Simpson Thacher raids Cooley Godward

New York firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has bulked up its presence on the West Coast at the expense of Silicon Valley giant Cooley Godward.

The firm, which already has a nine-partner office in the Valley, is taking Cooley Godward's managing partner of compensation and benefits Stephen Fackler to take it to what it describes as “full service”.

Compensation and benefits is a particularly important area in the technology market around San Francisco, where high-tech clients often regard their human resources as their biggest assets. Those companies often focus on equity compensation, with approaches that are particular to the local market.

Simpson Thacher corporate partner Richard Capelouto says: “We have been building the office to create a full-service office, and there were two areas that we needed to fill out. One was intellectual property, and we have brought in Jeffrey Ostrow from New York for that, and the other was employee benefits.

“We commenced a nationwide search for an employee benefits partner, to see who we thought made sense. Stephen fitted well with the practice out here, both in terms of mergers and acquisitions and company representation.”

Along with Ostrow, the firm is drafting in two partners from New York to boost the West Coast presence. Corporate finance partners Bill Bretani and Edward Chung increase the office to 10 partners (The Lawyer, 4 December 2000).

The practice has a strong focus on leveraged buyout work – one of its biggest clients is buyout fund Silverlake Partners.

The office has just completed a deal representing Maxim Integrated Products, a $20bn (£13.85bn) semi-conductor company, in its acquisition of Dallas Semiconductor.

Capelouto says: “In any transaction with M&A, people are incredibly important, so Stephen will be an excellent addition. He has a tremendous reputation out here.”