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08 September 2017 at 06:30 BST

Wilson Sonsini disruptive team to join Cooley in Silicon Valley

A team of next generation leaders representing disruptive high-growth companies are exiting from Wilson Sonsini to join competitor firm Cooley.

Jon Avina joins Cooleys from Wilson Sonsini

Cooley is adding to its top-tier corporate practice with the pending arrival of a team of three leading partners from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati: Jon Avina, Calise Cheng and Rachel Proffitt. Avina and Cheng are based in Palo Alto, Proffitt in San Francisco. 'We are thrilled to welcome Jon, Calise and Rachel to our team,' said Mike Lincoln, global chair of Cooley’s business department. 'Their imminent arrival aligns with our growth plan of making high-impact strategic investments in talent that strengthens our core practices. Jon, Calise and Rachel are all next-generation leaders advising on high-profile clients and transactions in Silicon Valley and beyond. Together, they will increase the depth of resources for our clients and give Cooley an even greater opportunity to expand our focus on disruptive companies across tech, life sciences and other high-growth industries.'

Emerging growth companies

The three are particularly well known for developing a practice that spans the lifecycle of emerging growth companies from inception through liquidity event, including the IPOs and ongoing public company representation of many high-profile tech companies. With nearly 50 years of collective experience working in Silicon Valley, they have represented a variety of startups and disruptive companies in the enterprise software, networking, health and wellness, internet, and energy and clean technology industries. 


'We are joining a platform that will best serve the long-term interests of our clients,' Mr Avina said. 'Having worked opposite my new partners at Cooley for the past 20 years, I have always been impressed by their technical expertise and sound judgment. Even more importantly, they embody the firm’s collaborative approach to client service with their constant focus on achieving the right result for their clients. Working as a team is critical to client service, and it was this opportunity that drew the three of us to Cooley.' The threesome are expected to join Cooley this month following their official release from Wilson Sonsini.

London hire

The moves follow another high profile hire by Cooley this week in London. Its international dispute resolution and public international law team has recruited Christophe Bondy, who is based in London. Mr Bondy spent nearly a decade as senior counsel in Canada’s Trade Law Bureau, where he successfully led his country’s defense in its most high-profile, high-stakes international investment claims, including the recently decided Eli Lilly NAFTA investment dispute. He was also counsel in negotiations of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and advised the Canadian government on a range of international trade, investment and other public international law issues. Mr Bondy returned to private practice in 2015 as a partner at Volterra Fietta, a London-based, public international law boutique, where he continued to take a leading role as counsel in international investment treaty claims on behalf of sovereign states and to advise states and private entities on a range of public international law issues. He joins Cooley as special counsel. 


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