Natalie Pierce Joins Gunderson Dettmer as Partner and Labor & Employment Practice Chair

August 17, 2020Firm News

Gunderson Dettmer has added Natalie A. Pierce as a Partner and chair of its Labor & Employment practice. Joining from Littler, Pierce has rich experience guiding technology, life sciences and other high growth companies from startup through their lifecycles. She adds keen insights into the workplace issues at play in venture funding and M&A activities, as well as how those issues impact international transactions.

With more than two decades of experience, Pierce joins Gunderson’s next generation of firm leaders, including Partner Gina M. Marek, who was recently tapped to head the firm’s Northern California Licensing, Strategic Partnering & Commercial Transactions practice and Partner Zhen Liu, head of the firm’s China Practice and a recently elected member of the firm’s management committee.

“We are absolutely delighted with Natalie’s decision to join us to lead our labor and employment practice.  She is an outstanding practitioner who brings exceptional talent, judgment and industry leadership to the role. Our clients are in fast-changing, highly-competitive environments and Natalie’s decades of experience and track record will be invaluable to our clients navigating workplace issues that could otherwise limit their success,” said Gunderson Dettmer’s Managing Partner David T. Young. “As a fluent Spanish speaker, Natalie will be a valuable contributor to our industry-leading Latin American practice, and her leadership on issues of diversity, inclusion and equity will benefit our Gunderson team, as well as our clients’ efforts in these important areas.”

Pierce is a trusted advisor to her clients – employers ranging from startup companies to global corporations – on all employment-related matters, including: hiring and terminating employees; compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations; and helping clients avoid and, when necessary, respond to harassment, discrimination and pay inequity claims. Pierce has handled the workforce-related aspects of numerous types of transactions, including maximizing value through smooth transition plans and M&A integration activities. In addition, she is focused on counseling companies on incorporating robotics, biometrics, telepresence, artificial intelligence and other enhancement technologies into the workplace, as well as re-skilling workforces to facilitate tech adoption.

“I love what I do – particularly when it has a quantifiable impact on my clients’ growth and development,” said Pierce. “Gunderson’s collaborative culture, global reach and appreciation for the benefits of transformative technologies make it an amazing platform for me. My past experiences on what is often the ‘other side’ of the table – buyer-side due diligence and thorny employment litigation – afford me a unique and high-value perspective as well. As someone who is decidedly future-focused, I’m excited to support entrepreneurs and those investing in them.”

Pierce is the recipient of numerous professional accolades, including: Lawyer Monthly Magazine’s “Women in Law Award” (2020), The American Lawyer Industry Award’s “Best Mentor – Law Firm (2019), the Daily Journal’s “Top Artificial Intelligence Lawyers” and “Top Employment Lawyers” (2019), Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards USA’s “Minority Lawyer of the Year” (2019), Latin Leaders Magazine’s “Top Latinx Lawyer” (2019) and the San Francisco Business Times’ “Bay Area’s Most influential Women” (2017). 

Pierce earned her J.D. as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar from Columbia University School of Law, where she also received the Emil Schlesinger Labor Law Prize, and her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, with honors. She is a past regional President of the Hispanic National Bar Association and former member of the Boards of Directors at Littler and the Bar Association of San Francisco. She currently serves on the Association of Corporate Counsel’s (ACC) Cybersecurity Advisory Board and on the Governing Boards of the American Bar Association’s (ABA’s) Center for Innovation and the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA).