T.J. Graham

Cooley has scooped up T’Challa Jabari “T.J.” Graham from Silicon Valley rival Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati as a partner for its technology transactions group in Palo Alto, California.

Graham, who was promoted to partner at Wilson Sonsini in 2016, has spent the bulk of his career at the firm, which he joined in 2006.

“I am excited to be joining a firm with such momentum and dedication to its ever growing base of sophisticated clients,” Graham said in a statement. “I am especially drawn by the opportunity to help lead the growth of Cooley’s technology transactions team on the West Coast in a truly collaborative environment.”

In 2010, Graham briefly left Wilson Sonsini for an 11-month stint in-house at Sunnvyale, California-based information technology and data management company NetApp Inc. After returning to the firm, Graham resumed his work representing companies in technology and business transactions, with a special focus on those involving high technology innovations, software, consumer products and digital media.

“The demand for complex technology transactions work has been on the rise, and T.J.’s talent will be a significant addition to our growing practice,” said a statement from Keith Berets, the head of Cooley’s technology transactions group.

According to the firm, Cooley has more than 35 lawyers in its technology transactions practice. The 897-lawyer firm, which broke the $1 billion gross revenue mark last year, has about 190 lawyers in Palo Alto. Graham’s addition marks Cooley’s latest raid on Wilson Sonsini, which saw four partners leave its ranks last summer to join the firm in New York and Washington, D.C., as well as another three-partner team in the Bay Area.

In February, Cooley did see cryptocurrency expert Marco Santori leave its partnership to become chief legal officer at bitcoin wallet startup Blockchain, while debt finance partner Troy Zander decamped to start a San Diego office for Barnes & Thornburg. Benjamin Damstedt, an intellectual property litigator in Palo Alto, also left Cooley to become senior director of litigation at computer gaming company Nvidia Corp. in Santa Clara, California. Cooley did start out 2018 by bringing on a trio of cybersecurity experts in three different cities.

As for Wilson Sonsini, the 746-lawyer firm hired Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher antitrust partner Joshua Soven and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom associate Joshua Gruenspecht as a partner for its national security practice earlier this month in Washington, D.C., only a few weeks after bringing aboard Goodwin Procter corporate partner Andrew Hill in Palo Alto. Wilson Sonsini, which saw its gross revenue rise in 2017, to $797 million, issued a statement calling Graham a respected partner and wishing him well in his future endeavors.