SAN FRANCISCO – Andrew Luh was recently named to lead Gunderson Dettmer's Global M&A Practice Group. Luh has earned a reputation as one of Silicon Valley's most experienced and accomplished mergers and acquisitions (M&A) lawyers, having participated in more than 250 tech-industry transactions valued at more than $60 billion over the course of his 20-year-plus career, the past 11 of which was spent at Fenwick & West. 

Among the most notable, Luh represented What's App when it was acquired by Facebook for more than $19 billion in 2014. The acquisition was the largest ever of a venture-backed company.

More broadly, Luh has represented publicly and privately held buy-and sell-side M&A stakeholders in domestic U.S. and international transactions, other forms of business combinations and divestitures. He also advises venture capital firms and other investors in managing their portfolio companies.

Startup, venture capital and emerging growth companies and markets are the sole focus of Gunderson Dettmer's 220 corporate attorneys, who work out of eight offices in the U.S. and China. Pitchbook rated the law firm the most active globally by number of venture capital transactions handled in 2014 and 2015.

Gunderson Dettmer is looking to Luh to boost the profile, as well as fees generated, by its global M&A practice group. As the group's leader, Luh will be working with a "deal team" that negotiated and closed nearly 300 M&A deals since 2014, the law firm said.

“The opportunity to lead Gunderson Dettmer’s global M&A practice was simply too good to pass up," Luh explained in a press statement. "The firm has an unequaled reputation for its work representing venture capital funds as well as leading technology and life science startups, particularly during critical rounds of capital raising as well as for ongoing corporate, intellectual property and business counsel needs."

Gunderson Dettmer's past experience working with Luh contributed to its decision to make him an offer.

"We have worked with Andrew on many transactions in the past. He is an immensely skilled and creative lawyer with exceptional business judgment," Chairman Robert V. Gunderson, Jr. said. "As chair of our global M&A practice, Andrew will have the opportunity to lead our global M&A team and further broaden our M&A capabilities throughout the world, including Asia."

The high-tech initial public offering and M&A markets have been weak thus far in 2016, and participants expect that will continue. There has been just one tech-industry IPO this year to date, according to industry sources.

Looking forward, less than 4 in 10 deal makers who participated in law firm Morrison & Foerster's latest semi-annual M&A industry survey expect activity to pick up in the next six months. Nearly 6 in 10 (58 percent) expect activity will slow even further.

Furthermore, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) expect venture-backed companies will garner much less in any acquisitions that take place this year as compared to last. About half (52 percent) said that target companies have lowered the price they expect in a sale.

The volatility of publicly traded tech stocks is having a big impact on the market, according to survey results. About two-thirds of respondents said they were less confident in the U.S. stock market in January, nearly double that from a year ago.

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