Call Now: 415.597.5500

Dakin N. Ferris

Dakin N. Ferris focuses on intellectual property and business transactions in the technology sector, with extensive experience with commercial contracting, real property conveyances, financings, and secured lending. Dakin is a seasoned transactions lawyer who has represented established Fortune 500 companies, emerging growth software developers, and gleam-in-the-eye start-ups. Dakin currently represents businesses of all sizes whose objective is to develop, market, and achieve an outstanding return from their most valuable assets – intellectual property, business plans, and products – without undue risk of theft, infringement, or exposure to legal action. As a former in-house lawyer for leading software companies, Dakin has deep experience in the in- and out-licensing of software, all aspects of commercial contracts, and ensuring that business is being conducted on a level playing field. Dakin emphasizes providing timely, practical, cost-effective advice that enables a business to focus on its primary mission with the confidence that it has managed its legal risks appropriately.  Read the firm’s BLOG for up to date coverage of legal trends and events.


Attorney, Law Office of Dakin N. Ferris, January 2009 – September 2012, Oakland, CA

Solo law practice specializing in contracts, intellectual property (software, licensing, trademarks), commercial contracts and real estate.

Business Consultant/Legal Advisor, January 2004 – January 2011, San Francisco Bay Area

Clients included MarketingCrazy Inc., SalsaCrazy, Inc., & Hawaii Salsa Festival

VP of Legal ServicesTIBCO Software (TIBX), 1998 – 2003, Palo Alto, CA

• Managed 10-member law department (incl. 2 attorneys & 4 contracts negotiators), interfaced with executive management and participated on senior management team
• Lead counsel on the industry first Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) agreement (Yahoo’s finance portal)
•  Stream-lined business/legal processes helping transform TIBCO from $8M/Quarter to $80M/Quarter
• Negotiated hundreds of software agreements (in-bound & out bound for end user/internal use, embedding, bundling, distribution, resale, VAR, source code, pilot, education, development, site, enterprise, portal, LOIs, MOUs, RFPs, NDAs) and related consulting services with Fortune 1000 companies
• Key team member in planning & structuring TIBCO’s SaaS offering (TIBCO.Net)
• Provided transaction and integration support for strategic corporate acquisitions
• Helped create partner network through standardization and results-oriented risk analysis
• Restructure and “commoditize” contracts & practice for TIBCO’s professional services group
• Managed intellectual property portfolio, and internal and external use policies
• Conducted rolling company IP audit and established database and procedures for third-party code compliance
• Negotiated major corporate procurement and real estate agreements, managed export compliance, and helped structure and negotiate contracts for the purchase and creation of a new $110M campus
• Established corporate and legal department policies, managed outside counsel, supervised IPO diligence

Director, LegalSymantec Corporation (SYMC), 1996 – 1998, Mountain View, CA

• Negotiated entire array of software licensing and distribution agreements (source code, site/enterprise VAR/reseller/distribution, OSD, OEM, Pay-As-You-Go and localization) during period of rapid corporate growth
• Negotiated and managed the spin-off of TimeLine and ACT! For Notes products
• Supervised 3 assistants, reviewed most corporate marketing and promotions, authored corporate policies, created intranet legal dept. website, taught “Symantec & the Law” for new hires
• Supervised litigation consumer & labor law matters with favorable resolution
• Point person for all real estate matters including the sale of one building and off-balance sheet financing for acquisition of two others, extensively involved with new campus build-out team

Associate AttorneyGibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, December 1988 – July 1996, Newport Beach/San Francisco, CA

Transactional real estate and secured lending practice with some sidelines in litigation, intellectual property, and bankruptcy


Save the Children, May 2003 – October 2003, La Paz, Boliva

Worked in crisis area where most of the parents in a remote village were killed in a landslide just after the kids had gone to school

Team in Training, 1998 Bay Area Volunteer of the Year Award


University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D. 1988 (Admitted to CA State Bar)

Honors & Activities: Thurston Honors Society; Executive Editor, Hastings Law Journal; 1066 Foundation Scholarly Journalist Award; Business & Tax Club of Hastings

University of Massachusetts at Amherst, B.A. 1985 (Cum Laude)


United States Marine Corps, December 1977 – December 1980, Various International locations

Part of the Iranian Hostage rescue mission in 1979