Stephen D. Gillespie

Industry Co-Chair, Blockchain

Partner, Technology Transactions  

San Francisco 415.875.2421


Stephen Gillespie provides legal and strategic advice on technology and intellectual property matters to technology companies and financial institutions. His clients range from large publicly traded companies such as Amazon, Cisco, Symantec and Goldman Sachs, to emerging technology startups. He has been the lead outside intellectual property counsel for serial acquirers, buyers and sellers on hundreds of mergers and acquisitions worth billions of dollars, including many industry-defining deals, as reflected in the list of representative transactions below. He has developed and helps his clients implement best practices for intellectual property diligence, risk allocation and integration for technology M&A transactions. He also manages the intellectual property aspects of complex technology divestitures and carveouts, including Symantec’s divestitures of its information management and website security solutions businesses, and Cisco’s divestitures of its Linksys, consumer premises equipment and video solutions businesses.

Stephen applies his understanding of the issues that most concern investors and buyers to help his earlier stage clients develop, protect and monetize the value of their technology and intellectual property assets. He helps structure, draft and negotiate key technology and intellectual property agreements, including intellectual property and technology development, procurement and licensing agreements, sales, distribution and marketing agreements, strategic alliances and business process outsourcing agreements. He also conducts intellectual property audits and helps his clients prepare for their initial public offerings.

Stephen has deep experience across several technologies and business models, including SaaS/Cloud, networking, security, open source, fintech, blockchain, autonomous transportation and mobility, and mobile content and messaging.

Stephen has been honored as a Leading Lawyer by The Legal 500 and as amongst the Best Lawyers of America by Best Lawyers. He has also been recognized for his patent transactions work by IAM Patent 1000. He is the author of "Intellectual Property Issues in Merger and Acquisition Agreements," (Intellectual Property in Business Transactions, CEB 2008) and "Losing Control: Indirect Sales Strategies and Unauthorized Distribution of Software" (4 World Licensing Law Report No. 6, June 2002).

Representative Transactions:

  • WhatsApp’s $19 billion acquisition by Facebook
  • Concur’s $8.3 billion acquisition by SAP
  • GitHub’s $7.5 billion acquisition by Microsoft Corporation
  • SuccessFactor’s $3.4 billion acquisition by SAP
  • Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR
  • Workday’s $1.55 billion acquisition of Adaptive Insights
  • General Motors’ acquisition of Cruise Automation
  • Multiple deals for Amazon
  • Multiple deals for Symantec, including:
    • Sale of the Veritas information management business to The Carlyle Group for $7.4 billion
    • Merger with Blue Coat for $4.65 billion
    • Acquisition of LifeLock for $2.3 billion
  • Dozens of acquisitions for Cisco Systems, including:
    • NDS Group for $5 billion
    • AppDynamics for $3.7 billion
    • Sourcefire for $2.7 billion
    • Duo Security for $2.3 billion
    • BroadSoft for $1.9 billion
    • Meraki Networks for $1.2 billion