John W. Campbell

Senior Counsel | San Francisco | (415) 268-7197
(415) 268-7197

John Campbell has practiced in San Francisco and Silicon Valley for over 35 years. He has extensive experience as corporate counsel to offshore and U.S. public and private companies, and the venture capital firms and financial intermediaries that provide financing to them. He has represented companies and investors in over 300 venture capital and debt financing transactions, dozens of public offerings and numerous public and private M&A transactions.

John counsels companies at all stages in their life cycles. He distinguishes himself by achieving successful outcomes for clients through pragmatic, results-oriented analysis and creative, strategic thinking. He has been instrumental in starting, building and exiting numerous emerging growth companies in the life sciences and technology industries, including biotechnology, specialty pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and laboratory equipment, and semiconductors, telecommunications, software, e-commerce and social networking.

John has served as lead counsel on countless mergers and acquisitions including public company mergers, tender offers and spin-offs, ranging in size from $3 million to over $40 billion. He regularly advises management teams, special committees and boards of directors in acquisition and restructuring situations which present complex structural and governance challenges.

John has advised on dozens of capital markets transactions, including more than 30 initial public offerings and numerous public and private offerings of debt and equity securities in 144A, PIPE and similar structured transactions.

John has served as general counsel and advised on 1934 Act compliance and corporate governance matters for a substantial number of public companies, including foreign private issuers.

John is a past co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Life Science Group and the firm’s Emerging Company and Venture Group. He also served as a member of the supervisory board of a European and U.S. focused venture capital firm with an invested portfolio of over $250 million.

John graduated summa cum laude with distinction in economics from Duke University, was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and served as a member of the Yale Law Journal.

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  • Represented mezzanine lender and private equity investor in more than 15 financing transactions conducted by specialty pharmaceutical, drug development and medical device companies and several initial and follow-on public offerings by these companies.

  • Represented leading Japanese pharma company in its acquisition of Agensys Inc., and major investment and collaboration transaction with FibroGen.

  • Represented genomics technology company from formation in public and private securities offerings and off-shore based research and development financing structures.

  • Represented leading global container freight leasing company in initial public offering, follow-on offerings, securitized debt financings, and acquisitions.

  • Represented leading MEMs company from formation, through several rounds of venture financing, initial public offering and follow-on public offerings, 144A convertible debt financing and acquisitions.

  • Advised educational technology company in securities offerings and other financings, including management of disposition of controlling share blocks, and sale to Vtech Holdings.

  • Represented leading developer of social media advertising management and monetization software, in formation, several rounds of venture financing, acquisitions and and collaboration with ClearChannel Communications.

  • Represented leading temporary staffing company in acquisitions, sale of control position to private equity firm, and sale to Select Staffing.

  • Represented family held real estate and operating company, in sale of Century Theatres to Madison Dearborn and Cinemark and subsequent initial public offering and follow-on offerings by Cinemark.

  • Represented gene therapy company from formation through preferred stock financings, including strategic financing with Sun Pharmaceuticals, initial and follow on public offerings and PIPE transactions.

  • Represented specialty pharmaceuticals company in follow on public offerings, several PIPE transactions, royalty monetization, and collaboration transactions and investment transaction with Grifols S.A.

  • Represented antibody-focused immunotherapy company in formation, licensing transactions with the University of Texas, and initial and follow on venture financings.

  • Represented microbiome company in foundational licensing transactions with UC Davis, several rounds of venture financing and collaboration transactions with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Johnson & Johnson.

  • Represented innovative agricultural biotech company in initial and follow on public offerings, debt financings and recapitalization.

  • Represented respiratory therapeutic company in follow on public offerings, collaborations and sale to Actelion.

  • Represented immunotherapy company from formation through preferred stock financings, , initial and follow on public offerings, acquisitions and collaboration transactions.

  • Represented majority shareholder and lender to insulin delivery-focused medical device company in connection with asset backed loans, venture financing, initial public offering and follow-on public offerings.

  • Represented developer of cardiac event risk measurement and test technology, in foundational licensing transactions with Stanford and several rounds of venture financing.

  • Represented developer of rabbit monoclonal antibodies, in its formation around technology licensed from UCSF and Loyola, several rounds of venture financing, acquisition of several technology focused companies, spin-off of human therapeutics-focused company Apexigen, and acquisition by Abcam PLC.

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