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As online-gaming company Zynga makes its march toward an IPO valued at $1 billion, there is also a steady stream of litigation involved in keeping everything on track. The Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog took a close look at Zynga’s IPO documents and found that sharp-elbowed litigation was an important part of “how the hottest online gaming start-up has become a dominating force on the world’s largest social network since its founding in 2007.” The maker of popular browser-based games like FarmVille, Mafia Wars, and other social media gaming phenomena even awarded “a half-million-dollar bonus last year to the company’s chief counsel, Reginald Davis, for ‘securing acompany-favorable settlement’ in a major lawsuit.” CorpCounsel.com’s sibling publication The Recorder has reported on the powerhouse legal team Zynga has assembled for the IPO process, with California’s Cooley LLP taking the lead, and “[a]ttorneys from Ropes & Gray are representing the underwriters with a team that includes corporate partners Brian Erb in San Francisco and Keith Higgins in Boston.” Zynga’s law department is also staffed up and ready to play well with its new legal partners. As AmLaw Daily reporter Brian Baxter notes, “Cooley’s in-house connections may help helped the firm land the Zynga assignment. One lawyer listed on the company’s S-1 filing with the SEC, deputy general counsel Karyn Smith, was a Cooley partner from 1992 to 2002.” This is the latest in a stream of recent high-value tech IPOs, like LinkedIn, whose public debut netted its GC Erika Rottenberg a $27 million payday.

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