Technology Sector

We offer a comprehensive global platform for the tech community – from the most innovative disruptors to multinational leaders. Financing, M&A, IP, Litigation, Compliance and Policy – we’ve got you covered. As the leading global tech firm, Orrick teams are focused on developing solutions for the tech market of today and tomorrow.

To compete in today’s market, every company must play in the tech space. Orrick has built a platform to help businesses adapt and thrive in the digital landscape.

Our tech sector clients include technology innovators as well as the businesses that support them by providing energy and infrastructure to power new technologies and financing to enable their growth.

Our tech lawyers lead the market. Don’t take our word for it: Law360 named our team one of four Technology Groups of the Year globally for the past two years, citing the scope of our technology representation, from executing financings of later-stage companies to winning high-stakes litigation. The American Lawyer selected us as IP Litigation Department of the Year for 2016 for our work in the technology sector. And Recorder named us Employment Department of the Year for the third time for our wins on behalf of Kleiner Perkins and other tech leaders.

Because the tech sector is borderless, so are we. Our tech lawyers practice in 25 markets worldwide, completing deals in 21 countries in 2015. In London, we closed 100 venture financings last year. In France, we’re the go-to firm for French startups looking for financing or more established companies executing strategic combinations. In Italy and Germany we advise on the most exciting cross-border tech transactions in the market. In China, we’re helping to pioneer the fast-growing tech market and representing leading private equity and venture capital investors. In collaboration with our affiliated office in Abidjan, we’re assisting clients in building Africa’s telecommunications infrastructure, and we act for pioneering African startups in FinTech, video streaming and other spaces.

Our Clients

Our clients include more than 1,600 growth companies in markets around the world. We represent six of the Fortune 10 TMT Companies and eight of the ten largest Bay Area companies by market cap. We partner with the most active venture capital firms, incubators and investment banks in the market.

Innovators in Action

We’ve helped our clients put $11 billion in venture capital to work worldwide in the past three years. This includes later-stage rounds for companies such as Pinterest and SoFi – deals which scored us "Corporate Department of the Year: Emerging Companies" by The Recorder. We’ve advised on some of the largest private company sales, including Nest’s sale to Google, Cruise Automation’s sale to GM, and Instagram’s sale to Facebook. Our Total Access program helps early-stage companies get started – from business plan feedback to panel discussions with the most successful entrepreneurs. Our tech IPO team has helped longtime clients ring the bell in New York, London and Hong Kong. We collaborate closely with the tech teams at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse, among others. We represent serial acquirors, such as Microsoft, and execute transactions that have long-range impact, such as the purchase of Siri. Across borders, our tech influence is everywhere. We’ve represented Chinese online retail giant JD.com in billions of dollars of acquisitions and joint ventures. Our recent cross-border work includes representing French-based defense firm Thales in its purchase of cybersecurity firm Vormetric and Hong Kong-based VTech Holdings in its pending acquisition of NYSE-listed LeapFrog Enterprises.

As a leader in finance, we’re well equipped to adapt traditional financing structures to the tech market. Our Structured Finance team helped peer-to-peer lender Upstart deploy a novel trust structure to provide security to Upstart’s funders. We’re collaborating with the leading players in FinTech to develop this growing market, including SoFi and Stripe. Our Public Finance team forged new territory with KentuckyWired, the first U.S. public-private partnership to provide statewide Internet access – named Deal of the Year by The Bond Buyer.

Tech Talent

Attracting and retaining top talent is a critical priority for our public and private tech clients. Cisco taps our team as designated compensation and benefits counsel for all of its acquisitions. For our private company clients, we’ve pioneered the use of restricted stock units and broad-based stock option extension programs. Our innovations in this area earned a "Legal Innovator" award from The Recorder. As our clients grow, we offer resources to help them scale globally. Our Global Employment and Equity Compensation service functions as a seamless extension of our clients’ global HR functions. This team provides efficient solutions for managing employment-related compliance, implementing global HR policies and compensation schemes, and managing global equity compensation plans in 90 countries. Using this model, we partnered with one of the fast-growing technology companies to expand its global presence from seven countries to 28 in only three years. Through our wholly-owned subsidiary Verbatim, our global public-company tech clients outsource the global secretary function and more easily manage corporate governance and compliance. Verbatim oversees global corporate subsidiaries in over 130 countries for some of the world’s largest companies.

Protecting Innovation

The most innovative companies in the world call on us to protect their intellectual property and defend their brands. We’ve won some of the highest-impact IP cases of recent years, at trial and on appeal. Like our clients, we’ve succeeded by breaking the mold – in the way we’ve framed the issues, in our trial tactics, and in the graphics and other techniques we’ve used to make complex points clear. The American Lawyer named us IP Department of the Year in 2016, and Law360 called us one of four "MVP" IP firms based on our results over the past five years.

We’ve secured wins time and time again. After the major TV networks brought a potentially crippling copyright case against our client DISH Network, we obtained a summary judgment ruling in the U.S District Court for the Central District of California that vindicated the innovative commercial-skipping and block-recording features that DISH added to its Hopper DVR. The ruling also made new law in the copyright arena, blunting the impact of CBS v. Aereo, a copyright decision from the Supreme Court that many tech experts feared would chill cloud-based innovation.

We won a total defense verdict for mobile device management leader MobileIron in a bet-the-company competitor suit related to alleged patent infringement. And we did it for Nintendo in a patent case that made its way from the Eastern District of Texas to the ITC. This win preserved the company’s ability to market the Wii in the United States.

We also offer a leading Asia IP platform. Our Chinese IP litigation practice is highly rated by Chambers, and we have long acted for the leading Japanese electronics manufacturers in U.S. and Japanese patent disputes.

Industry-Changing Appeals

Clients such as Oracle, Facebook, Microsoft and DISH Network call on our Supreme Court & Appellate practice for their most important appeals. And we win – sometimes against all odds. We saved DISH Network from a life-threatening injunction and Facebook from the Winklevoss twins. We’re also representing Microsoft in a closely-watched appeal over whether the U.S. government can use search warrants to reach consumer data stored overseas by service providers. As for patent appeals, the Federal Circuit is our home court – we’ve argued more than 10 cases there in just the last two years, and one of our lawyers literally wrote the book on arguing patent appeals before the Federal Circuit.

Employment Defense

We prevailed in one of the biggest employment cases against the tech sector when we clinched a total defense verdict for Kleiner Perkins against former partner Ellen Pao. With our client’s reputation on the line, we steadily chipped away at Pao’s discrimination claims. The Recorder called our team’s cross-examination of the plaintiff "masterful," while The New York Times billed the case as a "battle between legal powerhouses." As the number of gender discrimination individual suits and class actions is increasing, we are helping the best known tech companies defend them. We also help our clients beat trade secrets claims, for example clearing the way for Mark Hurd to join Oracle.

Cybersecurity & Data Privacy

Cybersecurity and data breaches are foremost concerns for our tech company clients. We’ve built a 30-lawyer Cybersecurity & Data Privacy team, on the ground in nine countries that forecasts threats and develops compliance measures to minimize the risk of data theft, loss or disclosure. The team also helps our clients devise proactive strategies to prevent litigation and protect a company’s reputation should a breach occur. Clients such as Microsoft, eBay and Sony rely on us. We report on the latest developments in cybersecurity and data privacy globally in our Trust Anchor Blog.

Impacting Policy

By definition, disruptors are often ahead of regulation. We help our clients advocate before State AGs and legislatures for policy that is pro-innovation and pro-consumer. We’re helping DraftKings and FanDuel, the market-leading online fantasy sports gaming businesses, as well as the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, wage a 35-state campaign. For our client Zenefits, who provides user-friendly HR software directly to employers large and small, we’ve gone directly to state legislatures to help them understand how Zenefits’ model is good for employers and employees alike. At the federal level, our International Trade and Compliance team advocates for the Semiconductor Industry Association and other tech trade associations on policy matters in sensitive areas of trade, defense, national security and advanced commercial technology.

Antitrust

We bring our deep knowledge of the tech industry to help clients like Microsoft and Sony navigate complex proceedings in the U.S. and internationally. We have a particular focus on complex cases at the intersection of antitrust, privacy and intellectual property. We also regularly act for leading tech companies in obtaining premerger clearance.

Securities Litigation & White Collar

When shareholder class action claims arise, our securities litigators protect our tech clients, such as Paypal and NVIDIA. Our team includes two former U.S. Attorneys as well as dozens of former senior officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.

Legal Innovation

We value innovation as much as our clients do. With Stripe, we are collaborating on Atlas, a program to help startups from around the world incorporate more easily in the U.S. We won an Innovation Award from Recorder for our work on this area. In Paris, we’re teaming up with Partech Ventures on "Europe Made Easy," a new service to help international tech businesses enter the European market. And we joined up with Y Combinator to create a fresh form of early startup financing known as Simple Agreements for Future Equity (SAFEs). A more flexible and efficient alternative to convertible notes used in capital raising, SAFEs have been quickly adopted by the market.

What’s next? As the leading global tech firm, we are committed to investing in all these areas and the next generation of issues that our clients need to consider.