The American Lawyer has named emerging companies partner Stephen Venuto ‘Dealmaker of the Year’ in recognition of his representation of mobile photo-sharing company Instagram in its billion dollar sale to Facebook. This prestigious award, which has approximately a dozen recipients, is given to corporate lawyers nationwide who played an integral role in a defining transaction from the past year.
Referring to the Instagram acquisition as “the blockbuster tech deal of 2012,” The American Lawyer recognized Venuto not only for his legal expertise, but also for his deep knowledge of the emerging technology community. The transaction also was notable for its pace; talks began on Good Friday, and the deal was signed on Easter Sunday. The Orrick team then navigated Instagram through the Facebook public offering process and shepherded the transaction through FTC clearance, including a review of its privacy issues, before it closed in September. The article quotes Benchmark Capital’s Matt Cohler, who stated that Venuto “is an outstanding lawyer, but he’s also an outstanding business partner. [He] is someone who cares about everybody [who’s] involved in a company.”
In addition to the Instagram deal, Venuto has worked on many notable matters over the past year, including representing Pinterest, Asana and Quora in their recent financings, Yammer in its sale to Microsoft and Cove and Mailbox (Orchestra) in their respective sales to Dropbox.