Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
In 1996, Yahoo! Inc. used Silicon Valley-based Venture Law Group to handle its initial public offering. But this year, when Yahoo bought France’s bargain-hunting Web site Kelkoo for $575 million, it tapped a New York shop to work the deal. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo also hired Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom to manage its $1.8 billion acquisition of Overture Services Inc. in 2003. After years of nibbling crumbs left by the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosatis of Silicon Valley, New York firms are finally taking a big bite. “The little Yahoos and the little [Hewlett-Packards] are now grown up,” said San Francisco legal recruiter Avis Caravello. “They have very sophisticated needs that New York firms argue are best served by firms with global M&A practices-namely, themselves.” Kevin Baker, general counsel of Fremont Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity fund, agreed. “Any time a company goes from startup to middle market, it upgrades its counsel for more sophisticated counsel,” said Baker, who worked at O’Melveny & Myers for nine years. Shifts in market Shifts in the marketplace have created a toehold for New York firms. Many of New York’s elite law firms opened outposts in Silicon Valley during the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s. Back then, it was fashionable for local companies to take their IPOs and technology deals to homegrown California firms. New York firms kept busy by serving their East Coast clients’ local needs and picking up new clients where they could. As Silicon Valley emerges from the dot-com bust, new market forces are at play. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other accounting rule changes make deals more complex and clients more cautious. Conservative New York firms, with their expertise in complicated financial transactions and experience in down markets, have new appeal. “There’s a greater appreciation for people who’ve been around the block, who know how to do more complicated things and have been through down cycles,” said Rod Howard, a Silicon Valley-based partner at New York’s Weil, Gotshal & Manges. “Corporate scandals have made companies and boards more cautious,” Howard added. “You won’t get criticized for hiring a [top New York firm].” While New York firms are making inroads into Silicon Valley, native firms are still the teams to beat. Yahoo General Counsel Michael Callahan said his company continues to do plenty of corporate and patent work with the firm that took it public, VLG, now a unit of Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.