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Make room for another newcomer to the Silicon Valley legal market. Orange County’s largest law firm, the 130-lawyer Rutan & Tucker, has chosen San Jose as the spot to open its first satellite office. The Costa Mesa-based firm hired litigator William Eliopoulos, who recently split from the San Jose litigation boutique Bergeson & Eliopoulos. That firm is continuing as Bergeson LLP. Rutan announced the new office will open Friday with Eliopoulos and two other lawyers who worked with him at his former firm: John Antracoli is joining Rutan as a partner; Erin-Leigh Henderson as an associate. The trio specializes in real estate and construction litigation. Eliopoulos said his practice didn’t mesh with the securities and technology emphasis of his partner at Bergeson & Eliopoulos. Last month, he and fellow name partner Daniel Bergeson parted ways amicably, ending their 12-year-old partnership. “I have primarily a construction client base, and Rutan has a strong construction and real estate practice,” Eliopoulos said. Eliopoulos had gotten to know Rutan when he worked there as an associate for four years before moving to Northern California in 1985. He had kept in touch over the years, and Jeffrey Oderman, Rutan’s managing partner, said Eliopoulos was well regarded. Rutan, a full-service firm, has been toying with the idea of expanding by opening an office in Northern California. But partners had resisted expanding geographically because of the difficulties of maintaining a uniform culture, Oderman said. The fact that Eliopoulos was available and willing to rejoin the firm sped up the firm’s decision, Oderman said. “It couldn’t be better circumstances for us,” Oderman said. “He was going to make a move and at the same time, we felt it was time for us to open a Northern California office.”

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