Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Expands Technology Transactions Practice

- John Wehrli Joins the Firm's San Diego Office -

Alicia Towler White
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

PALO ALTO, CA (July 15, 2019) – Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the premier provider of legal services to technology, life sciences, and growth enterprises worldwide, announced today that John Wehrli has joined the firm's technology transactions practice as a partner in the San Diego office, where he will focus on representing life sciences clients.

Wehrli represents life sciences companies in structuring and negotiating complex and strategic intellectual property transactions and licensing, including strategic alliances, joint ventures, global partnering deals, collaborations, spinouts, and strategic mergers and acquisitions. He also represents financial institutions as lead intellectual property advisor, and conducts and defends scientific, business, and intellectual property due diligence for life sciences public and private financings and merger and acquisition transactions.

Wehrli has more than 34 years of life sciences industry experience in law, business, and science. The deals on which he's worked have an aggregate value of more than $100 billion. Two deals for which he served as lead counsel have won the California Life Science Association's Pantheon award for outstanding partnering deal of the year.

"For more than five decades, we've helped innovative life sciences companies forge sophisticated collaboration and partnering agreements to help them pursue and achieve important milestones," said Doug Clark, managing partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. "We welcome John and his impressive balance of transactional, science, legal, and executive experience, which will be of great value to life sciences companies and the financial institutions that fund them."

Prior to joining WSGR, Wehrli worked as a partner in the life sciences and intellectual property practices of Jones Day, which he joined in 2016. He was based in that firm's San Diego office. Before that, he joined Latham & Watkins as an associate in 2003, and was promoted to partner in 2006. Prior to that, his roles included serving as chief legal officer and secretary for two NASDAQ-listed biotechnology companies, Pharsight and Trega Biosciences, and working as a life sciences associate at Cooley.

Before graduating law school, Wehrli worked as a patent and licensing associate at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and was co-founder and vice president of business development and intellectual property of NaviCyte, a biotechnology company. Prior to that, he was a research scientist for several life sciences companies, including a decade at a global major pharmaceutical company, Syntex/Roche.

Wehrli received his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business, in 1998. He completed the University of California, Berkeley's Management of Technology program, College of Engineering, in 1997. He is currently writing his dissertation for a Ph.D. with a focus on computational and behavioral neuroscience at Capella University. He is admitted to practice in California.

Wehrli is involved in several legal, engineering, and scientific organizations. He is a senior member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, a member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and a member of the Organization for Computational Neuroscience. A U.S. Navy veteran, he serves on the board of directors and Dean's Leadership Council for the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of California, San Diego. He was ranked among the Top 25 Biotech Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal, and is the recipient of numerous honors and awards.

About Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
For more than 50 years, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has offered a broad range of services and legal disciplines focused on serving the principal challenges faced by the management and boards of directors of business enterprises. The firm is nationally recognized as a leader in the fields of corporate governance and finance, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, securities litigation, employment law, intellectual property, and antitrust, among many other areas of law. With deep roots in Silicon Valley, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has offices in Austin; Beijing; Boston; Brussels; Hong Kong; London; Los Angeles; New York; Palo Alto; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Shanghai; Washington, D.C.; and Wilmington, DE. For more information, please visit