John Bautista, David Lee, Mike Morrissey and Glen Van Ligten all join Orrick’s 80-lawyer Silicon Valley office, while Ned Ruffin will be based in Washington DC. They all join Orrick as partners.
The five were founding partners of Silicon Valley’s Venture Law Group and moved to Heller Ehrman in 2003, after the two firms merged.
Prior to its merger with Heller Ehrman, the now 108-lawyer Venture Law Group had enjoyed a longstanding referral relationship with Orrick, which was among the firms battling to secure a tie-in with the venture capital firm.
The hires come as the venture capital market shows signs of recovery for the first time since the dot.com bust. A report from Thomson Venture Economics found that 170 venture capital funds raised $17.6bn in 2004, more than the previous two years combined.