Tech Deal Department of the Year

WINNER

Cooley
Advised analytics platform Tableau on its agreement to sell to Salesforce in a $15.7 billion all-stock transaction. Also advised Ellie Mae, a publicly traded cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry, on its agreement to sell to private equity firm Thoma Bravo for about $3.7 billion. Represented Uber in its deal to acquire JUMP Bikes and handled company side representations in a number of the year’s biggest tech IPOs, including Uber, Zoom, and PagerDuty.

Finalists:

DLA Piper
Represented co-lead investor New Enterprise Associates and investor General Atlantic in connection with robotics company Automation Anywhere's $250 million Series A fundraising. Advised HCL Technologies in its acquisition of eight IBM software products including Lotus Notes for $1.8 billion and physical resources management company Accruent in connection with its sale to Fortive for $2 billion.

Latham & Watkins
Advised Alliance Data Systems Corporation, a data-based provider of marketing and loyalty programs, in its $4.4 billion sale of its Epsilon Data Management business to Publicis Groupe. Represented the lead investors in DoorDash’s 400 million Series F funding round and Mellanox, maker of high-performance interconnect technology used in supercomputers, in its $6.9 billion sale to NVIDIA Corporation.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Represented PayPal in its $2.2 billion acquisition of Sweden-based payments provider iZettle AB. Teamed up with Gunderson Dettmer to represent San Francisco-based cryptocurrency company Ripple Labs in its strategic $50 million partnership with MoneyGram International to provide cross-border payment and foreign exchange settlement using digital assets. Represented private equity firm Silver Lake Partners in its purchase of 90% of ServiceMax from GE Digital.
 

Start-Up Firm/Emerging Company Law Firm of the Year

WINNER

Cooley
Advised long-time client Uber Technologies on its highly anticipated $8.1 billion IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, online real estate marketplace Opendoor on its recent $300 million Series E2 financing, and Zoom Video Communications on its $864 million initial public offering.

Finalists:

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Handled M&A and lobbying work for peer-to-peer, carsharing marketplace Getaround, $345 million in fundraising rounds for payment company Stripe, and helped Beyond Meat, the maker of plant-based meat products, launch its $240 million IPO.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Represented payments company Checkout.com in a $230 million Series A funding round—Europe's largest fintech Series A round ever—Dutch search engine company Elastic B.V. in its U.S. IPO, and social broadcasting platform Caffeine in its $100 million round of funding from 21st Century Fox.
 

Most Innovative Public Company Legal Department of the Year

WINNER

NetApp
The company’s legal department harnessed Robotic Process Automation to reduce contract processing time from 15 minutes to 2.5 minutes—freeing up half a full-time equivalent position to do more complex work. Saved more than $4M through the use of workflow automation technology. GC Matt Fawcett also became a leading in- house voice in the ongoing discussion about mental health issues in the legal profession.

Finalists:

Pure Storage
The Pure legal team adopted a process with engineers and outside counsel to optimize patent filing that saved the company almost 400 hours of engineering worth at least $80,000 in company time last year.

Lyft
The Lyft legal team led company to its industry-first IPO, navigated the acquisition of bike-sharing company Motivate, and won a legal battle against SFMTA which led to the launch of its new dockless bikes in San Francisco.
 

Most Innovative Emerging Company Legal Department of the Year

WINNER

Coinbase
Recognizing a need in the cryptocurrency industry, the Coinbase legal team developed a securities rating scorecard to assess the risk that any particular asset may be a security. They've shared their scorecard with state and federal regulators and promoted it as a self-help tool to help the industry keep an eye on securities law compliance.

Finalist:

Cruise
The self-driving car company's legal department has overseen fast growth and multiple rounds of outside investment from the likes of Honda and institutional investors like T. Rowe Price.
 

Most Innovative Operations Team of the Year

WINNERS

Law firm:

Fish & Richardson
The firm's pricing group and Legal Project Management team have allowed Fish to do 31% of its work in connection with alternative fee arrangements, including innovative pricing plans based on the number of patents and claims asserted in litigation.
 

In-House:

Pure Storage
The compnay’s operations team raised the company's patent filings by almost 25%, while staying within .27% of target on a several million dollar budget. The team adopted a cooperative approach with engineers and outside counsel to optimize the disclosure-drafting process and used predictive budget modeling to support needs generated by the acquisition of a 2,000 patent and application portfolio—all while keeping the company's internal headcount steady.
 

Alternative Legal Service Providers of the Year

WINNERS

Elevate Services
Legal process outsourcing pioneer Elevate has partnered with tech companies including Dolby, Juniper Networks, and NetApp to review and modernize processes within the legal function. For example, Elevate found that senior-level Juniper attorneys were reviewing 600 Gifts Travel & Entertainment requests and over 600 Marketing Development Funds per quarter. Elevate helped reduce costs by 1/3 by creating a new structure where only high-risk matters are escalated for review.

Rimon Law
The alternative law firm has flattened the traditional pyramid-shaped firm structure in part by using software robots to handle some of the more basic work traditionally done by associates. The firm also uses an internal, secure social network as a "virtual water cooler" where attorneys check in to collaborate, exchange ideas, and drum up new business frequently throughout the day.
 

Innovations in Pro Bono

WINNERS

Davis Wright Tremaine and Amazon
134 attorneys and 50 staff at Amazon and DWT partnered with Kids In Need of Defense to form teams to represent 28 immigrant children seeking to remain in the U.S. due to abuse, abandonment, or neglect issues involving their parents.

Latham & Watkins
Latham is advising The Ocean Cleanup, an ambitious non-profit that is seeking to collect and recycle a large percentage of the ocean's floating trash, on tax, organizational, and technological matters, as well as international maritime trade, waste transport, and customs issues.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Skadden's 'Know Your Rights and Know the Law: Sex, Bullying and Social Media' program has been offered to 14,000 students in Bay Area to teach students their legal rights and responsibilities in the realm of social media and technology. The firm has partnered with Applied Materials, PayPal, Hewlett Packard and others in the effort.
 

Innovations in Diversity and Inclusion

WINNERS

Fish & Richardson
Fish's 1L Diversity Fellowship Program has provided annual fellowships to diverse first-year law students throughout the country for 15 years. The firm's EMPOWER Women's Initiative holds biennial summits, so that women at all experience levels in the firm can meet in-person and off- site for career and professional development. And Fish has partnered with ChIPs and the Federal Circuit Bar Association to advance the opportunities given to junior lawyers—spearheading a program that has resulted in nearly 30 district court judges issuing orders encouraging opportunities for junior lawyers.

Littler Mendelson
The firm’s Career Advocacy Program pairs minorities and attorneys who have identified themselves as LGBTQ or differently-abled with firm leaders and general counsel of the firm's clients including NBCUniversal, Verizon, and others for mentorship and leadership development.

NetApp
Collaborated with Southern University Law Center (SULC) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana—part of the historically Black Southern University System—and a group of legal departments from across the U.S. to create the Community of Legal Interns. CLI, which already has 1,100 members, roughly 35% of whom are law students, seeks to connect students and employers committed to increasing diversity, inclusion and innovation in the legal industry.
 

Women Leaders in Tech Law

WINNERS

Tammy Albarrán, Uber Technologies
Leading the company’s adoption of new hiring practices, Albarrán increased pay parity among men and women lawyers and fostered an inclusive workplace in the wake of her prior work as outside counsel at Covington & Burling investigating the factors that contributed to the company's culture.

Dawn Belt, Fenwick & West
Belt co-authored the firm's influential Gender Diversity Survey of Silicon Valley and represented medical equipment company ResMed in a joint venture with Verily—Alphabet's life sciences arm—to help potentially reach millions of untreated sleep apnea sufferers

Juanita Brooks, Fish & Richardson
The Fish principal represented Gilead at the Federal Circuit resulting in a precedential opinion that not only clarifies the law regarding what is and is not business and litigation misconduct, but has changed how many technology companies handle due diligence and licensing negotiations.

Carissa Coze, Jenner & Block
Coze represented Fox Sports in a groundbreaking deal with The Stars Group to launch Fox Bet, the first national media and sports wagering partnership in the U.S.

Diane Doolittle, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan
The co-chair of the firm's national trial practice group helped resolve major pending litigation for LendingClub and Marvell.

Michelle Fang, Turo
The car-sharing company CLO got widespread sign off from in-house lawyers on a letter demanding law firms improve diversity or risk losing clients and developed a set of strategies to tackle the issue for general counsel.

Jennifer Fitchen, Sidley Austin
Fitchen acted as co-lead counsel to Pandora Media Inc. in its sale to Sirius XM Holdings for $3.5 billion.

Rashmi Garde, Centrify
The first attorney at VMware, Marin Software, Bloomreach and now software company Centrify, where she currently serves as general counsel, guided her company through an equity financing resulting in the sale of a majority interest to private equity firm Thoma Bravo, and the subsequent spin-out of a standalone Identity-as-a-Service company called Idaptive.

Judith Hasko, Latham & Watkins
Hasko represented Japan's Daiichi Sankyo Company in a $6.9 billion global agreement with AstraZeneca to co-develop and commercialize a new antibody drug product for cancer treatment.

Lynne Hermle, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Hermle played a leading role in persuading judges to deny class certification motions in closely-watched gender discrimination cases against Microsoft and Twitter.

Charlotte Lewis Jones, Facebook
Lewis lead Facebook's legal strategy regarding much of what has become known as "Inclusive AI," a program to test new systems through the lens of inclusivity in hopes of giving the company the tools necessary to achieve broad market success.

Deanna Kwong, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
The company’s Senior IP Litigation Counsel this year led her team and outside counsel to a summary judgment victory in a highly contentious competitor copyright case filed by Oracle.

Andrea Lobato, Eaze Technologies
The Chief Risk Officer of Eaze who is an alum of Lyft's regulatory compliance program has helped create the single largest marketplace and tech platform for the legal access to cannabis products in California, if not the entire United States.

Siana Lowrey, Cooley
Lowrey acted as one of the lead outside counsel representing Uber in its IPO, the largest tech IPO in the past five years and the ninth largest deal of any industry ever to hit U.S. markets.

Carolyn Hoecker Luedtke, Munger, Tolles & Olson
The litigation partner won injunctions for Intel in two trade secrets cases against former employees and won dismissal of a trade secret suit against the company as defendant.

Susan "Suz" Mac Cormac, Morrison & Foerster
The corporate partner led SoftBank's $6 billion financing of WeWork, now The We Company.

Victoria Maroulis, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan
After winning one of the very few anti-suit injunction orders issued by a federal court, Maroulis obtained favorable settlement for Samsung in a major cross-licensing dispute in U.S. and China against Huawei relating to portfolios of patents declared essential to 3G and 4G mobile technology standards.

Stacey Schesser, California Department of Justice
The Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit with the California Department of Justice, is currently spearheading the rule-making process for the California Consumer Privacy Act.

Kristin Sverchek, Lyft
The company’s top lawyer led a cross-functional effort that led to Lyft to become the first major tech company to IPO in 2019, all while leading the company's 100-person in-house legal team.

Sarita Venkat, Apple
Venkat, who was recently named Director of IP Transactions at Apple, co-created and co-hosts the ‘Heels of Justice’ podcast which celebrates other trailblazing women in law.

Bobbie Wilson, Perkins Coie
Wilson got half the causes of action knocked out in a trade secrets/breach of contract matter for Google where the plaintiff is seeking more than $100 million alleging Google used the plaintiff's technology to create AdSense Auto Ads.
 
 

WINNERS TO BE ANNOUNCED ON THE AWARDS EVENING

Tech Litigation Department of the Year Finalists

Fenwick & West
Represented more than 60 customers of Amazon Web Services in an effort to shut down a patent enforcement campaign by non-practicing entity PersonalWeb Technologies. Defended Uber’s board in shareholder derivative litigation stemming from the company’s acquisition of autonomous vehicle startup Ottomotto. Beat back a securities fraud suit targeting Tesla with claims the company misled investors about production of its new Model 3. Won summary judgment for supercomputer maker Cray on two patents asserted by the Raytheon Company.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Won decertification for Uber in an appeal closely watched by gig economy companies where thousands of current and former drivers alleged they were misclassified as independent contractors. Successfully defended Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. from about $100 million in copyright claims against competitor Oracle Corp. Won decertification and a complete reversal for Yahoo in a TCPA case where more than 320 thousand potential class members pitted the company with more than $480 million in potential exposure. Represented major consumer electronics manufacturers in their licensing dust-up with Qualcomm.

Keker, Van Nest & Peters
Successfully defended Electronic Arts Inc. against class action claims from retired NFL players that the company used their likenesses in the Madden NFL video game franchise. Defended Google against trade secret misappropriation and patent infringement claims related to its Project Loon, which uses balloons in the stratosphere to provide wireless services. Won a ruling at Alabama Supreme Court for Facebook limiting the circumstances where courts can assert jurisdiction over internet companies for their content moderation decisions. Represented Google in arbitration against former autonomous car chief Anthony Levandowski and his co-founder of Otto, the company he sold to Uber. Uber’s IPO filings indicate that Google won $128 million in the arbitration.

Latham & Watkins
Represented Puma Biotechnology and its CEO in the first federal securities class action to reach a verdict in nearly 10 years. Won approval of a $35 million deal to resolve long-running securities class actions regarding Facebook's IPO, setting important Second Circuit precedent on the way. Represented cloud networking company Arista Networks in its ITC showdown with larger rival Cisco. Won Federal Circuit affirmance of a patent win for WhatsApp.

Munger, Tolles & Olson
Represented Airbnb in a challenge to Boston’s ordinance regulating short-term rentals and home-sharing platforms which resulted in two provisions of the law being enjoined. Represented Facebook in its global settlement of actions claiming that the company’s advertising platform was discriminatory. Won a copyright lawsuit against streaming service VidAngel for major Hollywood studios and two significant trade secrets cases for Intel Corp. against former employees.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Fought off class certification for Twitter and Microsoft in two of the most closely watched gender pay disparity cases in the tech industry. Defended PayPal from a pair of shareholder class actions. Won affirmance of PTAB victories for Micron Technology at the Federal Circuit.
 

Innovator of the Year Finalists

John Bautista, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
The chief lawyer behind the Long Term Stock Exchange as well as a co- founder and director. The SEC-approved exchange is designed to change the paradigm of traditional stock exchanges by rewarding entrepreneurs and investors committed to long term business strategies.

Aaron Crews, Littler Mendelson
Littler's Chief Data Analytics Officer is one of the legal industry's few C- suite leaders dedicated exclusively to data analytics. Part of his work has been to expand Littler's Pay Equity Assessment tool, which takes a data-driven approach to conducting pay equity audits for clients.

Andrew Gray IV, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Inspired by his counseling work for client Tableau, Gray has harnessed self-service analytics at Morgan Lewis, with a particular focus on patent prosecution. By focusing on how the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has handled similar matters in the past—going so far as to drill down on individual patent examiner's idiosyncrasies—Gray and his team have obtained faster patent issuances at lower costs.

Robert Kang, Southern California Edison
The in-house cyber counsel at Southern California’s electric power utility is the sector's first in-house counsel focusing on cyber national security. Kang has worked with Loyola Law School to help design and launch the first Cyber and Privacy Law concentration offered in Southern California.

Victoria “Vicky” Lee, DLA Piper
This partner is the driving force behind the firm’s website, Accelerate, which supplies the start-up world with firm-vetted data about things such as financing deals and acquisition prices and allows users to filter and sort data for further analysis.