Continuing its investment in Silicon Valley, Bingham McCutchen LLP augmented its technology, life sciences, clean technology and emerging-markets capabilities with the addition of three lawyers to the Corporate Practice Group.

James Chapman and Michael DiSanto join as partners, and Stephen Clinton joins as of counsel. A thought leader in legal issues affecting the technology sector, Chapman, formerly of Foley & Lardner, brings extensive experience in representing venture capital, investment banking, technology, life sciences and cleantech clients in the United States and Asia. DiSanto joins from Dinsmore & Shohl, where he represented publicly traded and emerging-growth companies in a variety of industries, including digital media, clean technology, life sciences, Internet and financial services, among others. Clinton, previously from Foley & Lardner, has extensive experience representing emerging growth companies in technology, life sciences and clean technology.

All three have significant experience in mergers and acquisitions and other complex deals, including cross-border transactions. Their arrival complements Bingham’s focus on the technology industry, where clients face ever-changing and complex legal challenges globally.

“With their deep connections in the Valley, Jim, Mike and Steve will allow us to leverage the strengths of our corporate technology and life sciences practices on both the East and West coasts,” said Steve Browne, co-chair of Bingham’s Corporate Area. “In addition, Jim has built a substantial China practice, which is highly synergistic with our Beijing office. Current and prospective clients with business worldwide, particularly in China, will have the immediate benefit of their experience and our global network.”

Chapman has been involved in more than 250 mergers, acquisitions and finance transactions including IPOs, private placements, venture capital financings, debt offerings, mergers, stock sales, assets sales and recapitalizations. He also has extensive experience in technology licensing and transfer. He will speak on venture capital in Asia at the 2013 Asia Business Conference, sponsored by Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School, in April in Boston.

Having worked in both Silicon Valley and on Wall Street, DiSanto has extensive deal experience in a broad range of highly complex transactions. He has advised both companies and investors on more than 150 securities offerings, including IPOs, venture capital financings, majority and minority recapitalizations, debt financings and hybrid transactions. He also has advised on a similar number of acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic partnerships involving publicly traded and venture-backed companies.

“Jim, Mike and Steve are excellent lawyers with an exceptional understanding of what clients need to become and remain successful in a highly competitive tech industry,” said Bingham’s Dan Cooperman, former general counsel at Oracle and Apple before rejoining Bingham in 2010. “They are a terrific fit for our practice, our office, our firm and our clients.”

Silicon Valley office managing partner Carol Dillon noted that the arrival of Chapman, DiSanto and Clinton underscores Bingham’s commitment to the region and growth strategy. Bingham recently expanded its leading tax practice to California with the addition of three tax partners to the Silicon Valley office: Bob Kirschenbaum (from Miller & Chevalier), Beth Williams (from Baker & McKenzie) and John Ryan (from McDermott Will & Emery). This move bolstered the firm’s transfer-pricing tax capabilities for tech clients.

“We’re in growth mode,” said Dillon, adding that “the recruiting of Jim, Mike and Steve is part of the long-term investment we are making in Silicon Valley to better serve our clients. Our approach mirrors the firm’s overall strategy of building upon our practice strengths locally and globally to better serve clients.”

The reputation of Bingham’s M&A lawyers and firm leadership as well as its commitment to grow its foreign offices were key factors in Chapman’s decision to join the firm.

“Bingham’s technology M&A team is a leader in the market,” said Chapman, adding that the firm’s steady fiscal performance was another determining factor. “When other firms have failed or have stalled during tough economic times, Bingham has continued to prosper and invest in itself. The firm’s Asia offices, particularly Beijing, provide opportunities to grow my practice and build upon the firm’s capabilities for technology clients facing complex legal issues across the globe.”

DiSanto agreed, adding, “Bingham’s outstanding national and global reach, coupled with its deep bench of transactional attorneys will enable me to provide best-in-class service to my current clients and bolster my practice. I look forward to working with such a talented group and helping to grow both the corporate practice and the Silicon Valley office.”


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