Latham & Watkins is losing one of its most senior Los Angeles corporate partners to venture capital client Coastview Capital.
Edward Sonnenschein is the co-chair of the firm's venture and technology group, having been chair of the corporate department for five years. Sonnenschein has also served as a member of the executive committee and as chair of Lathams' business development committee. Coastview Capital is a new venture capital firm focusing on life science investments. Sonnenschein will remain of counsel to the firm and will be replaced as joint head of the practice by Alan Mendelson. Mendelson was one of Lathams' biggest coups in Silicon Valley. He joined the office last year from leading Valley firm Cooley Godward. The other joint head of venture and technology is Ora Fisher, a corporate partner who is also based in the Silicon Valley office. Her clients include private high-tech companies such as Oblix, iKnowMed, MetaTV and Saffire, and funds such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mayfield Fund, Merrill Lynch and Technology Crossover Ventures. Mendelson's practice focuses on biotechnology and he acts as principal adviser to Acqua Wellington Capital Management and as deal counsel to New Enterprise Associates, InterWest Ventures and Skyline Ventures. Tom Sadler, chair of Lathams' corporate department, said: "Alan's outstanding reputation and track record in Silicon Valley and beyond, as well as his extensive experience in the venture, biotechnology and high-tech arenas, will be invaluable assets in his new role."