Craig Johnson, the visionary Silicon Valley lawyer who founded Venture Law Group and more recently Virtual Law Partners, died Saturday night. He suffered a stroke last Tuesday, just a week after coming back from a honeymoon in Europe with his wife and law partner Roseann Rotandaro. He was just 62.
“We’re devastated, but we’re very determined to continue his legacy,” said Andrea Chavez, co-founding partner at Virtual Law Partners.
Johnson was a fixture in Silicon Valley, and was always coming up with the next big idea. In 1993, he founded Venture Law Group, a law firm that only did corporate work for startups. The firm worked for Yahoo and Hotmail when they were just babies and made loads of money by investing heavily in their clients. Business boomed during the dot-com bubble and the firm later merged into Heller Ehrman after the bubble burst in 2003.
Last year, Johnson founded Virtual Law Partners, a firm that had no offices. Although people were skeptical that the firm would take off, the firm has grown rapidly, leading some to believe that it’s a new model for law firms. Johnson always enjoyed bucking the status quo in the law business: "It's a bit fun for me to tweak the tail of the American legal industry," Johnson said when he founded his latest venture.
Update: We have a full story on Johnson's life and legacy on CalLaw.
— Zusha Elinson