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Cooley Adds Ex-Orrick Securities Litigation Leader in L.A.

June 1, 2021, 1:00 PM

Cooley has hired Michael Tu, the former leader of Orrick’s Southern California securities litigation practice, as the tech and life sciences-focused firm bolsters its West Coast presence following a growth spurt in Chicago and along the East Coast.

Tu adds to the more than 65 trial lawyers at Cooley focused on securities litigation, including Aric Wu, who joined the firm in New York from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in April.

Tu represented Sumner Redstone in the deceased billionaire’s battle for control of Viacom in the mid-2010s. He represented David Sambol, an executive at mortgage originator Countrywide Financial, in a series of lawsuits following the financial crisis. He has also represented Chinese search giant Baidu Inc. in U.S. litigation.

He has more than 25 years of experience and focuses on the defense of securities class actions and derivative actions, M&A lawsuits, regulatory investigations and proceedings, securities and corporate governance advice, business litigation and trade secrets disputes, Cooley said in a release.

“Cooley has really put a strategic priority and focus on growing the securities litigation practice, not only nationally and internationally, but within Los Angeles itself,” Tu said in an interview. “I’m just very excited to be given the opportunity to join such an accomplished and well-rounded team.”

Cooley has been in growth mode coming off a banner 2020 in which its revenue increased nearly 17% to $1.55 billion and its profits per equity partner rose by more than 25% to $3.18 million.

The firm opened a Chicago office last month with partners from DLA Piper, Winston & Strawn, and Latham & Watkins. It has also been growing its East Coast presence, hiring a pair of capital markets partners in New York and a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration enforcement lawyer in Washington. The firm added Facebook Inc.’s former assistant general counsel, who led a team investigating cyberattacks at the social media giant, in New York.

Cooley’s California securities litigation practice is ranked Band 1 by Chambers & Partners, which scores law firm practice groups based on surveys and interviews with clients. The ranking is equivalent to a Top 5 practice. Tu is also ranked individually.

The 101-year-old firm founded in San Francisco has a highly regarded practice representing start-up companies. As those companies have grown, the firm’s roster of publicly traded companies has grown.

“That client base needs more securities litigation services and we need the right kind of people to provide them,” Patrick Gibbs, head of Cooley’s securities litigation group, said in an interview. “Michael’s skill set fits perfectly into the practice group. And his long experience and reputation in the L.A. market fits perfectly into the expansion of our practice there.”

Ken Schwartz, a San Diego-based legal recruiter at Watanabe LLC, brokered the move.

To contact the reporter on this story: Roy Strom in Chicago at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Chris Opfer at