Goodwin Picks Up Cooley Tech Team, Eyeing AI-Fueled Rebound – Bloomberg Law

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Goodwin Procter is adding a five-partner technology and life sciences team from Cooley in Boston.

Pat Mitchell will be joining Goodwin’s technology practice, along with partners Michael McGrail, Giselle Rivers, and Harley Brown, the firm said Monday. Ex-Cooley lawyer Josh Rottner will join Goodwin’s life sciences practice, according to the firm.

The group has worked together for more than a decade, advising with clients in technology and life sciences. Its lawyers have recently guided investments in artificial intelligence.

“There’s going to be a consolidation in legal services around these verticals,” Mitchell said. “It’s our bet that Goodwin is going to be the big winner.”

Goodwin and Cooley were among major law firms hardest hit by the slowdown in tech and young companies work over the last two years, prompting both to shed associates and staff. The M&A and public offerings markets are showing signs of life this year, building optimism among tech-focused law firms.

Mitchell co-founded Cooley’s Boston office in 2007 and was a member of the the firm’s board of directors. He also previously led Cooley’s emerging companies practice.

Eye on AI

Global venture capital investments fell to a five-year low in the first quarter of 2024, but there are some signs that the tide may be turning.

The first quarter was the strongest for global capital markets activity in three years. Talks of interest rate cuts later in the year are fueling expectations of a surge the IPO pipeline.

“We are definitely seeing a turn,” said Ken Gordon, co-chair of Goodwin’s technology practice. Gordon said the firm is seeing an increased demand for its services and more companies in the queue for public offerings.

M&A markets showed signs of life in the first quarter, with Goodwin among Big Law’s leading dealmakers. The firm advised on nearly $57 billion worth of deals over the three-month span, according to Bloomberg data.

Mitchell works with growth-stage companies in in software, artificial intelligence and hardware, as well as healthcare technology.

Mitchell and Brown, who represents high-growth technology companies from formation through exit in the software, fintech, and legaltech spaces, have worked on a half a dozen AI investments on behalf of a venture fund client over the last couple of months, Mitchell said.

“We’re in the first inning of the AI revolution,” Mitchell said. “Entrepreneurs are thinking about specific verticals to attack with AI tools so that’s going to lift all boats.”

McGrail represents company and investor clients in a wide array of corporate legal projects—including M&A, private financings, and corporate partnership—with a focus on crossborder activity in Germany. He and Mitchell led the Cooley team that in September advised General Catalyst Partners in its €209 million ($227 million) investment in Helsing, a German developer of defense artificial intelligence capabilities.

Rivers works with high-growth companies in the technology, media, e-commerce, and consumer product industries. Rottner counsels high-growth life sciences, healthcare, and technology companies from their formation through an initial public offering or M&A exit.

“We’ve been across the table from each other for years and we are beyond excited to have them joining us as partners,” Gordon said of the new team.

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