Chairman of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Larry W. Sonsini has gained international recognition for his expertise in the areas of corporate law, corporate governance, securities, and mergers and acquisitions. He has been instrumental in many of the IPOs, mergers, acquisitions, and other key transactions of Silicon Valley and beyond, including Apple’s and Google’s historic IPOs.
In addition to his duties at the firm, which included serving as chief executive officer as well as chairman for more than 20 years, Larry served as chairman of the New York Stock Exchange’s Commission on Corporate Governance, which was formed in 2009 and issued its final report in fall 2010. Larry is also a member of the NYSE’s Proxy Working Group and served as a member of the NYSE’s board of directors from 2001 to 2003. He also served as chairman of the NYSE’s Regulation, Enforcement and Listing Standards Committee until 2008, and previously was a member of the NYSE’s Legal Advisory Committee and the NYSE Committee for Review.
Larry has received a number of distinguished awards including: 1993 Community Service Award for Exemplary Leadership from the National Conference for Community and Justice; 1996 Award for Achievement of the California Alumni Association at the University of California, Berkeley; 2000 Software Development Forum Third Annual Visionary Award; 2001 Member, Berkeley Fellows; 2001 Boalt Hall School of Law Citation Award; 2001 Director’s Award, San Francisco Exploratorium; 2003 National Italian American Foundation’s Special Achievement Award in Commerce and Law; 2005 Bay Area Business Hall of Fame Award from the Bay Area Council, and Business Leader of the Year Award from the Harvard Business School Association of Northern California, 2009 Santa Clara Law School’s inaugural Santa Clara Law Amicus Award, and 2012 Silicon Valley Education Foundation’s Pioneer Business Leader award.
In 1999, Larry was selected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition, he is a member of the American Law Institute. In 2003, Larry received an honorary doctorate from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. Larry is a trustee of Santa Clara University and a member of the University of California President’s Board on Science and Innovation. He was formerly a trustee at the University of California, Berkeley (1990-1996).
Larry has served on a number of advisory boards and committees, including: SEC’s Advisory Committee on Capital Formation and Regulatory Processes; ABA Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities; Legal Advisory Board of NASD, Inc.; and Board of Advisors, Technical Law Journal, Boalt Hall. He was recently chosen as the honorary chair of the High Technology Law Institute at Santa Clara University and is a Foreign Policy Association Fellow. Additionally, he is a member of the board of trustees and a founding fellow of the American College of Governance Counsel .
Larry joined Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in 1966 upon receiving his J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley. He also received an A.B. from UC Berkeley in 1963. Larry was admitted to the California Bar in 1966.