Perkins Coie Adds Emerging Companies Expert in Silicon Valley

July 23, 2018

AMERICAN LAWYER

By Xiumei Dong

After more than a half-dozen years at Dorsey & Whitney, Adrian Rich is leaving the firm for new digs in Palo Alto.

Perkins Coie has picked up a veteran Silicon Valley corporate lawyer as a partner for its technology and venture capital transactions team in Palo Alto, California.

Adrian Rich, who spent nearly the past eight years as a partner at Dorsey & Whitney in Silicon Valley, has joined Perkins Coie’s emerging companies and venture capital practice. Rich, who spent nearly a decade at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati before decamping to Dorsey & Whitney in 2011, was not immediately available to discuss his latest move, which was brokered by Solana Beach, California-based legal recruiting firm Watanabe Nason & Schwartz.

Adrian Rich

In prepared remarks released Monday, Rich said he was impressed with Perkins Coie’s “strong industry connections, commitment to all aspects of the innovation ecosystem and deep understanding of complex and developing technologies.”

Rich has more than 15 years of experience in providing legal advice to startup companies and their investors, according to Perkins Coie. During the first decade of his legal career at Wilson Sonsini, Rich focused almost exclusively on medical device and biotechnology clients, although in recent years his practice has developed to include technology companies, Perkins Coie said.

In addition to a traditional Silicon Valley startup-specific corporate practice, Rich has also represented venture funds and incubators, while also working with several life science incubators and their associated investment funds, his new firm said. Rich is also listed as an adviser to A-Level Capital, a Baltimore-based early-stage investment firm for student-run startups at Johns Hopkins University. (Rich graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1996 before obtaining his law degree from the University of Virginia in 2001.)

“With his exceptionally diversified background, Adrian offers insightful counsel to life sciences and cutting-edge technology companies on a wide range of matters,” said a statement from Ralph “Buddy” Arnheim, co-chair of Perkins Coie’s emerging companies and venture capital practice. “As a trusted adviser on private and public securities offerings, licensing, incubators and small fund formation, Adrian is a key addition to the high level of support we provide our clients in the Bay Area and beyond.”

Perkins Coie, a 944-lawyer firm that saw gross revenue remain mostly flat in 2017, at nearly $786 million, welcomed aboard former Jones Day partner Wendy Moore earlier this year for its office in Palo Alto. (Moore, an executive compensation expert, would go on to make legal news headlines in June for her explosive gender bias suit against Jones Day.) Jones Day now has almost 80 lawyers in Palo Alto.

In Los Angeles, Perkins Coie added former Alston & Bird privacy and data security expert Dominique Shelton to build out a new practice focused on advertising technology and privacy. Perkins Coie did see Michael Garfinkel, the former firmwide chair of its media and entertainment litigation group, decamp for DLA Piper in Los Angeles in January.

Nonetheless, 2018 has proved to be an active year for Perkins Coie on the lateral recruitment firm. In May, the firm announced its hire of a pair of high-profile, Beijing-based partners from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton in James Zimmerman and Scott Palmer.

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