• Veteran Lisa Fontenot, leading M&A practitioner and board advisor, joins from Gibson Dunn
  • Rising M&A star Derek Liu joins from Wilson Sonsini 
  • Baker McKenzie now has one of the largest Bay Area M&A teams

Baker McKenzie has added leading M&A lawyers Lisa Fontenot and Derek Liu as partners in its Northern California offices, as the Firm continues to expand its high-end transactional capabilities in the Bay Area.

Lisa brings 25 years of experience leading public and private M&A transactions and counselling boards of directors on their most important matters. She has represented clients across a variety of industries, including leading technology companies. Lisa has represented both US and international strategic buyers and sellers successfully completing cross-border acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and investments and private equity/venture capital investor investments in, and equity dispositions of, portfolio companies and related securities matters. Lisa also advises public companies as to securities regulation, corporate governance and activism matters. She joins the Firm after practicing for more than 20 years with Gibson Dunn. 

Lisa is ranked as a leading attorney in the Corporate Law and Mergers & Acquisitions Law categories of the current and prior editions of The Best Lawyers in America. She was previously named a Woman Leader in Tech Law by The Recorder – San Francisco, recognized as a Woman of Influence by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, and was shortlisted for the “Best in Media and Entertainment" by Euromoney Legal Media Group Americas Women in Business Law Awards.

Derek brings extensive experience advising on public and private M&A transactions, with a focus on the technology and life sciences sectors.  At his prior firm, Derek worked on transactions with an aggregate value of more than $100 billion, and was named as a "Rising Star" by Northern California Super Lawyers.  Derek's practice includes mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, tender and exchange offers, joint ventures, minority investments, and other strategic corporate transactions, representing both strategic and private equity clients. Derek joins Baker from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he was a partner.

"Lisa has a widely acknowledged reputation for excellence and service to our community," said Leif King, Baker McKenzie's Head of Corporate/M&A for California. "And Derek has an extensive history of advising on some of the largest and most challenging transactions in the tech sector. I am thrilled to partner with them as Baker continues its push to be the leading M&A firm in Northern California."

The Firm has added a series of highly regarded practitioners to its M&A team following the arrival of Leif King in August 2019. In addition to Lisa and Derek, the firm has added Partners Lawrence Lee and Tom Asmar, as well as new associates, bringing the total number of M&A lawyers in Baker McKenzie's Northern California offices to 23, making it one of the largest M&A practices in the Bay Area.

"In the last six months we have brought on board some of the most highly sought-after M&A attorneys in the Bay Area," said Colin Murray, Baker McKenzie's North America Chief Executive Officer.

"While Baker McKenzie has long been known as the go-to cross-border firm, we have now arrived as a significant presence in Northern California M&A."

Added Michael DeFranco, Chair of Baker McKenzie's Global M&A Practice, "With the addition of Lisa and Derek, our M&A team in the Bay Area is solidified as one of the top transactional groups in the market, servicing clients' M&A needs both domestically and globally, particularly for the many technology companies undertaking these deals. We are proud to have the largest M&A practice globally, and our growing team in California only enhances what we can offer our clients around the world."

Baker McKenzie is a transactional powerhouse with over 2,500 deal lawyers and expertise in more than 46 countries. The Firm does more cross-border transactions than any other law firm in the world, and is ranked No. 1 in cross-border deals by volume over the past decade.

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