Judith O’Brien is a partner in the Silicon Valley office of King and Spalding and a member of the firm’s Corporate Practice Group. As the head of King and Spalding’s Emerging Company Practice Group, Ms. O’Brien represents entrepreneurial and emerging growth companies, both public and private, and investors and investment banking firms that finance them. Ms. O’Brien also represents larger companies, public and private, in connection with a variety of corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance transactions and corporate governance issues. Both Chambers and Legal 500 recommend Ms. O’Brien for her venture capital and emerging companies expertise.
In her 20-years as a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Judy was the business lawyer for many of Silicon Valley’s premier high tech companies, including Juniper Networks, KLA-Tencor, Sun Microsystems and LSI Logic. She worked with many start-ups from incorporation through venture capital financings, initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions and joint venture relationships in the U.S. and abroad.
In 2001, Judy co-founded Incubic Venture Fund where she served as a Managing Director until November 2006 when she joined Obopay, a mobile payments company, as Executive Vice President and General Counsel, where she was involved in all areas of its business including expansion into Asia and Africa.
Ms. O’Brien has acted as a senior business adviser and corporate counsel to emerging growth companies from start-up to Fortune 500 status, representing companies in a broad range of industries, including telecommunications, internet infrastructure, computer software and hardware, networking, medical device, mobile and payments industries. She has also represented numerous venture capital funds and investment banks. As an emerging growth company lawyer, she functions as a member of the team with growing enterprises helping them get started, find financing and structure and grow their businesses. Her broad corporate practice includes general corporate work for companies, large and small (including corporate organization, employee benefits, intellectual property matters, commercial transactions and financings), securities (public and private debt and equity financings; securities compliance), mergers and acquisitions, commercial and strategic relationships (both domestic and international) and joint ventures.
Ms. O’Brien has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Ciena, Inc., a publicly traded company that provides equipment software and services that enable and support communications networks globally since 2000, acting as Chairman of the Compensation Committee and a member of the Nominating and Goverance Committee. She also serves as a director of Theatro, Inc. and Inform, Inc. (previously known as News Distribution Network, Inc.), both of which are privately held companies. She has served on the board of directors of numerous other public and private companies.
Awards & Recognition
- Chambers USA—Ranked for venture capital expertise, 2015
- The Legal 500 United States—Recommended for venture capital and emerging companies expertise, 2015
- The American Lawyer—Dealmaker of the Year 2000
- Forbes Magazine Midas List—One of venture capital’s top dealmakers, 2001—2005
- The Recorder—Named one of the “Women Leaders in the Law”, 2011
- San Jose Business Journal—Named “Woman of Influence”, 2010
- Northern California Super Lawyers, 1999—2006
- California Lawyer—Top Five Women Attorneys in Northern California, 1997
- The Recorder—Leading Women Securities Lawyers, Northern California, 1997
- California Law Business—Top 25 Lawyers under 45, 1993