Cooley LLP

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Cooley LLP
Cooley LLP Media Kit Logo.png
Headquarters Palo Alto, CA
No. of offices 12
No. of attorneys 854
Major practice areas General practice
Key people Stephen C. Neal, Chairman
Joseph W. Conroy, CEO[1]
Revenue Increase $974 million (2016)[2]
Date founded 1920 (San Francisco)
Company type Limited liability partnership

Cooley LLP is an American international law firm, headquartered in Palo Alto, California. The firm has offices in Palo Alto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Seattle, Colorado, Virginia, London, and Shanghai. The firm's practice areas include corporate, litigation, intellectual property, fund formation, public markets, employment, life sciences, clean technology, real estate, financial services, retail, regulatory and energy.[3][4] Cooley is particularly known for its market-leading technology practice including its vast experience with marquee initial public offerings (IPOs) and it's deep-rooted venture capital connections & financings.[5]

The firm has consistently been ranked as an elite law firm for technology companies, startups, and venture capital firms, including by Above the Law,[6] Vault,[7][8] and U.S. News & World Report.[9] Cooley represents as clients over a third of the companies on the Wall Street Journal's Billion Dollar Startup Club.[10]

According to Law360, Cooley is "widely regarded as one of Silicon Valley's go-to law firms."[11] It is ranked as one of the 50 largest law firms in the world, and is one of the most prestigious and selective law firms according to American Lawyer magazine.[12]


Cooley was founded by Arthur Cooley and Louis Crowley in 1920 in San Francisco. In 1958, Cooley formed Draper, Gaither and Anderson, the first venture capital partnership to be organized on the West Coast. Also in the 1950s, Cooley formed Raychem and National Semiconductor, one of the original chip companies that gave "Silicon Valley" its name.[13] In 1971 the firm (then Cooley, Crowley, Gaither, Godward, Castro & Huddleson) began representing Disney in the controversial copyright and trademark infringement case Walt Disney Productions v. Air Pirates.[14][15] In the late 1980s, the firm moved into the tech area Palo Alto, from its then base in San Francisco.[16] In 1989, the firm (then Cooley, Godward, Castro, Huddleson & Tatum) facilitated the IPO of Qualcomm.[17] On October 31, 2006, Cooley LLP (then Cooley Godward) merged with Kronish Lieb Weiner & Hellman, which resulted in the firm growing from 440 lawyers to 550. In the announcement of the merger, The New York Times referred to Cooley as a "Leading Silicon Valley law firm".[18] Like many other law firms, however, the firm laid off 114 people in 2009 from its offices, citing "the uncertain economy".[19][20][21][22]


Cooley's San Francisco office is located on 101 California Street.

Cooley has offices in 10 United States cities, one in London and one in Shanghai.[23][24] It also had an office in Kirkland, Washington, which it closed in the early 2000s.[25]

Cooley launched in London on January 12, 2015, creating a 55-lawyer practice and the firm's first office in Europe. Its lawyers were laterally hired from the London offices of Morrison & Foerster and Edwards Wildman Palmer, raiding the latter's entire office. The office is run by long-time partner Ryan Naftulin who started in the Palo Office and later managed the Washington, D.C. office.


The American Lawyer has ranked Cooley number forty-seven in its annual ranking of U.S. law firms by gross revenue.[26] Top Legal 500 and the National Law Journal's NLJ 250 has ranked Cooley's practice areas from second through eighth tier in its national survey of law firms.[27] In addition, U.S. News and World Report nominated Cooley as the 2011–12 law firm of the year in biotechnology law.[28] In 2011, Cooley LLP was named U.S. Tax Court Firm of the Year by the International Tax Review.[29] Cooley was recognized as one of Law360's Capital Markets Practice Groups of the year for 2015.[30] In 2016, Chambers UK recognized Cooley as being a leading practice in six practice areas along with singling out sixteen lawyers for their performance.[31] Cooley has consistently been ranked as the #1 law firm in the country for venture capital law.[32][33]

Cooley has been recognized as one of only five law firms (and the highest ranking of any law firm) to be listed on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For.[34] The firm's first-year associates are paid a salary of US$180,000, matching Cravath, Swaine & Moore's 2017 compensation increase.[35]

Notable Clients[edit]

Some of Cooley's clients include:

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Cooley's Tech Clients Buoyed Firm's Finances in 2016". 2017-02-15. Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  3. ^ "Cooley LLP - Law Firm Cooley LLP Overview". 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  4. ^ "Cooley". Retrieved 2016-12-11. 
  5. ^ "2 Law Firms Dominate January IPO Activity - Law360". Retrieved 2016-12-11. 
  6. ^ "The White Sandal Elite Go To Law Firms of Silicon Valley". Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  7. ^ "Vault Technology Law Firm Rankings". Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  8. ^ "Vault Venture Capital & Emerging Companies Law Firm Rankings". Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  9. ^ "Best Law Firms for Venture Capital Law". Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  10. ^ "WSJ Billion Dollar Startup Club". Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  11. ^ "Litigation Powerhouse: Cooley LLP - Law360". Retrieved 2016-12-12. 
  12. ^ "Law Firms by the Numbers". Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  13. ^ "Cooley LLP | About | History". Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  14. ^ Bob Levin (December 1, 2004). "Disney's War Against the Counterculture". Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Walt Disney Productions v. Air Pirates". Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  16. ^ Martin Kenney (2000). Understanding Silicon Valley: The Anatomy of an Entrepreneurial Region. Stanford University Press. p. 77. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  17. ^ Dave Mock (2005). The Qualcomm Equation: How a Fledgling Telecom Company Forged a New Path to Big Profits and Market Dominance. AMACOM. p. 182. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Leading Silicon Valley Law Firm Hooks Up with New York Counterpart". New York Times. August 22, 2006. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  19. ^ Eric Young (January 22, 2009). "Cooley Godward lays off 114 people". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  20. ^ Martha Neil (January 21, 2009). "Cooley Godward Fires 52 Attorneys and 62 Staff Members". ABA Journal. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  21. ^ Lat, David. "Nationwide Layoff Watch: Latham Cuts 440 (190 Associates, 250 Staff)". Above the Law. Retrieved 2016-12-11. 
  22. ^ "2009's Toll: More Than 10,000 Law Firm Layoffs and Lower Pay Trend". ABA Journal. Retrieved 2016-12-11. 
  23. ^ "Cooley". Retrieved 2016-12-12. 
  24. ^ Eli Segall (June 17, 2011). "Cooley LLP sets sails for Shanghai with representative office". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Cooley Godward may shut Kirkland office". Puget Sound Business Journal. November 15, 2002. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  26. ^ "US Results Round Up". 2015-02-12. Retrieved 2016-01-28. 
  27. ^ "> Cooley LLP > Washington DC, USA > What we say". The Legal 500. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  28. ^ "U.S. News - Best Lawyers | Cooley LLP - Firm Overview". Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  29. ^ "America's Awards 2011". International Tax Review. November 1, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Capital Markets Group Of The Year: Cooley - Law360". Retrieved 2016-12-12. 
  31. ^ "Cooley". Retrieved 2016-12-12. 
  32. ^ "US News – Best Lawyers Names Cooley Law Firm of the Year for Venture Capital". Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  33. ^ "The Recorder Names Cooley VC Group Corporate Department of the Year". Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  34. ^ "Fortune 2017 100 Best Companies to Work For". Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  35. ^ Retrieved 2017-10-12.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  36. ^ "Apple Ditches Chipmaker's 'Goofed Up' IP Suit". Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  37. ^ "Cooley, Fenwick Rep Cisco In $635M Buy Of Security Co". Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  38. ^ a b c d e f "Rainmaker Q&A: Cooley's Michael Rhodes - Law360". Retrieved 2016-12-11. 
  39. ^ "Cooley". Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  40. ^ a b c d "Cooley". Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  41. ^ "Cooley". Retrieved 2016-12-11. 
  42. ^ "Law360". Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  43. ^ "Cooley". Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  44. ^ "Twitter Fires Wilson Sonsini, Hires Cooley In IPO Fight - Law360". Retrieved 2016-12-12.