Leading Fund Services Attorneys Join Goodwin Procter’s Practice in Palo Alto
Firm Underscores Commitment to Serving Venture Capital and Private Equity Clients; Continues Momentum in California
Boston, Oct. 3, 2007 — Goodwin Procter LLP, one of the nation’s leading law firms, today announced the addition of partners Jonathan Axelrad, Robert S. Fore, and Gerald G. Chacon, Jr., preeminent lawyers in the area of venture capital/private equity fund formation and fund services. The partners, who collectively have over 40 years experience representing venture capital, buy-out and other types of private funds, led the venture capital/private equity fund practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and will be resident in Goodwin Procter’s Palo Alto office.
“We are thrilled that Jonathan, Rob and Jerry have chosen to join Goodwin Procter. They share our vision and commitment to a global fund formation practice with world-class capabilities,” said Regina M. Pisa, chairman and managing partner of Goodwin Procter. “Their practice complements and expands the scope of our unique fund formation group which represents a vast array of funds including venture capital, buyout and other types of private equity, debt, hedge, real estate and mutual funds. It also continues our momentum in California.”
Axelrad, Fore and Chacon have been particularly involved with the formation of venture capital funds, including many of the most prestigious and successful in the industry, as well as the recent surge of new funds focused upon China, India and Israel. Their practice, combined with Goodwin Procter’s, involved almost 20% of all the new capital commitments made to venture capital funds in 2006.
“This move really is about client service,” said Axelrad. “At Goodwin Procter, our practice fits into a broad array of fund services that will enable us to meet our clients’ needs as the venture capital/private equity industry becomes ever more sophisticated, global and diversified.”
“Venture capital and private equity firms have become major players in the economy, and therefore subject to increased scrutiny from regulators,” said Fore. "Goodwin Procter's broader platform and regulatory expertise is highly complementary to our practice and was a compelling factor in our decision to join the firm.”
Goodwin Procter has long been recognized as a leader in sophisticated finance-oriented and transactional work. Its corporate practice includes private equity, real estate capital markets, financial services, investment management, and public company M&A. In 2006, Goodwin Procter ranked as the 7th most active law firm for IPOs in the U.S. (issuer-side offerings/IPO Vital Signs), the 6th overall for private equity and venture capital deals (356), the 5th in the nation for buyout deals closed (Private Equity Analyst) and one of the top U.S. law firms for REITs (American Lawyer Corporate Scorecard). It has grown its technology companies and venture capital practice aggressively over the past five years, including the addition in 2005 of nearly 100 attorneys from Testa Hurwitz & Thibeault. Today, over 200 of its 850 attorneys focus on serving the technology, life sciences, private equity and venture capital communities; and over 30 of its attorneys focus specifically on fund services for venture capital, private equity, public securities, and real estate investment firms. The firm also has significant practices in securities & corporate finance, tax, ERISA, employment law and financial restructuring.
Kevin Dennis, co-chair of Goodwin Procter’s Palo Alto office said, “Jonathan, Rob and Jerry reflect our commitment to make every aspect of Goodwin Procter's fund services practice best-in-class.”
“Goodwin Procter is committed to delivering outstanding service to our clients and we look forward to working with these talented attorneys,” said David Watson, a partner in the firm’s Business Law Department and chair of its Fund Formation Practice.
The arrival of Axelrad, Fore and Chacon is the latest in a series of strategic investments by the firm in expanding its national footprint and focusing on high value services to clients. After growing to nearly 200 attorneys in New York, 100 in Washington, DC and over 500 in Boston, Goodwin Procter has turned to the West Coast as part of a concerted bi-coastal strategy, opening five offices in California in the last 18 months: San Francisco in April 2006; Downtown LA and San Diego in March 2007; and Palo Alto in June 2007. At 60 attorneys in California today, and more expected in the coming weeks, the firm’s commitment to building a West Coast presence that will mirror its East Coast presence has never been stronger.
According to Pisa, “We will continue to invest in and develop resources in those geographic and practice areas that provide the greatest value to our clients. We have made a significant investment in California and are committed to growing on the West Coast as strategically and focused as we have on the East Coast.”
About Goodwin Procter
Goodwin Procter LLP is one of the nation’s leading law firms with 850 attorneys in offices in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The firm’s core areas of practice are corporate, litigation and real estate, with specialized areas of focus that include financial services, venture capital, private equity, technology, REITs and real estate capital markets, tax, intellectual property and products liability.
New Partner Biographical Information:
Jonathan Axelrad is the former head of the fund services practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. He specializes in all aspects of the formation and operation of venture capital and other private equity funds, with a particular emphasis on issues involving partnerships, limited liability companies, tax, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Investment Advisers Act, and the Freedom of Information Act. He also has extensive experience in the areas of international fund structures and “market” terms and conditions.
Axelrad writes and lectures frequently on venture capital, tax, partnership, and limited liability company issues. He has also been engaged as an expert witness in matters concerning the structure and operation of venture capital funds. He received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and his J.D. from Yale Law School.
Robert S. Fore is the former co-head of the fund services practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. His practice focuses on the structuring, formation, and operation of both domestic and international venture capital, buyout, funds-of-funds, and other private equity funds and their management companies. He also represents investors in venture capital and buyout funds, as well as private equity and venture funds in their investment activities.
Prior to joining Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Fore served as the general counsel to Bank of America’s world-wide private equity and venture capital businesses, where he focused on investments by the bank in private equity funds, direct investments in venture-backed companies, subordinated debt investments, and equity investments in foreign companies. He received a B.S., from the University of Southern California, an M.B.A. from J.L. Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and his J.D. from Loyola Law School-Los Angeles.
Gerald (Jerry) G. Chacon, Jr., is formerly of counsel at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. His practice primarily focuses on advising venture capital and other private equity funds in their formation and operation. The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization has designated him as a certified specialist in tax law. Prior to joining Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Chacon practiced in Rosenblum, Parish & Isaacs' business transactions practice group and as a tax attorney with Hopkins & Carley, both in San Jose, California. He received a B.S. from Stanford University, an L.L.M. from Boston University and his J.D. from the University of California, Davis.