The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Morrison & Foerster LLP

250 W 55TH STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10019-9601, USA
Tel:
Work +1 212 468 8000
Fax:
Fax +1 212 468 7900
Email:
Web:
www.mofo.com

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


United States

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s ‘strong team’ provides ‘excellent business acumen, in-depth industry knowledge and great response times’ and is ‘highly recommended for complex loan transactions’. Global practice chair Mark Edelstein ‘gives his full attention to all of his transactions’ and has notable expertise in real estate finance, private equity, and bankruptcy and restructuring issues. Edelstein and Christopher Delson recently advised JP Morgan and another major bank as joint lead arrangers in their $1.5bn construction loan for 1 Vanderbilt, a new office tower adjacent to Grand Central Station in New York. The team also represented Wells Fargo as administrative agent and lead arranger on its $1.5bn construction loan for an office and retail tower in Hudson Yards, and acted for Unizo Holdings in $1bn-worth of office building acquisitions across New York City and Washington DC. Other notable individuals include Lawrence Ceriello, who acts for a mix of commercial lenders, investment banks and hedge funds; Thomas Fileti, who heads the team’s Los Angeles group; and Philip Levine, who advises on a range of debt and equity transactions in Northern California. Thomas McGovern is recommended for restructuring issues and splits his time between Boston and New York.

Next generation lawyers

Thomas McGovern - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

United States: Antitrust

Cartel
Cartel - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s US team, which forms a key part of the wider global cartel practice, has a 30-year track record assisting clients with investigations and litigation domestically and overseas. The firm acts for companies and individuals across a wide range of industries, with particular experience in technology, transportation, automotive parts and financial services. Roxann Henry, US team head Jeff Jaeckel, Bradley Lui and David Cross have first-rate reputations.

[back to top]

Civil litigation/class actions: defense
Civil litigation/class actions: defense - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Jeff Jaeckel leads Morrison & Foerster LLP’s US team, which undertakes antitrust-related class actions and MDLs, individual actions and litigated merger challenges. Particular areas of sector expertise include transportation, technology, financial services and telecoms. In 2017, David Cross successfully defended CSX Transportation against price-fixing claims brought by direct purchasers of rail freight shipping services. Jaeckel, Deanne Maynard, Gregory Koltun (Los Angeles) and others assisted UPS with defeating a lawsuit brought by AFMS, which claimed that UPS and FedEx conspired to refuse to deal with third-party consultants that negotiate contracts between shippers and carriers. Named partners are based in Washington DC, except where otherwise noted. Stephen Smith has retired from private practice.

[back to top]

Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP has ‘good people to work with’, who are ‘bright and engaged’ in transactional antitrust matters. In 2017, Jonathan Gowdy, Roxann Henry, David Meyer and others acted for Deere & Company in the high-profile DOJ lawsuit related to its proposed acquisition of Precision Planting’s equipment business. Another highlight involved Henry and Steven Kaufmann assisting Axalta Coating Systems with obtaining clearances from the FTC and Canadian Competition Bureau for its $420m acquisition of Valspar’s North American wood coatings business; this deal was a condition of Sherwin-Williams’ acquisition of Valspar. Jeff Jaeckel leads the US team. Stephen Smith has retired from private practice. All named individuals are based in Washington DC.

[back to top]

United States: Dispute resolution

Appellate
Appellate: courts of appeals - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Appellate: supreme courts (states and federal) - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s group boasts an ‘extremely deep bench’. It houses ‘one of the finest appellate advocates nationwide’ Deanne Maynard and Brian Matsui, who are ‘skilled advocates, able to present highly technical issues and arguments to the judges’. At the US Supreme Court, Maynard, Joseph Palmore and Marc Hearron acted for the petitioner in Amgen Inc v Sandoz Inc, challenging the enforceability of certain Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act’s provisions under federal law, and thus streamlining the approval procedure for biosimilars. At the Federal Circuit, Matsui secured a victory for six movie studios in a patent appeal against MONKEYmedia.

Leading lawyers

Deanne Maynard - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to corporates - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to individuals - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

At Morrison & Foerster LLP, the Washington DC-based Charles Duross is handling the monitorship of Odebrecht following a high-profile and multi-jurisdictional coordinated action taken by US, Brazilian and Swiss regulators. The group also represents high-profile individuals in numerous cross-border criminal matters. The team welcomed John Carlin, who joined the New York office from the DOJ; Christin Joy Hill, who joined the San Francisco office from a senior in-house position at Uber Technologies; and Joshua Hill, who also joined the San Francisco office, from Sidley Austin LLP. Also recommended are experienced trial lawyer Carrie Cohen in New York, and in Washington DC, FCPA expert James Koukios and the ‘thoughtful, diligent and strategic’ Stacey Sprenkel.

[back to top]

Financial services litigation
Financial services litigation - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Jointly led by David Fioccola and James McGuire from New York and San Francisco respectively, Morrison & Foerster LLP is particularly noted for its ‘excellent work’ defending financial institutions accused of consumer finance-related misdemeanours including issues related to violations of federal and state unfair and deceptive actions and practices statutes. Alongside Elizabeth Balassone, McGuire recently successfully secured summary judgment on behalf of Capital One Auto Finance in a case which clarified the law relating to the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. Other highlights include Fioccola and Jessica Kaufman’s recent success for Nordstrom in the dismissal of a suit alleging deceptive practices related to its credit card fee disclosures.

[back to top]

Leading trial lawyers

Arturo González - Morrison & Foerster LLP Arturo González maintains a ‘stellar reputation’, which places him ‘in league of his own when it comes to trial strategy and presentation’. González secured a victory for Los Angeles World Airports, following a five-week trial in San Mateo County Superior Court, stemming from the sale of fire trucks to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Atlanta airports. Uber is also a client; González is representing the company in the high-profile trade secrets dispute with Waymo.

Leading trial lawyers

Arturo González - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco)
Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco) - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Headed by the ‘excellent and knowledgeable’ Erin Bosman in San Diego, Morrison & Foerster LLP’s practice handles product liability and class actions in a multitude of industries and is particularly adept in the technology products sector. Bosman continues to represent Fitbit in a putative class action regarding the accuracy of its sleep tracking function. In other work, San Diego-based Mark Zebrowski advised Gree Electric Appliances on a consumer product recall related to over two million dehumidifiers sold in the US. In San Francisco, senior counsel William Stern and the recently promoted Claudia Vetesi represent Unilever in a nationwide consumer class action, in which plaintiffs allege that ingredients of a facial scrub cause skin irritations. The highly recommended Julie Park in San Diego was made partner in January 2017.

Next generation lawyers

Julie Park - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense
Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

The ‘knowledgeable’ Erin Bosman heads the San Diego-based product liability team at Morrison & Foerster LLP, which regularly acts as counsel and trial team for manufacturers in the pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors. Ongoing work includes representing McKesson in product liability cases related to a number of medications, including Taxotere and Reglan. Together with Julie Park, Bosman also acts as national product liability counsel to MicroPort Orthopedics. Other clients include Fitbit and Fresenius. Park was invited to partnership in January 2017.

[back to top]

Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense
Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Headed by San Diego-based Erin Bosman, the department at Morrison & Foerster LLP is particularly active in toxic tort and Proposition 65 litigation. In San Francisco, James Schurz continues to represent several coffee companies, including Starbucks and Nestlé, against claims alleging that under Proposition 65, due to the presence of the chemical acrylamide, manufacturers and retailers are required to provide cancer warnings on coffee. Led by Los Angeles-based Peter Hsiao, the team continues to defend the Dairy Industry Environmental Coalition against claims challenging the reuse of manure as a soil amendment. Other clients include Amazing Grass, Unilever and BASF. Michèle Corash in San Francisco is also recommended.

Leading lawyers

Michèle Corash - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

Securities litigation: defense
Securities litigation: defense - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Outstanding firmMorrison & Foerster LLP provides ‘an extremely high level of service, responsiveness and strategic advice’. Joel Haims in New York is ‘brilliant - he gets right to the heart of the issues and always proposes a good course of action’. He chairs the securities litigation, enforcement and white-collar defense group with Jordan Eth in San Francisco. Eth and fellow West Coast partners Judson Lobdell and Craig Martin ‘have the ability to read a situation and derive the best possible solution’. The ‘engaged and thoughtful’ Philip Besirof, Anna Erickson White and Palo Alto-based Erik Olson are also recommended. Eth, Daniel Marmalefsky in Los Angeles and James Beha in New York represented Blackberry in a securities fraud case concerning statements the company made about the launch of BlackBerry 10 devices in 2013.

[back to top]

United States: Finance

Capital markets: debt offerings
Capital markets: debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Capital markets: debt offerings - advice to underwriters - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Accessible, knowledgeable and great to deal with’, Morrison & Foerster LLP sets itself apart through its ‘strict adherence to the client’s key goals’. The firm secures a steady stream of financial services-related work and New York-based Ze’-ev Eiger advised Incapital as lead dealer on the establishment of a $100m retail note program for Capital Impact Partners. REIT-related work is a notable strength and Washington DC-based REIT specialist David Slotkin assisted Equity Residential’s operating partnership, ERP Operating Limited Partnership, with its $700m notes offering. In 2018, a senior team left for Mayer Brown, which included former practice head Anna Pinedo, Jerry Marlatt and tax specialists Thomas Humphreys and Remmelt Reigersman.

[back to top]

Capital markets: equity offerings
Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to managers - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Responsive and deeply knowledgeableMorrison & Foerster LLP has ‘a rare ability to deliver value while also delivering partner access’. The team, which is equally adept at advising issuers and underwriters, handles a wide range of private investment in public equity transactions, IPOs and follow-on offerings, with notable expertise in technology, energy, financial institutions and real estate. REIT work is a sweet spot and Washington DC-based REIT co-chair Justin Salon advised the underwriters on Plymouth Industrial REIT’s $55.1m IPO. On the company side, San Francisco’s John Campbell assisted Krystal Biotech with its $45.5m IPO. A senior team including Anna Pinedo, Jerry Marlatt and tax specialists Thomas Humphreys and Remmelt Reigersman left for Mayer Brown.

[back to top]

Capital markets: global offerings
Capital markets: global offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Capital markets: global offerings - advice to underwriters - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

The ‘top-notch team’ at Morrison & Foerster LLP scores highly for ‘always exceeding expectations’, with sources drawing particular attention to its ‘responsive and client-focused lawyers’ and ‘great bench strength’. The New York-based practice handles the full spread of matters, with notable expertise in debt deals and offerings for financial institutions. HSBC Finance Corporation is a marquee client and the firm advised it on a string of offerings through 2017, including assisting with its $1.1bn notes issuance - Ze’-ev Eiger co-led that work. On the manager side, a combined US and UK team acted as underwriters’ counsel for Bank of America Corporation on over 100 debt issuances over the past year, including offerings in Asia, Australia, Europe and Canada. Among its equity highlights, the firm advised Shanghai Dazhong Public Utilities on its HK$1.7bn share offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The firm recently lost a sizeable capital markets team to Mayer Brown, which included Anna Pinedo and Jerry Marlatt as well as tax specialists Thomas Humphreys and Remmelt Reigersman.

[back to top]

Financial services regulation
Financial services regulation - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Co-headed from Washington DC by the ‘brilliant’ Rick Fischer and Obrea Poindexter, Morrison & Foerster LLP is best-known for its ‘first-class’ payments expertise which includes advice to many leading credit card issuers and mobile payments providers on ongoing compliance issues associated with this fast-changing area of law, in addition to legislative matters and regulatory advice pursuant to transactions in the sector. Recent highlights include representing Bass Pro Group on its $5.5bn acquisition of hunting and fishing store Cabela’s. A complex transaction which involved significant regulatory scrutiny, the mandate involved the purchase and sale agreement of Cabela’s World’s Foremost Bank’s credit card accounts and deposits, as well as the negotiation of a program agreement for a new Cabela’s cobrand credit card to be offered by Capital One. On the bank regulatory front, Jiang Liu regularly advises Chinese banks with operations in the US and, alongside Barbara Mendelson, is a key member of the team that is well regarded for its overarching expertise for foreign banks on their obligations under Dodd-Frank. On the West coast, senior counsel Henry Fields has significant financial services M&A expertise and, alongside of counsel Ben Chung, is representing Beneficial State Bank on its pending merger with Albina Community Bank. Despite the departure in March 2017 of Leonard Chanin to Fifth Third Bank, the team maintains a strong presence in the consumer finance sector where the ‘very strong’ Oliver Ireland and Donald Lampe are key contacts. Joan Warrington also benefits from a wealth of consumer finance expertise garnered through her years in private practice and in-house, and also has particular expertise on structuring strategic partnerships between financial institutions and non-financial institutions.

Leading lawyers

Henry Fields - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

Project finance
Project finance: advice to lender - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Project finance: advice to sponsor - ranked: tier 5

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP has particular expertise in advising sponsors on renewable energy projects. Los Angeles-based Jeffrey Chester, who heads the practice, handled a number of wind projects in Mexico for Oak Creek Energy Systems, including advising on the financing and sale of phases 3 and 4 of the Tres Mesas project. Another key lawyer in California is San Francisco-based Jeffrey Kayes, who acted for Invenergy on the financing and sale of a 24.9MW solar project in New York. Kayes was also highly active on equity investments for Hannon Armstrong, with recent work including advising on its joint venture with GI Energy Investments to purchase mid-sized commercial solar projects from SunPower.

[back to top]

Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Known primarily for its creditor-side representations, Morrison & Foerster LLP’s business restructuring and insolvency group has secured work in some of the largest bankruptcies of 2017. Lorenzo Marinuzzi and Todd Goren represented the official committee of unsecured creditors in Avaya’s $6.3bn Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the team also acted for the official committee of unsecured creditors of Republic Airways Holdings. The practice further continued to be busy in the energy sector and is acting as co-counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors in SunEdison’s complex restructuring. In addition it advised the official committee of unsecured creditors of Peabody Energy. On the debtor-side, senior of counsel James Peck and Jennifer Marines led a multidisciplined team which advised Maxus Energy Corporation and four of its affiliates on Chapter 11 proceedings, including environmental and employment related liabilities in addition to related litigation. Marinuzzi and Peck co-chair the department which recently welcomed Dennis Jenkins from WilmerHale.

Next generation lawyers

Jennifer Marines - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

Structured finance: derivatives and structured products
Structured finance: derivatives and structured products - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s ‘commercial and responsive’ derivatives group specializes in utilizing deal-contingent swaps, hedging facilities, repurchase programs and equity derivatives as part of structured financing transactions. Washington DC-based Julian Hammar and Robert Fleishman specialize in commodity-linked transactions and have particular expertise in renewable energy hedges. James Schwartz has expertise in securities regulation and also handled hedging transactions for ON Semiconductor Corporation relating to its convertible note issuance. The group also benefits from the firm’s Asia network and has experience assisting foreign clients, including a number of international banks, with the US regulatory regime. David Kaufman has experience in commodity and equity-linked derivatives. Lloyd Harmetz advises domestic and international financial institutions on structured note issuances. Anna Pinedo joined Mayer Brown in 2018.

[back to top]

Structured finance: securitization
Structured finance: securitization - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s ‘highly practical and responsive’ team is known for handling new securitization structures, specializing in non-traditional assets including tech-enabled consumer receivables, royalties and renewable energy. It also has notable expertise in covered bond offerings. In an example of the uptick in marketplace lending activity, ‘exceptional’ Los Angeles-based senior counsel Kenneth Kohler led a team advising LendingClub on its inaugural self-sponsored securitization; this was the first securitization by a peer-to-peer lender under US Reg AB requirements, though the structure enabled the client to reduce its risk requirement to 1% from the mandated 5%. Jonathan Melmed acted for Ironshore Pharmaceuticals in relation to its $75m royalty securitization. Geoffrey Peck is also recommended. Anna Pinedo and Jerry Marlatt joined Mayer Brown.

[back to top]

United States: Government

Government contracts
Government contracts - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

The nine-partner team at Morrison & Foerster LLP handles the full gamut of government contracts matters, particularly high-stakes bid protests. Alex Ward led a team representing K2 in a successful challenge to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s decision to award a multimillion-dollar contract to a competitor, which was reversed due to the competitor’s failure to comply with regulations. Kevin Mullen and Jay DeVecchio led the team defending ManTech International against a bid protest filed by a competitor challenging the award of a multimillion-dollar contract for technology security services to the client; the competitor had been the original recipient of the award but the decision was reversed due to proposal re-evaluations. Other areas of strength for the team include FCA issues, investigations, intellectual property matters and corporate transactions. David Churchill and McLean-based partners Daniel Chudd, Tina Reynolds, Bradley Wine, Richard Vacura and government contractor transaction specialist Damien Specht are other names to note.

Leading lawyers

David Churchill - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Next generation lawyers

Damien Specht - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

United States: Industry focus

Energy regulatory: oil and gas
Energy regulatory: oil and gas - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP has a strong profile for FERC and CFTC enforcement proceedings, investigations and audits. Of counsel Robert Fleishman is advising the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America on FERC’s Notice of Proposed Regulation (NOPR) regarding reliability and resilience pricing, while Bradley Lui is representing the State of Alaska in a FERC proceeding regarding the inclusion of planning and construction costs of pump stations and control systems in the Trans Alaska Pipeline System rates. The firm continues to represent Navajo Nation, Southwest Gas and Starwood Energy Group Global.

[back to top]

Energy: renewable/alternative
Energy: renewable/alternative - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP was increasingly active in private equity and capital markets-backed M&A transactions, including New York-based practice co-head Jonathan Melmed acting for Axium Infrastructure on the acquisition of a 50% equity interest in the Slate Creek energy project. In San Francisco, key figures include practice co-head Susan Mac Cormac and Jeff Kayes; Kayes acted for Cypress Creek Renewables in connection with the debt and tax equity financing of three utility-scale solar photovoltaic projects in North Carolina.

Leading lawyers

Jonathan Melmed - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

Environment: litigation
Environment: litigation - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s lawyers litigate cases involving natural resources and endangered species, land use, Proposition 65 and related class actions, and CERCLA/RCRA matters. The team is acting for the National Confectioners Association and Barry Callebaut in litigation defense, regulatory advocacy, and settlement negotiations, regarding allowable levels of trace contaminants in chocolate. Michèle Corashhas a keen legal mind’ and Michael Steel’s ‘deep understanding of the substantive law, attention to detail, and ability to coordinate comprehensive defense strategies based on complex facts set him apart’. Robert Falk, Miles Imwalle, and William Tarantino are also highly regarded, as is Los Angeles’ Peter Hsiao. All named individuals are in San Francisco, unless otherwise stated.

Leading lawyers

Michèle Corash - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

Environment: regulatory
Environment: regulatory - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLPprovides well-grounded legal advice’. The practice’s strengths include compliance and enforcement; due diligence; natural resources; consumer products law and regulation; and emerging issues, such as climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon trading. It acted for the County of Santa Clara before the Commission of State Mandates, concerning the State of California’s responsibility for funding storm water permitting requirements imposed on local governments. Michèle Corashtakes the time to explain her reasoning’; Michael Steel, Robert Falk, Miles Imwalle, and William Tarantino, along with Los Angeles’ Peter Hsiao are all highly rated. All named individuals are in San Francisco, unless otherwise stated. William O’Connor joined Cooley LLP.

[back to top]

Healthcare: life sciences
Healthcare: life sciences - ranked: tier 5

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s practice is known for its IP and litigation capabilities, as well as its expertise in cross-border corporate matters. The team has been assisting Bayer with various patent matters, including strategy, prosecution and licensing issues. It also assisted Temasek with its $800m investment in Verily Life Sciences and Alphabet. On the litigation side, the team has also been acting for Nevro on a patent infringement action brought against Boston Scientific regarding Nevro’s Senza spinal cord stimulation system. The practice is jointly headed by David Doyle in San Diego, Spencer Klein in New York and Janet Xiao in Palo Alto. Other clients include Washington University, DePuy Synthes and Alcon.

[back to top]

Transport: aviation and air travel - litigation
Transport: aviation and air travel - litigation - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP is ‘extremely knowledgeable of the aviation industry’ and is praised for its expertise in product liability claims. The key figure in the firm’s litigation aviation group is San Diego-based William O’Connor, who has extensive experience of the helicopter industry and regulatory investigations. In 2017, O’Connor acted as primary counsel to Amazon Prime Air in relation to liability and emergency response concerns. Additionally, O’Connor has been involved in insurance litigation following a highly-publicized aircraft disaster. The team is also uniquely experienced in acting for and against airport-proprietors, and represented the City of Santa Monica in complex proceedings against the FAA regarding the right of the city to close its airport.

[back to top]

United States: Intellectual property

Copyright
Copyright - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s copyright litigation team predominantly represents copyright licensees and owners in the technology and entertainment sectors. In one of many software-related copyright mandates, the group successfully defended VMware against a $110m claim by Phoenix Technologies alleging infringement of the plaintiff’s licensed BIOS software. It also represented Paul McCartney in a declaratory judgment lawsuit against Sony/ATV over copyright interests in the Beatles back catalogue. The department is chaired by Michael Jacobs and Richard Hung in San Francisco. Los Angeles’ Benjamin Fox is also recommended for litigation.

[back to top]

Patent litigation: full coverage
Patent litigation: full coverage - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s ‘deep bench’ knows ‘patent litigation inside and out’, thereby providing a ‘service of the highest calibre’ and ‘sophisticated and practical strategy guidance and advice’. ‘Thorough and experienced’, the group fields a particularly strong practice in the technology, consumer products and life sciences sectors, with an impressive track record in district court and appellate work on top of extensive PTAB expertise. In a major highlight, Palo Alto’s Erik Olson together with Deanne Maynard and Joseph Palmore in Washington secured a landmark victory for Sandoz before the Supreme Court on the contentious issue of patent dispute resolution under the Biologics Price and Competition Innovation Act. And ‘ultimate litigation strategist’ and co-chair Michael Jacobs in San Francisco teamed up with Palo Alto’s Catherine Polizzi to represent Genentech in infringement litigation regarding breast cancer drug Kadcyla, involving victories against Phigenix before the PTAB and the Federal Circuit. Other clients include Sandoz, Uber and Whirlpool. San Francisco’s Richard Hung, who co-leads the practice with Jacobs, ‘has an encyclopaedic knowledge of patent law’ and ‘marries the law and the technical facts of a case exceptionally well’. Mark Whitaker in Washington DC and San Francisco-based Arturo González are other key contacts. Jennifer Schmidt and Stefani Shanberg joined from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and San Francisco’s Nathan Sabri made partner.

[back to top]

Patent litigation: international trade commission
Patent litigation: international trade commission - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP advises clients from the technology, consumer products and life sciences sectors. Based in Washington DC, practice head and senior counsel Brian Busey led the defense of respondents Honda and Fujitsu Ten against a complaint filed by Advanced Silicon Technologies involving patents on graphics and display systems technologies for cars, eventually settling favourably. In Washington DC, Daniel Muino successfully led in advising BlackBerry on a complaint filed by Creative Technology and Creative Labs regarding patents covering the organisation and display of music tracks on Android devices. Other clients include Toshiba, Sharp and Home Skinovations.

Leading lawyers

Brian Busey - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

Patent: prosecution (including reexamination and post-grant proceedings)
Patent: prosecution (including reexamination and post-grant proceedings) - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP specializes in high-end prosecution work in the technology, life sciences and consumer product sectors. A standout feature is practice head Michael Ward’s expertise in agricultural IP involving patents on plants and plant products: the Regents of the University of California benefited from this expertise when entrusting the group with work involving new plant varieties. Biotech giant Genentech relied on Catherine Polizzi for its defence against an IPR filed by Arch Development and Dana Farber Cancer Institute as part of a patent infringement offensive regarding chemotherapy drug Tarceva. Dyson, Sanofi and Netlist are also clients. Jonathan Bockman in Northern Virginia complements the groups strong West Coast presence in San Francisco and Palo Alto and San Francisco’s Jie Zhou is another name to note. Former head of the electronics, software and telecoms group Peter Yim as well as Brian Ho and Christopher Eide joined Dentons.

Leading lawyers

Michael Ward - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

Patents: licensing
Patents: licensing - ranked: tier 1

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP specializes in the technology, life sciences and consumer product sectors, where large cross-licensing agreements are a core area of expertise, as are litigation settlement agreements, and patent-adjacent antitrust matters. San Francisco-based practice head Michael Ward and Shannon Reaney in Palo Alto jointly assisted Bayer with licensing agreements and patent strategy development and implementation, in particular for Bayer’s Crop Science and Consumer Health Division, and a highlight from the pharmaceutical sector was the representation of Gilead Sciences regarding the licensing aspects of the development of its oncology and HIV treatment patent portfolios. On the technology side, the group advised BlackBerry on the licensing aspects of its strategic alliance with Emtek; the transaction involved the licensing of BlackBerry’s Messenger Service to Emtek to advance the Messenger’s position in the consumer market and allow Emtek to develop new Messenger-related applications and services for Android, iOS and Windows phones. The client list features Driscoll Strawberry Associates, Genentech and VMWare. Catherine Polizzi in Palo Alto, San Francisco’s Rufus Pichler and John Delaney in New York are also notable practitioners.

[back to top]

Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters)
Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters) - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Bryan Wilson in Palo Alto and Eric Tate in San Francisco lead Morrison & Foerster LLP’s interdisciplinary group, which not only assists clients with a broad range of trade secrets and employee mobility matters but also handles the related privacy and data security aspects. The team is defending Uber against Waymo’s claims of trade secrets misappropriation pertaining to driverless car technology. Mark Zebrowski in San Diego is acting for Obalon Therapeutics in a data theft and breach of non-compete clause dispute with a former employee. Kenneth Kuwayti in Palo Alto and San Francisco-based Michael Jacobs are also recommended. Meridian BioScience is also a client.

[back to top]

Trademarks: litigation
Trademarks: litigation - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s team excels in trial and appellate work, as well as opposition and cancelation proceedings brought before the TTAB. The team includes San Francisco-based Jennifer Lee Taylor, who often acts for clients on trademark, trade dress and unfair competition matters. Clients include Ubiquiti Networks, Restoration Hardware and VMware. In Los Angeles, Benjamin Fox has experience acting for clients across a wide range of sectors, including entertainment, financial services and healthcare.

[back to top]

United States: Investment fund formation and management

Mutual/registered/ exchange-traded funds
Next generation lawyers

Kelley Howes - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

Private equity funds (including venture capital)
Private equity funds (including venture capital) - ranked: tier 5

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s West Coast-based team handles a range of fund formation mandates, often with links to Asia and the technology industry. Ken Muller in San Francisco advised cornerstone client GLP on forming GLP Japan Development Venture II, which aims to raise $2bn, as well as GLP US Income Partners III. Chip Lion and Stephanie Thomas in Palo Alto work with venture capital fund sponsor Base10 Ventures. Investor-side work included Zeeshan Ahmedani in Los Angeles advising SoftBank in its capacity as an investor on the SoftBank Vision Fund. Other clients include ENIAC Ventures, GoldPoint Partners and the San Joaquin County Employees’ Retirement Association. Sara Terheggen in San Francisco is also noted.

Next generation lawyers

Sara Terheggen - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Domnick Bozzetti in New York and Paul Borden are the key names in Morrison & Foerster LLP’s executive compensation practice, which was recently bolstered by the arrival of of counsel Linda Barrett in the Palo Alto office from an investment management agency. In recent highlights, the team advised Renesas on its acquisition of Intelsil and assisted Mobileye regarding its takeover by Intel. The team also handled the executive compensation issues arising out of a Chapter 11 filing of a technology consulting firm. Of counsels Ali Nardali and Amanda Hines Gold are also noteworthy contacts. Named individuals are based in San Francisco unless otherwise stated.

[back to top]

United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP is at the forefront of technology, telecoms and media deals, thanks partly to its Tokyo presence and its relationships with the hugely acquisitive SoftBank and several other blue-chip Japan-listed companies. The US team, led by San Francisco partner and co-chair of the global M&A practice Robert Townsend, has worked on a series of acquisitions and investments for SoftBank, including advising OneWeb and SoftBank on OneWeb’s proposed $13bn merger with Intelsat, which also involved SoftBank’s agreement to invest $1.7bn into the combined entity. Much of the firm’s senior M&A talent is concentrated in Northern California, but its other US offices - including New York and Washington DC - have notable strength. The firm recently advised Israel-based Mobileye on its $15.3bn acquisition by Intel. In another significant transaction, the firm advised Global Logistics Properties on the proposed $11.64bn privatization of GLP by way of scheme of arrangement, with Nesta Investment Holdings acquiring all the issued and paid-up ordinary shares. Energy, life sciences and healthcare, hospitality and real estate are other active sectors for the M&A team. Other key clients include Axalta Coating Systems, Axium Infrastructure, DST Systems, ON Semiconductor, Sprint, Unilever, Visa and VMware. The team is ‘extremely helpful in M&A’ and is praised for its ‘excellent response times’, ‘business acumen’ and ‘team depth’. It has ‘a wide range of experiences in M&A’ and ‘knows how to wear a business hat and a legal hat’. Other key partners in the team include New York’s Spencer Klein, known for his expertise in life sciences and healthcare, and government industry-related M&A specialist Lawrence Yanowitch in Northern Virginia. San Francisco-based chair of the global corporate department Jackie Liu is ‘highly efficient, practical and business minded’. Eric McCrath in San Francisco is ‘a skillful negotiator who understands client service’, and Washington DC’s David Slotkin is recommended for real estate M&A.

[back to top]

Private equity buyouts
Private equity buyouts - ranked: tier 5

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP continues to impress in energy and technology private equity deals, and in 2017 it advised DE Shaw Renewable Investments on its acquisition of solar companies from First Solar and Torch Clean Energy. It also advised Starwood Energy Group Global on its leveraged acquisition of two natural gas-fired electricity generation companies from Dynegy. Other clients include Blackstone Energy Partners, Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners and GPI Capital. New York-based Jonathan Melmed leads the team.

[back to top]

Venture capital and emerging companies
Venture capital and emerging companies - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP continues to make an impression on the market, thanks in part to its significant presence in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Its broad offering features significant expertise in intellectual property, technology transactions and employment; although the firm did lose a team of intellectual property specialists to Dentons in 2017. Moreover, the firm’s global presence, including notably in Asia, has brought the US team further success. A team led by San Francisco partner Susan Mac Cormac advised Japan’s SoftBank on its primary and secondary investment in Uber and on its $4.25bn investment into WeWork. The firm advises a wide range of start-ups and growth companies, along with venture capital funds, seed investors, corporate venture funds and sovereign wealth funds. It is widely noted for its life sciences and fintech expertise; the San Diego office has a particularly fine record in life sciences. San Francisco partner Murray Indick heads the department alongside Steve Rowles in San Diego and Northern Virginia’s Greg Giammittorio. Timothy Harris is another big name in Silicon Valley and Thomas Knox is a key partner in Northern Virginia.

[back to top]

United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Advertising and marketing: litigation
Advertising and marketing: litigation - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Under the leadership of the ‘incredibly strategic and unbelievably responsive’ Tiffany Cheung in San Francisco, Morrison & Foerster LLP’s consumer class action practice ‘applies exceptional knowledge’ of the technology, retail, and food and beverage sectors to deceptive or false advertising claims under the Lanham Act and the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act. Cheung is also highly regarded for her TCPA expertise; clients include LexisNexis, Change Healthcare and Sears Holding Company. Recent work includes Los Angeles-based Dan Marmalefsky defending Monster Beverage and Monster Energy in multiple false advertising and unfair competition consumer class actions, and David McDowell in Los Angeles representing FanDuel in over 40 multi-district class actions involving allegations of false advertising and misuse of confidential information.

[back to top]

Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection)
Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection) - ranked: tier 1

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Data privacy and data protection - ranked: tier 1

Morrison & Foerster LLP

The ‘superior’ department at Morrison & Foerster LLP fields a team of ‘approachable and practical individuals who are invaluable to clients and the ultimate definition of cyber law experts, which is no easy task in a constantly changing area of law’. Highly regarded ‘cyber law geniusMiriam Wugmeister and ‘true leader of the fieldAndrew Serwin jointly head the practice from New York and San Diego respectively. Wugmeister’s recent highlights include advising a global pharmaceutical company on the international data protection compliance issues surrounding clinical trials and patient data, and assisting Caterpillar with internet of things (IOT) issues regarding its new enhanced product line. Other work includes Serwin representing CVS Health before the FTC in multiple privacy issues; recently promoted Washington DC partner Julie O’Neill and Los Angeles-based Purvi Patel defending Unity Technologies in a putative class action in which plaintiffs allege that several Disney and Viacom mobile gaming apps which use the client’s technology violate the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA); and Nathan Taylor in Washington DC acting for Target in an investigation following a data breach. The team was also bolstered by the recruitment of John Carlin to the Washington DC office from the Department of Justice; he now heads the firm’s global risk and crisis management team.

Leading lawyers

Andrew Serwin - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Miriam Wugmeister - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Next generation lawyers

Julie O’Neill - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

Outsourcing
Outsourcing - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP has a long history in the outsourcing market and acts for clients in a broad spectrum of industries from pharmaceuticals to financial services. It handles both traditional ITO and BPO agreements, as well as transformational outsourcing deals, thanks to its experienced team, which includes chair of the global sourcing group Christopher Ford in Washington DC. In New York, John Delaney and US sourcing practice co-chair Vivian Hanson are highly regarded and experienced practitioners with a strong track record of technology-driven deals. Paul Jahn in San Francisco acted for First Republic Bank in a deal with mobile banking services provider Q2. Washington DC-based Thomas Knox is also recommended.

Leading lawyers

Christopher Ford - Morrison & Foerster LLP

John Delaney - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Vivian Hanson - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

Technology: transactions
Technology: transactions - ranked: tier 1

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s ‘lawyers provide very deep knowledge of their subject matter’. The practice advises global corporate clients on their most significant technology deals, and the practice brings significant licensing and technology transactions experience to the technology and IP aspects of M&A transactions. The team acted for Visa with its acquisition of CardinalCommerce, which specializes in mobile commerce and payment solutions; and assisted Singapore’s state-owned investment company Temasek with its $800m investment in Verily Life Sciences, a unit of Google’s parent company Alphabet. It also advised DST Systems on the IP aspects of its acquisition of the ownership of two joint ventures, Boston Financial Data Services and International Financial Data Services; and assisted Inovalon, a technology company which provides cloud-based platforms to the healthcare industry, with its approximately $105m acquisition of Creehan & Company. In San Francisco, Aaron Rubin jointly chairs the technology transactions group, Tessa Schwartz is a former technology transactions chair, and William Schwartz and Paul Jahn are also highly rated. Other notable names are New York-based John Delaney and Vivian Hanson and Palo Alto’s Stephanie Sharron. Of counsel Scott Carter joined in San Francisco from Latham & Watkins LLP.

Leading lawyers

John Delaney - Morrison & Foerster LLP

William Schwartz - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Next generation lawyers

Scott Carter - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

United States: Real estate

Land use/zoning
Land use/zoning - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP fields a nationwide land use practice that is particularly active in California. The ‘responsive and knowledgeable’ group regularly advises energy and technology companies on land use and zoning matters. In one recent highlight the team handled litigation and subsequent settlement negotiations for Panoche Valley Solar pertaining to its utility-scale solar project in San Benito County; the case included an environmental review. Another area of expertise is the healthcare sector; David Gold assists Kaiser Foundation Health Plan with the land use aspects of a planned 1.2 million square-foot medical center campus in downtown Sacramento. Other notable clients are Amazon.com, Genentech and Sand Hill Property.

[back to top]

Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Technically accurate, extremely responsive and business-savvy’, Morrison & Foerster LLP stands out for providing ‘great legal and business advice, which helps to make a deal happen’. David Slotkin, who co-leads the Washington DC-based group, is ‘a creative problem solver and true subject matter expert’; he recently advised Jernigan Capital on multiple equity offerings totaling $267.5m. The ‘knowledgeable and business-minded’ Justin Salon co-heads the department and advised Education Realty Trust on its $500m at-the-market offering. Lauren Bellerjeau is also recommended.

[back to top]

United States: Tax

International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

At Morrison & Foerster LLP, New York-based Thomas Humphreys and San Francisco’s Remmelt Reigersman have been advising Bank of America and its affiliates on tax issues related to various securities offerings across US, UK, Canada, Australia and other jurisdictions. San Francisco’s Bernie Pistillo assisted the government of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek with its investment into Verily Life Science, Alphabet’s health-focused subsidiary. The client portfolio also includes British multinational infrastructure group Balfour Betty and Royal Bank of Canada.

[back to top]

US taxes: contentious
US taxes: contentious - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

At Morrison & Foerster LLP, ‘best-of-class’ Craig Fields has been assisting Agilent Technologies in an ongoing matter in which the Colorado Court of Appeals has held that the Colorado Department of Revenue cannot force the client to file a combined tax return with its subsidiary, a holding company, that derived its income solely from investments in foreign entities. US science and technology conglomerate Du Pont is another key client. Mitchell Newmark, senior counsel Hollis Hyans and the ‘friendly, detailed, high-intellect and responsive’ associate Nicole Johnson are also recommended. Washington DC-based of counsel Edward Froelich specializes in federal contentious tax matters. Andres Vallejo moved to Reed Smith LLP in February 2017. Attorneys mentioned are based in New York unless otherwise indicated.

Leading lawyers

Craig Fields - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Next generation lawyers

Nicole Johnson - Morrison & Foerster LLP

[back to top]

US taxes: non-contentious
US taxes: non-contentious - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s tax practice is experienced in M&A, real estate, financial products taxation, and SALT matters. San Francisco-based Bernie Pistillo acted for SoftBank concerning its $1bn investment in OneWeb. Other highlights included Temasek’s investment of $800m in Verily Life Sciences, AccuShares’ ongoing fund share offerings, as well as client Restoration Hardware’s $117m acquisition of home appliance company WaterWorks. Bank of America is a regular client for security offering tax work. Thomas Humphreys and Remmelt Reigersman moved to Mayer Brown in February 2018, while in June 2018 Anthony Carbone joined from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

[back to top]


Further information on Morrison & Foerster LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Morrison & Foerster LLP in other jurisdictions.

Belgium

Offices in Brussels

China

Offices in Shanghai and Beijing

Germany

Offices in Berlin

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong

Latin America: International firms

Japan

Offices in Tokyo

London

Offices in London

Singapore

Offices in Singapore

United States

Offices in Washington DC, Palo Alto, New York, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, McLean, and Boston

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to