Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
|Headquarters||Palo Alto, California|
|No. of offices||14|
|No. of attorneys||631|
|No. of employees||1298|
|Major practice areas||Business law, Intellectual property law|
|Key people||Larry Sonsini|
|Revenue||$531 million (2007)|
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR) is a law firm in the United States that specializes in business, securities, and intellectual property law. The firm's Chairman, Larry Sonsini, is well known as an attorney and advisor to technology companies.
WSGR provides legal services to some of the best-known computer technology firms and venture capital funds in Silicon Valley, as well as smaller firms and start-ups. WSGR deals in corporate and securities law, licensing, tax, employee benefits, real estate, antitrust, and litigation. Its New York City office focuses on corporate finance, antitrust, and mergers and acquisitions.
It has offices in nine major American cities, including Austin, Texas; Georgetown, Delaware; New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles, California; San Diego, California; San Francisco, California; and Seattle, Washington. Outside of the United States, it has offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, China; and Brussels, Belgium.
WSGR was founded in 1961 as McCloskey, Wilson, Mosher & Martin in Palo Alto, California. Since its launch, the firm concentrated on the representation of emerging technology companies and venture capitalists. Sonsini and Mario Rosati joined in 1966 and 1971 respectively. In 1980, WSGR represented Apple Inc. in its much-publicized IPO. Like fellow technology-heavy firm Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, WSGR accepted equity in its clients as a form of payment in return for deferral of fees, and also passed on stakes in its investment fund to associates and staff members as a means of retaining employees.
For many years, the firm had only one office, in Palo Alto. In late 1998, the firm opened its first national office, in Kirkland, Washington, led by partner Patrick Schultheis. Within the next few years, the firm opened offices in Austin, Texas, San Francisco, Northern Virginia, New York, Salt Lake City, and San Diego.
In 1999, when VA Linux went public, the firm reaped $24.5 million as the value of the 100,000 shares that the firm held ballooned in value. Other IPOs that enriched the firm because of its equity stake were those of Ask Jeeves, Google, and online grocer Webvan. With the downturn in the dotcom economy, however, WSGR had to make a number of adjustments; 100 support staff and 60 associates were laid off—about 10% of its attorneys. Good times returned in 2004 when the firm advised Google on its $2.7 billion IPO.
The next year, WSGR launched an office in China and boosted its New York office. In 2006 the firm relocated its Northern Virginia lawyers to Washington, D.C., to be closer to government regulators.
- Rivlin, Gary (2006-07-30). "A Counselor Pulled From the Shadows". New York Times. Retrieved 2006-12-05.
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