Goodwin hires fund formation specialist Ian O’Donnell

Law firm Goodwin hired Ian O’Donnell on the firm’s private investment funds practice as a partner in San Francisco. O’Donnell will work with private investment funds partners Jonathan Axelrad, Rob Fore, Gerry Chacon and Brian McDaniel.

Press Release

Goodwin, a leading Global 50 law firm, announced today that Ian O’Donnell has joined the firm’s Private Investment Funds practice as a partner in the San Francisco office. O’Donnell is a highly regarded venture capital fund formation expert, and his addition represents another milestone in the global expansion of Goodwin’s private fund formation practice, which includes over 100 lawyers worldwide, and the firm’s presence in Northern California. O’Donnell’s appointment follows the recent arrival of San Francisco tax partner Jason Vollbracht.

Concentrating on the formation and representation of venture capital, growth equity and private equity funds, O’Donnell’s practice also includes the representation of issuers and funds in public and private financing transactions. He focuses on all aspects of the formation and operation of domestic and international investment funds, including venture capital, private equity, fund of funds, secondary market, debt and a variety of other types of funds ranging from multibillion-dollar venture capital and leveraged buy-out funds to much smaller venture capital, angel, pledge and similar micro funds.

“More than a decade ago, we set out to become a global leader across the entire spectrum of private fund formation practice areas,” said David Watson, Chair of Goodwin’s Private Investment Funds practice. “Since then, we have built a fund formation team of more than 100 lawyers, and we are excited that Ian is joining our practice.”

At Goodwin, O’Donnell reunites with his former colleagues and Goodwin’s Private Investment Funds partners Jonathan Axelrad, Rob Fore, Gerry Chacon and Brian McDaniel. “Re-joining Rob and Jonathan, and Jerry and Brian was clearly a great opportunity,” said O’Donnell. “Collectively, we have more than 100 years of practice in venture capital and private equity fund formation, and can provide our clients with unparalleled depth of experience.”

“We are absolutely delighted that Ian is joining us at Goodwin,” said partner Jonathan Axelrad. “He was a wonderful colleague when we worked together previously, and it will be completely natural for him to be a colleague again.”

“Ian epitomizes the standard of technically sophisticated, client-service-oriented lawyer that we seek in all practice areas,” said partner Rob Fore. “He shares our mutual vision of the future for private fund formation,” added partner Jerry Chacon.

“Ian has an outstanding practice, which includes key industry players in both the U.S. and Asia,” said Hong Kong-based partner Brian McDaniel. “The synergies of his practice and ours will be immediate, and a great benefit to all of our clients.”

“The vast scope and caliber of Goodwin’s private funds practice were also a big draw for me,” added O’Donnell. “The firm excels in numerous industry practices including venture, private equity, real estate, hedge funds, debt financing, and infrastructure, with experts in complementary areas, such as tax, Investment Advisers Act, ERISA, FOIA, FCPA, labor and employment, M&A and capital markets, and expertise in Europe and Asia as well. I will have access to everyone I need to give my clients best-in-class service and handle any circumstances that arise.”

“Ian’s focus on venture capital funds is particularly synergistic for us,” said Anthony McCusker, Chair of Goodwin’s Technology Companies practice. “We seek to be at the center of venture capital activity, from the earliest stages of a new company idea through IPO and beyond. Providing fund formation services to venture capital firms is a natural part of that process.”

O’Donnell received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.A. from Yale University. He is admitted to practice in New York and California.

He can be reached at or 415.733.6161.

Goodwin’s Private Investment Funds practice handles every stage in the life cycle by providing fund managers with the sophisticated level of counsel required for forming, advising and operating private investment funds. Within fund formation, Goodwin takes a creative approach, starting with not only the specific objectives of a particular fund but also an assessment of how the fund fits within the client’s broader business goals. The team understands the issues specific to different types of funds and offers advice that comes from a wealth of experience across industries and global markets.

About Goodwin
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