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Minneapolis firm Dorsey & Whitney is opening an office in North Virginia, near Washington DC, to service the growing high-technology community there.
The firm follows the likes of Latham & Watkins, Brobeck Phleger & Harrison and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati into the market.
Dorsey & Whitney is focusing increasingly on technology clients, and will start the new practice with an intellectual property (IP) focus. The head of the office will be IP partner Aldo Noto, which is moving in from Washington and whose clients include Hewlett Packard and Agilent Technologies.
The firm plans to grow the office to around 30 lawyers over the next two years, and to target the corporate finance market there on the back of IP relationships.
Policy committee member Jeffrey Hurlburt says: "North Virginia is a really obvious one for us, because we're already in the Washington area, and the office is going to be pure IP and corporate finance.
"We're now actively recruiting the corporate finance capability - it's important to recruit people with knowledge of the community. There are a number of very active venture capitalists already out there and our preference would be to build with lateral candidates who are already in the network."
The office will work closely with the firm's London office, which focuses on high-technology transactions. Hurlburt hopes to offer a networking capability, introducing companies to venture capitalists and vice versa across the Atlantic.