Wilson Sonsini launches in NY and Salt Lake City

Silicon Valley giant Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is dramatically expanding its US presence two new offices in New York and Salt Lake City.

The firm, which until now had regional offices in Texas, Washington and Northern Virginia, will launch in New York with a team from the office of Silicon Valley rival Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigan.

Two partners, Alexander Lynch and Babak Yaghmaie, will leave Gunderson Dettmer's New York office and will be joined by Wilson Sonsini associates flown in from other outposts. Gunderson Dettmer only opened in New York in April last year.

Both Lynch and Yaghmaie are corporate partners focusing on representing technology companies in venture financing, public offerings and M&A.

Wilson Sonsini chairman Larry Sonsini says: “New York City provides us with an exciting opportunity to execute our strategy of following the explosive growth of the technology industry as it develops, and to serve the industry on a global basis.

“We've been evaluating the New York opportunity for some time and have identified the best team possible to lead our efforts.”

The firm already acts for many New York clients, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Trident Capital and Gartner Group. Other firmwide clients include 3Com Corporation, Hewlett Packard, Apple Computer and Sun Microsystems.

In Salt Lake City the firm will launch its office with a team of three, two of whom join from senior in-house roles.

Robert O'Connor is moving from his role as general counsel at Utah-based InsurQuote Systems, and Shawn Lindquist comes from a position as vice-president and general counsel at WhizBang! Labs.

Both were lawyers at Wilson Sonsini before going in-house, and Lindquist was instrumental in the launch of the firm's Kirkland, Washington office. The pair are joined by corporate and securities lawyer Shannon Whisenant from the Silicon Valley office.

O'Connor says: “The high-tech and life sciences industries in Utah and other states in the region represent a compelling opportunity for Wilson Sonsini.”