On February 4, when global research firm Savills released its Tech Cities in Motion survey results, it validated many law firms’ decisions in recent years to aggressively pursue New York’s technology-driven startup and investment sector. Among 30 cities worldwide, Savills announced, “New York has emerged as the premiere Tech City, overtaking San Francisco.” The report hasn’t receive much coverage in the legal trade press, but as recruiters who have gained a wide-ranging knowledge of the local market while facilitating lateral partner moves, we’ve learned that law firms have played important supporting roles in Silicon Alley’s ascension. We’ve identified three key strategies deployed by recognized law firm leaders in the space.

According to Tech:NYC, the city’s so-called “technology ecosystem” now boasts a value of $71 billion. It’s home to some 7,000 startups, backed by close to $40 billion in venture capital. And these days, every law firm in town wants a piece of the action. In one recent high-profile move, last October, New York-founded Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel recruited globally recognized IP and technology commercialization expert Harry Rubin. A former co-chair of Ropes & Gray’s international practice group, Rubin has since launched Kramer Levin’s IP and technology transactions practice.

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