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Startup lawyers regularly engineer the sale of clients they’ve shepherded since inception but in the case of one Venture Law Group client, the company may have outlasted its law firm. The Santa Clara-based Latitude Communications Inc. was the seventh client to hire VLG in 1993, the year in which both the company and the firm were founded. But VLG merged into Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe in October. It was another six weeks before the VLG team now at Heller inked the sale of Latitude to San Jose’s Cisco Systems Inc. The $80 million deal was announced Nov. 12. Steven Tonsfeldt, a Heller partner who moved over with the VLG group, said the deal was a special one for him and his VLG partners. “It had somewhat of a more emotional tie to the firm because of the longstanding relationship,” Tonsfeldt said. Pitching in on the deal were Latitude’s longtime contact partners at VLG, Mark Medearis and Edward Kim, both of whom are now Heller partners. Also on the Heller deal team from the VLG contingent were partners Mark Windfeld- Hansen, Renee Deming and Michael Morrissey and associates Mark Seneca and Anita Vasudevan. Heller partner Timothy Hoxie weighed in on antitrust issues with an assist from associate Lawrence McSwiggan. Fenwick & West represented Cisco in the deal, the third merger or acquisition the firm has handled since taking over as Cisco’s primary outside counsel. The Fenwick team comprised partners Douglas Cogen, Scott Spector, E. A. Lisa Kenkel, Lawrence Granatelli, Mark Ostrau and Walter Raineri. Of counsel Mona Clee gave an assist with associates Thomas Hall, Garth Bossow, Monifa Clayton, Catherine Manley and Christopher Joslyn.

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