Cooley LLP was founded in 1920 in San
Francisco by Arthur Cooley and Louis Crowley. The practice they
started went on to become a major player in California, as it
prospered in the Silicon Valley boom years (and survived the bust).
Since then, the firm has expanded its reach to Southern California,
the Rockies, the East Coast, the Pacific Northwest, the Far East,
and the UK, while maintaining a relatively comfortable size.
In 1980, Cooley opened an office in Palo Alto,
the epicenter of American technology. The firm began working with
venture capitalists, life sciences companies, and emerging
technology startups, representing the likes of Adobe Systems and
Gilead Sciences; it also took Genentech and Amgen public in 1980
and 1983, respectively. But Cooley's IT roots pre-dated personal
computers-it advised Raychem on its founding in 1957 and helped
form National Semiconductor in 1959. It also advised on the
formation of Draper, Gaither and Anderson, the West Coast's very
first venture capital partnership. These days, the firm's Palo Alto
attorneys have added expertise in intellectual property, patent
issues, employment law, and complex business and securities
The firm expanded into Southern California in
1992 with the launch of its San Diego office. Representing
well-known San Diego companies like QUALCOMM, Amylin, and Sony. The
San Diego office advises on corporate and litigation matters in a
variety of industries, ranging from biotechnology to Internet and
electronic commerce to telecommunications.
Of course, venture funds and emerging
technology companies aren't confined to California. Cooley was the
first Silicon Valley firm to establish itself in the Rocky Mountain
region with the opening of a Colorado office in 1993, taking
advantage of the burgeoning tech boom in that state.
The firm's first East Coast office opened in
Reston, Virginia in 1999, and once again, its goal was to serve
entrepreneurs and technology companies (public and private), as
well as the venture capitalists, private equity funds and the
financial services companies that work with them. A second East
Coast office opened in 2005 in Washington, DC. Now, that office
boasts many of the firm's regulatory groups, helping tech companies
navigate the complex regulatory agencies.
In 2006, the firm that was known as Cooley
Godward (for Arthur Cooley and early partner Bill Godward) merged
with New York firm Kronish Lieb Weiner & Hellman, a
well-regarded boutique with an emphasis on bankruptcy, tax, and
commercial and white collar litigation practices. The next stop in
Cooley's expansion was Boston, where the firm opened its doors in
2007. One year later Cooley came to Seattle, where it focused on
high technology and life sciences in the Pacific Northwest, as well
as the Pacific Rim. In late 2011, Cooley launched its first
international office with the opening of an office in Shanghai,
China. In 2012, Cooley opened its 11th office in Santa
Monica-the heart of convergence of tech, media, and venture capital
in greater Los Angeles. Most recently, in 2015, Cooley launched its
first European office in London.
Although Cooley remains best-known for its
technology work and life sciences clients (Yelp!, eBay, Facebook,
Google, and Gilead, to name just a few), the firm has also won
awards for its capital markets, intellectual property litigation
and privacy practices. It has also cast its net far beyond the
typical Silicon Valley client, working with companies in the
retail, insurance, sports, and investment banking industries.
Fortune magazine has named Cooley to its prestigious
"100 Best Companies to Work For" list for the third consecutive
year. Cooley rose to #28 and is the #1 law firm on the
list, which is the result of one of the most extensive and
respected employee surveys in corporate America. In addition to
this list, last year Cooley earned places on Fortune's
lists of the Best Companies for Women, Millennials, Camaraderie,
Flexibility, and Giving Back. Other national and regional
publications have also consistently recognized Cooley as a great
place to work, including Crain's New York Business,
Washington Business Journal, and Working Mother
magazine. The Human Rights Campaign also recently awarded Cooley a
perfect score on its 2016 Corporate Equality Index.
A Most Active Year
Cooley ranked as the #1 most active law firm for advising on
both early and late-stage VC financings in Pitchbook's Q4 US
Venture Industry Report for 2015. Cooley advises investors and
companies on more than 650 financings annually. Cooley advises 35%
of US-based companies on the Wall Street Journal's Billion
Dollar Startup Club, including The Honest Company, Jawbone, and
Practice Groups of the Year
Law360 named Cooley's capital markets and privacy and
data protection practices Practice Groups of the Year. This is the
fourth time in five years that the privacy and data protection
group has won this recognition and the first for Cooley's capital
markets group, in what has been another record year.
Cooley was named London Office of the Year at the British Legal
Awards 2015. UK publication Legal Week, which organizes
the awards, commented: "The US firm only opened in the capital in
January this year - but it has certainly made a splash. Not content
with its initial launch with 20 partners, it went on to make a
series of hires from rivals to continue on its growth path." Cooley
opened its London office in January 2015, with 20 partners and more
than 55 lawyers and other professionals. From the outset, the
office has offered depth across key areas, including
corporate/M&A, complex litigation, venture capital, technology
transactions, IP, tax, competition, and privacy.
A Balm in Gilead
Cooley was recognized by The American Lawyer at its
third annual Global Legal Awards. According to American Lawyer
Media, the contest attracted 225 entries across 30 categories.
Cooley was honored in the Commercial Arbitration category for its
winning representation of Gilead Sciences in the lawsuit F.
Hoffmann-La Roche v. Gilead Sciences. In addition to this
recognition from The American Lawyer, Cooley's work for
Gilead has been highlighted by The National Law Journal in
Cooley's profile for the publication's annual "IP Hot List" and by
The Recorder for its "IP Litigation Department of the
Year" awards. Lead partner and Cooley chairman Steve Neal was also
recognized in The American Lawyer's "Litigator of the
Week" series and named a Law360 "Trial Ace" for
spearheading the victory.
Hot! Hot! Hot!
Cooley was named to The National Law Journal's "IP Hot
List," which is comprised of just 15 firms "that accomplish great
things in the realm of intellectual property law." In selecting
Cooley, the NLJ highlighted its work on behalf of a "who's who of
Silicon Valley companies." It also recognized the firm's 2014
victory in defending Gilead Sciences' rights to the hepatitis C
drug Sovaldi, and the firm's representation of HTC and Motorola in
a US ITC trial that led to a favorable settlement involving
smartphones and tablets.