As first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (15 February), 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 as partners.
The five were founders of Silicon Valley's Venture Law Group before moving to Heller Ehrman in 2003, when 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 alongside Morrison & Foerster was among those 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 dotcom bust. A report from Thomson Venture Economics found that 170 venture capital funds raised $17.6bn (£9.35bn) in 2004, which is more than the previous two years combined.