Stephen Venuto

Partner

Silicon Valley, San Francisco

Stephen Venuto, a partner who works out of both the Silicon Valley and San Francisco offices, is a member of the Technology Companies group. His practice focuses on advising high-growth technology and media companies and their founders, advisors and investors.

Steve was Facebook’s first lawyer and is widely recognized as one of the leading startup lawyers in the country. The American Lawyer recently named him “Dealmaker of the Year”, recognizing his corporate work and representation of Instagram in its sale to Facebook, and quoting a prominent board member as saying that Steve “is an outstanding lawyer, but he’s also an outstanding business partner . . . someone who cares about everybody [who's] involved in a company.” The Daily Journal has named him to its list of Top 100 Lawyers in California (chosen regardless of specialty), and, separately, to its inaugural Top Emerging Companies Lawyers list.

Numerous standout technology companies and their founders have turned to Steve for representation including Asana, Bleacher Report, Facebook, Getaround, Instagram, Ooma (NYSE), Pinterest, ResearchGate, Quora, and Warby Parker. He also has worked with new media companies including Brit & Co., Full Picture Productions (executive producer of Project Runway), U2 and Zuckerberg Media. Steve provides general corporate legal counseling and represents companies at all stages of their life-cycle.

  • Most of Steve's clients are in fast-growth fields related to information technology, artificial intelligence, gig-economy, social networking, gaming, media and entertainment. He is an experienced business and legal advisor who has completed hundreds of venture capital financings and numerous public offerings, mergers, acquisitions and licensing transactions in these areas.

    VentureBeat once referred to Steve as the only lawyer in Silicon Valley who can code. That is an exaggeration, but he does have extensive programming experience. Steve created and was the systems operator of several bulletin board systems in the 1980s; as early as 1994, he was an early HTML programmer and editor at Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (the first legal-oriented Web site on the Internet); and in 2003 created and ran his own Web site focused on wine.

    Steve is currently the co-head of Orrick's Technology Companies Group and has in the past been head of the firm's Corporate Business Unit in the United States. Before joining the firm, Steve was an attorney at Venture Law Group.

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