Orrick Adds Three Women in Tech Including Former Relativity General Counsel Laura Lariu

5 minute read | April.10.2023

  • Laura Lariu, Nikita Shah and Alexandra Wood have joined the firm as partners in the firm’s Tech Companies Group.
  • Laura joins from space innovator Relativity Space, where she served as General Counsel and helped lead the company through a period of transformational growth.
  • Niki was most recently at MasterClass, where she served as the Associate General Counsel and helped lead the company through a period of hypergrowth.
  • Alex joins from Fenwick, where she led multiple tech unicorns in their strategic transactions.
  • This continues a series of investments by the firm, including the recent hire of leading tech capital markets advisor Jamie Evans and the combination with 100-lawyer regulatory law boutique Buckley to deliver comprehensive solutions for the fintech sector.
  • 67% of the firm’s 2023 lateral hires globally and 45% since January 2022 are women (excluding the Buckley combination).

“We’re thrilled to welcome three more top quality advisors to our tech ecosystem. This team collectively brings everything we strive to deliver for our clients – legal excellence, operational insight, a strong network, diverse perspectives, and a record of innovation and leadership,” said Josh Pollick, co-leader of Orrick’s Global Tech Companies Group.

“Laura is a pioneer in space law and deeply knowledgeable about the unique and varied challenges faced by companies in the sector. We are excited not only to deepen our bench and space offering capability by adding Laura’s keen legal and business perspectives and skills, but also to benefit from her thought leadership and the significant value she brings to our platform,” noted Ellen Ehrenpreis, a senior member of the firm’s Tech Companies Group. “It’s extremely rewarding to see all three of these outstanding women choose Orrick, which I believe is a testament to our firm’s reputation in the tech ecosystem and underscores our commitment to a culture of collaboration and flexible career paths.”

Read the American Lawyer coverage of Laura, Niki and Alex's move to Orrick here 

Laura Lariu

Laura was the first lawyer hired at Relativity Space, the space company that last week launched the world’s first 3D printed rocket. Since 2019, she helped Relativity raise an aggregate of $1.3 billion in rounds led by Fidelity, Tiger Global and Bond Capital, with participation by BlackRock, Baillie Gifford and other leading investors, while scaling from 60 to 1000+ employees. She oversaw the growth of the company’s 11-member legal team.

Prior to that, Laura served as General Counsel at Virgin Hyperloop. She began her career as an associate at Gunderson Dettmer, where she focused on representing investors and emerging growth companies in venture capital financings, corporate governance, equity incentive plans, M&A, formations and secondary transactions. She is a founding member of TechGC and serves on the Leadership Council of the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice.

Nikita Shah

Niki served on the senior leadership team at consumer tech company MasterClass, where she helped the company raise an aggregate of $200 million in rounds led by IVP and Fidelity, with participation from NEA, Javelin and other leading investors, while scaling from 70 to 350+ employees.

Prior to MasterClass, Niki practiced at Cooley, where she advised private and public technology companies in over 150 transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $20 billion. She has experience across a broad range of industries, including AI, consumer internet, enterprise software, fintech, edtech, delivery, healthcare, retail, digital media and sharing economy. In addition to advising companies on general corporate matters, financings, mergers and acquisitions, and initial public offerings, Niki regularly represented leading venture capital firms and other strategic investors.

Niki also worked at the startup accelerator TechStars, where she helped support portfolio companies on a broad range of legal and business issues. She is a charter member of TechGC's DeputyGC program.

Alexandra Wood

Alex joins from Fenwick where she advised tech and life sciences companies at all stages. She has represented numerous emerging growth companies and unicorns in their equity raises, convertible debt transactions, tender offers, joint ventures, public offerings and mergers and acquisitions in transactions aggregating in excess of $20 billion in value.

Alex has experience across a broad range of sectors, including AI, cybersecurity, mobility, software, biotech, health tech, fintech, digital media, retail and e-commerce. She has also represented leading venture capital firms and strategic investors in marquee deals. Alex also leverages her international development program experience in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East for clients with international operations.

Orrick’s Tech Companies Practice

Orrick’s tech practice provides holistic advice to more than 4,000 emerging growth companies globally, including more than 100 unicorns, as well as investors in the tech ecosystem. During 2022, the firm added 700 tech companies to our client portfolio and advised on venture financing transactions in 57+ countries globally.

About Orrick

Orrick is a global law firm focused on serving the technology & innovation, energy & infrastructure and finance sectors. Founded more than 150 years ago in San Francisco, Orrick today has offices in 25+ markets worldwide. In each of the past seven years, Financial Times has named the firm among the top 3 most innovative law firms and Fortune has named Orrick to its list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For seven times and twice in the top 15, including in 2022.