After the death of its founding partner Craig Johnson last October, Silicon Valley firm Virtual Law Partners needed to transition from a “benevolent dictatorship” to a partnership democracy in order to survive, reports the San Francisco Business Times.

Just like his startup clients, Johnson was one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative lawyers, reported sibling publication The Recorder at the time. His vision for a virtual firm with no headquarters and minimal support staff attracted clients seeking lower rates over big-firm-caliber representation, and VLP grew quickly after its founding in 2008. But the stroke that killed Johnson suddenly at 62 devastated the small tech boutique. Among those mourning Johnson’s loss was his wife, RoseAnn Rotandaro, also a partner at the firm.

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