Matthew Rossiter

Partner, Corporate  

San Francisco 415.875.2372


Matthew (Matt) Rossiter represents fast-growing innovative businesses, ranging from entrepreneurs with a vision to established later-stage companies. With all his clients, large or small, he seeks to provide practical, creative and thoughtful advice to help them navigate legal challenges and pivotal transactions and achieve their business objectives.

Matt is passionate about working with companies that are developing technological, scientific and business innovations that will transform industries and improve lives. He is a dedicated, responsive counselor and advocate for his clients, and seeks to be a long-term partner in the growth and success of his clients’ businesses.

Matt’s clients include leading public and private life sciences and technology companies, as well as many prominent venture capital firms. His life sciences experience spans a broad range of biopharmaceutical technologies and indications, as well as genomic and medical device technologies. Matt also has extensive experience with digital health and technology-enabled healthcare businesses. In the technology sector, Matt’s experience includes enterprise software, virtual currencies, autonomous vehicles and other industrial technologies.

Representative Transactions

A central aspect of Matt’s practice is representing private and public companies through multiple rounds of funding and other significant transactions. In the past five years, Matt has handled more than 125 private financings including seed, venture and other institutional rounds, accounting for over $2.5 billion in capital raised. Representative recent and ongoing engagements include:

  • AnaptysBio, an antibody drug development company, in its $40 million mezzanine private financing round, and its 2017 IPO and subsequent follow-on offerings totaling over $500 million
  • Apeel Sciences, a developer of plant-based coatings to preserve fresh produce and reduce food waste, in its $70 million Series C financing
  • Calico, a research and development company focused on the biology of aging, in its initial formation and separation from Google (now Alphabet) and its $2.5 billion strategic collaboration with Abbvie
  • Castlight Health, an enterprise software and healthcare navigation company, in multiple rounds of private financing, its 2014 IPO and its $135 million acquisition of Jiff
  • Devoted Health, a next-generation technology-enabled health insurance plan, in a key strategic collaboration and multiple rounds of financing, including its $300 million Series B financing
  • DiCE Molecules, a novel drug discovery platform company, in its conversion to a limited liability company, multiple rounds of private financing and its strategic collaboration agreements with Sanofi and Genentech
  • (formerly 21 Inc.) in connection with the company’s formation, corporate restructurings and multiple rounds of financing
  • GRAIL, a cancer diagnostics company focused on early detection, in its spin-out from Illumina, $100 million Series A financing and blockbuster $1 billion Series B financing
  • Matrixx Software, an enterprise software company developing digital commerce solutions for telecom providers, in multiple debt and equity financings, including its $40 million Series C financing

Matt also advises clients on pivotal transactions, including M&A transactions, IPOs and strategic collaborations. Representative recent examples include:

  • Aeglea Bio, an enzyme therapeutics drug development company, in its corporate restructuring, mezzanine round of financing and its 2016 IPO
  • Channel Medsystems, a medical device technology company, in its agreement to be acquired by Boston Scientific
  • Denali Therapeutics, a drug development company focused on neurodegenerative diseases, in its collaboration and option agreement with F-star, and subsequent $450 million acquisition of an F-star affiliated entity pursuant to exercise of the option
  • Interpreta, a healthcare and genomic information analytics company, in its acquisition by Centene Corporation
  • Loxo Oncology, a drug development company focused on targeted cancer therapeutics, in its mezzanine financing round and its 2015 IPO
  • Sutro Biopharma, a protein therapeutics drug development company, in connection with a strategic collaboration and acquisition option agreement with Celgene
  • The County of Santa Clara in connection with a pro bono engagement to launch California’s first “pay for success” project, which deployed an innovative funding and care delivery model to address chronic homelessness in Santa Clara county

Matt also frequently negotiates licenses on behalf of clients from leading universities including Stanford University, the University of California, San Francisco and the University of California, Berkeley.

What Can You Expect When You Work with Matt?

Clients look to Matt as a dedicated business partner and trusted legal advisor for the long run, and someone who will sweat the details so that they can stay focused on running their business. With Matt as your lawyer, you can expect to work with someone who will dig in and seek to deeply understand your business and the people involved, and use this knowledge to provide actionable, business-savvy legal advice. In addition, Matt is able to draw from his broad range of experience, across transaction types and industries, to help provide well-informed judgments and creative solutions for his clients.

Matt operates as part of a team, and seeks to bring to bear the full range of resources, collective knowledge and connections offered by Fenwick & West to assist with his clients’ success. He feels fortunate to work with and be backed by a law firm with a deep knowledge and core strategic focus on working with fast-growing innovative businesses, and with an exceptional and long-standing culture of collaboration.

More About Matt

Matt is an enthusiastic student and learner, who is continuously grateful for the learning opportunities presented by his clients and his practice. He is also a frequent lecturer and teacher, who has taught semester-long courses on negotiation at Stanford Law School and on legal issues for entrepreneurs at Wharton San Francisco.

In the early days of his practice, Matt served part-time as the acting general counsel for Virgin America, as the company prepared to launch a new commercial airline service. In this capacity, Matt helped negotiate a broad range of commercial agreements, ranging from the purchase of coffee makers to outsourced maintenance services for the entire airline fleet. He also advised on the complex financing and corporate restructuring arrangements that enabled Virgin America to obtain the federal regulatory approvals necessary to begin operations.

When he is not caring for his clients or his family and two fast-growing children, Matt can be found trying to squeeze in a bit of exercise, be it a P90X workout in the garage or an early morning mountain bike ride, occasionally plunking on a musical instrument or cooking up a creative meal.