Bay Area Firms for Corporate Work

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Bay Area Firms for Corporate Work

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:44 am

Hey all, wanted to know what the deal was on bay area firms for corporate. Recently got an offer with one of them and wanted to know how the following compare (All SF or SV):

WSGR
MoFo
Cooley
Latham
Kirkland
Skadden
Davis Polk
Simpson Thacher
S&C

Not sure what type of corporate work I want to do. Mostly interested in what will provide good exit-options for in-house, best people/ culture, overall repuation in the Bay Area (know Mofo is top dog here, but interested in specifics). Thanks in advance!

WhiskeynCoke

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Re: Bay Area Firms for Corporate Work

Post by WhiskeynCoke » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:24 pm

MoFo is NOT the top dog in the bay area when it comes to corporate work. Not by a long shot. They are more known for their litigation practices. This actually applies to a lot of the firms you've listed. I recommend checking out Chambers for a basic overview of the major players. Also, search the forums - there are plenty of threads about this.

Of the firms you listed, WSGR, Cooley, Latham, and Skadden are probably the biggest corporate players. Also, you forgot Fenwick & West, Gunderson Dettmer, and Goodwin Procter.

The companies that will give you the best exit options (earliest) will probably be the firms that do a lot of startup-side VC work. This is because you have a ton of small companies as clients that you're effectively the GC for, which gets you incredibly substantial experience as a very young Jr. associate. Also, you are getting direct client contact, and will make a ton of connections fast, who may be in the position to hire in-house counsel if their company begins to succeed.

I'd say the 5 best firms for this are: Gunderson Dettmer, WSGR, Fenwick & West, Goodwin Procter, and Cooley. Of these, Gunderson focuses the most on the startup-side (rather than investor), but with that comes a lot of risk if the tech bubble pops (again...). If you go to a firm like MoFo, you may have more job security, but will not be trusted with SHIT until you're at least a mid-level. This is because their clients are huge companies and there's too much at stake in the deals.

Hope this helps. Also, how the fuck do you have an offer at one of these places in July already?

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Re: Bay Area Firms for Corporate Work

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:11 pm

Is MoFo's SF corporate practice terrible/non-existent, or just not top dog? Also, what about Kirkland SF?

Generally looking for info on corporate practices in SF (not SV).

Anonymous User
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Re: Bay Area Firms for Corporate Work

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is MoFo's SF corporate practice terrible/non-existent, or just not top dog? Also, what about Kirkland SF?

Generally looking for info on corporate practices in SF (not SV).
Kirkland SF has about 50-55 corporate lawyers -- that's about half the office. Their clients in that office are primarily private equity funds, so the corporate practice centers around the legal services those clients require: raising money from investors (fund formation); increasing leverage via bank lending (debt finance); and buying and selling portfolio companies (M&A). Kirkland is regarded as quite strong in these areas of expertise (see, e.g., Chambers [http://www.chambersandpartners.com/1602 ... ion_290903] and Vault [http://www.vault.com/company-rankings/l ... sRankID=10]), though these areas are somewhat narrow (depending on your interests). One of the founding partners of the office was chosen by ATL as a Men's Biglaw All-Star, whatever that means (http://abovethelaw.com/2014/04/the-mens ... am-of-2014).

The deals tend to be middle market ($100M to $1B), though not exclusively. This isn't specific to Kirkland SF, but generally a higher volume of smaller deals isn't great if you want to see your name in the newspaper (or American Lawyer Magazine, if you prefer), but may be better for your development because you (1) work more different types of deals and (2) get more substantive work on smaller deals because legal bills get too large for that transaction size with more than 2-3 lawyers on it.

I hope that helped. I can try to answer other questions about Kirkland SF if you have any.

JVK

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Re: Bay Area Firms for Corporate Work

Post by JVK » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Kirkland SF has about 50-55 corporate lawyers -- that's about half the office. Their clients in that office are primarily private equity funds, so the corporate practice centers around the legal services those clients require: raising money from investors (fund formation); increasing leverage via bank lending (debt finance); and buying and selling portfolio companies (M&A). Kirkland is regarded as quite strong in these areas of expertise (see, e.g., Chambers [http://www.chambersandpartners.com/1602 ... ion_290903] and Vault [http://www.vault.com/company-rankings/l ... sRankID=10]), though these areas are somewhat narrow (depending on your interests). One of the founding partners of the office was chosen by ATL as a Men's Biglaw All-Star, whatever that means (http://abovethelaw.com/2014/04/the-mens ... am-of-2014).

The deals tend to be middle market ($100M to $1B), though not exclusively. This isn't specific to Kirkland SF, but generally a higher volume of smaller deals isn't great if you want to see your name in the newspaper (or American Lawyer Magazine, if you prefer), but may be better for your development because you (1) work more different types of deals and (2) get more substantive work on smaller deals because legal bills get too large for that transaction size with more than 2-3 lawyers on it.

I hope that helped. I can try to answer other questions about Kirkland SF if you have any.
I have an interview with Kirkland SF at the Bay Area Diversity Fair, the weekend after next. If you could PM me, I'd love to ask a few questions about the firm and your impressions. Thanks!

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Anonymous User
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Re: Bay Area Firms for Corporate Work

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is MoFo's SF corporate practice terrible/non-existent, or just not top dog? Also, what about Kirkland SF?

Generally looking for info on corporate practices in SF (not SV).
Kirkland SF has about 50-55 corporate lawyers -- that's about half the office. Their clients in that office are primarily private equity funds, so the corporate practice centers around the legal services those clients require: raising money from investors (fund formation); increasing leverage via bank lending (debt finance); and buying and selling portfolio companies (M&A). Kirkland is regarded as quite strong in these areas of expertise (see, e.g., Chambers [http://www.chambersandpartners.com/1602 ... ion_290903] and Vault [http://www.vault.com/company-rankings/l ... sRankID=10]), though these areas are somewhat narrow (depending on your interests). One of the founding partners of the office was chosen by ATL as a Men's Biglaw All-Star, whatever that means (http://abovethelaw.com/2014/04/the-mens ... am-of-2014).

The deals tend to be middle market ($100M to $1B), though not exclusively. This isn't specific to Kirkland SF, but generally a higher volume of smaller deals isn't great if you want to see your name in the newspaper (or American Lawyer Magazine, if you prefer), but may be better for your development because you (1) work more different types of deals and (2) get more substantive work on smaller deals because legal bills get too large for that transaction size with more than 2-3 lawyers on it.

I hope that helped. I can try to answer other questions about Kirkland SF if you have any.
Can you talk about lit? Is it all IP?

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Bay Area Firms for Corporate Work

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is MoFo's SF corporate practice terrible/non-existent, or just not top dog? Also, what about Kirkland SF?

Generally looking for info on corporate practices in SF (not SV).
Kirkland SF has about 50-55 corporate lawyers -- that's about half the office. Their clients in that office are primarily private equity funds, so the corporate practice centers around the legal services those clients require: raising money from investors (fund formation); increasing leverage via bank lending (debt finance); and buying and selling portfolio companies (M&A). Kirkland is regarded as quite strong in these areas of expertise (see, e.g., Chambers [http://www.chambersandpartners.com/1602 ... ion_290903] and Vault [http://www.vault.com/company-rankings/l ... sRankID=10]), though these areas are somewhat narrow (depending on your interests). One of the founding partners of the office was chosen by ATL as a Men's Biglaw All-Star, whatever that means (http://abovethelaw.com/2014/04/the-mens ... am-of-2014).

The deals tend to be middle market ($100M to $1B), though not exclusively. This isn't specific to Kirkland SF, but generally a higher volume of smaller deals isn't great if you want to see your name in the newspaper (or American Lawyer Magazine, if you prefer), but may be better for your development because you (1) work more different types of deals and (2) get more substantive work on smaller deals because legal bills get too large for that transaction size with more than 2-3 lawyers on it.

I hope that helped. I can try to answer other questions about Kirkland SF if you have any.
Can you talk about lit? Is it all IP?
Not as familiar with litigation generally, nor Kirkland SF specifically. There are about 50 litigators in that office, split about 60% patent/40% commercial. The patent litigators represent some big-name clients, I think, but I don't know much more. The commercial litigation stems from both private equity deals and matters for the private equity funds' portfolio companies, as well as large corporations. See, e.g., http://www.kirkland.com/sitecontent.cfm ... rch=Search; http://www.chambersandpartners.com/1205 ... _editorial.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Bay Area Firms for Corporate Work

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is MoFo's SF corporate practice terrible/non-existent, or just not top dog? Also, what about Kirkland SF?

Generally looking for info on corporate practices in SF (not SV).
Kirkland SF has about 50-55 corporate lawyers -- that's about half the office. Their clients in that office are primarily private equity funds, so the corporate practice centers around the legal services those clients require: raising money from investors (fund formation); increasing leverage via bank lending (debt finance); and buying and selling portfolio companies (M&A). Kirkland is regarded as quite strong in these areas of expertise (see, e.g., Chambers [http://www.chambersandpartners.com/1602 ... ion_290903] and Vault [http://www.vault.com/company-rankings/l ... sRankID=10]), though these areas are somewhat narrow (depending on your interests). One of the founding partners of the office was chosen by ATL as a Men's Biglaw All-Star, whatever that means (http://abovethelaw.com/2014/04/the-mens ... am-of-2014).

The deals tend to be middle market ($100M to $1B), though not exclusively. This isn't specific to Kirkland SF, but generally a higher volume of smaller deals isn't great if you want to see your name in the newspaper (or American Lawyer Magazine, if you prefer), but may be better for your development because you (1) work more different types of deals and (2) get more substantive work on smaller deals because legal bills get too large for that transaction size with more than 2-3 lawyers on it.

I hope that helped. I can try to answer other questions about Kirkland SF if you have any.
Can you talk about lit? Is it all IP?
Kirkland identifies a difference between commercial litigation and IP litigation -- they're different departments. In SF, IP litigation is larger by headcount and hiring. Don't let that dissuade you if you're not an IP person though: commercial litigation is very well respected both in the firm and in the Bay Area. The only downside (for law students) is that they're very selective about recruits and usually only bring one or two on a year.

Anonymous User
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Re: Bay Area Firms for Corporate Work

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:52 pm

Thanks for the info re Kirkland SF. Anyone have info on Latham SF and Gibson Dunn SF corporate practices?

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Anonymous User
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Re: Bay Area Firms for Corporate Work

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:07 pm

I would also be interested in any info on Wilmer and Orrick in SF/Palo Alto

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Re: Bay Area Firms for Corporate Work

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:13 pm

Hey, don't wan't to spend too much time on K&E SF but I went into my OCI interview with them talking about corporate work and the interviewing associate asked me if I liked financing, I said I wasn't opposed but wasn't set on any sub-set of corporate. She then told me that they mostly only do the financing aspect of LBOs/PE work with the M&A out of Chicago. So it was kind of an ambush situation and left a lasting impression on me that they mostly do financing out of that office. Take it with a grain of salt, it was one associate, but just FYI.

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