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Morrison & Foerster LLP

Work +1 415 268 7000
Fax +1 415 268 7522

Robert Townsend

Work +1 (415) 268-7080
Morrison & Foerster LLP

Work Department



Robert S. Townsend is a leading corporate attorney with extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, venture capital, securities law, and intellectual property matters. Mr. Townsend’s expertise cuts across many industries, such as software, Internet, media, communications, semiconductor, computers, consumer products, cleantech, energy, wineries, and vineyards. Mr. Townsend also has extensive international and cross border experience, having been involved in deals in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Mr. Townsend has represented numerous public and private companies, and investors, in corporate and finance matters ranging from mergers and acquisitions to seed round financings and initial public offerings. He regularly advises CEOs, Boards of Directors, and Special Committees in strategic and corporate governance issues. Mr. Townsend has represented clients in more than one hundred public and private company acquisitions, strategic alliances, and financings, ranging in size from over several billion dollars to much smaller transactions. Recent representative clients of Mr. Townsend include Visa, VMware, Intel, Technicolor (Thomson, S.A.), The Clorox Company, Kaiser, Nokia, Sutter Hill Ventures, GESD Capital, Fujitsu, Nikon, and COM Investments (Craig McCaw’s investment company).

United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: large deals ($1bn+)

Within: M&A: large deals ($1bn+)

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.

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