Investment Funds: Venture Capital - Nationwide
THE FIRM A favorite with technology clients and their institutional investors, Cooley remains a dominant presence in the venture capital world. Clients appreciate the high levels of support provided by the highly skilled securities, tax and ERISA lawyers who work seamlessly alongside the team. Matters range from early-stage fund-raising all the way through to multimillion-dollar closings, with a prime example of its abilities being the team's recent advice on a $1 billion fund for Institutional Venture Partners. This fund's focus on the internet, digital media and mobile technology spaces played to the key strengths of Cooley's talented bench.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The highly regarded Craig Dauchy heads up the practice at Cooley, and recently represented Foundation Capital in the formation of its $400 million seventh fund. He is particularly praised for his ability to draw on industry connections when working in this space.
Mark Tanoury is based in the firm's Palo Alto office, and maintains a strong presence in the field. Drawing upon his considerable experience in venture fund formations, he recently assisted JAFCO Technology Partners through the formation of its fifth fund.
Eric Jensen has a broad corporate and securities practice with particular experience in the representation of emerging and public technology clients. He is highly regarded for his practical approach to matters.
Barbara Kosacz continues in her role as head of the life sciences practice, and is respected for her strategic investment, financing and M&A knowledge.
Esteemed partner Fred Muto has developed an excellent reputation for his guidance of investment banks and venture capital investors. He also acts on behalf of startups, emerging growth companies and public companies in the technology sector.
THE FIRM Fenwick & West has a strong presence in Silicon Valley, consistently attracting a wealth of highly active technology clients to its practice. Lawyers are equipped to shepherd clients through every stage of the venture capital life cycle, from seed funding through to a variety of liquidity events. The group's long history in this field means it has strong ties with local industry players, benefiting both emerging companies and investors through its knowledge of their business models.
Sources say: "They are all good attorneys who individually have long histories in the space."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gordon Davidson is a well-known figure in Silicon Valley, and is highly regarded for his expertise in venture capital. His clients are largely drawn from the technology, life sciences and clean technology sectors.
Identified by interviewees as "very smart and focused," Mark Stevens has a broad client roster of IT and media clients, which he represents in M&A transactions, IPOs and complex strategic alliances.
Accomplished attorney Barry Kramer operates out of the firm's Mountain View office, counseling technology and life sciences companies on a broad range of venture capital issues.
THE FIRM This firm's strong venture capital tradition and proven capabilities in the sphere are key selling points. Startup companies and venture capital funds regularly turn to the guidance of the experienced team at Gunderson, which is notably busy on the fund formation side. The team has recently formed funds for noteworthy client Andreessen Horowitz, among others. Its dedication to excellent client service is a further key draw of this practice.
Client Service "They provide top-tier service. They are experts in their field and are very thoughtful in their advice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Scott Dettmer is praised as being a "terrific guy to work with." His reputation has attracted the business of numerous life sciences and technology companies.
Steven Franklin has recently advised on a raft of matters for clients such as Altira, Corsa Ventures and First Round Capital. He spearheads the firm's venture fund practice.
Bob Gunderson is respected as a leading figure in the market. By virtue of his long tenure in the space, he has a wealth of experience in M&A, financing and IPO activity for Silicon Valley's most significant players.
THE FIRM This practice continues to go from strength to strength, spanning an impressive range of industry sectors in its work, including energy, media and entertainment and information services. It has attracted the business of some of the most active and innovative players in the venture capital market, including Accel Partners, Apptio and GreenVolts. Numerous venture financings have kept the team occupied of late, and it has also provided nuanced investment advice to venture capital and private equity firms.
Commercial Awareness "They have an exceptional network and grasp of what is happening in the market."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeff Saper is lauded for his strong expertise and experience in the space. His practice spans the representation of emerging growth companies, investment banks and corporate issuers in domestic and cross-border matters.
Steven Bochner offers huge depth of experience in the venture capital world, and has acted as counsel on a multitude of IPOs, merger transactions and financings for virtually every type of stakeholder in the market.
Larry Sonsini is a well-recognized figure in the industry. He is the chairman of the firm, and has a global reputation for his work on significant M&A and IPO transactions.
Michael Danaher is praised for the level of service he has provided to his technology client base. He recently assisted Shocking Technologies on its $10.5 million Series C financing.
Robert O'Connor "is willing to be helpful and provide active introductions for companies," comment clients. He is particularly praised for his experience in the cleantech arena.
THE FIRM Capitalizing on its globally renowned corporate practice, DLA Piper represents a raft of technology companies and venture funds in financing and M&A transactions. New Enterprise Associates, Steamboat Ventures and Groupon are among the high-profile names that regularly call upon the services of this team. Its recent work includes handling a $25 million Series D financing for Global Analytics. Clients appreciate the firm's tremendous international presence and high levels of coordination across relevant jurisdictions.
Sources say: "They have a very broad practice and very broad geographic footprint. These folks really understand our business better than most."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeffrey Leavitt possesses a "unique set of contacts in this industry." He is respected for his skilled representation of entrepreneurs, and "understands the dynamics" of the venture capital space.
Jeffrey Lehrer is a "go-to attorney" for his clients, who rely on his "service-oriented and good business sense" to guide them through a wide range of financing and transactional activity.
THE FIRM Goodwin Procter's hubs of venture capital expertise can be found in Boston, New York, California and DC, offering clients comprehensive coverage on a nationwide basis. The practice represents emerging technology companies, investment banks and private equity firms, and translates its experience acting for a diverse range of market participants into creative solutions for its clients. The team was recently engaged by Sequoia Capital to restructure its $2 billion India funds family.
Sources say: "They are real specialists in this area."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jonathan Axelrad is praised for his excellent practice on the fund formation side. He recently handled the formation of a third fund for Axiom Asia Private Capital.
John Egan has been highly occupied in assisting clients with exits in recent times, representing Admeld in its sale to Google, and Q1 Labs in its sale to IBM.
THE FIRM With high visibility across some of the most important venture capital industries, Latham & Watkins is well placed to advise its broad clientele on all aspects of the venture capital life cycle. Its geographic spread also lends itself to a vibrant presence in the market, with lawyers operating out of nine offices across the country. ActiFio, BIND Biosciences and Data Gravity have all recently called upon the team to assist on multimillion-dollar venture financings.
Client Service "They have a high level of professionalism, promptness and a real sense of customer advocacy."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Silicon Valley-based Christopher Kaufman is lauded as "a fantastic lawyer" who has a leading venture capital practice. His expertise in M&A and corporate finance matters is greatly appreciated by his high-technology client base.
The "professional and personable" John Chory is "very knowledgeable about all areas of corporate law." He is a new entry to the nationwide rankings, and is based in Massachusetts.
Patrick Pohlen continues to be very active in the emerging companies space, recently acting on a $30 million Series C financing for Siluria Technologies.
THE FIRM Hogan Lovells has cemented its position as a strong choice for virtually every type of stakeholder in the venture capital market. Its expertise and experience on cross-border matters make it a favored destination for clients such as ABS Capital Partners and Supponor. The team has also been active on several significant IPOs of late, demonstrating its ability to represent clients from startup throughout their expansion.
Sources say: "Their strongest points are legal thoroughness and a focus on the client."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeffrey Hurlburt and Michael Williams are the key contacts for this practice.
THE FIRM This team has had a busy year, acting on numerous financing rounds for key clients such as Better Place, Valeritas and Flowonix Medical. Lawyers develop and cultivate close relationships with key financial institutions across the country, and work effectively across many sectors, including digital media, cleantech and IT.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Cochairs of the emerging business and technology group Steve Cohen and Tom Kellerman are the key contacts for this practice.
THE FIRM Orrick houses a well-regarded venture capital team based out of Silicon Valley. Its clientele is mostly composed of technology industry participants drawn from the worlds of social media, cloud computing and education technology, among other sectors. Generation Investment Management recently mandated the team to act on its $110 million Series C investment into a renewable energy company.
KEY INDIVIDUALS John Bautista heads the firm's emerging companies group, and is a key contact.
THE FIRM This team has a notable presence across the full spectrum of venture capital matters, and is especially highlighted for its expertise representing digital media, social media and music companies seeking funding. Venture capital firms looking to invest are able to turn to the firm's considerable network, and can rely upon the team's noted efficiency in negotiations. The team also skillfully handles exit transactions such as the recent $168 million sale of PowerReviews to Bazaarvoice.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Glaser continues to attract significant praise from commentators. Clients praise his high standards of service and pragmatic approach to complicated matters.
THE FIRM This firm has a strong track record of guiding companies from startup to IPO and beyond, presiding over financing rounds for key clients Apigee, Tilera and Svaya Nanotechnologies in the past year. Technology and life sciences are key areas of focus for this agile team.
Sources say: "Smart, hard-working, experienced partners and comprehensive capabilities as a firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jorge del Calvo maintains a stellar reputation among peers and clients. He offers an impressive depth of experience in the technology sector.
THE FIRM WilmerHale is an attractive one-stop shop for startups and emerging companies, and offers clients an assured multidisciplinary approach that includes antitrust, IP and regulatory advice. The sale of Rhythmia Medical to Boston Scientific for $265 million is a prime example of the success of lawyers in representing a company throughout its life cycle from startup to exit.
Client Service "They are agile and supportive, and I feel that they are an extended part of our team. I have a feeling that we are going to be doing business again and again."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sarah Rothermel is a highly active presence in the industry. A fund formation specialist, she frequently represents venture capital funds and other private investment vehicles.
THE FIRM This firm has cultivated a solid presence in the emerging growth sector, working closely with IT, life sciences and clean technology companies through every stage of their growth. The team has been involved in numerous venture financing transactions of late, and counts Edison Ventures, Greenphire and Halfpenny Technologies among its vibrant clientele.
Commercial Awareness "Great technical lawyers." "They are extremely thorough yet also very business-minded. They really understand the space and are very efficient; a hidden gem in venture capital work."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Louis Rappaport "simplifies rather than complicates," making him a popular choice for venture capital clients. "We know that we can depend on him, and at the end of the day that is what matters most," explains one client.
THE FIRM The dynamic team at Denton operates across the full spectrum of venture capital activity, representing emerging growth companies as well as investment banks and notable venture capital firms, including Canaan Partners. Leveraging a global network of expertise in the space, the team is able to support its clients in all nature of transactions, from financings and investments to exit strategies.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Paul Gajer was lately called upon by MCMC to guide it through a $15 million Series C offering and related acquisitions.
THE FIRM Housing considerable expertise in the mid and late stages of emerging growth companies as well as a wealth of experience with corporate investors, Gibson Dunn has proved an attractive prospect to clients such as Intel Capital, Shazam Entertainment and Adknowledge. Attorneys are identified as being adept in complex transactional activity, including cross-border and offshore work.
Sources say: "I believe that money spent on attorneys can deliver incredibly good value when you get the right team - with Gibson, we got the right team."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Experienced practitioner Gregory Davidson was recently engaged by Accuray to act on a $15.35 million investment in Compact Particle Acceleration and to coordinate relevant licensing arrangements.
David Gitlin of Greenberg Traurig, LLP is a talented corporate and securities attorney, with substantial experience conducting cross-border transactions and representing foreign venture capital funds.
Michael Rosenthal recently joined Polsinelli PC from Dentons. Chicago-based Rosenthal has extensive experience assisting investors of all types as well as forming funds for private equity and venture capital sponsors.