SAN FRANCISCO — Karen Cottle, the former general counsel of Adobe Systems Inc., has been lured out of retirement by Sidley Austin.

She has joined the firm’s Palo Alto office as senior counsel in the technology group.

Cottle, who retired from the San Jose-based software company last summer after 10 years as Adobe’s GC and senior vice president, said Sidley reached out to her. "I had really retired and really wasn’t planning to work." There are no plans to become a partner, she added.

Cottle is returning to law firm life after spending the majority of her career in house. Prior to joining Adobe, Cottle spent two years heading up the legal department of the privately held Vitria Technology Inc. and 13 years at Raychem Corp. in Menlo Park, which was acquired in 1999. She began her career at Farella Braun & Martel.

Cottle noted that her in-house experience has primarily been with large software companies, but she plans to work with startups as well.

The Palo Alto office of the Chicago-based firm had 36 people, including 19 partners and 13 associates, prior to Cottle’s arrival. That is up from the three founding partners when the office was first opened in 2009. Thomas DeFilipps, the managing partner for the Palo Alto office, said it will be expansion mode for the next several years, but declined to provide details.

Cottle was replaced at Adobe by Michael Dillon, who previously held general counsel positions at Silver Spring Networks Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc.