Wilson Sonsini builds in London with hire of EY’s global head of tech law
Transatlantic deals veteran Richard Goold becomes West Coast firm’s 24th lawyer in London
West Coast tech and life sciences firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has added EY’s global head of tech law as a partner in its London office.
Richard Goold has joined the firm after nearly six years as a partner at EY, where he led all UK and Ireland service lines for fast growth as well heading the global tech law efforts.
His arrival continues the office's steady growth since it launched in 2018, with a small team, the firm having eschewed the big bang approach of West Coast rival Cooley, which launched in 2015 with a 55-strong team recruited from an array of established players.
A transatlantic and global deals specialist, Goold advises start-ups and scale-ups throughout all stages of the business lifecycle including international M&A, fundraising transactions, buyouts, growth and venture capital financing rounds. He also counsels UK- and European-based companies in various tech industries and regularly represents US companies and investors in cross-border corporate matters and international projects.
Before joining EY, he spent just shy of 13 years at UK legacy firm Wragge & Co, joining as an associate in 2001 and rising to become a partner and co-chair of the firm’s tech group. He held the same role after the firm merged with Lawrence Graham in 2014 to become Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co but left for EY when that firm merged with Canadian independent Gowling two years later.
“Richard’s addition to our London office demonstrates our commitment to helping UK and European technology companies and investors compete and win in America and globally,” said Daniel Glazer, managing partner of Wilson Sonsini’s London office and head of its US expansion practice, adding that Goold’s “transatlantic experience and industry expertise will provide significant added value to the high-growth companies and investors we represent".
The Palo Alto-based firm first launched in London with a handful of staff personnel working alongside Glazer, who is also the office’s founding partner. Since then it has grown to 24 lawyers, seven of them partners, and represents high-growth tech and life sciences companies including those looking to access the US markets through transatlantic deals.
During the past year the firm said it had been involved in such deals for companies including Babylon and Checkout.com and that its London-led US expansion team advised around 200 UK and European start-ups on establishing their initial US operations.
The firm has recently relocated a number of US lawyers to the UK in support of this effort, including antitrust and competition partner Beau Buffier, and laterally hired US, UK and dual-qualified lawyers for the London office. Among them are corporate partner Joshua Kaplan, formerly Checkout.com COO, and fellow partner Michael Casey, who joined the national security practice last October from Kirkland & Ellis.
“Since opening in London, we’ve scaled rapidly and continue to add talented practitioners like Richard to align with the needs of the fast-growing companies and investors we work with throughout the UK and Europe,” said Doug Clark, managing partner at Wilson Sonsini.
He added that the firm’s corporate team in London “remains focused on transatlantic work, so Richard’s industry experience and understanding of what growth-minded start-ups need makes him a great fit.”
Goold said that he’d had the chance to work with Wilson Sonsini on a number of occasions as a long-standing advisor to startups and investors, which “fuelled my interest in joining the firm because it has a legacy of working with iconic technology and life sciences clients.
“Also compelling to me was the firm’s stature in start-up markets in London and more broadly in other tech markets in Europe, the US and other active global regions.”
Last week, Wilson Sonsini unveiled plans to open an office in Boulder in order to deepen its ties to Colorado’s booming life sciences market. Aside from its London arm, it has international offices in Brussels, Beijing. Shanghai and Beijing.