Wilson Sonsini Law Firm Names New Chair


Katharine Martin

Katharine Martin

PALO ALTO — The law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has named Katharine (Katie) Martin as Chair of the Board, the governing body of the firm, effective immediately.

Wilson Sonsini is one of the best law firms in Silicon Valley and has represented numerous tech firms in the region.

Katie Martin will take over for Founding Partner Larry Sonsini, who will remain active at the firm and continue to serve in his role as Senior and Founding Partner. As Chair of the Board, Katie will continue to work closely with the board, the firm’s Managing Partner Doug Clark, and its practice leadership, to implement and carry out the firm’s strategic and operational priorities. The position of Chairman of the Firm has been replaced by this new leadership structure.

“Katie is one of the most accomplished advisors in the technology industry,” said Sonsini. “She is a dear friend, and the ideal partner to become our Chair of the Board. We have worked closely together for nearly 20 years and I, and the rest of the partnership, greatly value her judgment, character, and leadership.  As we continue to build our management team for the future, I have no doubt that Katie’s board leadership will help the firm continue to advance in all respects.  I am incredibly proud of this firm and all that it has accomplished and, more importantly, will accomplish for our people and our clients in the future.”

“This is a tremendous honor,” said Martin.  “It is a true privilege to be part of this firm and work with incredibly talented lawyers and the world’s most innovative companies and advisors. Under Larry’s leadership, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has become one of most influential law firms in the world, and we will continue to benefit from his ongoing leadership, judgment, and mentorship. I am thrilled to work more closely with my partners on our strategy, culture and excellence in the law.”

“As a trusted counselor to companies and boards of directors, Katie is highly valued among our clients for her success in helping guide organizations through growth and strategic initiatives,” said Clark. “She is respected across the firm for not only her talents as a practitioner, but also for her vision and leadership, which she has demonstrated time and again as one of our key corporate and firm leaders. She’s been a valued partner to all of us for years and we’re grateful for her perspective and insights.”

Martin has been practicing law for more than 30 years. Since joining WSGR in 1999, she has represented high-profile technology companies, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Epicor Software, Plantronics, Seagate, Sun Microsystems, and Coherent.

She also has represented leading technology clients in some of the largest M&A transactions in recent years. For example, Martin was a lead attorney on WSGR’s team representing LinkedIn in its $26.2 billion sale to Microsoft. She was also was one of the lead partners representing Altera in its $16.7 billion sale to Intel. More recently, she led WSGR’s team representing Brocade Communications in its $5.5 billion pending sale to Broadcom Limited and also led WSGR’s team representing LifeLock in its $2.3 billion sale to Symantec.

Martin also has advised clients on a number of significant public offerings. In 2011, she was the lead attorney advising LinkedIn in its $352.8 million IPO, and was the lead attorney representing Twitter in its $2.1 billion IPO in 2013. In 2016, Martin advised BlackLine in its IPO and Juniper Networks in its $500 million senior note offering.

More recently, in a transaction announced on October 19, 2017, Martin was a lead attorney on the firm’s team that represented Lyft in a $1 billion financing round led by CapitalG, Alphabet’s growth investment fund.

Based on her accomplishments and leadership experience, Martin has been recognized by industry and business media throughout the last decade. In 2017, she was highlighted among the Daily Journal’s “Top Women Lawyers” in California. The Recorder named her to its list of “Women Leaders in Tech Law” in 2015, 2016, and 2017. In 2015, The American Lawyer named Katie a “Woman Leader in the Law;” Law360 selected her as a “Capital Markets MVP;” she was named among the “Most Influential Women in the Bay Area” by the San Francisco Business Times; and she also was honored by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as a “Woman of Influence.”

In addition to her practice and firm leadership roles, Martin is a current board member of The YMCA of Silicon Valley, Nuance Communications, and WildAid. She is a former director of The Ronald McDonald House at Stanford.

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