Mayer Brown has hired Michelle Ontiveros Gross to expand its corporate and technology transactions capabilities in Northern California.
Gross, one of a few female technology transactions experts in Silicon Valley, will officially join Mayer Brown next month as a partner in Palo Alto, California. Prior to the move, she served as a counsel at Davis Polk & Wardwell’s office in nearby Menlo Park, which she joined from Venable in 2014.
“The thing that really jumped out to me is I appreciated how client-focused [Mayer Brown] is and the firm’s commitment to delivering top-notch legal services at a completive cost,” said Gross, adding that she was drawn to her new firm’s broader platform for technology transactions and data privacy and security work.
Gross started her legal career as an associate at Vinson & Elkins in 2004. Her practice includes advising clients on a range of technology-related matters, including data and digital services, licensing, M&A transactions, outsourcing and support services. As a member of Mayer Brown’s cybersecurity and data privacy practice, a group led by former National Security Agency general counsel Rajesh De, Gross will also advise clients on data protection and security matters.
At Mayer Brown, Gross will work closely with fellow Palo Alto-based corporate partners Jennifer Carlson, Nina Flax and Rohith George to help the firm expand its technology transactional expertise in Northern California.
“One of the considerations going into this was just immediately recognizing the opportunity to further expand the practice areas the firm can focus on to serve its existing client base, while introducing my contacts and current clients to the firm’s very strong platform,” Gross said.
In a press release Monday, Brad Peterson, the leader of Mayer Brown’s technology transactions group, said he was “delighted” to welcome Gross to the firm. According to Mayer Brown, the firm has more than 50 lawyers working in the technology transactions space throughout its offices in America, Asia and Europe. (Mayer Brown, which signed a new cooperation agreement with a Saudi Arabian firm earlier this year, recently tweaked the name under which it has long conducted business in Asia.)
“Michelle brings a diverse intellectual property and technology transactions practice that nicely complements our strong capabilities in Northern California and beyond,” Peterson said in prepared remarks. “She is ideally positioned to serve our clients in the private equity and financial services sectors, as well as clients seeking counsel on data privacy, cybersecurity and technology issues.”
In July, Mayer Brown brought on former Berry Appleman & Leiden senior associate María Eugenia “Maru“ Ferre as counsel for its global mobility and migration practice in San Francisco. That move came after Mayer Brown added finance partner Stuart Brinkworth in London, brought on an M&A team from White & Case in Mexico City and expanded a new Tokyo office with a pair of hires from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
Tragedy struck Mayer Brown in August when Stephen Shapiro, a Chicago-based founder of the firm’s high-powered appellate litigation practice, was found dead in his home. Illinois prosecutors subsequently charged Shapiro’s brother-in-law, John Gately III, with his killing.