Jim Verdonik, one of the best-known and most active lawyers dealing with high-tech in the Southeast, is joining forces with another technology-focused law firm, Daniels & Daniels.

In a move that’s likely to shake the balance of power among law firms seeking tech-related business, Verdonik becomes a partner with Walter and Linda Markus Daniels. In doing so, Verdonik leaves Kilpatrick & Stockton where he was a partner and had worked since 1989.

Three of the five best known attorneys who focus on high-tech in the Triangle are now teamed at Daniels Daniels & Verdonik, PA — the firm’s new name. (Fred Hutchinson, of Hutchinson & Mason and Larry Robbins, of Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP are the other two.)

“We see Jim’s arrival as providing us with additional depth at the most senior level of our firm, as well as providing what I would call additional bandwidth with which we can serve our clients,” Walter Daniels tells Local Tech Wire.

Verdonik, who has practiced law in North Carolina for 25 years, says the commitment of the Daniels to technology was a significant factor in his decision to leave Kilpatrick & Stockton.

“Walter, Linda and I share the same long-standing and deep commitment to the tech sector,” Verdonik says. “I think I have decided to do with my life is what they decided to do with their lives.”

Committed to tech

While insisting that he left Kilpatrick & Stockton on the best of terms, Verdonik also cites a trend among that firm and others that puts less emphasis on technology-related firms as another reason for leaving.

“The tech sector has had its ups and downs, and right now it is down,” he says, “so the bigger firms are less interested in technology than they were a few years ago. I think it’s going to come back.”

Verdonik, a 1977 graduate of Fordham Law School and a native of Brooklyn, NY, helped take one of the first RTP tech firms to go public — Broadband Technologies. He also has considerable experience in raising money on Wall Street, dating back to his days as an attorney in New York before moving to the Triangle.

Daniels says Verdonik’s experience adds a new dimension of capabilities to the firm he and his wife Linda created 20 years ago.

“This represents the merger of two premier practices, but for us it enables us to deliver a significant range of strategically important services that we weren’t able to provide before, particularly in the area of IPOs,” Daniels explains.

“The old firm of Daniels & Daniels did not participate in any IPOs, although we handled a number of mergers with public companies. Now, we’re ready.”

Down markets have quashed IPO offerings, but Daniels sees better days coming.

“It will come back,” he says. “People can sit on the sidelines only so long.”

They’ve talked before

The Daniels firm has been one of the region’s most active in dealing with technology firms and soon will be closing on several venture deals, Daniels adds. With Verdonik onboard, he sees the new firm growing at an ever faster pace.

“Oh yes, we’ve already seen a large number of people communicating that they are coming over here (with Verdonik),” he says. “Jim’s client base matches our client base. We have clients all over the world, although most are here in the Triangle. I do think that having extra depth does catapult us to another level of capability.”

The uniting of Verdonik with the Daniels certainly didn’t come as a surprise to them. The three have known, worked and competed with each other for years.

“I’ve tried to recruit them to join Kilpatrick over the years, and they’ve tried to recruit me,” Verdonik says with a laugh. He says discussions intensified “over the last couple of months. That’s when I decided I would be leaving Kilpatrick.”

Daniels says he and Linda didn’t hesitate to recruit Verdonik.

“When we learned that Jim might be open to considering a move, we were very quick to contact him,” he says. “We’ve always had a good relationship with him even when he was one of our principal competitors.”

Verdonik says he will miss his colleagues at Kilpatrick & Stockton but adds that he also expects to do business with the firm.

“I’ve already been talking with one of the partners there,” he says.

The new firm also has a new web site: d2vlaw.com.