Orrick announced today that Blake Ilstrup, most recently General Counsel, Co-founder and Executive Vice President of biotech startup KPI Therapeutics, has become a Partner of the firm and leader of its Technology Companies Group in Seattle. Blake is a seasoned entrepreneur and legal advisor to emerging companies, with extensive experience in venture financings, IPOs and M&A transactions.
“Blake is an exceptional counselor to tech and life sciences companies. He brings a rare and valuable mix of operational and entrepreneurial expertise as an in-house attorney and executive, and law firm experience practicing with some of the country’s leading tech practices,” said Stephen Venuto, Leader of Orrick’s Technology Companies Group. “Many of us at Orrick have worked with Blake over the years, dating to our Venture Law Group days, and we are thrilled to have him back on our team and leading our Seattle practice.”
Mark Parris, Leader of Orrick’s Seattle office, added: “We are excited to grow our Seattle tech companies practice under Blake’s leadership. Seattle is a dynamic and fast growing market, and Orrick’s global tech team offers distinctive resources to Seattle’s entrepreneurs.”
Prior to KPI Therapeutics, Blake served as General Counsel and Senior VP of Business Development of biotech company Kineta, and General Counsel and Vice President of software company Qpass. He has practiced with Cooley, Heller Ehrman and Venture Law Group.
Blake’s experience extends across multiple verticals, including life sciences, software, hardware, mobile, digital media, manufacturing and retail. He has counseled high growth companies on more than 200 venture capital and debt financings, more than 100 M&A transactions, and numerous public offerings. He also advises on intellectual property strategy and transactions, employment and compensation, and securities law compliance.
“I am thrilled to join so many colleagues and friends on the Orrick team and to collaborate with them on expanding the firm’s market-leading technology offerings into the Pacific Northwest,” said Blake.
Blake earned his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and his B.A. from Stanford University. He served for four years as a Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy, including two combat deployments to the Persian Gulf.
Blake is the second recent addition to the firm’s Pacific Northwest tech practice. Pete Lamb joined Orrick’s Portland office from Davis Polk in 2015. In addition, Blake’s arrival follows the firm’s addition in July of Barrie VanBrackle, former co-chair of Manatt Phelps’ Global Payments and Consumer Financial Services practice groups, in Washington, DC.