West Coast technology firm Venture Law Group (VLG) has lost two of the four partners based in its Kirkland, Washington, office. Craig Sherman and Mark Handfelt have joined Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Their departures are the first partner defections from the firm since November 2000. While associate numbers have dropped by around 20 per cent following layoffs, demotions and performance-related culls, partner numbers have remained robust. VLG was formed on an innovative premise, taking stock in technology start-up companies and establishing a salary scheme that gives every employee points in its investment pool. While it capitalised on the technology boom of the late 1990s, VLG has suffered from the slowdown in corporate activity in the technology sector. It is understood that Sherman and Handfelt were attracted to the security of a more traditional firm. VLG co-founder Craig Johnson said: "This is a time when you either have to believe in the future of the firm or you don't." Sherman and Handfelt were unavailable for comment.