Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, which kicked off 2019 by opening a Boston office, has continued to expand its tech-focused offerings, bringing on the chairman of Baker McKenzie’s North America corporate and securities practice.
Matthew Gemello, who joins Orrick as a partner in its Silicon Valley office, said he was drawn to the strength of the firm’s technology-related practices.
“As a technology M&A lawyer, the quality, the depth, and breadth of the technology platform are incredibly compelling for my clients and for the deals that I work on,” he said.
Gemello’s practice focuses on guiding technology companies and their financial sponsors through domestic and cross-border transactions, ranging from private company buyouts and public takeovers to complex, multijurisdiction spinoffs and business carve-outs.
As a third-generation Silicon Valley resident, Gemello has spent his entire 21-year legal career in Northern California. Before he joined Baker McKenzie in 2003, he was an associate at now-defunct Brobeck Phleger & Harrison.
“Companies based in Silicon Valley, the number of them that have become important players in the global economy has just exponentially grown in the 20-odd years that I have been practicing,” said Gemello of his corporate clients. “As technology companies have grown and expanded … a lot of the norms of the Valley’s ecosystem have become global norms.”
Some of his recent work includes representing AgraQuest in its sale to Bayer CropScience for a total purchase price of close to $500 million; advising Maxim Integrated Products Inc.’s acquisition of Volterra Semiconductor for approximately $605 million; and other significant transactions for Motorola Solutions and Trimble, according to his firm profile.
Gemello’s arrival at Orrick follows a series of additions to the firm’s tech team. To make its Boston entrance, the firm brought on a group of Ropes & Gray cybersecurity and data lawyers led by Doug Meal and Heather Egan Sussman. And Orrick’s Bay Area offices recently added IP litigators Jared Bobrow from Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Clement Roberts from tech litigation boutique Durie Tangri; and tech capital markets adviser Bill Hughes from Fenwick & West.
“For five years, we’ve pursued a strategy focused on three sectors: tech and innovation, energy and infrastructure, and finance,” Orrick CEO Mitch Zuklie said in an email. “We’re not trying to do everything. Rather, we focus on where we can be among the very best and we try to add value through both legal skills and sector knowledge.”
“The recent investments we’ve made reflect that focus,” Zuklie added. “We add partners when and where our clients ask us to do so.”
In a statement responding to Gemello’s departure, Baker McKenzie said, “We wish to thank Matthew for the many contributions he has made to the firm and wish him all the best in the future.” The firm added that it will be appointing a new North America corporate and securities chair in the near future.
The Chicago-based firm has also been growing its base in California, including launching a new Los Angeles office with hires from Hogan Lovells.