Brett is of counsel in the Corporate and Securities practice group.

Brett Pletcher
Of Counsel
Silicon Valley
P+1 650 321 2400

Brett has a deep understanding of the life sciences industry and an in-house perspective on the day-to-day legal, operational and governance needs of CEOs, senior executives and general counsel. For more than 17 years Brett worked in-house at Gilead Sciences, a Fortune 100 life sciences company, where he was General Counsel for 13 years. He retired from his role as Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel in August of 2022. During Brett’s tenure at Gilead, the company grew from 1,600 to more than 17,000 employees and from $1.3 billion to more than $27 billion of annual revenues.

Throughout his career Brett has served as a trusted advisor to Boards of Directors, CEOs, C-suite executives and General Counsel. He is a seasoned attorney and executive with deep experience developing operational capacity, executing on corporate strategy and providing sophisticated, yet practical, legal services and advice. Brett’s experience helps clients navigate their lifecycle – from startup through M&A, IPO and the complexities of being a publicly traded company. Brett’s practice at Gunderson Dettmer focuses on advising innovative private and public companies, their executive teams and General Counsel on a wide range of corporate, strategic and day-to-day legal, business and governance matters.

Prior to joining Gilead, Brett was an associate and partner at Gunderson Dettmer from 1996 to 2005. During this time, Brett represented numerous public and private companies, and venture capital investors, across industries. During his career in-house Brett was involved in numerous activities relevant to Gunderson Dettmer’s innovative public and private companies, including transactions, governance, public reporting, commercial and compliance, litigation and investigations, operations and sustainability and corporate responsibility. 

Brett was a member of the NASDAQ Listing and Hearing Review Council from 2010 to 2016. He has spoken at and attended numerous institutional investor and continuing education conferences at Harvard, Northwestern, Nortre Dame, Stanford, the University of Chicago, UC Berkeley, the Securities Regulation Institute and other venues. 

Prior to attending law school, Brett was a senior consultant in the Law Firm and Law Department Services Group at Price Waterhouse from 1990 to 1993.


  • University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, J.D.
  • University of California, Riverside, B.A.