Leading Silicon Valley dealmaker joins Covington for West Coast expansion

By Kate Jacobson | Oct 21, 2016

SILICON VALLEY – Silicon Valley lawyer Tom DeFilipps was named chair of Covington & Burlington’s West Coast corporate practice group in September.

DeFilipps, formerly the managing partner of Sidley Austin’s Palo Alto office, said he’s charged with expanding Covington’s West Coast presence and assembling a team of lawyers to better serve the various tech and start-up companies specifically in Silicon Valley.

Tom DeFilipps   Covington & Burlington

“(Covington) figured if I could help my last firm grow its presence in California, specifically in Silicon Valley, that I could help Covington not only with my own practice but with other people who are of like mind that want to grow something on the West Coast,” DeFilipps told the Northern California Record.

A California native, DeFilipps attended Stanford and worked briefly for Judge Samuel Conti of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California before becoming a notable dealmaker in Silicon Valley. He specializes in corporate formation, venture capital financings, public offerings and strategic partnerships, among many other things.

He said he was drawn to businesses in Silicon Valley because of the ever-changing landscape of technologies, ideas and industries coming in and out. One thing he especially likes is being able to work with emerging companies where he’s able to practice all parts of corporate law and meet people in all stages and aspects of business.

“I love the kind of work that I do, and my practice has been focused on companies that have interesting technologies and that are changing the world,” he said. “It’s frankly what gets me up in the morning and gets me excited about practicing law.”

At Covington, DeFilipps said he hopes to not only grow the practice but become a powerhouse in the market and build a collaborative team that help companies in California.

“A firm like Covington has such a strong reputation in areas like regulated industries and international work, and the work they do for companies in the life sciences areas and technology space – it dovetails nicely into what we’re trying to do to grow the practice on the West Coast,” he said. “We’re very optimistic about being able to do what it is we set out to do.”

He said while his first month at the firm has been a bit of a whirlwind, everyone has been accommodating and excited about having him on board.

“It has been hugely fun,” he said. “The firm has been incredibly helpful with my integration and I can’t say enough positive things about how well it’s gone.”

Leaders at the law firm said they’re excited to have DeFilipps on the team.

“Adding Tom to our Silicon Valley office is a major step forward in our plan for continued growth in California,” Covington chair Timothy Hester said in September. “Tom has built a successful Northern California corporate practice over many years and has a demonstrated track record of building teams of lawyers in the competitive Silicon Valley market."

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