“It’s an exciting deal which hopefully will lead to the equity markets opening even wider than they are,” said Gregory Gallo, a Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich partner. And lawyers are salivating over the chance to represent the underwriters in Google’s IPO. “They’re all hopeful,” Gallo said.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is likely a shoo-in as company counsel. Firm Chairman Larry Sonsini incorporated the company in 1998, and David Drummond, Google’s director of corporate development who doubles as general counsel, is a former Wilson Sonsini partner.
Despite the long list of investment banks reportedly signed on for the deal, only one law firm will get to represent the underwriters as a group. Google, according to news accounts earlier this week, has hired gold-standard banks like Morgan Stanley and Goldman, Sachs & Co. to lead the deal. Other banks that are part of the syndicate to distribute Google’s shares include Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse First Boston Corp., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Thomas Weisel Partners and WR Hambrecht + Co.
The law firm to land the lead underwriter’s work won’t be public until Google files offering documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That’s expected to happen in the next few months.