Firm Profile > Cooley LLP > Palo Alto, United States

Cooley LLP
PALO ALTO, CA 94304-1130
United States

Technology transactions Tier 1

Cooley LLP advises online media and education start-ups, telecoms companies, fintech groups and software companies on M&A-related technology transactions, licensing deals and development agreements. Of recent note, T’Challa Jabari Graham, who joined the Palo Alto office from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in March 2018, advised Adaptive Insights on its $2bn acquisition by Workday. Washington DC-based Adam Ruttenberg renegotiated a strategic alliance between WeWork and client 2U, an online platform designed to offer higher education services. Denver-based practice head Keith J. Berets assisted telecoms provider Telestra with the spin-out of the video platform company Ooyala. Softbank, SeatGeek and online mobile lending service Welab Holdings are also among the team's clients. Adam Chase is another contact in the Washington DC office.

Venture capital and emerging companies Tier 1

Cooley LLP has a pre-eminent reputation in the venture capital and emerging company sphere for its broad industry expertise, its dominant presence in Silicon Valley, and its coast-to-coast geographic coverage. Start-up companies are cornerstone clients for the firm, especially from within the tech, life sciences, and cybersecurity sectors. The team represented Uber in a multibillion-dollar investment from a consortium of lenders led by SoftBank, and in another matter, the firm advised Rappi, an on-demand delivery company based in Latin America, on a $200m financing round. The group also advised online real estate marketplace Opendoor on the closing of its $325m Series E financing. Reston partner Mike Lincoln leads the business department, while Pat Mitchell in Boston and Matt Bartus in Palo Alto co-lead the emerging companies practice. Fred Muto in San Diego has established expertise in the life sciences sector. Jim Fulton in New York specializes in healthcare, biotechnology and tech matters. Palo Alto’s Mark Tanoury, who advised Snowflake Computing on its $263m Series E financing, is a prominent name in Silicon Valley. Eric Jensen, who has expertise in corporate securities, is also a key name in the Palo Alto office. In 2018 David Bartholomew left the firm to join cyber exposure company Tenable.

Capital markets: equity offerings Tier 2

A dominant player in life sciences and technology, Cooley LLP’s industry sweet spots serendipitously aligned with the IPO market’s most lucrative sectors during 2018, which saw the firm attract a string of quality instructions in some of the year’s most high-profile equity offerings. The group secured several heavyweight issuer-side mandates but also continues to build up its manager expertise. Among the names to note, San Francisco-based global capital markets co-head David Peinsipp is highlighted as ‘really driving the market’; he acted with Palo Alto’s Eric Jensen to assist DocuSign with its $723.7m IPO. In another highlight, San Francisco-based public companies co-chair Chadwick Mills advised Seattle Genetics on its $690m public offering. Other recent issuer clients include Autolus Therapeutics, Snap and Stitch Fix. On the manager front, it advised the underwriters on a $258.7m public offering by Ascendis Pharma — San Diego-based global department co-chair Charlie Kim, San Francisco-based Jonie Kondracki and New York-based Div Gupta co-led that work.

Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection) Tier 2

Cooley LLP bases its activities on compliance and strategy, transactional support to clients, breach preparedness and response, as well as privacy and data security litigation and investigation. The practice is headed by San Francisco-based Michael Rhodes and Matthew Brown, who successfully defended Facebook in a number of class actions filed across the country and following the client’s alleged use of 'browser cookies'. The team has also acted in class action litigation for Google, whose product Gmail had allegedly violated the California Invasion of Privacy Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and for Here Media, dismissing the claim that the client had failed to keep subscribers’ sensitive information secure. Colorado-based David Navetta and New York’s Boris Segalis, who have been advising life science companies, insurance brokers, financial institutions, media organization and retailers on GDPR compliance, are other key members of the team. In January 2019, litigator Travis LeBlanc joined the Washington DC and San Francisco offices from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.

M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m) Tier 2

Cooley LLP handles repeat buy-side M&A work for high-growth public and mature private companies as well as sell-side work for private and public companies. The practice stands out for deals involving the technology, life sciences, medical device and healthcare, consumer, education, defense and media industries. Key active clients are Clearlake Capital, Jive Communications, SiteLink Software and RockRose Energy. Mehdi Khodadad in Palo Alto advised Clearlake Capital, an investment firm focused on private equity and special situation transactions, on its recent acquisition of software solutions company Perforce Software; also in Palo Alto, Steven Tonsfeldt led advice to FareHarbor, a reservation platform for tours, activities, rentals and attractions, on its sale to Booking Holdings, known globally for online travel and related services. Elsewhere, Meredith Beuchaw in New York acted for cloud-based HR company PeopleDoc on its sale to Ultimate Software, an American technology company that develops and sells UltiPro, a cloud-based human capital management solution for businesses. The M&A chairs are San Diego-based M&A Barbara Borden and Jamie Leigh in San Francisco; Borden advised Perella Weinberg Partners, as financial advisers to clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Cascadian Therapeutics (CT), on CT's sale to Seattle Genetics, and Leigh acted for Shipt, an online same-day delivery platform, in its $550m sale to Target. Other highly rated advisers are co-fintech chair Al Brown in Boston, Washington DC-based Kevin Mills, New York's Ron Hopkinson and San Francisco-based Eric Schwartzman and Ben Beerle.

Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory Tier 2

Cooley LLP is particularly noted for its expertise in cable and broadcast matters, though it fields a team of experts across all areas of telecoms work.  Broadcast regulatory expert and senior counsel John Feore acts for both Fox's and CBS's affiliate associations, providing advice concerning the over-the-top content delivery market and related carriage issues. The team is lead by Michael Basile, who specializes in regulated transactions, and former FCC commissioner Robert McDowell. McDowell serves as regulatory and public affairs counsel for T-Mobile in its merger with Sprint, and also handles FCC regulatory and international spectrum work for Iridium Communications. Basile, working alongside Feore, is assisting Cox Media Group, ION Media Networks and other broadcast clients in the aftermath of the FCC's recent incentive auction, including repacking of channels, channel-sharing arrangements and post-auction transactions. Feore and McDowell provide counsel to several broadcast clients concerning the UHF discount and its implications on broadcast transactions, alongside special counsel Jason Rademacher, who specializes in FCC enforcement defense as well as advocacy in rulemaking proceedings. Other key lawyers in the practice include David Wittenstein, who focuses on broadcast issues including retransmission, program access and licensing issues, and special counsel Christy Burrow, who specializes in FCC auctions and spectrum issues.

Trademarks: litigation Tier 2

At Cooley LLP, Peter Willsey recently achieved an appellate victory for client Google in a long-running challenge brought by two individuals who sought to declare the Google trademark as generic and incorporate it into over 700 domain names. Brendan Hughes is also a key name and represented ContextLogic in a case which ruled that there was no proof of irreparable harm between the common use of the similar names between auction app provider DealDash and the ‘Deal Dash’ feature within the client’s shopping app. Bobby Ghajar operates from the firm’s LA office, and senior counsel John Crittenden is based in San Francisco and is highly recommended. The practice is closely integrated with the firm’s London office and is adept at handling matters in both the US and European Union.

Fintech Tier 3

With impressive experience in the disruptive technology space, Cooley LLP's fintech practice handles a range of corporate, M&A and financing transactions. The group recently advised Avant on its $325m series E financing. It also acted for Velocity Private Equity in the series A financing of financial analytics platform In the M&A space, the practice advised business and financial software company Intuit on its acquisition of Applatix, and assisted Crowdrise with the sale of the company to GoFundMe. The team, led by  Alfred Browne, includes Boston-based commercial litigator Luke Cadigan who is a name to note for securities enforcement matters, internal investigations and regulatory compliance advice. The group added to its financial regulatory capabilities with the arrival of Boston-based Kenneth Juster from White & Case LLP. Marco Santori, a prominent name for blockchain advice, left the team to an in-house role at Blockchain (US).

Healthcare: life sciences Tier 3

The ‘great team’ at  Cooley LLP is well known for IP and patent work, while also specializing in partnering and licensing transactions, venture financings, capital markets, M&A and regulatory support. Barbara Kosacz, who heads the practice from the Palo Alto office, assisted personal genomics and biotechnology company 23andMe with its long-standing collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), particularly in relation to the development of innovative new medicines and potential cures based on human genetics and the $300m equity investment by GSK. The ‘top patent practitioner Ivor Elfiri, who is based in New York, advised Avexis on the in-license and filing of critical patents related to the client’s platform technology for gene therapy for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in infants. The client base also includes the University of Colorado and Exosome Diagnostics. Palo Alto’s Mark Weeks, who has expertise representing emerging and public growth companies, is another name to note.

Land use/zoning Tier 3

Cooley LLP’s Mark Looney is advising Comstock Partners on the final approval stages of the Reston Station development, and is also advised Woodfield Acquisitions on its project involving replacing a vacant two-story office building with a new 308-unit apartment building. The practice group has expertise in zoning, entitlement and permitting processes throughout Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC relating to a variety of project types such as retail, hospitality, industrial, entertainment, telecoms, data centers and planned communities. Also recommended are Colleen Gillis and 'outstanding’ associate Jill Parks, who ‘works tirelessly for her clients’. John Lavoie heads the practice group. All named lawyers are based in Reston. Antonio Calabrese moved to DLA Piper LLP (US) in May 2018.

Telecoms and broadcast: transactional Tier 3

Cooley LLP is a strong choice for transactions which require FCC approval, particularly with former commissioner Robert McDowell among its ranks, and is distinguished by its prominent work in broadcast transactions. McDowell leads the group along with transaction specialist Michael Basile and broadcast regulatory expert John Feore. Basile advised long-term client Cordillera on the sale of most of its television businesses to Scripps, as well as the sale of its Tuscon operations to Quincy Media, for a combined $600m. McDowell has been retained by T-Mobile in connection with its proposed merger with Sprint, serving as regulatory and public affairs counsel. In cooperation with the firm's M&A and antitrust departments, Feore, Basile and McDowell are advising Gray Television on its $3.65bn acquisition of Raycom Media, one of the largest local broadcasting merges in recent years. A recent key area of work for the firm is broadcast transactions arising from the FCC's incentive auction, where the firm acts for several clients including Cox Media Group in post-auction transactions and channel-sharing arrangements. Kevin Mills is the name to note for telecoms and media clients seeking corporate advice, and recently handled Meredith's $2.8bn acquisition of Time along with Basile and members of the firms antitrust and debt finance practices.

Trademarks: non-contentious (including prosecution, portfolio management and licensing) Tier 3

Cooley LLP is active on both the domestic and international fronts, acting on a number of matters across the European Union and other overseas jurisdictions. The group handles all aspects of the selection, prosecution, protection and enforcement of trademarks and is particularly strong on licensing and brand expansion. In Washington DC, Peter Willsey notably assists Nintendo of America and Mozilla Corporation with the enforcement of their trademark rights. Counsel John Crittenden is also a key member of the team; he operates from San Francisco and manages the worldwide trademark portfolio of Yelp!

US taxes: contentious Tier 3

At Cooley LLP, practice leaders Kathleen Pakenham and senior counsel Stephen Gardner are representing Entergy Corporation in the Eastern District of Louisiana in connection with a refund claim exceeding $400m; the case centers on whether the IRS made a timely assessment of the amount of tax in question. Pakenham is also working with newly made partner Adriana Wirtz in representing the shareholders of Braen Commercial Holdings in consolidated US Tax Court cases in connection with bargain sale deductions and research and development credits. All lawyers mentioned are based in New York.

General commercial disputes Tier 4

Fielding seven fellows of the ACTL, Cooley LLP has an impressive litigation team that is especially notable for its work in the technology space; its household name clients include Facebook and Google. The firm also has a strong track record in the financial services, telecoms and life sciences sectors. New York-based Ian Shapiro prevailed on behalf of client Sotera Wireless in an eight-day bench trial against Masimo Corporation in claims alleging misappropriation of trade secrets; the case was appealed to the Southern District of California. Also in New York is Alan LevineMichelle Doolin chairs the Southern California litigation department from San Diego; and chairman Stephen Neal is based in Palo Alto.

International arbitration Tier 4

Cooley LLP handles a blend of investor-state and commercial arbitration mandates. The team is representing BM Holding in an ICSID arbitration against the UAE under the Turkey-UAE BIT, and is also representing Bursel Tekstil Sanayi Ve Diş Ticaret, Burhan Enuştekin and Selim Kaptanoğlu Bursel in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Uzbekistan arising under the Turkey-Uzbekistan BIT. Department chair Mark Beckett, who is praised for his ‘depth of experience’, is a key contact. William Schwartz and Rachel Thorn are also recommended. Named individuals mentioned are based in New York.

Patents: licensing Tier 4

Cooley LLP has an especially strong track record of licensing work for clients in the life sciences sector, with due diligences as a core component of the caseload. The main practitioners are Scott Talbot in Reston, Nan Wu in San Francisco, Mika Reiner Mayer in Palo Alto and practice head Ivor Elrifi in New York.

Patents: litigation (full coverage) Tier 4

Cooley LLP is primarily active in the technology and life sciences sectors. The group has developed a specialist biosimilar practice while maintaining a strong Hatch-Waxman focus. In recent examples, the team represented Horizon Pharma in a district court case against Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, which the group won after six years of litigation concerning the infringement of Horizon Pharma's arthritis drug Vimovo. The group also regularly acts for Facebook, which it successfully defended against EveryMD in a Federal Circuit case regarding two online messaging patents. Further, Snap instructed the team to defend it in infringement litigation against competitor Vaporstream, initiated over patents covering methods for electronic message transferring and involving ten IPRs. Nintendo, Celltrion and Amgen also feature on the client roster. The team is headed by Washington DC-based Stephen Smith, and includes Palo Alto trio Heidi KeefeMark Weinstein and Michelle Rhyu.

Securities litigation: defense Tier 4

Cooley LLP climbs the ranking the ranking this year and is praised as 'a key player in technology and life sciences, and it has invested to stand out among California firms'. In volume alone, the firm is one of the most active in the defense of issuers in shareholder litigation, and no firm has defended more life sciences companies during the last five years. Koji Fukumura in San Diego leads the securities litigation practice and he secured the dismissal of a class action against Celladon, in which investors alleged they were misled about clinical trials for the company's leading drug candidate Mydicar. In Palo Alto, Jessica Valenzuela Santamaria and John Dwyer obtained a victory for Orexigen in a derivative lawsuit arising from the termination of a clinical trial. Patrick Gibbs in Palo Alto, Luke Cadigan in Boston, Eric Kuwana in Washington DC, who joined from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, and Stephen Neal in San Francisco are also recommended.

Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters) Tier 4

Cooley LLP is highly skilled in non-competition agreements as well as trade secrets litigation. Key figure Ian Shapiro defended Sotera in litigation brought by Masimo, which claimed that its former employees who now work for Sotera had misappropriated trade secrets. Meanwhile, Michael Sheetz defended Rubrik employees who allegedly stole Dell EMC's trade secrets. Elsewhere, Jonathan Bach defended Thermo Fisher Scientific against allegations of trade secret misappropriation involving DNA analysis techniques. The firm also advised the dating app Bumble against claims of trade secret violation brought by the founders' former employer Match, which operates dating apps such as Tinder, OkCupid and Plenty of Fish. All lawyers are based in New York except Sheetz who is based in Boston.

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense Tier 5

Cooley LLP's group is based in New York, handling white-collar matters across a range of regulated industries. Highlights for Ian Shapiro and Celia Barenholtz included representing Retrophin in the SEC and US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York investigations of its former CEO, Martin Shkreli. Alan Levine is representing Glenwood Properties in four different official corruption investigations by state and federal prosecutors' offices, involving campaign contributions and alleged payments to New York State legislative leaders. Jonathan Bach, who jointly leads the team, is representing a museum in connection with a federal grand jury investigation concerning the importation of ancient artefacts from the Middle East. Co-chair William Schwartz represented former Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP associate, Alex van der Zwaan, in connection with an investigation and prosecution conducted as part of the Mueller investigation.

Merger control Tier 5

Jacqueline Grise leads the antitrust offering at Cooley LLP from Washington DC ans has particular expertise in healthcare, medical devices, media and other high-tech industries. Recent highlights include acting for Gray Television in its acquisition of Raycom for $3.65bn, and Adaptive Insights' $1.55bn sale to Workday. Other key names include Howard Morse and Marc Schildkraut.

Patents: prosecution (including re-examination and post-grant proceedings) Tier 5

Cooley LLP assists a broad range of life sciences clients with patent portfolio management and development. The team's recent work ranges from advising biotechnology player Allogene Therapeutics on the prosecution of its immuno-oncology patents, to assisting Freedom Innovations with the strategic development of its 20-brand lower limb prosthetics patents. Additionally, Myovant Sciences instructed the group in relation to the prosecution of patents covering women's health innovations, including uterine fibroid and endometriosis treatments. Other clients include Common Sensing, CS Disco and DroneUp. Practice head Ivor Elfiri in New York and Mika Reiner Mayer in Palo Alto are key figures in the practice group.

Private equity funds (including venture capital) Tier 5

Cooley LLP is known for its solid expertise in venture capital funds. John Dado and Shane Goudey assisted Redpoint Ventures with the closing of Redpoint Omega III, which raised $381m, while in San Francisco, Jordan Silber advised Qiming Venture Partners on the closing of its sixth fund, Qiming Venture Partners VI, which raised $935m. Craig Dauchy heads the practice, in which Mark Tanoury and Boston-based Nicole Peppe, who advises Norwest Venture Partners, are also key contacts. Unless stated otherwise, the team is based in Palo Alto.

US taxes: non-contentious Tier 6

Cooley LLP provides ‘excellent legal and business advice’ on tax-efficient structuring, M&A transactions, joint ventures and corporate partnering arrangements, with a particularly strong focus on technology and IP transactions. Boston-based William Corcoran has considerable experience with the tax issues arising from venture capital and alternative investment vehicles, and Alexander Lee in Los Angeles focuses on taxation of public and private M&A deals and capital markets transactions, particularly those involving Asian clients. Lee recently acted for Samsung Electronics in its $8bn acquisition of Harmon Kardon, and also advised Dubai World on its $7.1bn investment in MGM Mirage. Susan Cooper Philpot and Mike Farber in San Francisco are experienced in corporate income tax planning, federal and state taxation, M&A and corporate restructuring. Todd Gluth in San Diego and Mark Windfeld-Hansen in Palo Alto are among the key figures in the team. Jeremy Naylor joined Proskauer Rose LLP's New York office in April 2018.

Cooley’s lawyers solve legal issues for entrepreneurs, investors, financial institutions and established companies with an emphasis on technology, life sciences and other high-growth industries. Clients partner with Cooley on transformative deals, complex IP and regulatory matters, and high-stakes litigation, where innovation meets the law. The firm has 900 lawyers across 12 offices in the US, China and Europe.

Main areas of practice
Corporate: key corporate strengths include capital markets, M&A, emerging companies, venture capital, tech transactions and life sciences corporate partnering and licensing.

Litigation: key litigation strengths include antitrust, class actions, ITC, international arbitrations, patent, privacy, regulatory, securities, tax controversy, trademark and white-collar. Cooley’s global trial practice has won verdicts and awards worth billions of dollars and protected market share for innovative clients against competitors, consumers and regulators.

Intellectual property: key strengths include IP litigation across all major venues, patent counseling and prosecution, trademark, copyright and advertising, and due diligence, licensing and strategic transactions. Cooley lawyers have filed 9,500+ patent applications and 5,000+ trademark applications worldwide and have collectively led 1,000+ investor-side and company-side due diligence reviews.

Regulatory: key strengths include antitrust and competition, communications, financial services, government contracts, insurance, healthcare, higher education, international trade, media and securities.

Antitrust and competition: providing a full range of counseling, litigation, agency representation and arbitration services, Cooley handles all aspects of antitrust/competition law and trade regulation matters for Fortune 500 corporations, as well as growing companies in virtually every sector of the economy.

Capital markets: advised on 88 completed public offerings in 2016, leading all law firms for VC-backed technology and life sciences IPOs since 2013 and as company counsel for US venture-backed IPOs.

Emerging companies: represents 5,000+ private companies, including thousands of technology, life sciences and other high-growth businesses with all aspects of their formation and development. The firm is involved in 800+ financings annually.

IP litigation: with 500+ IP cases in the last five years, including 400+ patent cases, Cooley is widely acknowledged as one of the top IP litigation practices in the US and consistently ranks in the top ten for patent litigation.

Life sciences: represents more than 50% of the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index. With 1,200+ public and private life science company clients worldwide, Cooley is the leading deal firm across all aspects of corporate and transactional practices, including M&A.

M&A: since 2010, handled 1,000+ M&A transactions with an aggregate value of over $293bn, making the practice one of the most active in the country, particularly for technology and life sciences companies.

Privacy and data protection: represents cutting-edge start-ups and well-known global companies such as Google, Facebook, eBay, LinkedIn and Sony. The firm advised on 30 data security incidents and handled more than a dozen privacy class action litigations.

Public companies: counsels public companies in high-stakes, complex business and litigation matters across the globe. The firm serves as principal corporate governance and securities counsel for 160+ publicly traded companies and currently represents 500+ publicly traded companies.

Securities litigation: with 500+ representations over the past decade, the firm’s securities litigation clients include a diverse range of businesses and individuals, including start-ups and Fortune 500 companies.

Venture capital: Cooley is counsel to 350+ investment fund organizations. The firm also advises on 800+ venture financings annually, company and investor-side combined.

Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate (capital markets, M&A, emerging companies, venture capital, tech transactions and life sciences, corporate partnering and licensing)
Litigation (advertising, appellate, antitrust, class actions, employment, ITC, international arbitrations, patent, privacy, regulatory, securities, tax controversy, trademark and white-collar)
Photo Name Position Profile
 Peter Burns  photo Peter Burns
 John Dado  photo John Dado
 Craig Dauchy  photo Craig Dauchy
 John Dwyer  photo John Dwyer
 Francis Fryscak  photo Francis Fryscak
 Shane Goudey  photo Shane Goudey
 Robert Jones  photo Robert Jones
 Mehdi Khodadad  photo Mehdi Khodadad
 Barbara Kosacz  photo Barbara Kosacz
 Robin Lee  photo Robin Lee
 Craig Menden  photo Craig Menden
 Stephen Neal  photo Stephen Neal
 Michael Stern  photo Michael Stern
 Steven Tonsfeldt  photo Steven Tonsfeldt
 Mark Winfeld-Hansen  photo Mark Winfeld-Hansen
Number of Partners : 300
Number of Other Fee-Earners : 900
Total Staff : 2,000+
CEO : Joe Conroy
Chairman : Stephen Neal