Thomas Hopkins, Cooley Godward..courtesy photo
Thomas Hopkins, Cooley Godward..courtesy photo ()

PALO ALTO — LegalZoom, a web-based provider of legal services, withdrew its initial public offering plans Tuesday to pave the way for European private equity firm Permira Advisers to take a $200 million controlling stake. LegalZoom tapped a Los Angeles–based team from Cooley to advise on the acquisition, which is expected to close during the first quarter. Permira sought counsel from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson.

Glendale’s LegalZoom first filed to go public in May 2012, but it had shelved those plans by August of that year after a series of false starts. A team from Sheppard Mullin had been advising LegalZoom on its planned IPO.

Though the prospects for technology IPOs were dimmed in 2012, in part by Facebook’s disappointing debut, such deals have since rebounded. The legal services industry has also seen increased activity and interest as new startups have entered the marketplace. Since its inception in 2001, LegalZoom has received capital from such big-name investors as Polaris Venture Partners, Institutional Venture Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

The Cooley team on the transaction was led by Thomas Hopkins, partner-in-charge of the firm’s L.A. office. It also included corporate partner Ian Smith; compensation and benefits partner Renee Deming; tax partner Jeremy Naylor; antitrust and trade regulation partner Francis Fryscak; associates Melika Martin, Sarah Dale, Katherine Decker-Sadowski, Nicole Miller and Aaron Binstock, and senior corporate paralegal Amy Saldamando.

The Fried Frank team counseling Permira was led by corporate partners Robert Schwenkel and Brian Mangino. They were joined by executive compensation and employee benefits partner Jeffrey Ross, litigation partners Lisa Bebchick and David Hennes and tax partner Alan Kaden.

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