Press Release

Former eBay General Counsel Mike Jacobson Rejoins Cooley

June 13, 2016

Palo Alto – June 13, 2016 – Mike Jacobson, former senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of eBay, is rejoining Cooley as of counsel in its business department. Jacobson was previously a Cooley partner and head of the firm's public securities practice.

"In 1998, I made the difficult decision to leave Cooley for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to head the legal group at a pre-public company that I perceived to be at the forefront of innovation," Jacobson said. "Nearly two decades later, I am thrilled to return to my roots in private practice. During my time at eBay, I watched as Cooley grew into a leading global law firm. I look forward to sharing my business and legal experience with Cooley's clients as they navigate the myriad legal issues that tech companies face at all stages of their life cycle."

During his distinguished 17-year tenure as eBay's general counsel, Jacobson grew its legal department into a 400-person global team and guided the company through a wide range of high-profile legal matters including its highly successful 1998 IPO, its 2002 $1.5 billion acquisition of fintech pioneer PayPal – the spinoff of which he completed in 2015 – and its $2.6 billion acquisition and later profitable sale of Skype.

At the helm of eBay's legal department, Jacobson spearheaded the company's regulatory relationships and its policy group. He also established several key internet and IP legal principles by winning seminal cases such as eBay v. MercExchange (patents), Tiffany v. eBay (trademarks) and eBay v. Bidder's Edge (trespass applied to the internet). Members of Jacobson's legal team at eBay have gone on to hold general counsel or other senior legal positions at innovative companies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

"Mike is a legal luminary in the technology world and one of the longest-serving general counsel in Silicon Valley," said Mike Lincoln, chair of Cooley's business department. "We are excited to welcome him back to Cooley, where the legal and business insights he developed as a leader at one of the most prominent and revered technology companies will be a highly valued asset to our public and private company clients alike."

Jacobson earned an AB in Economics, magna cum laude, in 1975 from Harvard College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his JD from Stanford University in 1981, where he was a Nathan Abbot Scholar and a member of the Order of the Coif.

Jacobson's arrival at Cooley follows five high-profile partner additions in recent weeks – Colm Murphy joined the patent counseling & prosecution practice in London; Andy Roth joined the privacy & data protection group in New York; and Ron Hopkinson, Stephen Rosen and Eric Schwartzman joined the private equity group in New York, London and Palo Alto, respectively. 

About Cooley LLP

Clients partner with Cooley on transformative deals, complex IP and regulatory matters, and high-stakes litigation, where innovation meets the law. 

Cooley has 900 lawyers across 12 offices in the United States, China and Europe.

Press Coverage:

"Back at Cooley, Jacobson is Ready to Tackle Clients’ Biggest Problems," The Recorder (subscription required)

"Michael Jacobson," Silicon Valley Business Journal

"eBay GC Bids for Cooley Return," Commercial Dispute Resolution

"eBay Counsel Returns to Cooley," IPPro

"Michael Jacobson Returns to Cooley," The Global Legal Post

"Mike Jacobson Returns to Cooley LLP from eBay," Daily Journal (subscription required)

"Michael Jacobson Returns to Cooley," Bloomberg 

"eBay Top Lawyer Returns to Old Firm," eCommerce Bytes

"Longtime eBay Lawyer Gets a New (Old) Job," Fortune

"Cooley Hires Back Ex-Partner, Plus More Lateral Moves," The American Lawyer

"Ex-eBay General Counsel Returns to Cooley After 17 Years," Law360 

"Michael Jacobson Returns to Cooley," The Deal

"Former eBay GC Heads Back to Cooley," The Recorder

"Michael Jacobson," San Francisco Business Times

"Former GCs Draw Interest from Bay Area Firms," Corporate Counsel 

"Former GCs Draw Interest from Bay Area Firms," The Recorder 

"Michael Jacobson Returns to Cooley," Bloomberg

"Back at Cooley, Jacobson is Ready to Tackle Clients' Biggest Problems," Corporate Counsel 

"Movers: Mike Jacobson," The National Law Journal (subscription required)


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