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MINNEAPOLIS AND PALO ALTO (May 9, 2005) – LAWFUEL – The Law News Netw…

MINNEAPOLIS AND PALO ALTO (May 9, 2005) – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Dorsey & Whitney LLP, the full-service international law firm, today announced its intention to join forces with the fifteen lawyers of Ritchey Fisher Whitman & Klein PC , a leading boutique law firm with a sophisticated litigation, corporate, employment, tax and estate planning practice in Silicon Valley. The combination will provide entrepreneurs and growing companies in Northern California with a broad array of legal services and capabilities in the USA, Canada, Europe and Asia.

The two firms have finalized a term sheet, which will be the basis of a definitive agreement. After the transaction closes, most likely within 90 days, Ritchey Fisher attorneys will operate under the Dorsey & Whitney name.

“This combination makes Dorsey an ideal law firm choice for Northern California-based clients, especially emerging companies and those in the technology and life sciences industries,” said Peter S. Hendrixson, Dorsey’s managing partner. “With our broad intellectual property, litigation and transactional experience – and our presence in global markets, especially Asia – we’re able to meet the needs of innovative companies that are growing in the U.S. and expanding internationally,” he said.

“With this merger, we are better able to meet the needs of our entrepreneurial clients as their businesses succeed,” said Craig Ritchey, senior partner at Ritchey Fisher. “As companies grow, they may begin looking to expand through merger or through joint ventures abroad, or they might find themselves facing complex and high-stakes litigation. With Dorsey’s full service capabilities and global platform, we’ll be able to meet virtually all our clients’ legal needs and work with them as partners throughout their company’s life cycle,” he said.

Ritchey Fisher was founded in 1965, and its attorneys are known for their impressive credentials and their reputation for achieving excellent results for their clients. Both Ritchey Fisher and Dorsey have strong traditions of pro bono service and community leadership.

Ritchey Fisher’s office in Palo Alto will complement the Dorsey’s specialty offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco. The combination with Dorsey offices in Irvine (CA), Seattle, Denver, and Salt Lake City, will provide premier corporate law and dispute resolution capabilities in the western United States. The addition of Ritchey Fisher’s fifteen attorneys enhances the litigation and corporate expertise at Dorsey, which already employs approximately 400 attorneys in these fields, and gives the Minneapolis-based firm a strong Northern California presence in these practice areas.

In joining Dorsey, Ritchey Fisher now offers its clients the additional depth and breadth of a global law firm. An American Lawyer “AmLaw 100” largest U.S. firm, with more than 600 attorneys worldwide, Dorsey offers a complete range of legal services including corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, technology transactions, business formations, intellectual property protection, and complex litigation. Dorsey consistently ranks among the top five U.S. firms for the number of completed merger and acquisition deals.

The addition of Ritchey Fisher’s attorneys, whose clients include entrepreneurs and emerging businesses in cutting-edge fields such as nanotechnology, biotechnology and semiconductors, bolsters Dorsey’s emerging companies practice, which works closely with venture capital and private equity firms.

The combined firm will share a client base that includes many well-known names, especially in the technology field, including Visioneer, Micron, Canon, Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, Wells Fargo, SRI International, The Carnegie Foundation, M.E. Fox & Co., Inc., and Owens-Illinois.

“Joining forces with Ritchey Fisher provides Dorsey a rare opportunity to combine with a well-established, forty-year-old firm that is a part of the fabric of the Silicon Valley community,” said Maria Swiatek, a partner in Dorsey’s Palo Alto office. “The combination enables Dorsey to build our presence in Northern California beyond our present intellectual property team, and help us to attract high caliber attorneys who are excited about serving our entrepreneurial clients.”

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