Cooley Plucks DLA Piper Partner to Help Build Out Chicago Office

Sept. 1, 2021, 10:01 AM

Cooley LLP has added another former DLA Piper partner to its nascent Chicago office, hiring M&A lawyer Neal Aizenstein as the tech-focused law firm continues to work through a surge in dealmaking.

Aizenstein’s hire comes a few months after Cooley launched in Chicago with a 10-lawyer group that includes former DLA Piper partner Greg Grossman, ex-Winston & Strawn partner Rick Ginsberg, and former Latham & Watkins partner Laurie Bauer.

Cooley, founded in San Francisco, has a focus on representing technology and life sciences companies. Aizenstein and the firm’s M&A practice co-chair Deborah Borden told Bloomberg Law the firm’s Chicago office was also aimed at helping Midwest companies in all kinds of industries invest in technology and changing their businesses. The firm has also hired a group of litigators in Chicago.

“It’s a diversified base of companies, but whether it’s a manufacturer or retailer, all of them are innovating and using technology or acquiring technology companies for the new economy,” Aizenstein said. “Based on my experience, Cooley has this unique platform and expertise to assist those companies. So I just think is a perfect time for Cooley to be here in Chicago.”

Cooley and other Big Law firms have been caught up in a dealmaking frenzy that reached record levels through the first half of the year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Cooley has already worked on more than 205 M&A deals this year with an aggregate value of more than $150 billion, a firm spokeswoman said.

The spike in deals has stressed Big Law’s workforce, piling as much as 10% more hours onto a typical associate’s plate, according to a recent survey of the industry. Cooley responded by hiring lawyers in Texas despite not having an office there, Bloomberg Law previously reported.

Borden doesn’t expect the deal surge to slow down any time soon.

“I’m certainly aware of plenty of deals in the pipeline for the remainder of the year,” she said. “It doesn’t look like we are about to fall off any deal cliff; it seems like we will have a very robust Fall from all indications.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Roy Strom in Chicago at rstrom@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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