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The entrepreneurial bug has bitten a player high up the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati totem pole. Partner Gary Reback said Monday he is leaving the firm at the end of the month to become chief executive of his own start-up. Reback, 51, said he is teaming with Jonathan Taylor, the former chief technology officer of an Internet messaging company, to launch the company. Operating under the working title “Voxeo” in the Scotts Valley offices that once housed Borland International, the company will operate at “the intersection of telephony and the Internet,” Reback said. Reback, however, would not disclose details about what exactly the company is going to do. He does anticipate closing a round of venture financing this summer. A member of the Wilson’s managing team, Reback has been winding down his practice in recent months and will continue to transition to his new venture through May 31. Reback, an antitrust litigator, is one of a handful of partners who have left Wilson this year to pursue in-house or other opportunities. In addition, Reback is one of few Silicon Valley litigators to move in-house, because most fledgling enterprises have a greater need for lawyers who have focused on corporate work. After joining Wilson Sonsini from Fenwick & West in 1991, Reback was propelled to the national stage with his efforts to convince the government that some of Microsoft Corp.’s business practices were illegal. Reback was the author of a white paper that was widely distributed and contained many of the complaints typically leveled against Microsoft. After the government launched its antitrust case against Microsoft, however, Reback stepped back from his role as a key player in the fight. “My job there was to get people interested in the issue and to get the government involved,” Reback said. “I feel like I’ve accomplished that and for the last year or so, it’s been the government’s show.” Reback said that after the government launched the case, he began casting about for other opportunities — which ultimately led him to Taylor. The two wrote the business plan for Voxeo in concert as Reback began scaling back his workload. Wilson Sonsini became an investor in the new venture alongside a handful of chief executives who work in industries where Voxeo will need an ally, Reback said. Alan Austin, Wilson’s managing partner, said the firm has known for some time that Reback was wrestling with a career change. As a result, Reback has been turning clients over to other lawyers at the firm, so his departure will have little impact. He has been, however, a very influential figure at the firm, Austin added: “We think a great deal of him and we’re sorry to see him go.”

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