14 Best Law Firms for Startups in 2024

Lawyers in a meeting.

When starting a new business, it's crucial to have strong legal counsel from the beginning. The right law firm can help founders, especially those backed by venture capital, navigate the complex legal and regulatory landscape while avoiding costly mistakes. 

However, finding the right law firm to represent or advise your startup can be a tall order with so many firms to choose from. We’re here to help with this guide to the best law firms for startups, where we explore firms that provide expert guidance tailored to the unique needs of startups and venture capital firms, from formation and funding to intellectual property and beyond.

Learn more about why you may need a lawyer for your startup.

Best Law Firms for Venture Capital and Startups

Choosing legal representation or advisory services for your startup is an important part of protecting the company you’ve created. We’ve rounded up the best startup law firms with extensive experience, impressive clients, and successful track records to get you started. 

1. Fenwick & West

  • Location: Headquartered in Mountain View, California
  • Founded In: 1972

Fenwick & West is a prominent law firm founded in Mountain View, California, in 1972. Originally a small firm focused on emerging technology companies in Silicon Valley, Fenwick & West has grown over the past five decades into one of the most well-regarded technology and life sciences law firms in the world. Today, the firm has nearly 500 attorneys working out of offices in Mountain View, San Francisco, New York City, Seattle, Shanghai, and Washington D.C.

Fenwick & West offers a full range of legal services catered towards technology and life sciences companies of all sizes and stages. Key practice areas include corporate law, intellectual property protection, litigation, tax, labor, and employment,  as well as some pro bono services. The firm has represented many of the most innovative and successful companies in Silicon Valley, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, Netflix, Twitter, Uber, and VMware.

2. Perkins Coie

  • Location: Headquartered in Seattle, Washington
  • Founded In: 1912

Perkins Coie is an international law firm that traces its roots back to 1912 in Seattle, Washington, where the firm got its notorious start representing William E. Boeing Sr., founder of aeronautics company Boeing. Over the past century, Perkins Coie has grown into one of the largest U.S. law firms, with over 1,200 attorneys across the United States and Asia.

Today, Perkins Coie provides legal services in nearly all major practice areas, including intellectual property, litigation, corporate law, labor and employment, tax, healthcare, political law, and trusts and estates law. However, the firm is perhaps best known for its industry-leading practices in areas like technology and emerging growth companies, privacy and data security, and environmental law. 

Perkins Coie represents a wide range of clients, including Fortune 100 corporations, startups, non-profits, trade associations, tribal nations, and political figures. Some of their most high-profile clients include Amazon, Google, Facebook, Starbucks, Nintendo, the Democratic National Committee, The Nature Conservancy, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

3. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

  • Location: Headquartered in Palo Alto, California
  • Founded In: 1961

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is one of the nation's leading law firms, providing legal services focused on serving the technology, life sciences, and growth enterprises industries. Originally starting as a small firm focused on serving Silicon Valley companies, Wilson Sonsini grew over the decades into a national law firm as the technology industry expanded.

Today, Wilson Sonsini has over 1,000 attorneys across multiple US and international offices. The firm offers a wide range of legal services, including corporate law, litigation, intellectual property law, privacy and cybersecurity, and regulatory compliance. Wilson Sonsini works with technology companies of all sizes, from fledgling startups to Fortune 500 corporations. Some of their well-known clients include Google, Salesforce, Netflix, Tesla, and Stryker. 

The firm has played a major role in many of the largest tech IPOs and mergers over the past several decades. Wilson Sonsini attorneys are recognized leaders in areas like venture capital, public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and technology transactions.

4. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

  • Location: Headquartered in San Francisco, California
  • Founded In: 1863

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, more commonly known as Orrick, is an international law firm based in San Francisco. Founded in 1863 in San Francisco, Orrick has grown over its 160-year history into a global firm with offices across the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Orrick provides legal services in a wide range of practice areas, including corporate, litigation, intellectual property, and regulatory law. The firm serves clients ranging from startups to Fortune Global 500 companies. Orrick's major practice areas include technology, energy, infrastructure, finance, real estate, and employment law. The firm has advised on some of the tech industry's biggest deals, including Uber's mergers, IPOs for companies like Snap, and litigation for companies like Oracle.

5. Goodwin Procter

  • Location: Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Founded In: 1912

Goodwin Procter is a major American law firm with a long and distinguished history. The firm built its reputation in the early 20th century by representing major Boston-area companies and financial institutions. It eventually expanded to open additional offices in other major cities across the United States.

Today, Goodwin Procter has nearly 2000 attorneys working in offices in locations including Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Hong Kong. The firm offers expertise in a wide range of legal practice areas, such as private equity, intellectual property, real estate, corporate law, and more. 

6. Cooley

  • Location: Headquartered in Palo Alto, California
  • Founded In: 1920

Established in 1920, Cooley gained notoriety in the 1950s during their advising of the formation of Raychem and National Semiconductor, as well as their creation of the first venture capital partnership on the West Coast – Draper, Gaither, and Anderson. Today, the firm primarily serves technology and life sciences companies and offers extensive experience in initial public offerings (IPOs). 

Cooley provides services for both startups and venture capital firms in the US and abroad, spanning from Europe to Asia, with over 1400 attorneys in their employ. The firm’s services include corporate law, litigation, regulatory, and intellectual property.

7. Kirkland & Ellis

  • Location: Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois
  • Founded In: 1908

Kirkland & Ellis was founded by Stewart Shepard and Robert McCormick in 1908, with the namesake founders, Weymouth Kirkland and Howard Ellis, joining in 1915. The firm has gained notoriety commonly through the employment of attorneys such as Kenneth Starr, the prosecutor whose investigations led to the impeachment of President Clinton.

Kirkland & Ellis is the largest law firm in Chicago, with locations also in Washington D.C., New York, Los Angeles, London, and San Francisco. The firm has over 1,000 attorneys in their employ and offers a wide range of practices, including bankruptcy, intellectual property, interdisciplinary, tax, and transaction, to name a few.

8. Allen & Overy

  • Location: Headquartered in London, United Kingdom
  • Founded In: 1930

Allen & Overy was founded in England by two former partners at the firm Roney & Co. – George Allen and Thomas Overy. Today, Allen & Overy is the seventh-largest integrated law firm globally, with 2,800 attorneys working in over 40 offices worldwide.  

The firm represents various types of clients, including banks such as Citigroup and Credit Suisse, major corporations such as Nestlé, Rolls-Royce, and BP, as well as sports organizations such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and FIFA. Plus, it boasts a myriad of practices, from artificial intelligence to mergers and acquisitions.

9. WilmerHale

  • Location: Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Founded In: 2004

Founded in 2004, WilmerHale is a younger law firm compared to others in this list. Despite this, the firm boasts over 1,000 attorneys operating in 13 office locations across the US, Europe, and Asia. Notably, the firm was named Law Firm of the Year in 2020 by The American Lawyer. 

The firm’s practice spans investment management to white-collar defense as well as several industries such as artificial intelligence, aviation, and technology. A few of WilmerHale’s most notable clients include Facebook, Apple, General Motors, and The Clinton Foundation.

10. Morrison Foerster

  • Location: Headquartered in San Francisco, California
  • Founded In: 1883

Morrison Foerster (MoFo) is an international law firm founded in 1883 in San Francisco. Since its inception, MoFo has grown to become one of the largest law firms globally, with over 1,000 lawyers across 16 offices in key financial centers and political capitals.

MoFo offers a full range of legal services covering a wide variety of practice areas, including litigation, corporate law, finance, intellectual property, and regulatory and government affairs. MoFo represents leading banks, financial institutions, tech and life sciences companies. The firm has a track record of successfully representing clients in high-stakes disputes and complex transactions.

11. DLA Piper

  • Location: Headquartered in London, United Kingdom
  • Founded In: 2005

DLA Piper is a global law firm that provides legal services to businesses worldwide. The firm offers expertise across a wide range of practice areas, including corporate, finance, litigation, tax, and real estate law. DLA Piper assists clients with matters such as mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, corporate governance, and dispute resolution.

DLA Piper was formed in 2005 through a merger between three national law firms: Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, Piper Rudnick, and DLA LLP. The newly combined firm adopted the DLA Piper name. Since its establishment, DLA Piper has grown to become one of the largest law firms in the world through expansions in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and beyond.

12. Latham & Watkins

  • Location: Headquartered in Los Angeles, California
  • Founded In: 1934

Latham & Watkins is a multinational law firm founded in Los Angeles in 1934. The firm started as a two-person partnership focused on labor and state and federal tax law. Over the decades, Latham expanded significantly both domestically and globally. Today, the firm has over 3,200 attorneys operating in offices across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States.

Latham offers a full range of legal services across a wide variety of practices, including corporate law, litigation, tax law, intellectual property, and regulatory compliance. The firm represents both domestic and international clients ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies. Some of Latham's most notable clients include Microsoft and JP Morgan.

13. Linklaters

  • Location: Headquartered in London, United Kingdom
  • Founded In: 1994

Linklaters is a global law firm headquartered in London. It was founded in 1838 and is one of the "Magic Circle" firms in the United Kingdom. Linklaters has over 2,500 lawyers across 30 offices worldwide. It offers legal services in areas such as mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, litigation and arbitration, corporate law, and intellectual property.

The firm has worked on major international deals and projects over its long history. Today, Linklaters continues to advise clients around the world on complex corporate transactions, disputes, and regulatory work. A few of the firm’s most notable clients include Credit Suisse, NatWest, and Nestle Nespresso USA.

14. Sidley Austin

  • Location: Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois
  • Founded In: 1866

Founded in 1866 in Chicago by Norman Williams and John Leverett Thompson, Sidley Austin originally went by the name Williams & Thompson. Over the decades, the firm grew substantially through mergers with other firms like Austin's Firm in 1952. Today, Sidley Austin operates from offices across the United States, Europe, and Asia and is recognized as one of the premier law firms worldwide.

Sidley Austin provides legal services across a wide range of practice areas, including mergers and acquisitions, litigation, intellectual property law, tax law, environmental law, healthcare, and regulatory compliance. The firm is known for handling complex commercial litigation and high-profile mergers. Sidley has represented major corporations like AT&T, United Airlines, and JP Morgan Chase, as well as governments around the world.