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Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

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Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Professional Corporation
HeadquartersPalo Alto, California
No. of offices18
No. of attorneys950 [1]
No. of employees1,850 (As of 07/01/2022)
Major practice areasCorporate, intellectual property, litigation, technology transactions, and regulatory
Key peopleLarry Sonsini (senior and founding partner); Katharine Martin (board chairperson); Doug Clark (managing partner)
Revenue$1.3 billion (FY 2022)
Date founded1961
Company typeP.C.
WebsiteOfficial website

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is an American multinational law firm specializing in business, securities, venture capital, and intellectual property law. It is generally one of the top-grossing law firms in the world. Headquartered in Palo Alto, the firm's clients are primarily technology companies, life science firms, emerging industries, venture capital firms, private equity establishments, and investment banks.[2]


The firm's headquarters are on Page Mill Road in Palo Alto, California, as a part of the Stanford Research Park. Wilson Sonsini has offices in 12 locations in the U.S., including Austin, Texas; Boston, Massachusetts; Los Angeles, California; New York City; Palo Alto, California; San Diego, California; San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; Boulder, Colorado; Washington, D.C.; Wilmington, Delaware; and Salt Lake City, Utah. Outside of the United States, it has offices in Hong Kong; Beijing and Shanghai, China; Brussels, Belgium; and London, England.


Wilson Sonsini was founded in 1961 as McCloskey, Wilson, Mosher & Martin in Palo Alto, California, with attorney Pete McCloskey and attorney John Arnot Wilson being two of the first named partners. Wilson was a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School's class of 1941, which included Supreme Court jurists Byron White and Potter Stewart as well as former President Gerald Ford.[3] The firm since launch has primarily been focused on the representation of emerging technology companies and venture capitalists.[citation needed] In 1969, the firm helped form Mayfield Fund a venture capital firm. In 1970, John B. Goodrich joined the firm. Larry Sonsini and Mario Rosati joined in 1966 and 1971, respectively. In 1978, the firm adopted its current name of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, PC. On November 6, 2019, in conjunction the launch of a new company website the firm started to use the shortened name, "Wilson Sonsini".[citation needed]

In 1980, Wilson Sonsini represented Apple Inc. in its initial public offering (IPO).[4] The firm was also involved in representing companies in the semiconductor industry like LSI Logic, Altera, Cirrus Logic, Lattice Semiconductor, and Cypress Semiconductor.[citation needed]

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; and San Diego. In 2005, Wilson Sonsini launched an office in China and enhanced its New York office. In 2006 the firm relocated its Northern Virginia lawyers to Washington, D.C., to be closer to government regulators and the firm eventually moved its Kirkland office to Seattle.[citation needed] The firm has also since opened offices in Los Angeles; Boston; Wilmington, Delaware; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Boulder, Colorado. Internationally, the firm now has offices in London; Brussels; Beijing; Hong Kong; and Shanghai.[citation needed]

Like other law firms representing start-up technology companies, Wilson Sonsini 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.[5]

In 1994, Wilson Sonsini represented Netscape Communications in its IPO, in addition to representing several other companies that, like Netscape, were tied to the start of the Internet Age, including Infoseek, USWeb/CKS, and Inktomi.[citation needed] Wilson Sonsini also began to lead the nation in the number of issuer IPO transactions, completing 37 IPOs in 1995 and 44 IPOs in 1997.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] 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, Wilson Sonsini had to make a number of adjustments; 100 support staff and 60 associates were laid off—about 10% of its attorneys. Better times eventually returned. In 2004, the firm advised Google on its $2.7 billion IPO.[citation needed]

In 2016, Wilson Sonsini represented LinkedIn acquisition by Microsoft at a price of US$26.2 billion.[6]

In a 2021 assessment, Wilson Sonsini was one of the 3 firms which received an A grade in climate change mitigation efforts.[7]

Wilson Sonsini represented Twitter in the transaction involving Elon Musk's $44 billion take-private bid.[8]

Notable people[edit]

Some of the more notable current and former Wilson Sonsini attorneys include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Wilson Sonsini". Chambers and partners. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  2. ^ "Vault – About Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati". Vault.com. Vault, Inc. 2016.
  3. ^ "List of Yale Law School alumni", Wikipedia, 2022-07-14, retrieved 2022-07-15
  4. ^ Parloff, Roger (November 17, 2006). "Scandals rock Silicon Valley's top legal ace". Fortune. Archived from the original on December 24, 2023 – via CNN Money.
  5. ^ Perry Piscione, Deborah (2013). Secrets of Silicon Valley. United States: Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 143–144. ISBN 978-1-137-27917-0.
  6. ^ Greene, Jay (14 June 2016). "Microsoft to Acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 Billion". Wall Street Journal – via www.wsj.com.
  7. ^ Journal, A. B. A. "88 of 100 top law firms 'undertook work that worsened climate change,' new report says; which ones got A's?". ABA Journal. Retrieved 2021-10-09.
  8. ^ Baxter, Brian (April 25, 2022). "Twitter's Sale Steered by Wilson Sonsini, Simpson Thacher". Bloomberg Law.
  9. ^ Costantinou, Marianne (4 May 2003). "Meet the Top Ten Lawyers / Here are the Godfather of Silicon Valley, the Odd Man Out, the attorney known as the Last Hope, the Cop, a real Perry Mason, and, among others, our own cover boy, everyone's No. 1". Sfgate.

External links[edit]