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In a bid for technology business, the new Reston office of law firm Cooley Godward LLP has hired three real estate lawyers away from politically connected McGuire Woods Battle & Booth LLP. Silicon-Valley based Cooley Godward focuses on technology companies with services relating to intellectual property, venture capital and transactions among others. It recruited John Toole, Antonio Calabrese and Susan Mullen to add veteran lawyers familiar with local real estate practices.

“The real estate economy has become linked to the booming technology sector in the Mid-Atlantic area,” says Joe Conroy, partner-in charge of the Reston office. “With the convergence of telecommunications and the Internet has come the advent of a new breed of real estate transactions requiring lawyers who understand the business of technology.”

One new hire agrees. “Cooley Codward’s high-tech, dotcom, emerging growth and telecom clients need help with good old-fashioned bricks and mortar,” says Calabrese. “They need office space, data centers, fiber-optic lines and roof tops for telecom facilites Every one of these issues has innumerable real estate consequences and legal implications.”

People familiar with the real estate industry don’t see the move affecting how transactions are done, but it is possible that there may be more changes about who does the deals. One recruiter said other technology firms that have been moving into Northern Virginia could pursue real estate lawyers.

“I haven’t heard of tech law firms pursuing real estate lawyers,” says Barry Romm, a recruiter who works with attorneys. However, “it’s sort of a natural fit for them. When clients need room to grow sooner or later, I think the demand will be there.”

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