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O’Melveny & Myers is poaching three high-profile corporate partners from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a source familiar with the deal said Tuesday. Michael Kennedy, Steve Camahort and Michael Dorf will all be leaving for the San Francisco office of Los Angeles-based O’Melveny effective Feb. 1. None of the partners returned telephone calls Tuesday. A spokesman for O’Melveny declined to comment. “They were great partners, and we wish them all the best,” said Courtney Chiang Dorman, a spokeswoman for Wilson Sonsini. Kennedy and Camahort launched Wilson Sonsini’s San Francisco office after making the jump from Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison in 1999. At the time, that deal didn’t include bringing any clients with them. Dorf also joined the firm from Brobeck. During their time at Wilson Sonsini, the attorneys represented such clients as Sun Microsystems, Sybase, Veritas, Hewlett-Packard and Juniper Networks. The three also worked previously at Shearman & Sterling. Silicon Valley partners said Tuesday the group has a good reputation. “They are all excellent M&A lawyers who have been a group for a while,” said Thomas Kellerman, a partner with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. “They know a lot of people, and a lot of people know them.” Gregory Smith, a partner with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, commented, “We’ve been across the table from them a number of times. It’s clear that they’re a strong asset at whatever firm they reside.” The trio had reportedly been shopping themselves around for some time. Some attributed their move to the continuing success of Los Angeles-based firms in the Bay Area market. “The Los Angeles firms continue to do well financially,” said Peter Engstrom, a partner at Baker & McKenzie. “When firms make a push in the Valley, they look to Wilson first for candidates to target.” Daniel Winnike, a partner at Fenwick & West, said he believes O’Melveny has been working to build up its M&A practice. “They’re three well-known M&A lawyers, so I would think that would be a boost to O’Melveny’s profile in Silicon Valley,” Winnike said. “Wilson still has a good number of well-regarded lawyers, including M&A lawyers, so I don’t think this would be highly damaging for them.” Dorman said that Wilson’s M&A practice is “the cornerstone of the firm, and we have a tremendous depth of talent in this area.” Reporter Justin Scheck contributed to this report.

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