(Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM)
Venture capital fund formation lawyer Ian O’Donnell has reunited at Goodwin Procter with a crew of his former Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati colleagues.
O’Donnell, who was most recently a partner at Cooley, has joined Goodwin Procter as a partner in the firm’s San Francisco office. He began his career handling venture capital matters in 1999 during the height of the dotcom boom at Wilson Sonsini, where he worked closely with Jonathan Axelrad, Gerald “Jerry” Chacon Jr., Robert Fore and Brian McDaniel.
All four are now partners at Goodwin Procter, having moved to that firm in 2007. Though Cooley hired O’Donnell in 2005, he kept in touch with his old colleagues, whom he credited with recruiting him to his new firm.
The breadth of Goodwin Procter’s private investments practice will also benefit O’Donnell’s clients as the venture capital industry becomes more heavily regulated, he said.
“It’s a firm whose strategy is to try to cover the entire private funds sector, as opposed to just focusing on venture capital funds or other funds,” O’Donnell said. “The reason that’s important is it gives me a whole new set of resources that are becoming more and more important as the venture capital industry grows.”
Anthony McCusker, chair of Goodwin Procter’s technology companies practice, said in a statement that O’Donnell’s venture capital expertise will bolster his firm’s technology strategy.
“We seek to be at the center of venture capital activity, from the earliest stages of a new company idea through IPO and beyond,” said McCusker, who joined Goodwin Procter in 2010 from Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian. “Providing fund formation services to venture capital firms is a natural part of that process.”
O’Donnell isn’t the first lawyer to transfer between Cooley and Goodwin Procter’s offices this year. In March, Boston-based venture capital and technology partner Ryan Sansom left Goodwin Procter for Cooley, citing the latter firm’s head count bump in Massachusetts as a sign that it was serious about moving into the East Coast technology market.
But Goodwin Procter has seen steady growth this summer in San Francisco. In July, the firm recruited Simpson Thacher & Bartlett counsel Jason Vollbracht in Palo Alto, California, as a tax partner in San Francisco, while hiring Gunderson Dettmer of counsel Salil Gandhi as a partner for its technology companies group in New York.
Goodwin Procter, which adopted a shorter name last year for marketing purposes, also picked up Latham & Watkins associate Gregory Saiontz as counsel for its private equity practice in Washington, D.C., and welcomed King & Wood Mallesons investment funds partner Alexandrine Armstrong-Cerfontaine in London. Goodwin Procter did see litigation partner E. Abim Thomas decamp in July to become head of global litigation at Boston-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Cooley has also been acquisitive, welcoming four partners last month from Wilson Sonsini in New York and Washington, D.C. Cooley announced in late July that it would become the latest large firm to move its New York office to the city’s new Hudson Yards development.
Earlier this year, Cooley and Goodwin Procter both worked on a $3 billion initial public offering by Snapchat parent Snap Inc.