Bay Area: San Francisco and Silicon Valley

Our founding office opened in San Francisco in 1863. That makes us the second-oldest Bay Area private company after Levi Strauss & Co. We added our Silicon Valley office more than two decades ago and, today, have a team of 300 lawyers based in the Bay Area. In the spirit of California, we’re forward-looking and constantly adapting.

Our clients reflect the California economy and its global influence. We represent the world’s leading public tech companies and more than 1,600 startups, including some of the most exciting disruptors. We act for renewable energy pioneers, Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions and funds, and the state of California and its municipal entities. Our local practice mirrors our global focus: advising the technology, energy & infrastructure and finance clients in their highest-stakes transactional, litigation and compliance matters.


We practice at the heart of the technology ecosystem, providing comprehensive support for tech companies at every stage of the corporate life cycle. Our practice for both public and private tech companies encompasses financing, M&A, corporate governance, IP asset protection, cybersecurity, executive compensation and employment. We offer one of the premier IP, litigation and compliance teams for the tech sector. And we do it all globally, enabling us to scale with our clients. We represent public companies in U.S. and cross-border investments, working with our tech-focused lawyers in 25 markets worldwide. In recognition of the broad nature of our practice, Law360 has recognized our team as one of four Technology Groups of the Year globally for the past two years.

We’re especially focused on helping disruptors address the complex legal and policy issues that their innovative models often raise. We’ve completed some of the most successful financing rounds for unicorns such as Pinterest, Stripe, 23andMe, SoFi, Prosper and many others. And The Recorder named us 2016 Corporate Department of the Year for Emerging Companies. We’ve also closed a string of tech IPOs and follow-on offerings. And we’ve helped our tech clients execute landmark sales, including Nest’s sale to Google and Yammer’s sale to Microsoft. Recently, we advised Cruise Automation, a leader in the development of driverless car technology, in its acquisition by General Motors.

Intellectual Property

Our IP litigators have prevailed in landmark cases in the tech sector – and are litigating some of the most closely watched cases before the courts today. As The American Lawyer wrote in selecting us as IP Litigation Department of the Year for 2016, "[T]ime and again, we heard stories [from clients] lauding Orrick’s ability to jump into a case and successfully dig its clients out of a hole, even with little time to prepare."

We protect innovation. Our team acted for Oracle in its multibillion-dollar copyright infringement case against Google, where we created new law related to the copyrightability of software on appeal. We also represented the company in a high-profile retrial of copyright infringement claims against Google. Our success stems from our deep understanding of the underlying technology (not surprising, given that our team includes over 60 litigators with technical degrees) combined with proven courtroom skills. As The American Lawyer noted, we’ve shown this "across an impressive range of venues, using novel strategies. …" Our practice covers all types of intellectual property, including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, privacy and data protection litigation.


Our energy project development, finance and M&A team is part of a global practice that covers all energy assets, with its hub in Houston and team members in offices worldwide. Reflecting the California market, our Bay Area team has deep experience in renewables. We helped launch the U.S. renewables market in the 1980s, when we advised on the first-ever institutionally financed wind development. Since then we’ve played a leading role in the expansion of solar and wind power. We’ve also advised on some of the largest combinations in the renewables sector, including the $2.4 billion acquisition by a leading global solar energy developer of substantial wind and solar assets. We assisted more than 25 different bidders in the California utilities’ recent solicitations for new renewables, gas and storage projects. Our results are recognized in the market: In 2015, our team was selected as a Project Finance Group of the Year by Law360 for a third time.


Public Finance

Go anywhere in the Bay Area and you’re likely to see the impact of our top-ranked Public Finance team’s work. Our practice began more than a century ago with the financing of the Golden Gate Bridge. Over the years, we’ve secured financing of landmark projects such as Candlestick Park, the Bay Bridge, BART and the Moscone Center. We’re currently working on the Transbay Transit Center, dubbed "Grand Central Station of the West." We’re especially proud to work on financings with a social impact, including in education and affordable housing. We recently advised the City of Richmond on the nation’s first use of a social impact bond issue to fund the acquisition and rehabilitation of a blighted neighborhood.

Real Estate

The work of our Real Estate finance team extends up and down the West Coast – from the most environmentally friendly on-airport hotel in San Francisco to a new arena complex for the Sacramento Kings – and around the world. We’ve helped guide some of the industry’s most remarkable and challenging deals for real estate giants like Westbrook Partners, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, Tokyu Land Corporation, LaSalle Investment Management and Fortress Investment Group.


Our Tax team provides support on these deals as well as corporate, project finance and public finance transactions.

  • Litigation

    Our Litigation team is recognized as one of the premier practices in California. We’ve been named California Litigation Department of the Year twice by The Recorder, including in 2016. Clients rely on us to take their most sensitive and high-profile matters through trial and appeal.


    Known for our successful defense of Kleiner Perkins against Ellen Pao’s discrimination claims, our Employment litigators represent global leaders in the tech, financial services and retail sectors. The Recorder has named us California Employment Litigation Department of the Year three times in a row, noting our record of "delivering exceptional results on its clients’ most critical and challenging matters." Those clients include Gap, Genentech, Microsoft, Oracle and Sears.

    White Collar & Securities

    Our California White Collar, Investigations, Securities and Compliance team is rated Band 1 in Chambers USA 2017. We defend criminal and civil claims on behalf of institutional and individual clients. Many of our team members have served in senior federal prosecutor roles in California. We advise technology and other public companies in connection with SEC and internal investigations, whistleblower complaints, M&A litigation, and other high-stakes matters. We’re also recognized as one of the top advisors on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) matters worldwide.


    Microsoft and other leading companies turn to our Antitrust & Competition team when facing complex proceedings in the U.S. and internationally. With our strong focus at the intersection of antitrust law and intellectual property law, our lawyers have particular fluency in issues facing tech companies, including IP licensing and enforcement.

    Complex Business Disputes

    Our Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution team helps clients resolve a wide range of disputes. We’re on the cutting edge of issues, from the sovereign immunity of Chinese state-owned enterprises to the new wave of Telephone Consumer Protection Act claims.

    Our Offices and Our Community

    The Bay Area is a vibrant community and we’re excited when we can give back to it.

    Our Total Access event series brings together a community of entrepreneurs, venture investors and tech company leaders to discuss business and legal strategies and to learn from each other.

    We connect leading women in the tech and IP space through our Successful Women in IP (SWIP) program. Based on the success of SWIP, we also launched Women in Energy and the Women in Employment Network.

    Our Bay Area lawyers are deeply committed to pro bono work. We collaborate with the in-house team at our client Intel to staff the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County’s Housing Clinic, and we serve as pro bono counsel to two educational nonprofits alongside our client Gap. We work with Bay Area Legal Aid to represent victims of domestic violence and provide startup support to social enterprises. We also staff legal clinics for Swords to Plowshares, helping veterans obtain discharge upgrades to qualify for benefits.

    Through our Orrick Cares program, San Francisco office members volunteer with Rebuilding Together, the Bessie Carmichael Elementary School and the San Francisco Food Bank. Our Silicon Valley team volunteers with Ronald McDonald House, the Second Harvest Food Bank and Reading Buddies.

    More than 100 of our lawyers and staff turned out for a beach cleanup sponsored by the California Coastal Commission, and our Bay Area running club regularly participates in charitable runs, including the 191-mile Golden Gate Relay.

    A decade ago we founded the Bay Area Diversity Career Fair in collaboration with the Bar Association of San Francisco. We continue to sponsor this annual event, and many members of our group attend the fair.

    We team up with area law schools on innovative programs such as Stanford’s Legal Design Initiative, a joint program across the law school, engineering school and design school to bring human-centered design to legal services. The collaboration recently won an innovation award from Financial Times. We also support Stanford’s Law School Veterans Fund, a fellowship that enables a veteran law student to work on a project benefiting other veterans, and other law school diversity initiatives. At Berkeley, we participate in mentoring and networking activities with Law Students of African Descent and attend the annual La Raza Law Journal Symposium Event, which brings together students with professors and legal community members to discuss current issues affecting the Latino community.