Freshfields signals Silicon Valley commitment with 10-year office lease in Redwood City

Move to be completed early next year when magic circle firm leaves temporary home in Menlo Park
Redwood City gateway arch displays city's slogan Climate Best By Government Test - Redwood City, California, USA

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is pushing ahead with its plans to create a permanent presence in Silicon Valley after signing a 10-year office lease in Redwood City. 

The firm will be the anchor tenant of the new building at 855 Main, occupying 40,000 square feet of space on the top two floors. The office is expected to be ready early next year, allowing the firm to relocate from its temporary home in Menlo Park. Redwood City is home to a number of tech companies, including Oracle, Electronic Arts, Evernote and Box.

Sarah Solum, managing partner of Freshfields’ Silicon Valley office and head of its US capital markets practice, said: “Our brand-new space is being designed as a destination for our clients and colleagues alike, with collaboration, comfort and flexibility in mind. The integrated outdoor terraces will give us immediate access to the fresh air and sunshine we enjoy in Northern California.”

Freshfields launched in Silicon Valley last July with a team of seven partners, five of whom were secured from US rivals. That included Solum, who joined from Davis Polk, John Fisher from Sidley Austin, Maj Vaseghi from Latham & Watkins and Boris Feldman and Doru Gavril from Wilson Sonsini. Freshfields’ Pamela Marcogliese, previously in New York, and Alan Ryan, transferring from Brussels, completed what US head of corporate and M&A Ethan Klingsberg called a “dream team”.

The firm currently lists a total of 14 lawyers in the office. Their expertise spans capital markets, M&A, corporate governance, regulation and shareholder litigation, targeting clients in the technology and life sciences industries. Fisher – who is head of US technology and life sciences M&A – was part of the global team that advised AstraZeneca on its $39bn acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals in December.

Feldman, who is head of Freshfields’ US tech practice, said: “We look forward to sharing the hipness of downtown Redwood City with our clients ranging from the tech companies in San Jose to the biotechs in South City and the software giants of San Francisco.”

Freshfields is the first Magic Circle UK firm to set up shop on the US West Coast since Clifford Chance retreated from the region in 2007.

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