Strength of corporate practices in CA?

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Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 27, 2015 1:43 pm

Everybody I talk to seem to say that WSGR, Latham, Orrick, Kirkland, MoFo, Cooley, and Fenwick are the major corporate players in CA. Outside of those firms, I'm having trouble discerning the strength of the "secondary" players. Can somebody shed some light into how strong the following offices are for transactional work?

Ropes (SF)
GDC (LA, SV)
JD (SF)
Skadden (LA, SV)
DPW (SV)
STB (SV)
Paul Hastings (SV)
Goodwin (SF, SV)

Also, is it just me, or is SoCal pretty much litigation only?

Thanks!

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 27, 2015 1:48 pm

Gibson and Latham are the premier corporate firms in LA and are very good.

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RedGiant
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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby RedGiant » Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:20 pm

Yes, there is more corporate work in the Valley than in LA. By a lot.

I would put Goodwin right up there with the firms you mentioned at the top of your email. They have been poaching partners right and left, and have very strong venture and capital markets practices.

Skadden and DPW have mostly public company work, some capital markets in their Silicon Valley offices. Weil has excellent M&A in their Redwood Shores office.

Ropes SF does a lot of investment management and public company work, but is def not a powerhouse. If you are looking to minimize commute, it's a good option. Jones Day has good biotech. I worked at Latham and WSGR for many years as a paralegal and did not work across from GDC or Paul Hastings, ever. Like ever. And I was solely transactional. Take that for what it's worth.

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby KM2016 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:15 am

RedGiant wrote:Yes, there is more corporate work in the Valley than in LA. By a lot.

I would put Goodwin right up there with the firms you mentioned at the top of your email. They have been poaching partners right and left, and have very strong venture and capital markets practices.

Skadden and DPW have mostly public company work, some capital markets in their Silicon Valley offices. Weil has excellent M&A in their Redwood Shores office.

Ropes SF does a lot of investment management and public company work, but is def not a powerhouse. If you are looking to minimize commute, it's a good option. Jones Day has good biotech. I worked at Latham and WSGR for many years as a paralegal and did not work across from GDC or Paul Hastings, ever. Like ever. And I was solely transactional. Take that for what it's worth.


Having previously worked in LA and now working in SF, there isn't a day that goes by where I don't believe that this statement this is complete and utter bullshit. Every single day I wish I didn't leave LA for SF. SF has lower quality work and less opportunity for advancement (and that's not speculation, but rather fact).

PS - Goodwin, outside of Boston, is no bueno.

PPS - Anon posting about corporate practices in CA, PM me; you're wildly misinformed.

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:16 am

KM2016 wrote:
RedGiant wrote:Yes, there is more corporate work in the Valley than in LA. By a lot.

I would put Goodwin right up there with the firms you mentioned at the top of your email. They have been poaching partners right and left, and have very strong venture and capital markets practices.

Skadden and DPW have mostly public company work, some capital markets in their Silicon Valley offices. Weil has excellent M&A in their Redwood Shores office.

Ropes SF does a lot of investment management and public company work, but is def not a powerhouse. If you are looking to minimize commute, it's a good option. Jones Day has good biotech. I worked at Latham and WSGR for many years as a paralegal and did not work across from GDC or Paul Hastings, ever. Like ever. And I was solely transactional. Take that for what it's worth.


Having previously worked in LA and now working in SF, there isn't a day that goes by where I don't believe that this statement this is complete and utter bullshit. Every single day I wish I didn't leave LA for SF. SF has lower quality work and less opportunity for advancement (and that's not speculation, but rather fact).

PS - Goodwin, outside of Boston, is no bueno.

PPS - Anon posting about corporate practices in CA, PM me; you're wildly misinformed.


I don't think this criticism is entirely fair. SF =\= SV as far as quality/quantity of transactional work is concerned. Downtown San Francisco proper is arguably a shrinking market, whereas the valley/menlo park is expanding. The two can probably be lumped together for hiring and geographic purposes, but not for transactional practice.

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby PotenC » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:26 am

jbagelboy wrote:
KM2016 wrote:
RedGiant wrote:Yes, there is more corporate work in the Valley than in LA. By a lot.

I would put Goodwin right up there with the firms you mentioned at the top of your email. They have been poaching partners right and left, and have very strong venture and capital markets practices.

Skadden and DPW have mostly public company work, some capital markets in their Silicon Valley offices. Weil has excellent M&A in their Redwood Shores office.

Ropes SF does a lot of investment management and public company work, but is def not a powerhouse. If you are looking to minimize commute, it's a good option. Jones Day has good biotech. I worked at Latham and WSGR for many years as a paralegal and did not work across from GDC or Paul Hastings, ever. Like ever. And I was solely transactional. Take that for what it's worth.


Having previously worked in LA and now working in SF, there isn't a day that goes by where I don't believe that this statement this is complete and utter bullshit. Every single day I wish I didn't leave LA for SF. SF has lower quality work and less opportunity for advancement (and that's not speculation, but rather fact).

PS - Goodwin, outside of Boston, is no bueno.

PPS - Anon posting about corporate practices in CA, PM me; you're wildly misinformed.


I don't think this criticism is entirely fair. SF =\= SV as far as quality/quantity of transactional work is concerned. Downtown San Francisco proper is arguably a shrinking market, whereas the valley/menlo park is expanding. The two can probably be lumped together for hiring and geographic purposes, but not for transactional practice.


Could I ask why SF is shrinking?

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:30 am

SF and SV are entirely different for corporate work. RedGiant only described Silicon Valley.

To the last poster, it's because all the major clients are in SV. There aren't a lot of companies with consistent deal flow headquartered in SF. Kirkland's the one I can think of with a thriving SF office (they don't have one in SV), because all the private equity firms are located in SF rather than the Valley. Venture capital's largely in SV, so that's where the firms are doing more of that work.

Goodwin isn't bad in SV.

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby Big Dog » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:46 am

Also, is it just me, or is SoCal pretty much litigation only?


Huh? Latham has a huge trans practice, as does Gibson in SoCal. (And no, GDC is not 'second' tier. And you forgot OMM, ranked #27th by Vault.)

Every single day I wish I didn't leave LA for SF. SF has lower quality work and less opportunity for advancement (and that's not speculation, but rather fact).


Perhaps true, but quality of life can be better in the Bay Area (for many).

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:53 am

How are Cooley, Orrick, and Morrison Foerster for corporate in San Francisco?

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Gibson and Latham are the premier corporate firms in LA and are very good.


That's way to broad to be true. It all depends on what you want to do.

Gibson and Latham are both great firms and the best of the LA based firms.

For M&A and private equity I would put Skadden LA above Gibson. For M&A I would put S&C LA above Gibson and above both in capital markets work. For venture capital Cooley crushes them all.

There are other ways to carve this up. Gibson has better studio side entertainment work, for example, which is non-existent at S&C and limited at Skadden.

The point is it all depends on what your interests are. O'melveny is clearly a below the top dogs, but there are a number of others who all have staked their own claim in different areas.

RedGiant wrote:Yes, there is more corporate work in the Valley than in LA. By a lot.


This is completely false.

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
RedGiant wrote:Yes, there is more corporate work in the Valley than in LA. By a lot.


This is completely false.


Disclaimer: recent grad, not practicing lawyer.

If you look at head counts at the firms mentioned for corporate practices it tells a different story. Gibson has about 40 lawyers doing corporate work in LA according to NALP. Latham has about 45. Skadden has about 35.

On the other hand Wilson has about 150. Mofo has about 80. Cooley has about 60. Fenwick has like 115.

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:21 pm

oblig.lawl.ref wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
RedGiant wrote:Yes, there is more corporate work in the Valley than in LA. By a lot.


This is completely false.


Disclaimer: recent grad, not practicing lawyer.

If you look at head counts at the firms mentioned for corporate practices it tells a different story. Gibson has about 40 lawyers doing corporate work in LA according to NALP. Latham has about 45. Skadden has about 35.

On the other hand Wilson has about 150. Mofo has about 80. Cooley has about 60. Fenwick has like 115.


Right. But that's concentration for very specific type corporate work. That doesn't apply to a lot of the work that firms like Latham and Skadden do or corporate work more generally, and that discounts the amount of cross office work some offices in LA do. Corporate headcount in one office is not always a good metric for consistency and quality of work.

For example, in 2009 I know of one very specific and well known SV office that had their summers doing mock work for the vast majority of the summer because certain corporate work dried up, while the LA office still had a full slate of real work. Anecdotal, but this just illustrates the point.

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby Big Dog » Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:31 pm

If you look at head counts at the firms mentioned for corporate practices it tells a different story. Gibson has about 40 lawyers doing corporate work in LA...


Don't forget the offices in The OC....

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby Cobretti » Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:37 pm

Big Dog wrote:
If you look at head counts at the firms mentioned for corporate practices it tells a different story. Gibson has about 40 lawyers doing corporate work in LA...


Don't forget the offices in The OC....

Don't call it that.

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby Hooch » Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:07 pm

I'm not particularly knowledgeable about the SF vs. SV vs. LA debate, but I will chime in to say that the corporate practice groups within SV are more different than better / worse. Gunderson, Cooley, etc. tend to represent a lot of very small start ups, Wilson and Fenwick a lot of mature start ups around the IPO stage, and others tend to represent the buy side--that is, established companies (Apple, Facebook, Google, whatever) that buy up those small companies. The financing needs and transactions of Google are very different from the two guys in a garage looking for their first round of funding. Of course there is some cross over, but by and large, the firms have different focuses.

While I'm sure everyone has their personal preferences, I suspect that thinking about the type of corporate work you want to do will be more instructive than asking everyone what kind of firm is best. As we all know, that's debatable. There are basically two schools of thought.

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:23 pm

Hooch wrote:I'm not particularly knowledgeable about the SF vs. SV vs. LA debate, but I will chime in to say that the corporate practice groups within SV are more different than better / worse. Gunderson, Cooley, etc. tend to represent a lot of very small start ups, Wilson and Fenwick a lot of mature start ups around the IPO stage, and others tend to represent the buy side--that is, established companies (Apple, Facebook, Google, whatever) that buy up those small companies. The financing needs and transactions of Google are very different from the two guys in a garage looking for their first round of funding. Of course there is some cross over, but by and large, the firms have different focuses.

While I'm sure everyone has their personal preferences, I suspect that thinking about the type of corporate work you want to do will be more instructive than asking everyone what kind of firm is best. As we all know, that's debatable. There are basically two schools of thought.


Anon from above.

Totally agree. Every firm is different. Don't go to Cooley if you want to do Private eq. Don't go to S&C if you want to do VC. Etc.

Some firms are objectively better work quality wise, but amongst those at the top of what they do there is only different...not better.

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:20 pm

Latham in Costa Mesa has arguably the best M&A practice in all of California.

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby RedGiant » Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:58 am

Latham in Costa Mesa has arguably the best M&A practice in all of California.


What? This is not even possible. I have not read about ONE recent M&A deal from SoCal that isn't trumped...big-time...by the size of deals going on in the Valley. Just no.

Check out Weil in SV, for instance. Those are big-ass deals.

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 08, 2015 3:10 am

ok I need to chime in here. I am a 4th year SF based corporate associate who is only checking this website because OCI has started and it reminded me that TLS ever existed. tons of misinformation in this thread. the SF market is shrinking?? are you on crack? the SF market is BOOMING. it may have been shrinking from 1995-2005, but if anything, it is become more and more the center of finance, business, and tech. I think anyone living in SF knows this. SV is booming as well, but it is NOT where the cool kids and companies want to be.

the only bay area corporate practices worth anything are cooley, fenwick, WSGR, mofo (though not in typical SV/SF/tech work), latham and maybe goodwin and kirkland. the rest are all very much second tier.

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby parkslope » Sat Aug 08, 2015 3:40 pm

Why aren't people referring to Chambers here? Is the ranking inaccurate?

http://m.chambersandpartners.com/12059/ ... torial/5/1

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Re: Strength of corporate practices in CA?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:05 pm

Just fyi, my friends who summered in corporate at top flight SoCal firms including Gibson Dunn and MTO couldn't find enough corporate assignments to staff them even during the summer, so they had to do lit or tax projects if they wanted to stay busy.

Others at Wilson Sonsini, DPW Menlo Park, Cooley, ect. didn't have that problem.




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