Palo Alto Partners and Counsel

Atif Azher - Partner - Headshot
Atif Azher - Partner Atif Azher is a Corporate Partner in the Firm’s Palo Alto office. Atif’s practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions where he represents public and private companies, and private equity firms, in a variety of domestic and cross-border transactions. He has experience in a broad range of transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, carve-outs, leveraged buyouts, venture financings, joint ventures and other direct investments. He also has extensive experience representing public companies in unsolicited transactions and corporate governance matters, as well as representing investment banks in connection with advising on M&A transactions. His corporate representations have included Dell, Wyeth, WME Entertainment, Tsinghua Unigroup, Shaw Communications, Aramark, Ingersoll-Rand, and TD Bank Financial Group. Atif’s private equity clients have included Hellman & Friedman, Silver Lake Partners, Blackstone, Sterling Partners, TPG, KKR, Carlyle and Riverwood Capital. Atif was named an “MVP” in Private Equity by Law360 and a “Trusted Adviser” in Private Equity by The Recorder in 2017.
Stephen P. Blake - Partner - Headshot
Stephen P. Blake - Partner Steve Blake is a Litigation Partner with extensive experience in securities litigation, mergers and acquisitions litigation, appraisal proceedings and government investigations. Steve frequently represents technology companies, financial institutions, private equity and venture capital firms in high-stakes litigation and often litigates disputes arising from cross-border transactions and securities offerings. Steve focuses on corporate crisis management and complex business valuation and accounting matters. Steve has been recognized as a Next Generation Lawyer in M&A litigation by The Legal 500 U.S. in 2017 and a Rising Star in securities litigation by Super Lawyers Magazine from 2014-2017.
William B. Brentani - Partner - Headshot
William B. Brentani - Partner Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Bill Brentani’s practice focuses on corporate finance and general securities and corporate matters. Bill regularly works for issuers and underwriters in connection with public and private debt and equity offerings. Bill also represents private equity sponsors in connection with acquisition financings and advises companies on corporate governance and securities law-related matters. He has worked on offerings involving issuers from a variety of industries, including technology, real estate, transportation, healthcare and entertainment. His roster of major clients has included Barclays, CBRE, ClubCorp, Hellman & Friedman, JPMorgan, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley and Silver Lake Partners. Clients laud him as “highly technically knowledgeable” and “great to work with” and, tellingly, that “our needs are his needs” (Chambers USA). Bill currently serves as a member of the Firm's Executive Committee and Co-Chair of the Business Development Committee. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Bill is fluent in Portuguese.
Tristan Brown - Partner - Headshot
Tristan Brown - Partner

Lauded by Chambers as "incredibly intelligent and highly responsive," Tristan Brown is based in Palo Alto, where he is part of Simpson Thacher’s multi-office Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits Practice. Tristan has broad experience advising a variety of clients, including private equity funds and public companies, on executive compensation and employee benefits issues arising in mergers, takeovers, sales, spin-offs, IPOs and other transactions.

Tristan also regularly assists companies in designing and implementing employee compensation and benefit programs and has extensive experience negotiating executive employment and separation arrangements—both on behalf of companies and executives. His clients include Silver Lake Partners; KKR; KSL; Airbnb; Alibaba; Dell Technologies, Inc.;; Oaktree; CBRE; ClubCorp; Masonite; Seagate Technology; McKesson; and TD Bank.

Tristan was recently named as a 2017 Top 20 Lawyer in Employee Benefits by Lawdragon.

Richard Capelouto - Partner - Headshot
Richard Capelouto - Partner Rich Capelouto is recognized as one of the leading private equity and M&A attorneys in the U.S. Clients benefit from his 30 years of experience in advising technology, life science and private equity clients, and Rich has been the lead counsel on many of the largest and most complicated deals in those industries. Recent transactions include representing Dell in its $67 billion acquisition of EMC – the largest technology acquisition ever completed – and ZS Pharma in its acquisition by AstraZeneca.

Rich has a Band 1 Nationwide Private Equity ranking from Chambers USA, which cited him as “a great lawyer and a great businessman,” and “highly effective on bigger, complex deals.” Chambers also noted that “Clients highlight his business-focused approach to transactions and broad experience across areas such as LBOs and joint ventures.” Private Equity International included Rich among the top 10 in its “Legal Power 30,” and declared, “Capelouto is now widely regarded as the leader in his field in California.”
Alexis S. Coll-Very - Partner - Headshot
Alexis S. Coll-Very - Partner Alexis Coll-Very has extensive experience in government and internal investigations, shareholder litigation and complex commercial disputes. Alexis also frequently represents the boards of public companies, including audit and special litigation committees. She spends significant time in Greater China, advising both U.S.-based and China-based companies on regulatory and other issues.  She serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Legal Momentum– The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Harrison J. (Buzz) Frahn - Partner - Headshot
Harrison J. (Buzz) Frahn - Partner

Buzz Frahn is a Partner in the Litigation Department. His practice focus is on complex trials, particularly in intellectual property, antitrust, and commercial litigation. With over 20 years representing technology, telecommunications, financial services and life sciences companies, clients look to Buzz for his unique ability to synthesize complicated, challenging and difficult-to-understand information into a compelling narrative that persuades judges and juries.

He has first-chaired multiple jury trials and tried numerous complex technology cases. Buzz has also spearheaded worldwide strategy for complex cartel cases with both criminal and civil exposure.

Buzz was a founding member of the Palo Alto office in 1999, and is the Board Chair-elect of Legal Aid At Work, the oldest legal aid organization in the West, which has partnered with Simpson Thacher to bring high-impact class action litigation to help low-income middle-school and high school girls get fair access to sports. Buzz has been recognized with the Pro Bono Advocate award from Legal Services for Children.

Buzz is consistently recognized as a national “Litigation Star” for Intellectual Property by Euromoney’s  Benchmark Litigation and is recommended in patent litigation by The Legal 500

Kirsten J. Jensen - Partner - Headshot
Kirsten J. Jensen - Partner Named in multiple years as one of ALM's Women Leaders in Tech Law for her M&A experience representing clients in the tech and biotech industries, Kirsten has been in the forefront of many game-changing deals in Silicon Valley—ranging from representing Yahoo! in its $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr to Google in its $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube. As a founding member of the Palo Alto office, Kirsten relocated from the New York office almost 20 years ago and has worked with corporate and private equity clients on transactions in a range of industries, including technology, biotech, pharmaceutical, healthcare, renewable energy, finance, consumer products, media, real estate, aerospace and light industrial.
Kevin P. Kennedy - Partner - Headshot
Kevin P. Kennedy - Partner Possessing what Chambers described as “great depth of experience in all facets of capital markets,” and one of only seven attorneys in all of California ranked in Chambers’ highest category for Capital Markets work, Kevin Kennedy focuses on securities and corporate governance matters. A Partner in Simpson Thacher’s Palo Alto office, he has served as primary outside counsel for a range of companies. Kevin has represented issuers and underwriters on a variety of securities transactions, especially IPOs. Highlights of his experience include representing the underwriters in Tesla Motors’ IPO and on all ten subsequent public offerings, which have raised over $10 billion in total proceeds, and representing Goldman Sachs in Apple’s $17 billion bond offering—then the largest corporate debt offering ever. Kevin is a lead co-author of the book IPOs: Considerations for Business Owners and Executives Taking their Company Public, recently published by RR Donnelley. He was named one of California’s Top 100 Leading Lawyers by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal and the Lawyer of the Week by the Financial Times of London. In addition, he was recently named a “Trusted Adviser” by The Recorder

Kevin is a member of the Executive Board of the Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy and was a Board Member of the Boalt Hall Alumni Association for a number of years.
James G. Kreissman - Partner - Headshot
James G. Kreissman - Partner

Jim Kreissman is the Firm’s senior West Coast litigator and Chair of the Firm’s Asia Litigation Practice.  He focuses on securities and M&A litigation, as well as government and internal investigations. Jim has also represented numerous special litigation committees and audit committees. 

Jim’s matters frequently involve internet and technology companies, such as Alibaba, Dell,, EMC, Etsy, InfoSpace, Intel, LightInTheBox, Oracle, Skype, SiRF Technology/CSR, Infineon AG, Seagate, and JDS Uniphase.

Jim has in-depth experience with litigations related to mergers or acquisitions, and shareholder derivative claims. He recently led the successful defense of multi-jurisdictional litigation challenging Silver Lake’s marquee 2013 leveraged buyout of Dell, Inc. and was heavily involved in the hotly contested appraisal litigation brought in Delaware by Dell shareholders who challenged the purchase price of the buyout. Jim has also been involved in litigation challenging Dell’s subsequent 2016 acquisition of EMC Corporation.

Jim is a frequent lecturer and co-chaired the 2013 PLI Merger Litigation Conference. Jim has also been recognized as a "local litigation star" by  Euromoney's Benchmark Litigation.

Robert Langdon - Partner - Headshot
Robert Langdon - Partner Robert Langdon is a leading M&A lawyer with broad experience representing private equity sponsors, private companies (including portfolio companies) and public companies in high-stakes matters. A Partner in Simpson Thacher’s Corporate Practice, he advises clients in connection with leveraged buyout transactions, mergers, recapitalizations, restructurings and other complex transactions across a wide variety of sectors. Citing his “strong track record,” Law360 named Robert a “Rising Star” and “go-to attorney” in the area of private equity.
Katharine P. Moir - Partner - Headshot
Katharine P. Moir - Partner

Katharine Moir heads the Tax Practice in Simpson Thacher’s Palo Alto office, providing clients with tax advice in a broad range of transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, formation of private investment funds, and securities offerings. Katharine’s clients include private equity firms such as Hellman & Friedman, Silver Lake Partners, KKR, and Warburg Pincus, as well as leading technology companies such as Alibaba, Dell, and Microsoft.

Katharine is recognized as a leading tax lawyer by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, which noted “She is acclaimed as very knowledgeable and easy to work with. She understands what the client wants, and is practical at getting a deal done.”

Michael J. Nooney - Partner - Headshot
Michael J. Nooney - Partner A leading private funds advisor in the United States, Mike Nooney practices from our Palo Alto office. He is one of the most experienced private funds attorneys in the country, providing key advice on the organization and operation of private equity funds, hedge funds and all types of alternative asset vehicles. He also regularly represents clients in other corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions and leveraged buyouts. His clients include American Industrial Partners, Blum Capital, Castle Creek Capital, Fremont Partners, Glenbrook Capital, Health Evolution Partners, Hellman & Friedman, Indaba Capital, Insignia Capital, KKR, KSL Capital, Pantheon Ventures, Platinum Equity, Riverwood Capital, Rubicon Technology Partners, Sycamore Partners, Technology Crossover Ventures and Vista Equity. Earlier in his career, before he was a Founding Partner of our office in Silicon Valley, Mike spent three years in our London office.
Jeffrey E. Ostrow - Partner - Headshot
Jeffrey E. Ostrow - Partner Jeff Ostrow is Head of the Firm’s Palo Alto office, Chair of the Intellectual Property Practice and a former member of the Executive Committee. He litigates cases for high-profile technology companies and advises clients on the IP aspects of M&A and capital markets transactions. With his colleagues at the Firm, he has developed award-winning data-driven analytic tools built to assess litigation and corporate issues and risks. He frequently lectures on IP issues and currently teaches the Business of IP at UC Berkeley’s School of Law, where he is a cofounder of the UC Berkeley Informatics Lab. Jeff is consistently recognized as a national “Litigation Star”  for Intellectual Property by Euromoney’s Benchmark Litigation and is recommended in patent litigation and technology transactions by The Legal 500. He has also been named to both the Daily Journal’s Top 100 IP Lawyers and Top 100 Leading Lawyers in California.
Chad A. Skinner - Partner - Headshot
Chad A. Skinner - Partner Chad Skinner, a Corporate Partner in our Palo Alto office, focuses on mergers and acquisitions. He has extensive experience working with private equity firms, corporations and investment banks on a wide spectrum of transactions. In two headline-making multibillion-dollar deals, he led the Firm’s representation of Getty Images’ $3.3 billion sale to Carlyle and Getty Images management. Chad also advised Silver Lake Partners on its $24.4 billion acquisition of Dell—the largest ever tech buyout. His other clients have included Hellman & Friedman, KSL Capital, Sageview Capital and Alibaba.
Daniel N. Webb - Partner - Headshot
Daniel N. Webb - Partner Dan Webb is a Partner in our Palo Alto office. His practice focuses on capital markets transactions and mergers and acquisitions, as well as advising public companies on corporate law, governance and securities law matters. His capital markets practice includes advising issuers and underwriters in initial public offerings and other equity offerings, and offerings of high yield, investment-grade and convertible debt. His representations have included the underwriters in Apple’s $17 billion bond offering, the largest corporate debt offering at the time, and the underwriters in Facebook’s $16 billion IPO, the largest ever tech offering and the third-largest IPO in U.S. history. Dan was named by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal as one of the Top 20 Lawyers Under 40 for 2013, in recognition of his extensive capital markets and M&A work.
Erin Murphy - Senior Counsel - Headshot
Erin Murphy - Senior Counsel

Erin Murphy regularly advises a variety of clients in executive compensation, employee benefits and ERISA matters, with a particular focus in corporate transactions.

She has represented public and private companies as acquirers and targets in private equity transactions and leveraged buyouts; public and private companies in strategic mergers and acquisitions; and private equity funds and public and private targets in takeovers, sales and spin-offs.

Erin was selected as a Top Female Attorney in New York in Super Lawyers 2015 Special Women’s Section.

Simona G. Strauss - Senior Counsel - Headshot
Simona G. Strauss - Senior Counsel Simona Strauss is Senior Counsel in the Firm’s Litigation Department. Her areas of concentration are securities litigation, M&A litigation, government and internal investigations and complex commercial disputes. In addition to defending companies and individuals in direct and derivative shareholder litigation, she regularly represents clients (both domestic and foreign) involved in investigations conducted by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Simona represents clients in litigation and in arbitration, at the trial court level and on appeal.
Marcela Robledo - Counsel - Headshot
Marcela Robledo - Counsel Marcela Robledo focuses her practice on intellectual property transactions.  She has extensive experience in managing all intellectual property and technology aspects in a wide range of corporate and transactional matters, including M&A, financings, debt offerings, licensing and joint ventures.
Jonathan C. Sanders - Counsel - Headshot
Jonathan C. Sanders - Counsel

Jonathan Sanders is Counsel in the Firm’s Litigation Department. He focuses on patent litigations, including managing complex cases in federal district courts, litigating appeals in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court and handling proceedings before the Patent and Trademark Office.