Cooley Hires 15 Heller Ehrman Partners

Cooley Godward Kronish LLP has added 15 partners from Heller Ehrman, which recently voted to disband its partnership. This includes 10 partners in Silicon Valley, four in Seattle (where Cooley will open a new office) and one in Washington, D.C. 


Cooley Godward Kronish LLP announced today that 15 partners from Heller Ehrman will join the Firm.  Ten partners will join Cooley in Silicon Valley, four in Seattle, where Cooley will open an office, and one in Washington, DC.  In addition to comprising the core of Heller’s Venture Law Group (VLG) in these offices, the partners joining Cooley include the heads of Heller’s firm-wide business and intellectual property transactions practices, the co-heads of its energy and clean technology practice, the co-chair of its life sciences practice and two VLG co-founders.

“It is a testament to Cooley’s momentum and our platform as the national leader in venture capital, technology, life sciences and clean technology that these talented practitioners have chosen to join the Firm,” said Joe Conroy, Cooley’s chief executive officer. “It is rare that a group of such experienced and highly respected corporate and IP transactions partners, many of whom we have known for years, would suddenly become available.  We are delighted to have them join us and are highly confident that they will be a great fit strategically and culturally.”

Partners joining Cooley in Palo Alto include corporate partner Mark Weeks, previously the head of Heller’s firm-wide business department, Mark Medearis, a co-founder of VLG, corporate partner Elias Blawie, a co-founder of VLG and co-chair of Heller’s energy and clean technologies practice, corporate partner Jon Gavenman, head of Heller’s Silicon Valley office, corporate partner John Sellers, compensation and benefits partner Renee Deming, tax partner Mark Windfeld-Hansen and corporate partners Keith Miller, Amy Paye and Mavis Yee.

For more than two decades, these attorneys have advised leading technology, life sciences and clean technology companies, venture capital firms and investment banks in Silicon Valley and across the country in financings, mergers, public offerings, collaboration and licensing agreements and other transactions.  During this period they have counseled many notable venture-backed companies such as Hotmail, IronPort Systems and OnStream Networks, and more recently, companies such as Atom Entertainment, Inc., Macrovision Solutions, Seattle Genetics, Inc., SonoSite, Inc., LookSmart, Phoenix Technologies, Ltd., Airespace and Xunlight Corporation.

“Cooley’s emerging company leadership and current team of 41 business partners in Silicon Valley will be broadly enhanced by the addition of our 10 new partners,” said Eric Jensen, partner and head of Cooley’s firm-wide business department. “Together with our new Seattle partners, the group further strengthens our preeminent national life sciences practice and adds significant industry expertise in areas such as semiconductors, software and the rapidly-growing clean technology sector.”

The Firm’s new Seattle office will be led by corporate partner John Robertson, recently chair of the business department for Heller’s Northwest offices.  He is joined by corporate partners Sonya Erickson, co-chair of Heller’s national life sciences practice; and IP transactions partners Alison Freeman-Gleason, co-chair of Heller’s energy and clean technologies practice, and Kevin Kelly, chair of Heller’s intellectual property transactions group.  The group has significant Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest-based life sciences, clean technology and technology practices, representing emerging growth companies, established technology businesses and venture capital firms.

In Cooley’s Washington, DC office, the Firm will bring on board Natasha Leskovsek, an experienced FDA practitioner, adding FDA expertise to the Firm’s preeminent life sciences practice.

The addition of these highly sought-after partners enhances Cooley’s position as the preeminent law firm for entrepreneurs, companies and investors in the technology, life sciences and clean technology sectors.   Cooley is ranked #2 nationally in representing venture-backed companies in financings, and #1 in Southern California, Colorado and the Mid-Atlantic region, according to Dow Jones/Venture Source.  In addition, 25 percent of Fortune 500 technology and telecommunications companies and 25 percent of the 100 largest public biotechnology companies in North America are Cooley clients.

In recent years, Cooley has enjoyed dynamic growth, successfully expanding its presence on the East Coast with the opening of offices in Washington, DC, New York (through a merger with Kronish Lieb Weiner & Hellman) and Boston. With these new partners, Cooley now has approximately 725 attorneys nationwide and offers broad corporate transactional capabilities, expertise in tax, real estate and bankruptcy and a leading litigation practice, representing a broad array of clients in complex commercial and securities litigation, antitrust and intellectual property matters.

About Cooley Godward Kronish LLP

Cooley Godward Kronish’s 725 attorneys have an entrepreneurial spirit and deep, substantive experience, and are committed to solving clients’ most challenging legal matters.   From small companies with big ideas to international enterprises with diverse legal needs, Cooley has the breadth of legal resources to enable companies of all sizes to seize opportunities in today’s global marketplace.  The Firm represents clients across a broad array of dynamic industry sectors, including clean tech, technology, life sciences, real estate, financial services, retail and energy.

The Firm has full-service offices in major business and technology centers nationwide: Palo Alto, CA, New York, NY, San Diego, CA, San Francisco, CA, Reston, VA, Broomfield, CO, Washington, DC, Boston, MA and Seattle, WA.