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Freshfields Boosts Silicon Valley Arm, Poaching Wilson Partner

Aug. 15, 2022, 10:45 AM

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer continues its Silicon Valley expansion with the addition of executive compensation partner Brandon Gantus from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Gantus advises on compensation and employee benefits matters, with a focus on M&A and capital markets transactions.

Freshfields, which has made expansion stateside one of its main growth objectives, launched its Silicon Valley office in July 2020 with seven partners. The UK-founded law firm’s California outpost has grown to nearly 40 lawyers over two years including 10 partners.

The firm recently poached Wilson Sonsini capital markets partner Andrew Hill, Morrison & Foerster data privacy partner Christine Lyon and cybersecurity lawyer Brock Dahl . It also added Nicole Foster, co-head of the US employee benefits and executive compensation practice, who joined the firm in New York earlier this year from Cravath Swaine & Moore.

Brandon Gantus
Freshfields

“This move is really about the tremendous opportunities to work with the all-star caliber team that’s been assembled here at Freshfields, and in particular, the global platform that Freshfields has to really service the whole client across the globe,” Gantus said in an interview.

Gantus has played a key role in advising on several high-profile transactions, including Pharmacyclics’s $21 billion acquisition by AbbVie, CA Technologies’ $18.9 billion acquisition by Broadcom, AppDynamics’s $3.7 billion acquisition by Cisco Systems, and NetSuite’s $9.3 billion acquisition by Oracle.

He also advised on more than 20 initial public offerings, including for Samara, DoorDash, Lyft, GoDaddy and Twitter.

“It’s hard to think of something that matters more to our clients than retaining and incentivizing their top talent,” said Sarah Solum, a founding partner of the Silicon Valley office and the firm’s US managing partner.

“And that’s true no matter what the market dynamics are, including periods of volatility in the markets like right now, it becomes top of mind for the boards of directors and compensation committees,” Solum said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

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