A long-awaited team of five corporate lawyers has joined Bingham McCutchen's Silicon Valley office.
Partner James Chapman and of counsel Stephen Clinton come to the firm from Foley & Lardner, and partner Michael DiSanto is moving from the Cincinnati office of Dinsmore & Shohl with associate Nathan Hagler. In addition, Chapman recruited associate Tiffany Hsu. With expertise in technology, life sciences, cleantech and emerging companies, the hires are the product of a more than two-year search for the right corporate lawyers to build with in the Valley, said Steven Browne, co-chair of Bingham's corporate group.
"We spent a long time making sure we got the right people," Browne said. "I really believe in this group, and I think they're going to do great things for us."
Bingham's roots in Silicon Valley date back to its merger with San Francisco-based McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen, but the firm is still trying to grow in the region, Browne said. He thinks he has found the right lawyers in DiSanto and Chapman, who opened the Silicon Valley offices of Reed Smith and Nixon Peabody, respectively.
"They've each been founding partners of the Silicon Valley offices of large national and international law firms," Browne said. "They know how to do this."
Bingham now has about 30 lawyers in Palo Alto, Calif., and Browne said he envisions the office housing about twice that number when it reaches critical mass. With the arrival of these corporate lawyers, the firm has shifted its focus to hiring IP lawyers in the Valley, he added.
Chapman -- who brings experience in M&A, IPOs, venture capital financings and recapitalizations, among other transactions -- said he was drawn to Bingham by the chance to help build something. The firm's strong presence in Asia and prowess in technology M&A were also draws, he added.
"Bingham is one of the leading firms in the U.S. in technology M&A, so to be part of that group was really a great opportunity," Chapman said.
He said he expects to bring all of his clients, which range from emerging companies like Scent Sciences Corp. to Broadcom Corp., whose China work he handles.
DiSanto, who worked in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street before his stint in Ohio, represents companies and investors in IPOs, venture capital financings and debt financings, among other transactions. His clients include public and emerging companies in digital media, cleantech, life sciences and other sectors.
Legal recruiter Avis Caravello brokered the moves.