DeputyGC Annual Summit

Webinar | March.23.2021 | 9am - 1pm (Pacific Standard Time)

Webinar (Not Orrick Hosted)

Orrick is excited to co-sponsor TechGC’s first DeputyGC Annual Summit on March 23, 2021 for ~150 Deputy GCs.

DeputyGC is a private, invitation only, community for senior in-house counsel at high growth technology companies and venture funds and is part of the TechGC network of over 2,000 in-house legal counsel.

Samir Bakhru, Laura Bloxham, Christina Catzoela, Blake Ilstrup, Amy Lauren, Kate O'Laughlin, Josh Pollick and Ramin Tohidi will lead breakout sessions on March 23rd at 9:10am PT on “Dual-Tracking the Deputy GC Role: Balancing the Day-to-Day with Longer-Term Strategic Thinking”.

CLE Credits Available: Y



  • Technology Companies Group

Samir R. Bakhru Partner

New York

Samir Bakhru helps startups and high growth technology companies successfully raise capital and build their business from formation through exit.

Samir has represented early and late stage companies in over $7 billion worth of venture financings and has advised clients in over $5 billion worth of M&A transactions.  He has experience in advising founders on structuring their companies to maintain control and frequently counsels executive teams in maintaining and managing a successful board of directors.  

Samir’s notable company-side representations include K Health, Dataiku, Beacon Platform, Betterment, Chime, Vise Technologies, Warby Parker, Codecademy, Merama, Genius, ResearchGate, Spell, Frontier Car Group (until sold), Insomnia Cookies (until sold), Sailthru (until sold), Teachable (until sold), and Upworthy (until sold), among others.

In addition to his company-side representations, Samir has represented leading venture capital firms and other strategic investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Charles River Ventures, Coatue Management, Heavybit Industries, TPG Growth, Vista Equity Partners, Walden Venture Capital, Warburg Pincus, and Y Combinator Continuity Fund.

Before joining Orrick, Samir was an Associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in the General Corporate and M&A group.



  • Life Sciences Sector
  • Finance Sector
  • Technology & Innovation Sector
  • Technology Companies Group
  • Fintech
  • Corporate Governance
  • Automotive Technology & Mobility

Laura Rose (Bloxham) Barr Partner


Laura works with some of the most innovative thinkers in the world. She takes legal pain-points for entrepreneurs - negotiating with VCs, getting team equity right and protecting IP - and makes them easy at every stage.

Laura is a founding member of Orrick’s technology companies practice in the Pacific Northwest. She is passionate about working with women founders, other underrepresented entrepreneurs, and double bottom line companies. People who think differently, and set out to create impact, inspire her.

She represents companies and their investors in a variety of verticals, including AI & Machine Learning (Anthropic), consumer applications (AppSheet, Life360, Mylio), education technology (Go1), financial technology (SoFi), information security (Stairwell) and life sciences (Cortexyme, Inmedix), among others. 

Prior to joining Orrick, Laura worked in New York as a leveraged finance attorney at Milbank, and in-house at Goldman Sachs and the New York Stock Exchange. In addition to start-up representation, she regularly provides pro bono legal advice to charitable organizations regarding non-profit incorporation and tax exemption applications.



  • Technology & Innovation Sector
  • Technology Companies Group

Christina Catzoela Partner


Christina Catzoela is a Partner in the Technology Companies Group. She focuses her practice on advising emerging growth technology companies and venture capital firms on a variety of issues, including formation, venture capital financings, mergers & acquisitions, IPOs and other corporate and securities law matters.

In the four years prior to joining Orrick, Christina acted as Senior Corporate Counsel to Zillow Group, Inc. While at Zillow Group, Inc., Christina focused her practice on technology transactions, public reporting and compliance.

She started her practice as a corporate associate in the Silicon Valley office of Gunderson, Dettmer, Stough, Villeneuvue, Franklin & Hachigian, LLP.



  • Technology & Innovation Sector
  • Life Sciences Sector
  • Technology Companies Group
  • Technology & Innovation
  • Life Sciences

Blake Ilstrup Partner


Blake Ilstrup is the founding member and leader of the Technology Companies Group practice in the Pacific Northwest. His practice focuses on advising high-growth technology and life sciences companies and their investors.

Blake brings a unique and invaluable mix of in-house, entrepreneurial, and law firm experience, having served as General Counsel and senior executive of a software company and two biotech companies (co-founding one of them), as well as outside corporate counsel in elite AmLaw Global 100 law firms.

Blake’s experience spans multiple industries, including life sciences, software, hardware, mobile, fintech, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, clean energy, and retail. He has counseled fast-growing companies on hundreds of venture capital financings and M&A transactions, numerous public offerings, as well as service as a trusted advisor to management teams and Boards on both strategic and day-to-day matters.

Blake is proud to have worked with a variety of technology and life science companies, venture capital firms and investment banks, including AppSheet (acquired by Google; Nasdaq: GOOGL), Arris Composites, Barclays, Cloudhopper (acquired by Twitter; NYSE: TWTR), Critical Insight, Coatue Management, fatfoogoo (acquired by Digital River; Nasdaq: DRIV), Ikaria, IronPort Systems (acquired by Cisco; Nasdaq: CSCO), Kineta (Nasdaq:  KA), Lighter Capital, Oculus (Nasdaq: FB), OncoSenX, PATH, Qpass (acquired by Amdocs; NYSE: DOX), Varian Medical (NYSE: VAR), Xcimer Energy, and Zipwhip (acquired by Twilio; NYSE: TWLO).

Prior to his legal career, Blake served with distinction in the U.S. Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer, Fire Control Officer, and Air Warfare Coordinator, including two combat deployments to the Persian Gulf, where he was decorated for his performance during Operations Southern Watch and Desert Strike.



  • Technology & Innovation Sector
  • Technology Companies Group
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Fintech

Josh Pollick Partner

Santa Monica

Josh Pollick, a founding member of Orrick’s Santa Monica office, is a partner and co-leader of Orrick's global Technology Companies Group.

Josh represents high-growth technology companies and venture capital firms in many areas, including corporate and securities law, corporate formations, venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, secondary offerings and SPAC transactions.

Josh has been recognized by Chambers and Partners USA, Legal500, and Super Lawyers for his work representing startups and venture capital funds.

Josh’s company-side representations include Dave, Deel, FabFitFun, Grow Therapy, Retool and Stripe.

In addition to his company-side representations, Josh has represented leading venture capital firms and other strategic investors, including Coatue, Darsana Capital and D1 Capital.



  • Technology & Innovation Sector
  • Technology Transactions
  • Strategic Advisory & Government Enforcement (SAGE)
  • Technology Companies Group

Ramin Tohidi Partner

Silicon Valley

Ramin Tohidi advises companies on technology transactions and other strategic and commercial matters central to their business

Ramin helps clients maximize their intellectual property and technology portfolios in a variety of ways, including drafting, negotiating, and advising on development, production, supply, procurement, and other technology licensing arrangements. He represents both mature and emerging companies in a variety of industries, including in SaaS, software, AI, hardware, information technology, business process outsourcing, enterprise resource planning, and data intelligence.

Ramin also counsels companies in developing artificial intelligence (AI) policies and deploying AI tools, and he also advises clients on open-source licensing and intellectual property issues in connection with mergers, acquisitions, and financing transactions.

According to Chambers USA, Ramin is “an excellent, practical, client- and business-oriented tech transactions attorney”, and “someone clients can work with as a tech expert, a business confidant and, of course, a legal expert." Chambers USA ranked him as an Up and Coming Partner, and Legal 500 ranks him as a Rising Star in 2021 and 2022 for Technology: Transactions.