​Meet Orrick Attorneys

Mark Seneca 

Mark Seneca
Partner
M&A and Private Equity
Silicon Valley

 

Mark Seneca is an M&A and private equity partner in the Silicon Valley office. Mark was a key part of the team that worked through the weekend on Instagram's $1 billion acquisition by Facebook.

Toughest component of getting the Instagram deal signed in under 60 hours…

Explaining to our families why we couldn't join them for Easter dinner. The other challenge was calculating the founders' newfound riches, which proved to be a bit of a mind-blowing distraction for us all. In fact, large deals on an aggressive timetable like Instagram's sale to Facebook are actually easier to complete. By necessity, principals and their counsel are more cooperative and reasonable. Although we endured a few challenging days over the holiday weekend, the difficulty was short-lived, and it was quite fun to be part of such a high profile success story.

Orrick was uniquely positioned to handle this acquisition because…

Our Silicon Valley M&A team has worked together on many deals and can be mobilized seamlessly on a moment's notice. Our tax, intellectual property, compensation and benefits, antitrust, litigation and corporate specialists are all top-notch and have such familiarity with each other that everyone can perform their respective roles very efficiently in a transaction like Instagram.

Best client feedback I ever received…

An Apple 27-inch iMac, which my kids quickly commandeered. I know this kind of "feedback" probably violates firm and bar rules, but it was a nice thank you nonetheless.

Most challenging deal I ever worked on…

Current Shanghai partner Tom Tobiason and I started our careers at Latham & Watkins within a few years of each other. Near the end of my first year, Tom decided to leave Latham to join Venture Law Group and, on his way out, handed me first-chair responsibility on a REIT IPO (Arden Realty). Talk about baptism by fire! Everything was new and specialized, and I wasn't given any leeway for being green. Many months later, we completed the deal, and I officially became a real lawyer. Everything since has been easy by comparison—including my decisions to follow Tom to Venture Law Group and eventually Orrick.

What I think makes Orrick a great firm…

The opportunity to practice alongside smart and principled people who are also long-time friends.

My greatest achievement that is not on my resume…

Of course, my three kids. Each is awesome and the motivation for all that I do.

I'm currently addicted to…

Fly-fishing (not on the lunatic level of Mark Weeks, but addicted nonetheless). I took up the sport a few years ago when I realized my golf game had permanently plateaued. Chasing steelhead in the rain for days on end with nary a bite most definitely qualifies as an addiction. I fully intend to continue to feed the addiction as I know no cure.

My favorite quote…

I don't know its origin, but my father used to always tell me to remember that "the pain is only temporary, but the glory lasts forever"—his way, I guess, of instilling in me a strong work ethic and the desire to achieve great things—either that or just a nugget of psycho-babble for self-use whenever circumstances require.

People who don't know me really well would be surprised to know that…

I'm an excellent cook—self-taught hosting Sunday dinners for extended family of 20+ when I lived in Northern Virginia. Also, if I could career plan all over, I think I'd be most happy as a carpenter building things in work boots and jeans.

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