US firms expand in an effort to catch booming technology industry

California firms O’Melveny & Myers and Morrison & Foerster are expanding to target the booming technology industry in the US.

O’Melvenys is opening offices in high-tech hotspots northern Virginia, Silicon Valley and Orange County.

The Los Angeles-based firm opened its Virginia office at Tysons Corner at the end of February and will launch its two new Californian operations later this year.

Securities, antitrust and IP specialist Jeffrey Kilduff heads an initial team of three at the Virginia office. The office is big enough to house 25 lawyers as it expands.

Kilduff says: “O’Melvenys’ decision to open an office at Tysons Corner is based on our belief that being close to clients and involved in their community is an important element of our commitment to quality service.

“This is particularly true in the high-tech community of northern Virginia where the culture is worlds apart from Washington, even though it is only a few miles away.”

San Francisco firm Morrison & Foerster completed its merger with Washington DC communications boutique Gurman Blask & Freedman on 1 March.

The tie-up sees three of Gurmans’ four partners – Louis Gurman, William Freedman and Doane Kiechel – and three associates joining Morrison & Foerster’s 75-lawyer Washington office.

Gurmans was founded in 1984 and specialises in wireless telecommunications.

Cheryl Tritt, head of Morrison & Foerster’s communications practice, says: “The Gurmans group brings additional depth and expertise to our communications practice, particularly in the wireless area.”

She says that Morrison & Foerster’s client base of new entrants in the technology sector will mesh well with Gurmans’ wireless telecoms practice.