Cooley LLP

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Cooley LLP
Cooley LLP logo.svg
Headquarters Palo Alto, CA
No. of offices 12
No. of attorneys 800
Major practice areas General practice
Revenue Increase $617 million[1]
Date founded 1920 (San Francisco)
Company type Limited liability partnership

Cooley LLP is a law firm headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with offices in the United States, the United Kingdom and China. The firm's practice areas that include technology, life sciences, clean technology, real estate, financial services, retail, and energy.[2]


Cooley was founded by Arthur Cooley and Louis Crowley in 1920 in San Francisco.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5][6] In the late 1980s, the firm moved into the tech area Palo Alto, from its then base in San Francisco.[7] In 1989, the firm (then Cooley, Godward, Castro, Huddleson & Tatum) facilitated the IPO of Qualcomm.[8] 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".[9] In January 2009 however, the firm laid off 114 people from its offices, citing "the uncertain economy".[10][11]


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

Cooley has offices in 11 United States cities and Shanghai.[3][12] It also had an office in Kirkland, Washington, which it closed in the early 2000s.[13] In 2004 the firm also had plans to expand to London and Continental Europe after moving into the NYC and Washington DC markets. [14]

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 company review and ranking website has ranked Cooley number fifty-five in its annual ranking of law firms in the United States.[3] The American Lawyer has ranked Cooley number forty-seven in its annual ranking of U.S. law firms by gross revenue.[1] 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.[15] In addition, U.S. News and World Report nominated Cooley as the 2011–12 law firm of the year in biotechnology law.[16] In 2011, Cooley LLP was named U.S. Tax Court Firm of the Year by the International Tax Review.[17]


In 2003, according to Steve Hoare, Cooley faced "the prospect of sharing liability for the death of a teenager struck by a car driven by one of its associates". He wrote further that the associate's "firm may be held jointly responsible because questions have arisen over whether Wagner, who was an associate at the firm at the time, was working as a lawyer at the moment of the crash". Prior to the suit, the associate had pled guilty and served one year in prison.[18]


  1. ^ a b "Gross Revenue: A New Number One". 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  2. ^ "Cooley LLP - Law Firm Cooley LLP Overview". 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  3. ^ a b c "Cooley LLP|Company Profile". Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  4. ^ "Cooley LLP | About | History". Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  5. ^ Bob Levin (December 1, 2004). "Disney's War Against the Counterculture". Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Walt Disney Productions v. Air Pirates". Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  7. ^ Martin Kenney (2000). Understanding Silicon Valley: The Anatomy of an Entrepreneurial Region. Stanford University Press. p. 77. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ "Leading Silicon Valley Law Firm Hooks Up with New York Counterpart". New York Times. August 22, 2006. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  10. ^ Eric Young (January 22, 2009). "Cooley Godward lays off 114 people". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  11. ^ Martha Neil (January 21, 2009). "Cooley Godward Fires 52 Attorneys and 62 Staff Members". ABA Journal. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  12. ^ Eli Segall (June 17, 2011). "Cooley LLP sets sails for Shanghai with representative office". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Cooley Godward may shut Kirkland office". Puget Sound Business Journal. November 15, 2002. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  14. ^ Steve Hoare (November 1, 2004). "Cooley Godward to spark expansion with New York and DC". The Lawyer. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  15. ^ "> Cooley LLP > Washington DC, USA > What we say". The Legal 500. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  16. ^ "U.S. News - Best Lawyers | Cooley LLP - Firm Overview". Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  17. ^ "America's Awards 2011". International Tax Review. November 1, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  18. ^ Steven Hoare (September 15, 2003). "Cooley Godward fights $25m accident liability". The Lawyer. Retrieved November 26, 2013.