meaningfully alter its trajectory,” he says.

It all comes back to people.

It’s his empathy for those starting a business, and his ability to recognize what will truly matter to the people involved, that allow him to serve as a beneficial resource in nudging deals over the finish line.

When he’s not growing companies, he’s spending time with his family and, as a San Diego native and a big baseball fan, watching the Padres. “If you’re going to root for the Padres, you better really like baseball,” he says. “The winning seasons are infrequent.”