Jensen, who on Monday joined Wilson Sonsini’s office in the same city as a partner in its emerging companies and fund services groups, said he was recruited back to help the Silicon Valley stalwart grow its corporate and securities services, especially in fund formation.
“I have always believed a lot in the firm, I think it is a great platform and has great attorneys,” Jensen said. “When they recruited me, it was a great opportunity for me to re-join now.”
Jensen first joined Wilson Sonsini in 1999, shortly after finishing his law degree at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. After spending nearly six years at the firm, Jensen made the transition to work in-house for VantagePoint Capital Partners, where he served as an assistant general counsel at the venture capital firm and general counsel of its emerging markets group.
“In the evolution of life of any attorney, there is the choice of being at a law firm versus being in-house at a client. I think there is an appeal of both,” Jensen said. “But frankly, I would rather practice at a law firm than in-house.”
Jensen said he has made the decision to return to private practice because of the resources and support a large firm like Wilson Sonsini is able to offer. He had worked in Perkins Coie’s Palo Alto office as a partner since 2011.
Over the years, Jensen has gained experience forming angel investment and venture capital funds, and advising fund managers about ongoing operations. He also represents emerging companies and their investors with their investment transactions in the U.S. and China. Jensen is also a technology entrepreneur himself, having formed and ran several e-commerce and other internet companies.
“Jim has a wealth of experience representing angel investment and VC funds in connection with their formation and operation, along with his in-house experience,” said a statement from Douglas Clark, managing partner of Wilson Sonsini, announcing his hire. ”He delivers clients valuable perspective and insight because of that balance and his broader corporate experience. We’re very pleased to welcome Jim back to the firm.”
Wilson Sonsini, which has watched several longtime partners leave its ranks within the past year, has also sought to expand its corporate practice elsewhere. In June, the firm recruited former Squire Patton Boggs corporate and securities partner Kenji “Ken” Funahashi in Los Angeles, while also launching its 15th office worldwide in London, which will be led by corporate and technology partner Daniel Glazer, head of the firm’s U.S. expansion practice.
As for Perkins Coie, Jensen leaves the firm more than two months after it brought aboard two high-profile partners in Beijing from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton. Earlier this month, Perkins Coie hired Adrian Rich, an emerging companies and venture capital partner at Dorsey & Whitney, for its Palo Alto office. This week the firm announced it had also brought back former partner Andrew Moriarty in Seattle, where he spent nearly the past five years as senior corporate counsel for labor and employment at Amazon.com Inc.