Employment Law


A partner in the employment law practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Ulrico (Rico) Rosales has practiced employment law for more than 20 years—17 of them in Silicon Valley—and has seen virtually every type of employment issue faced by technology and growth companies. Rico's practice encompasses all aspects of employment law, including counseling and representing clients in litigation matters.

Rico has represented clients in several jury and non-jury trials, including discrimination, wrongful termination, and class action matters. He has successfully tried numerous discrimination cases, including race, sex, age, and disability cases. His trial experience also includes successfully defending cases against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Rico also routinely handles litigation matters involving wrongful termination, sexual harassment, constructive discharge, breach of contract, wage and hour and fraud.

Rico draws on his extensive litigation practice when counseling clients. On a daily basis, he consults with human resources professionals, executives, and board members regarding all aspects of the employment relationship. These issues include preventive personnel practices, employee terminations, workplace investigations (including those involving sexual harassment), wage and hour matters, independent contractor audits, and reductions in force. He also advises companies regarding employment due-diligence matters in the merger and acquisition context. In addition to the scores of clients Rico represents in the technology field, he frequently advises venture capital firms on employment matters and also is called upon to advise the management teams of companies being acquired by other companies.

A significant portion of Rico's practice involves advising companies on employee mobility and trade secret misappropriation issues, including the interpretation and enforceability of non-compete agreements, employee raiding and solicitation matters, and counseling clients as to preventive measures designed to minimize the risks associated with hiring competitors' employees or having employees depart to work with competitors. Rico has counseled more than 150 technology companies dealing with such issues and has represented companies in approximately 25 court actions involving these matters. For example, he represented Broadcom in GlobeSpan v. O'Neil, which resulted in a California federal court decision declaring that the inevitable disclosure doctrine is not the law of the state.

Rico is a frequent speaker on employment matters. He has also commented for numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the San Jose Mercury News, Business Week, and legal-profession newspapers. Since 2001, San Jose Magazine has identified him as one of Silicon Valley's best employment lawyers. In addition, he provides pro bono legal services to several Bay Area nonprofit organizations.

Rico is a former co-chair of the firm's Nominating Committee and a former member of the Policy Committee.

Rico is a former law clerk to the Honorable Zita L. Weinshenk of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. More recently, he was the managing partner of the Palo Alto office of McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen. Rico acts as a legal advisor for our portfolio company, Aelan Cell Technologies.