Pao Drops Her Lawsuit Against Kleiner Perkins: Business of Law

Ellen Pao is ending her lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

In a statement Thursday, Pao, whose sex-discrimination suit against the venture-capital firm garnered headlines and prompted much discussion, said she wouldn’t appeal the jury verdict that rejected her claims.

Pao alleged that male colleagues preyed on her and that she wasn’t promoted because she complained about her treatment. Kleiner argued Pao didn’t succeed because she was hard to get along with, had no experience as an entrepreneur and lacked expertise in strategic markets for investments.

“I feel gratified that my actions have encouraged others to speak up about discrimination in venture capital and technology more broadly,” Pao said in the statement. “I am encouraged that companies are taking more action to quantify and address the disparity of opportunities for women and minorities.”

No settlement was reached, Pao said, because such an agreement would require her to remain silent about her experiences. She said a settlement “might have provided me with financial benefits, but only at the great cost of silence.”

Legal costs also factored into her decision not to appeal the verdict, Pao said. She said she would pay Kleiner’s court costs of $276,000.

Alan Exelrod, Pao’s lawyer, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on her statement.

Kleiner Perkins has consistently offered to forgo the legal fees awarded by the judge if Pao drops her appeal, said a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because it wasn’t public. That offer still stands, the person said Thursday.

The case is Pao v. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC, CGC-12-520719, California Superior Court (San Francisco).

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Comings and Goings

Daniel Nathan has joined Morvillo LLP, a white-collar defense and litigation boutique with offices in New York and Washington, as a partner in Washington. Nathan, previously a partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP, has also served as an enforcement official with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Nathan focuses on the defense of financial institutions and individuals in investigations, examinations and enforcement actions.

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP has hired patent litigators Lewis Popovski and Jeffrey Ginsberg as partners. The lawyers, both previously partners at Kenyon & Kenyon LLP, focus on disputes relating to technologies in industries including electronics, telecommunications, automotive parts, mechanical systems and medical devices.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP added Deepak Nanda as a partner in the firm’s Orange County, California, office. Nanda, previously a partner at Foley & Lardner LLP, focuses on mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP hired John Rupp as a partner in London. Rupp, who previously was a senior counsel at Covington & Burling LLP, is joining Steptoe’s FCPA/anti-corruption practice and international regulation and compliance group. He will work on matters involving both U.S. and European clients, the firm said.

Goodwin Procter LLP added Fredrich Lim as a partner in its private-equity group in San Francisco. Lim, previously a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, focuses on complex domestic and cross-border leveraged transactions.

Peter Walsh is joining Hogan Lovells LLP as a partner in the litigation and arbitration practice group, based in the firm’s Minneapolis and Denver offices. Walsh was previously senior deputy general counsel and chief of litigation and government investigations at UnitedHealth Group. He also served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Denver.

Cozen O’Connor hired George Bibikos in the firm’s energy, environmental and public utilities practice as a member in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, office. Bibikos, previously a partner at K&L Gates LLP, advises clients on litigation, regulatory and transactional matters in the energy sector.

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