Wilson Sonsini to open Salt Lake City office with trio of lawyers

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Mountains rise up behind the Salt Lake City skyline and the Utah State Capitol building, November 21, 2012. REUTERS/George Frey

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  • Salt Lake City nicknamed "Silicon Slopes" due to heavy tech presence
  • Kirkland & Ellis, Foley & Lardner have set up offices there in recent months

(Reuters) - Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is opening an office in Salt Lake City, becoming the latest major U.S. law firm to plant a flag in the tech-heavy region sometimes called "Silicon Slopes."

A Wilson Sonsini representative confirmed the office opening late Monday as well as the names of three lawyers who are set to be based there.

The new office will consist of Deno Himonas, a Utah Supreme Court justice poised to retire from the bench in March, and Marc Porter, a Holland & Hart partner. Matt Squires, a Wilson Sonsini partner, will relocate to Salt Lake City from Seattle.

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Porter is a corporate partner who has previously represented Signal Peak Ventures, a Salt Lake City-based venture capital firm. Squires is the head of Wilson Sonsini's Latin America practice group.

The Silicon Valley-founded firm has an existing presence in Salt Lake City through SixFifty LLC, its legal technology subsidiary.

Wilson Sonsini used to have an office of practicing attorneys in a Salt Lake City office that opened in 2001, but closed six years later when founding partner Bob O'Connor moved his practice to the Bay Area, according to media reports at the time.

Salt Lake City has emerged as a technology and venture capital hub, and companies like eBay Inc and Microsoft Corp have set up shop there.

U.S. law firms have been following in recent months. In September, Chicago-founded Kirkland & Ellis opened its Salt Lake City office by relocating three partners from its other offices. Last month, Foley & Lardner tapped a team from Maschoff Brennan, an intellectual property firm with offices in Utah and California, to launch an outpost.

Doug Clark, Wilson Sonsini's managing partner, said in a statement provided to Reuters that the firm's new office will help it serve Utah's companies and investors.

"With this announcement, we enhance our longstanding client relationships in the region, recognize Salt Lake City for the vibrant market it has become for emerging technology and life sciences companies, and we look forward to adding an invaluable asset to the firm in the person of Justice Himonas," he said.

Read more:

Salt Lake City draws another Big Law newcomer

Kirkland eyes local law schools with Salt Lake City office launch

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David Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached at d.thomas@thomsonreuters.com and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.

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Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at sara.merken@thomsonreuters.com