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Cooley Nabs Kirkland Fund Formation Lawyer Lina Zhou in New York

Dec. 2, 2021, 1:00 PM

Cooley has beefed up its fund formation practice, adding Lina Zhou from Kirkland & Ellis as a partner in New York.

Zhou’s hiring follows Cooley’s addition of five other partners to its fund formation practice in the past year, growing the group to a total of 18 partners. The fund formation practice collaborates with Cooley’s highly-regarded emerging company group.

Zhou, who joined Kirkland in 2016, was part of team that advised private equity firm Butterfly on its $510 million acquisition of Bolthouse Farms from Campbell Soup Co. She was also part of a group that represented Summit Partners in the launch of a $4.9 billion growth equity fund, according to her online bio.

She is Cooley’s first fund formation partner in its New York office.

“We have had venture capital fund clients in New York for a long, long time,” said John Dado, partner and chair of Cooley’s fund formation practice, “We’ve never had proverbial boots on the ground in New York and Lina is our first effort to do that.”

Other recent additions to the group include Rachel Goddard, who had been special counsel and was promoted to partner. Goddard has advised clients such as Edison Partners, Glynn Capital, ACME Capital, Tribeca Venture Partners and Anacapa Partners. Cooley lawyer Jimmy Matteuci has also been promoted to partner in the fund formation practice group.

Zach Robert and Richard Ginsberg joined Cooley’s newly opened Chicago office from Winston & Strawn in May.
Sean Murphy joined the firm in Singapore in January, after leaving Shearman & Sterling.

Dado said Zhou will bring “client service skills, energy and legal acumen” to the firm’s VC fund-oriented platform.

Cooley is one of the country’s 20 largest firms, with nearly $1.6 billion in gross revenues last year and some 1,500 lawyers around the globe, according to data from The American Lawyer. The firm was founded in San Francisco more than a century ago.

Cooley is primary fund counsel to more than 600 investment fund organizations, according to the firm. It said it closed more than 370 funds last year, raising more than $34 billion in capital commitments, and expects to exceed those numbers in 2021.

“I am thrilled to join Cooley’s esteemed global fund formation practice and excited to collaborate across the firm to help amplify the elite support we provide to our fund clients,” Zhou said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Olson at

To contact the editor on this story: Chris Opfer at