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2024 DIVERSITY DATABASE UNDERWRITER Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP

At a Glance


“Friendly, inclusive and fun culture; interesting tech startup clients; great mentorship.”

“The people are great. It truly feels like a startup culture. People work hard, but are kind and laid back.”


“Recent volatility in tech/VC.”

“Hours can be tough; learning on the job can be stressful.”

About Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP

Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian is a Silicon Valley firm at heart, and it has already outgrown its status as a premier boutique firm for the technological world. The firm has expanded in the U.S. and internationally over the last few years. With offices in Ann Arbor, Austin, Beijing, Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, São Paulo, Silicon Valley, and Singapore, and extensive work in Latin America, the firm is an international specialist in emerging growth market matters for corporate and venture capital clients.

Emerging Growth Market, Boom or Bust

In 1995, Bob Gunderson, Scott Dettmer, and four other partners jumped ship from the now-defunct Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison and started a Silicon Valley firm, just before the region's technology boom. In the next five years, the firm exploded alongside the region's dotcoms and startups, growing to 130 attorneys by the year 2000. Gunderson Dettmer maintained an impressive client list and a reputation as a go-to technology and life sciences firm in a climate that did not treat other tech-focused firms so gently. Its success was at least partially achieved by riding another boom in growth equity and venture capital. The firm now enjoys a leading share of the market for venture capital fund legal work. PitchBook, Chambers International, The Legal 500, FinanceAsia, and U.S. News have all recognized the firm for both its venture capital and technology law practices.

Corporate Giants

Today, Gunderson Dettmer serves the venture capital market and counsels startups through its corporate and securities; data privacy; executive compensation; growth equity; licensing, strategic partnering, and commercial transactions; labor and employment; mergers and acquisitions; public offerings/public companies; tax; and venture capital and growth equity fund formation and representation practices. The firm prides itself in representing clients “in every stage of a company’s lifecycle—from formation through maturity, acquisition or transition into public equity markets, and beyond.”

In the acquisitions market, the firm has helped negotiate the sale of companies to tech goliaths like Adobe, Cisco, IBM, Meta, Slack, and Uber; pharmaceutical companies like Amgen, Eli Lilly, GSK, and Johnson & Johnson; and retail giants like Walmart and Amazon. Gunderson Dettmer clients have included companies like Anduril, Bowery, Clari, Dataminr, Flexport, Daily Harvest, and Cityblock, and venture funds such as Accel, a16z, Eclipse VC, and Sequoia.

A Summer Surprise

Earlier in its history, Gunderson Dettmer made a name for itself as a leader in the high-starting-salary war. The firm is among those who gave summer bonuses in 2018, and in May 2019, the firm announced that it would once again pay summer bonuses in 2019. More recently, the firm made a splash when it was early to match 2021 special bonuses, with payouts in both spring and fall. According to the firm, “almost half of associates earn bonuses above the scale set by other major firms.” Even pre-COVID, the firm had a progressive view on flexible work arrangements, including remote working technology available to all attorneys and collaborative workspaces in several offices, similar to that of their startup clients.

News & Awards

  • Gunderson Dettmer advised Anaplan, the provider of a leading cloud-native platform for orchestrating business performance, in its $10.4 billion acquisition by Thoma Bravo.
  • Gunderson Dettmer represented biopharmaceutical company Affinivax, Inc. in its completed acquisition by global healthcare company GSK for $3.3 billion.
  • Gunderson Dettmer represented clients Index Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, and Greylock Partners as long-term investors in Figma in connection with the $20 billion acquisition of Figma by Adobe.
  • Gunderson Dettmer represented client Thrive Capital in the $6.5 billion Series I financing of Stripe, an online financial infrastructure platform designed to accept payments, grow revenue, and accelerate new business opportunities.
  • Most Active Venture Law Firm Globally, 2014-2022—PitchBook 
  • Law Firm of the Year for Venture Capital Law, 2022—U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers 
  • Mergers and Acquisitions Top Middle-Market Deals of the Year, 2022—The Middle Market
  • VC Law Firm of the Year, 2021 & 2022; Finance/Transactional Impact Deal of the Year for $1.6 billion acquisition of client ARMO Biosciences by Eli Lilly—LMG
  • Tier 1 in Start-up and Venture Capital (Singapore office), 2023—Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP

550 Allerton Street
Redwood City, CA 94063
Phone: (650) 321-2400

Firm Stats

Administrative Partner: David Young
Hiring Partners: Marcia Hatch (Ann Arbor); Wes Watts (Austin); Nevin Fox, Michael Hacker (Boston); Hilary Adams, Adan Muller, Aaron Rubin (NY); Alexa Belonick, Jesse Birbach, Stephanie Lane (San Francisco/Redwood City); Cody Peterson (LA); Heather Aune, Ryan Gunderson, John Tolpa (San Diego)
Total No. Attorneys (2023):
250 - 500
No. of Partners Named 2023:
Billable-Hour Requirement:
1,950 hours

Base Salary

1st year: $225,000
2nd year: $235,000
3rd year: $260,000
4th year: $310,000
5th year: $365,000
6th year: $390,000
7th year: $420,000
8th year: $435,000
Summer Associate: $4,327 weekly

Employment Contact

Colleen McNulty
Director of Legal Recruiting
(650) 321-2400
General Recruiting Email:

No. of U.S. Offices: 8

No. of International Offices: 3

Major Office Locations

Ann Arbor, MI
Austin, TX
Boston, MA
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Redwood City, CA (HQ)
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA I
São Paulo

Major Departments

Corporate & Securities
Data Privacy
Debt Financings & Secured Transactions
Executive Compensation
Latin America
Employment & Labor
Licensing, Strategic Partnering & Commercial Transactions
Life Sciences
Mergers & Acquisitions
Public Offerings/Public Companies
Venture Capital & Growth Equity Fund Formation and Representation
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.