Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP at a Glance


  • “Entrepreneurial culture”
  • “Interesting clients”
  • “Compensation”


  • “Lack of proper training”
  • “No performance guidance or feedback”
  • “Lack of pro bono”

The Buzz

  • “Exceptional tech and VC practice”
  • “Regional but capable”
  • “Trending upwards”

About Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP

Although Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian is a Silicon Valley firm at heart, it has already outgrown its status as a premier "boutique" for the technological world. The firm has expanded in the U.S. and internationally over the last few years. With offices in Ann Arbor, Boston, Beijing, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Silicon Valley, the firm is an international specialist in emerging growth market matters for corporate and venture capital clients.

Emerging Growth Market, Boom or Bust

In 1995, Bob Gunderson, Scott Dettmer and four other partners jumped ship from the now defunct Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison and started a Silicon Valley firm, just before the region's technology boom. In the next five years, the firm exploded alongside the region's dot-com startups, growing to 130 attorneys by 2000. The firm maintained an impressive client list and a reputation as a go-to high tech firm in a climate that did not treat other tech-focused firms so gently. Its success was at least partially achieved by riding another boom in private equity and venture capital. The firm now enjoys a leading share of the market for venture capital fund legal work.  Chambers International, The Legal 500 and U.S. News have all recognized the firm for both its venture capital law and technology law practices.

Today, the firm serves the venture capital market and counsels startups through its corporate and securities, executive compensation, intellectual property, labor and employment, mergers and acquisitions, tax and private equity practices. The firm prides itself in representing clients "in every stage of development-from startup through entry into public equity markets and beyond." In the acquisitions market, the firm has helped negotiate the sale of companies to tech Goliaths like Apple, Cisco, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. Gunderson Dettmer clients have included companies like Tweetdeck, Etsy, Tumblr, Foursquare, Alimera Sciences, Palantir, Qlik Technologies, Veeva and Ariba and venture funds such as Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital and Kleiner Perkins.

The Lives of Valley Venture Capitalist Counsel

In addition to pleasing clients, the firm seems to make its employees happy as well. Gunderson Dettmer has repeatedly achieved a ranking in the top ten of the American Lawyer's annual summer associate surveys. Earlier in its history, the firm made a name for itself as a leader in the high starting salary war. Though the firm may have lost its title as Silicon Valley's salary leader, it still maintains competitive pay.

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Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP

550 Allerton Street
Redwood City, CA 94063
Phone: (650) 321-2400


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Administrative Partner: Dan O'Connor
  • Hiring Partners: Jeff Engerman & Marna Pattaropong (Boston); Ken McVay (NY); Mike Irvine, Trevor Knapp (Redwood City); John Tolpa & Ilan Lovinsky (San Diego); Marcia Hatch (Ann Arbor)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 207

  • Base Salary

    1st year: $190,000
    2nd year: $200,000
    3rd year: $220,000
    4th year: $255,000
    5th year: $280,000
    6th year: $305,000
    7th year: $325,000
    8th year: $340,000
    Summer associate: $3,653.85/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    12 out of 12 (2015) (2Ls only)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Corporate & Securities • Executive Compensation • Intellectual Property & Technology Transactions • Labor & Employment • Mergers & Acquisitions • Tax • Venture Capital & Private Equity Fund Services 

Major Office Locations

  • Redwood City, CA (HQ) • Ann Arbor, MI • Boston, MA • Los Angeles, CA • New York, NY • San Diego, CA • San Francisco, CA Beijing