FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Sean Patrick Butler

Sean Patrick Butler

Meraki/Cisco
Senior Corporate Counsel
San Francisco, CA, USA


Sean Patrick Butler
Senior Corporate Counsel
Cisco’s Cloud Networking Group


Sean gets a little thrill out of referring to himself as a “reluctant lawyer.” Since leaving the large law firm practice two years ago he has been enjoying himself immensely no longer having to be the subject matter expert and instead using the skills he developed as a corporate and securities attorney in Silicon Valley to be a part of in-house teams facilitating the rapid growth of fast-paced startup companies.

In June of 2012, Sean joined Meraki, Inc., a cloud-managed networking company and former client based in San Francisco as their first in-house attorney. Four months later Meraki signed a term sheet to be acquired by Cisco Systems, Inc. for $1.2 billion, and Sean helped lead the team that completed the acquisition in just over nine weeks from term sheet to closing.

Since then, Sean has been assisting with the integration of Meraki as the new Cloud Networking Group within Cisco’s larger Enterprise business. He continues to provide front-line counsel to the former Meraki team as they work to rapidly scale Meraki’s revenue by leveraging the new Cisco platform.

Prior to joining Meraki, Sean started his own practice, acting as a contract general counsel for startups and entrepreneurs - a move that was simultaneously thrilling and terrifying. Nothing says “motivation,” he discovered, like transferring the last bit of one’s savings to one’s checking account, unsure where next month’s expenses would come from - all with two small children to support. It was during this time that Sean began to broaden his skillset beyond the scope of his corporate and securities practice prior to that time.

Sean started his career at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C., in 2005 after graduating from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. Sean spent two years in the Palo Alto office, and three years in the firm’s Seattle office, doing his tour of duty through the public company and Mergers & Acquisitions practices, but focusing primarily on the day-to-day representation of startups and emerging growth companies.

Sean lives in Sebastopol, California with his wife and two children. When he is not wearing his lawyer hat he spends as much time as possible with his family in the outdoors, reclaiming some of the years he has spent in front of a computer under fluorescent lights. Despite his best efforts to be professional over the years, he still finds it difficult to take himself too seriously.
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