Silicon Legal hopes to continue hiring in 2017. | Shutterstock

SAN FRANCISCO — Silicon Legal Strategy added several new members to their legal team after seeing a bump in clients in 2016 – and one of its founders thinks 2017 will bring more growth.

Peter Volz was the last member to join the team last year as an associate. In total, Silicon Legal was able to hire six new associates.

Volz took his experience in advising early stage and emerging technology companies from Wilson Sonsini’s Palo Alto office and will be working with Silicon Legal’s many emerging-technology clients.

Volz has also been named California Super Lawyer Rising Star in 2013-2016 by San Francisco Magazine.

With the move, Volz went from a firm with 15 offices worldwide to a firm with two offices, one each in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“Larger firms have scaled back,” Andre Gharakhanian, partner and founder of Silicon Legal, told The Northern California Record. “We’re seeing a lot layoffs and we’re seeing a lot of opportunities to hire people who got swept in that.”

Volz will be working in Silicon Legal’s San Francisco office.

Silicon Legal primarily works with startup companies, especially in the technology sector of the market. It also works with venture capitalists when they are making investments.

“We work with industries where regulation is way behind the times,” Gharakhanian said. “And industries where there’s human interaction which is always a wild card.”

Despite the firm’s small, boutique size, they are able to represent many well-known clients including Distractify, Expensify, Lyft and Uber.

“Most small firms our size don’t do this work,” Gharakhanian said. “It’s been a great time for us.”

Last year was a successful year for Silicon Legal, with being able to hire new associates like Volz who have worked for bigger firms.

“When hiring, we target people who come from larger firms who do the same work,” Gharakhanian said.

Gharakhanian sees a benefit to having a smaller firm.

“Our team gets to live a more reasonable lifestyle, but still does great work,” he said.

While other firms are shrinking, Silicon Legal is able to capitalize on the opportunity and recruit attorneys who have been laid off. Gharakhanian predicts 2017 will see similar growth.

“We are super-comfortable with how our earlier-stage clients are doing,” he said. “Big law firms may take a look in the mirror and lay off more people, which is our gain. By the end of the year, we predict we will be a team of 40.”

The growth of the firm has already started this year for the company, as Corin Medrano began working with the firm in January. She worked with emerging companies for Perkins Cole LLP before joining Silicon Legal. Medrano will be working with incorporations, private equity and debt financing and corporate governance.

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