Twitter GC turns to former firm Wilson Sonsini as site files for IPO

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the former firm of Twitter general counsel Vijaya Gadde and former legal chief Alexander Macgillivray, has been pegged as Twitter’s main legal adviser after the site yesterday tweeted its intent to submit for an IPO. 

The news comes weeks after former GC Macgillivray, known for his championing of free speech online, announced his surprise exit from the company (2 September 2013). The former Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati partner passed the bat to Twitter legal director and fellow Wilson Sonsini associate Gadde, who joined the micro-blogging site in July 2011 from Juniper Networks.

Given its longstanding relationship with the micro-blogging site, the West Coast firm’s involvement is no huge surprise. That said, the firm is yet to formally confirm its role. The firm’s Brussels office tole The Lawyer this morning that only the Palo Alto office could comment. However, according to Reuters, the firm’s chairman Larry Sonsini confirmed Wilson Sonsini’s involvement via email.

It is not yet clear how many, if any, other firms will advise alongside the firm. Those in the pipeline are likely to include longstanding corporate adviser Fenwick & West, which advised on Facebook’s long-awaited IPO last February (2 February 2012). Twitter has also turned to Shearman & Sterling for legal advice in the past.

The micro-blogging site tweeted yesterday (12 September): “We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale.” 

Macgillivray did not cite the expected IPO as a reason for his departure, instead posting a link to his blog where he said he was looking forward to seeing friends and family and goofing around for a bit.  ”We should all do more of that,” he wrote last month.