PALO ALTO — Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, one of Silicon Valley’s top law firms, announced that Michael Russell has rejoined the firm as a corporate partner and will co-lead the M&A practice with longtime firm partner Robert Ishii. Russell will be based in the Palo Alto and San Francisco offices.
Russell has more than 20 years of experience handling a broad range of complex corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, public equity and debt offerings, tender and exchange offers, corporate restructurings, and other strategic transactions. His practice is focused on representing public and private companies and investors in domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions. He advises clients across numerous technology and life sciences sectors on both the buy and sell sides of transactions.
Prior to rejoining the firm, Russell was a partner in Goodwin Procter’s Silicon Valley office, where he was a member of the Technology group and M&A/Corporate Governance practice. He was previously a member of Wilson Sonsini’s corporate and securities practice for 18 years, joining the firm as an associate in 1998 and becoming a partner in 2007. Earlier in his career, Russell served as a deputy city attorney in the San Francisco Attorney’s Office.
“With our core client base of growth-driven technology and life sciences companies, and our representation of investors engaged in sophisticated transactions, Wilson Sonsini is frequently recognized as a leading M&A advisor to technology and life sciences innovators,” said Doug Clark, managing partner at Wilson Sonsini. “Throughout his career, including the 18 years he was previously with the firm, Mike has earned a reputation as a versatile and collaborative deal lawyer among colleagues and clients alike. We are thrilled he’s returning to the firm, particularly as we look ahead to what promises to be a vibrant year of deal activity in our clients’ industries.”
The firm is consistently ranked among the top M&A advisors in the United States by such authorities as Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters and represents more technology companies in M&A transactions than any other U.S. law firm. Recently, the firm represented Lumentum in its pending $5.7 billion acquisition of Coherent; Fastball in its $4.2 billion deal with Flutter; Aurora Innovation in its acquisition of Uber’s self-driving unit, Advanced Technologies Group; Forescout in its $1.43 billion acquisition by Advent International; and Careem in its $3.1 billion acquisition by Uber. Other examples of deals completed since 2018 include representing Microchip in its $8.3 billion acquisition of Microsemi, KLA-Tencor in its $3.4 billion acquisition of Orbotech, and VMWare in its $2.7 billion acquisition of Pivotal Software.
“We know Mike to be not only an excellent M&A lawyer, but also someone who has strong leadership and management talents,” said Ishii. “Mike has built envious client relationships in recent years. He’s handled a number of impressive buy- and sell-side deals, as well as investor-side representations. I look forward to working with him and am excited about his return to our firm.”
Russell received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1993 and a B.A. in political science from the University of Michigan in 1990. He is admitted to practice in California.