Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP announced that Christopher J. Austin has joined the firm as a partner in its Capital Markets Practice Group. Formerly with Goodwin Procter, Mr. Austin will work out of both Orrick’s New York and Silicon Valley offices.
“As one of the top ten most active U.S. law firm partners advising on tech IPOs, Chris brings deep experience in technology capital markets and M&A transactions and strong relationships with leading underwriters,” said Mitch Zuklie, Chairman & CEO of Orrick. “He is a terrific addition to our bench of public company lawyers.”
Mr. Austin counsels software, technology, healthcare, medical device companies from incorporation through venture funding and final exit, including advising on initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property issues, IT outsourcing arrangements and joint ventures. He is a recognized leader in capital markets work for investment banks, including Citi, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, in connection with public offerings and follow-on offerings of technology companies. Mr. Austin also has worked for leading venture capital firms in connection with their investments in technology, biotech and medical device companies.
“U.S. IPO filings are running at nearly twice the pace of last year,” said Mr. Austin. “This is a really exciting time in the market, and Orrick has a tremendous platform and client portfolio.”
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Top ranked by Chambers USA, Orrick’s practice is praised for its “notably well regarded reputation in the venture capital space.” The firm counsels more than 1,400 emerging company clients, as well as the world’s most successful venture funds and corporate venture investors. Over the past two years, Orrick has helped its clients complete nearly 600 venture capital-backed transactions raising over $5 billion. During the same period, Orrick closed private technology company acquisitions valued at nearly $10 billion, including Nest’s acquisition by Google, Instagram’s acquisition by Facebook; Yammer’s acquisition by Microsoft and the combination of Elance and oDesk. In addition, the firm acts for more than half of the Fortune 20 TMT companies in connection with their high-stakes intellectual property litigation, securities litigation, appeals and data protection, privacy and employment law matters.
Mr. Austin earned his J.D. from Yale Law School and his B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Washington. Last week, the firm announced that Shawn Atkinson, co-chair of Edwards Wildman’s Venture Capital Group, will be joining Orrick’s London office. In addition, Mr. Austin’s move to Orrick follows the firm’s addition last year of Bay Area capital markets partner Andrew Thorpe, a former Special Counsel in the Securities & Exchange Commission’s Office of Rulemaking.