Los Angeles, Calif. – July 24, 2012 – Cooley LLP announced today the opening of its Los Angeles office with the addition of four prominent LA-based partners. The new office, which will be located in Santa Monica – a vibrant hub for technology, media and venture capital in the Greater Los Angeles region – will complement Cooley's three existing California offices and be seeded from the outset with the firm's existing relationships with more than 200 clients in the Los Angeles region. Cooley plans to grow the office aggressively and provide full-service business and litigation legal services to clients ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies. Cooley is committed to capitalizing on its leading position in the tech, digital and social media markets at a time of increasing and dynamic convergence.
The four partners establishing the office are David Hernand, former co-chair of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher's Media, Entertainment and Technology practice; Corporate/Venture Capital partners David Young and Christopher Shoff, former partners of DLA Piper (where Young chaired the firm's Corporate and Finance Group for Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix); and Jennifer Massey, former partner of leading Hollywood entertainment law firm Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein & Kohner. David Hernand will serve as partner-in-charge of the Los Angeles office, and David Young will head the office's Business and Technology practice group.
"Launching in Los Angeles marks a transformative moment for the firm," said Cooley CEO Joe Conroy. "It is the country's hub of creativity and the home to the convergence of technology and content. Our innovative clients are at the leading edge of this new media wave, and we want to be side by side with them in Los Angeles."
Establishing Roots in a Fast-Growing Region
Media outlets reported that in 2011 Los Angeles was the fourth largest venture/emerging company market in the country, trailing only the Bay Area, New England and Metro New York markets in the number of venture capital financings and dollars raised. Pursuing its long-standing strategic plan, Cooley has invested in each of these growth regions. By becoming the first major Silicon Valley-based law firm to establish an office in LA, Cooley is now a significant presence in all of these critical venture capital and emerging company markets.
It has also been reported that entrepreneurs in the LA region attracted $567 million in venture capital in the first quarter of 2012 further establishing Los Angeles as the epicenter of the burgeoning new media / digital media sector, as well as social and celebrity-driven commerce, advertising services and technology, and social and video gaming – all areas that are a core focus for Cooley and its clients.
Cooley's litigators also regularly appear in the Los Angeles federal courts. That court is recognized for its leading position as a docket for IP, securities and class action work – areas in which Cooley's 300-lawyer litigation department has significant experience.
"Entering the Los Angeles market has long been a strategic goal of our firm," Conroy added. "So many of our clients are based in LA or have increasingly significant activity there – it is a natural move for us. Our strategy is to build quickly a significant presence that reflects the firm's core practice areas. I expect the firm to become a major corporate and litigation force in this region, as we have proven in growth markets across the country."
Advancing Cooley's National Strategy
The Los Angeles move follows the firm's recent national and international expansion into New York, Boston, Seattle and Shanghai, as well as its continued growth in key technology markets including Palo Alto, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Northern Virginia and Colorado.
Building on its roots and driven by the needs of its clients, Cooley now has leading national practices in Business, Litigation, Intellectual Property, Technology, Privacy, Life Sciences and Venture Capital. Cooley intends to use its presence in Los Angeles to attract top legal talent that will add to the firm's strength in each of these areas.
"We chose Cooley because the needs of clients in this region, large and small, will be best served by the firm's unique platform. In addition to having the highest caliber lawyers and a truly collaborative culture, the firm offers an exciting combination of industry focus, practice depth, commitment to innovating with clients and a national platform of proven investments in growth regions like Silicon Valley, New York and New England," David Hernand said. "Our initial team of David, Chris, Jen and me combines strength in traditional M&A, securities finance, venture capital and general corporate with deep understanding and experience in technology, digital media and entertainment – a new offering for innovative clients in Los Angeles and a genuine reflection of the exciting opportunities ahead."
"Genuine and dynamic innovation and convergence across technology, venture capital, content and digital media companies is evident throughout the Los Angeles market," added David Young. "We are determined quickly to become the go-to law firm helping companies navigate this rapidly developing landscape. Cooley is the perfect place for us all to make this happen."
About the New Partners
David Hernand David M. Hernand joins Cooley from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Based in Gibson Dunn's Los Angeles office, Hernand was co-chair of the firm's Media, Entertainment and Technology practice group and a member of the firm's M&A practice group. He has extensive experience representing large and small corporate, private equity, venture capital, talent agencies and investment banking clients on everything from M&A to strategic partnering arrangements and public and private capital raising transactions. In the technology sector specifically, Mr. Hernand has been involved in many of the most significant technology company M&A and investment transactions in Southern California in recent years. Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, Hernand was a partner with Latham & Watkins where he co-founded that firm's Venture and Technology practice group. He has also been a managing director at Idealab, a Pasadena-based technology company incubator, and was CEO of one of its portfolio companies. Hernand currently serves on the Los Angeles Mayor's Council on Innovation and Industry.
David Young David R. Young joins from global law firm DLA Piper. Young was chair of DLA Piper's Corporate and Finance Group in the Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix offices and is a noted leader in the Southern California venture capital and technology community. He specializes in the representation of emerging growth companies and the venture capital firms, strategic investors and investment banks the finance these companies. He has represented companies and investors in more than 550 venture capital financings in both Southern California and Silicon Valley and both public and private buyers and sellers in more than 125 mergers and acquisitions. Young also has extensive experience and expertise with respect to private equity, IPOs and joint ventures. Young has deep experience in sectors core to Cooley and its Los Angeles initiative, including technology, media, entertainment and life sciences. Prior to joining DLA Piper, David had served as a founder of the Los Angeles office of Venture Law Group.
Christopher Shoff C. Christopher Shoff joins also from DLA Piper. He has worked closely with David Young and was a partner in the Corporate and Finance Group that Young chaired. He has extensive experience in venture capital, M&A, and IPO work. He specializes in working with emerging growth companies in a variety of sectors including technology, media and life sciences, and has advised companies, venture capital firms and strategic investors on more than 200 equity and debt financing transactions. Shoff also regularly represents both selling companies and acquirers in M&A transactions. He regularly counsels companies on corporate governance and SEC reporting and disclosure matters and has advised major companies, such as Qualcomm and Pfizer, on their acquisitions and strategic investments. Prior to joining DLA Piper, Shoff began his career as a corporate associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
Jennifer Massey Jennifer Massey joins from the partnership of Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein & Kohner, a Los Angeles-based entertainment law firm. Massey has a unique practice advising clients on the convergence of technology and entertainment. She represents Silicon Valley companies in their entertainment and content-related initiatives, and counsels Hollywood talent in partnering with and investing in technology companies. Massey has worked with top-level Hollywood talent (actors, writers, directors, TV showrunners, comedians, athletes) and has a deep network of industry contacts after seven years at MYBLKR&K. Massey has sourced, structured and executed cutting edge deals between talent and a wide array of new media companies in the social gaming, mobile, consumer Internet, and social networking sectors, and sits on the advisory boards of several startups. Prior to joining MYBLKR&K, Massey began her career in Silicon Valley as a business and technology attorney at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. Her expertise is key to Cooley's strategic vision for the Los Angeles office and nationwide, as the firm leverages its technology know-how with media convergence models now becoming increasingly important.
Commitment to LA Business Development
Randy Churchill Supporting the four founding partners in building the LA practice is a highly experienced professional, Randy Churchill, who will head-up Cooley's Business Development outreach in the region; he joins the LA office on August 9. For over 20 years, Randy has served the Los Angeles entrepreneurial community as an attorney, financial printing account executive and, since 2000, Director of Emerging Company Services for PwC's Southern California Technology practice. He is a prominent member of the LA venture and technology community and is widely experienced at advising emerging technology companies on a variety of issues, including fund raising and deal structuring. He was named Technology Leader of the Year in 2009 by LA County Tech Week and currently sits on numerous advisory boards, including the Los Angeles Mayor's Council on Innovation and Industry, and the Los Angeles Venture Association where he serves as President.
About Cooley LLP Cooley's attorneys have an entrepreneurial spirit, substantive experience and are committed to solving clients' most challenging legal matters. More than 300 of Cooley's 650 attorneys are litigators handling leading national cases, often at the intersection of law and innovation. From small companies with big ideas to international enterprises with diverse legal needs, Cooley has the breadth of legal resources to enable companies of all sizes to seize opportunities in today's global marketplace. The firm represents clients across a broad array of dynamic industry sectors, including technology, life sciences, venture capital, clean energy, real estate and retail.
The firm has full-service offices in eleven major business and technology centers: Palo Alto, CA; New York, NY; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Reston, VA; Broomfield, CO; Washington, DC; Boston, MA; Seattle, WA; and Shanghai, China.