Joshua Beser, who served as general counsel at travel apparel company Away, is leaving his chair in the C-suite for the emerging companies practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in New York.
Beser directed New York-based Away’s legal strategy for more than three years as the company evolved from the startup stage forward. Before that, he served as legal counsel for Canary, a security retailer, and Lonza, a life sciences company.
At Wilson Sonsini he’ll focus on emerging life sciences, technology, and consumer brands companies. He’ll also leverage his years of in-house background as an outside general counsel for clients.
Beser’s trajectory entering Big Law practice after years in-house is somewhat unusual, but he said in an interview he would not have left his “dream job” at Away for just any firm.
“What the firm is building in New York is something special,” he said of Wilson Sonsini, a Silicon Valley-founded firm known for helping giants like Apple Inc., Google Inc., and Lyft Inc. go public.
Beser is the fifth partner to join Wilson Sonsini this year, following on the heels of Matt Lyons, another lawyer experienced in representing startups. Lyons joined the firm last week in Austin, Texas, a hot spot for emerging companies and the firms that represent them.
Attorneys from Wilson Sonsini’s New York office recently advised clients including Shutterstock, fuboTV, Pointy, Maven, and Babylon Health, according to a statement from the firm.
Beser’s “combination of in-house and law firm experience will allow him to offer both early- and late-stage clients practical insights and valuable perspectives,” Doug Clark, managing partner at Wilson Sonsini, said in the statement.
Beser also has “developed extensive ties” to New York’s start-up community, and is well known by the region’s in-house lawyers in his sector, Clark said.
Beser said the knowledge he’s gained from “living inside of a company” will help him zoom out to meet the needs of clients from early-stage consumer brands to later-stage brands.
The opportunity to “take what I’ve learned and then reapply it in a different way was really exciting to me,” Beser said of returning to Big Law.
Before his initial move in-house, Beser was an associate at now defunct law firms Bingham McCutchen and Heller Ehrman.