Firm Profile > Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP > San Francisco, United States
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP Offices
SPEAR STREET TOWER
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94105
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP > The Legal 500 Rankings
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP advises its strong tech-sector client base on commercial transactions and ongoing outsourcing arrangements, and also assists banks and fintech companies with licensing and outsourcing agreements involving payments and processing technology. Rahul Kapoor in Silicon Valley acted for internet search provider Yandex in a $3.7bn ride-sharing business transaction with Uber, while Philadelphia-based joint practice heads Barbara Murphy Melby and Michael L. Pillion advised BOX Options Exchange on a blockchain and surveillance technology licence and services agreement for the establishment of StokynX, an exchange for the trading of security tokens. Tony Chan joined the Washington DC office from Dechert LLP in April 2018, and Sameer V. Mohan joined in Houston from Baker & Hostetler LLP in February 2018.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP fields ‘a highly responsive and knowledgeable’ 75-lawyer team across 11 offices nationwide, providing ‘outstanding’ advice on the entire scope of employee benefits and executive compensation matters. The ‘extraordinarily knowledgeable’ Craig Bitman heads the practice from the New York office, where he advises a client roster of public businesses, trusts and individuals on qualified and non-qualified deferred compensation plans, health and welfare benefit plans, equity compensation agreements and fiduciary compliance issues. Washington DC-based Althea Day is noted as ‘a very experienced and responsive’ professional, having advised a roster of Fortune 100 companies, tax-exempt organizations and governmental employers. Deputy practice leader Amy Pocino Kelly, John Ferreira and Matthew Hawes are names to note in the Pittsburgh office, and Lisa Barton leads the team in Massachusetts. Chicago-based Lindsay Goodman was also praised by one client as ‘an extremely intelligent’ associate. Standout clients for the team include Honeywell International, Toyota, Exela Technologies and Talen Energy.
The 'extremely competent and client-friendly' practitioners at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP are able to assist clients operating in all arenas of the conventional energy space. The firm's energy regulatory department is led out of DC by Kathryn Sutton and Steve Spina; Sutton's expertise lies in nuclear power while Spina focuses on working with electric utilities. John Matthews and others are assisting Exelon Nuclear with the regulatory aspects of decommissioning Oyster Creek Generating Station, the oldest operating nuclear power plant in the country. Also of note, a group led by Brad Fagg and Paul Bessette successfully acted for Duke Energy in a breach of contract action against the Department of Energy (DOE) pertaining to spent nuclear fuel damages; the client won $68.5m. Elsewhere, the team works on FERC investigations and provides regulatory assistance on transactions. Jane Accomando is the name to note for NRC enforcement; of counsel Joseph Lowell is also recommended. Accomando was made partner in October 2018. Grant Eskelsen is a 'top-notch associate'.
ERISA litigation Tier 1
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s ERISA litigation practice has ‘a great track record of success’ in stock-drop litigation, retiree medical class actions and suits challenging stable value fund investments. The team is jointly headed by Brian Ortelere and Jeremy Blumenfeld, who both sit in Philadelphia and are noted as ‘creative thinkers who have pioneered winning defense strategies over the years’. Standout highlights include acting for FMC Corporation and General Cable in a set of fiduciary breach claims, and successfully defending Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation against a putative class action claiming breaches of its collective bargaining agreement. Further, Ortelere and Chicago-based co-head Deborah Davidson secured a full dismissal for Washington University in St. Louis in a 403(b) plan excessive fee claim, and Chicago-based Christopher Boran obtained a dismissal for the University of Pennsylvania in a similar class action. Additionally, Melissa Hill in New York secured a win for the New York City Department of Education in an ERISA withdrawal liability lawsuit involving over $100m in potential damages. Practice leader Grace E. Speights sits in Washington DC.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP 'provides top-notch advice' and is appreciated for providing 'work quality at the highest level and having an excellent client service reputation'. It is capable of handling the full range of labor and employment matters on a national and international level. Washington DC-based Grace Speights, who is well versed in employment discrimination claims, leads the 'efficient and competent' group. Anne Marie Estevez in Miami represents Uber in a series of ADA accessibility litigation cases regarding the client's alleged failure to provide wheelchair accessible vehicles and alleged denial of service animals. Thomas Hurka in Chicago and Robert Jon Hendricks in San Francisco successfully handled various matters for Boeing. Davis McManus, who splits his time between New York and Boston, 'is the lawyer you want when stakes are high'. Michael Banks, Joseph Costello, Sarah Bouchard, Steven Wall and Michael Burkhardt are noted individuals in Philadelphia. Paulo McKeeby in Dallas 'brings value and trusted guidance' and Stephanie Sweitzer in Chicago is praised for 'her persistent engagement and leadership in managing cases, which is tremendously valuable'. Orange County-based Barbara Miller's 'wage-and-hour class action knowledge is impressive'. Houston's Ethel Johnson 'gets to the core of the issue quickly and efficiently while being the utmost professional'. Recommended practitioners are also Samuel Shaulson and Ira Rosenstein in New York, Lincoln Bisbee in Washington DC and Debra Fischer in Los Angeles. The team had several partner promotions in October 2018, including Jocelyn Cuttino in Washington DC.
Labor-management relations Tier 1
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's team comprises 'smart, efficient problem solvers', who have experience with labor unions and representing clients before all relevant federal, state and local agencies. The group is 'capable of handling the most sophisticated traditional labor matters' and is jointly led by Philadelphia-based Joseph Ragaglia and the 'intellectual giant' Harry Johnson in Century City. Labor-expert Jonathan Fritts had an active year in the transport sector, which included representing Boeing Company in several matters. Senior counsel Thomas Reinert successfully acted for Southwest Airlines in arbitration proceedings with its mechanics’ union regarding the union's efforts to obtain the exclusive right to perform aircraft movement work. Philip Miscimarra, who is the former chairman of the NLRB and is considered as 'one of the single greatest traditional labor lawyers of his time', re-joined the firm in February 2018, switching positions with John Ring, who went in the other direction. Daniel Bordoni specializes in collective bargaining and matters arising under the NLRB. Aforementioned lawyers are based in Washington DC. Ross Friedman in Chicago and Steven Wall in Philadelphia are other highlighted practitioners. Los Angeles' Nicole Buffalano made partner in October 2018.
Not-for-profit (Fortune 1000 private foundations, and national trade associations and charities) Tier 1
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has 'great depth of experience in advising a wide range of tax-exempt organizations', including major public charities and foundations, trade associations, colleges and universities, hospitals, museums, and low-income housing organizations. Based primarily in the firm's Washington DC office, the team is jointly led by Celia Roady, who provides 'wise and thoughtful advice on issues that extend beyond purely legal issues', Matthew Elkin, who has particular expertise in transactional matters, and San Francisco-based tax head Barton Bassett. The group's work for some of the world's largest foundations is demonstrative of its standing in the market, particularly when it comes to investment-related issues with for-profit companies. Moreover, its service covers the full range of matters, including tax compliance, corporate structuring, and governance. Alexander Reid is also recommended.
For some, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is 'the number-one choice for novel transactions'. In addition to handling a consistent flow of sub-prime auto securitizations and RMBS, the team has been especially active in marketplace loan securitization, and has aimed to develop its dealer-side CLO practice with the hire of Washington DC-based Paul St Lawrence from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. The structured transactions department is led by Reed Auerbach, who, alongside Washington DC-based Charles Sweet, assisted Verizon Communications with the shelf registration of its device payment plan agreement ABS; the duo subsequently advised Verizon on the first registered public offering of device payment plan agreement ABS. Also recommended is Matthew Joseph, who is acting for Jefferies and certain of its affiliates in a series of transactions to transfer beneficial interest of unsecured consumer loans to third-party investors; the transactions make use of securitization vehicles structured as Delaware trusts, which sell pass-through certificates representing interest in the loans held by the trust. 'Seasoned partners in the structured finance space' Steve Levitan and Washington DC-based Jeffrey Johnson advised FirstKey Mortgage, as sponsor, on its first seasoned private education student loan transaction. Other contacts include Mark Riccardi, who acted for Solar Mosaic in its $253m securitization of solar panel loans, and Asa Herald, who is based in Washington DC and has expertise in RMBS.
US taxes: contentious Tier 1
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP handles tax controversy matters, transfer-pricing disputes, state and local tax litigation, tax-related class actions and appellate tax litigation. Sanford Stark jointly leads the group and alongside John Magee continues to represent The Coca-Cola Company in a multibillion-dollar notice of deficiency case relating to the company's 2007-2009 transfer pricing; Saul Mezei also works on this matter. Alex Sadler recently secured a complete victory for Hi-Lex Controls in a matter relating to an R&D credit controversy; Jennifer Breen also worked on the case. Associate Terrell Ussing works with The Coca-Cola Company and a global e-commerce company. All of the above-named lawyers are based in Washington DC. The other heads of team are Barton Basett in Silicon Valley and Daniel Nelson in Boston; Thomas Linguanti is notable name in Chicago. Recent arrivals in Chicago include a number of lawyers from Baker McKenzie LLP; Adam Beckerink, Jason Dimopoulos, Michael Liu, Matthew Mock and Joshua Richardson have all joined between August 2017 and January 2018. Sarah-Jane Morin and Cosimo Zavaglia were promoted to partner in October 2018, in San Francisco and New York respectively.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is well versed in advising clients from various sectors, including pharmaceuticals, financial services, retail, technology, energy and transportation, on employment law challenges. The Washington DC office was reinforced by the arrival of former commissioner of the EEOC Chai Feldblum and her then chief of staff Sharon Perley Masling in February 2019. The team is particularly involved in the emerging #MeToo in the workplace area, and practice head Grace Speights, also based in DC, acted as a special investigation counsel to National Public Radio (NPR)'s board of directors’ special committee on sexual harassment. She also led an internal investigation for the Humane Society of the United States regarding sexual harassment complaints against a former CEO. Princeton's Michelle Sedin Silverman represented a government contractor in a matter alleging systemic discrimination against transgender employees. Deputy practice leader David McManus splits his time between Boston and New York and has notable crisis management experience. Michael Banks in Philadelphia, David Bowman and Douglas Schwarz in Boston, Jacqueline Aguilera in Los Angeles and Barbara Miller in Orange County are other key individuals. Further names to note include the Chicago-based Ross Friedman and Stephanie Sweitzer as well as Palo Alto's Michael Schlemmer. Susan Harthill joined the Washington DC office in October 2018 from the US Department of Labor (DOL). Around the same time, there have been several partner promotions, including Jocelyn Cuttino, also in Washington DC.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a particular strength in the executive compensation space, where recent highlights saw Gina Lauriero acting for the executive team of FXI Holdings in its acquisition by One Rock Capital Partners, and David Zelikoff advising the executive team of Duff & Phelps on the company’s acquisition by private equity firm Permira. In addition, Gary Rothstein and Mary Hevener advised Dr. Pepper Snapple Group on existing equity employee entitlements and severance arrangements in relation to its $40bn sale to Keurig Green Mountain. Also recommended are practice head Craig Bitman, and Philadelphia-based Amy Pocino Kelly, who acted for Aramark in its $1.4bn merger with Avendra. Daniel Salemi joined the Chicago office from Franczek Radelet. Unless stated otherwise, all named lawyers are based in New York.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has 'the unique ability to bring a regulatory focus to transactional matters'. The firm's DC-based energy department represents oil and gas clients before a range of federal regulatory bodies, including FERC, the DOE and the CFTC, as well as several state bodies. Recent highlights include a group led by Kirstin Gibbs being retained by a major LNG company to develop and file a petition for a declaratory order requesting that certain rules and prohibitions are not applied to a series of transactions the client may soon undertake. In addition to this, Gibbs, Levi McAllister and others represent a consortium of natural gas entities in a Natural Gas Act Section rate case. Shell Trading US is another notable client. Gibbs 'always provides fit-for-purpose support' and is 'exceptionally good at advising on complex issues'. Furthermore, the group is active in compliance, enforcement and investigation matters; Gibbs focuses on FERC representation while McAllister has extensive experience before the CFTC. Kathryn Sutton and Steve Spina are key contacts.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP advises developers, sponsors and institutional investors on all types of renewable energy transactions and developments involving wind, solar and energy storage projects. Recent highlights included Los Angeles-based Wayne Song advising Coronal Energy on a $235m tax equity financing for the largest combined portfolio of solar facilities on US Department of Defense property to-date. The wider project finance and infrastructure department is jointly headed by New York-based James Tynion and Boston-based Richard Filosa, and was strengthened by several new arrivals including Jeffrey Dinerstein from Jones Day and Sameer Mohan from Baker & Hostetler LLP in Houston, and Amy Maloney, who joined the Boston office from Latham & Watkins LLP.
Environment: regulatory Tier 2
The lawyers at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP have ‘broad knowledge of the field, are creative and know how to get things done’. The outfit handles highly sensitive crisis management, environmental due diligence, entitling large-scale energy, infrastructure, and development projects, including natural resource permitting and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance. It also advises energy-sector clients on US federal and state environmental laws that come into play when seeking permits, siting or expanding facilities, and confronting government enforcement. Further, Princeton-based John McGahren is representing Stepan in matters involving overlapping oversight and enforcement by the EPA, US Army Corps of Engineers, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), DOJ, and NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) in relation to the cleanup of the Maywood Chemical Company Superfund Site in New Jersey. Los Angeles-based James Dragna heads the environmental practice and San Francisco-based Ella Foley Gannon is ‘an asset to any team working with environmental permitting or issues’. Also recommended in Los Angeles is associate David Brown, ‘a very responsive, hard working and sharp young lawyer who is even-keeled, objective and fact-driven’. Ronald Tenpas left for Vinson & Elkins LLP in October 2018.
Healthcare: health insurers Tier 2
In the healthcare space, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is best known for advising healthcare clients on class actions, Affordable Care Act litigation, transactions and compliance matters, as well as regulatory and data privacy issues. Los Angeles partner Brian Jazaeri and San Francisco commercial litigator Molly Moriarty Lane are defending Health Net of California in a dispute over taxes owed to various state agencies, which could total as much as $10bn, while Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is another key client the firm has been defending against class actions. The firm's transactional and contentious practice capabilities received a major boost in early 2018 by the arrival of six former Baker & Hostetler LLP partners.
Healthcare: life sciences Tier 2Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a ‘smart, focused, and dedicated’ team, which offers ‘invaluable’ help to life sciences clients in regulatory, corporate and M&A, IP, antitrust, tax and labour matters, and in litigation. Kathleen Sanzo (Washington DC), Jeffry Mann (San Francisco and Singapore) and Michael Abernathy (Chicago) jointly head the practice. Highlights include advising AstraZeneca in the co-development agreement between its subsidiary Pearl Therapeutics and Avillion, which envisages the advancement of Pearl Therapeutics' product PT027 through a global clinical development program for the treatment of asthma. Merck and 23andMe are other key clients. FDA specialist Michele Buenafe, from the Washington DC office, is ‘a true partner in every sense of the word’. Alan Leeds and Oren Livne in Princeton and the ‘very knowledgeable’ Benjamin Pensak in San Francisco are also recommended. Corporate expert Eric Hwang joined the Silicon Valley and San Francisco offices from WilmerHale, while a team of nine patent prosecution and litigation partners joined the Orange County office from McDermott Will & Emery LLP. Randall Sunberg left the firm for Baker McKenzie LLP.
Immigration Tier 2
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is a full-service firm dealing with the full spectrum of issues surrounding global mobility. The global immigration practice is embedded in the firm’s global labor and employment department. As a result, it can draw on the expertise of the firm’s wider network when there is a need to advise on immigration-related matters such as non-US visas and work permits, foreign employment law and taxation. Washington DC-based Eleanor Pelta and San Francisco-based James Vázquez-Azpiri jointly chair the practice. In a recent work highlight, Vázquez-Azpiri and his team helped new client Proofpoint to develop a new immigration policy, and provided training on how to deal with USCIS site visits and other governmental investigations. Other clients include Cameron Mackintosh, Extreme Networks, Fujitsu America and Hitachi America. Nicholas Hobson was made partner and Christina Gonzaga cf counsel in May 2018. The team was further strengthened by the arrival of Shannon Donnelly to the DC office, and of counsel Laura Garvin to the firm’s Miami office, as well as a team of associates. They all joined from Baker McKenzie LLP. Donnelly has particular expertise in cross-border movement of key executives, managers and workers with specialized knowledge, particularly on behalf of employers in the US and Canada.
The insurance team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP 'knows the industry and key players in depth and is able to get results in settlement negotiations', while the firm itself 'has the necessary breadth of expertise and gives tailored advice'. The practice mainly handles domestic and international corporate insurance and liability disputes, including mass tort proceedings relating to environmental exposure, asbestos injuries and medical devices, as well as structuring settlements via financial instruments. A major highlight for a team led by 'highly experienced insurance recovery litigator' Paul Zevnik was the representation of ITT in its $1.8bn claim for additional coverage against its excess insurers due to underlying product liability claims. In another product liability matter, Washington DC-based Daniel Chefitz - 'a master at setting up captive insurers' - and Gerald Konkel assisted Zimmer Biomet Holdings in the recovery of insurance proceeds for the costs generated by the litigation around the Durom Cup. Clients also recommend 'greatly experienced trial lawyer' David Cox in Los Angeles, who worked on the favorable court decision for client Gould Pumps' access to excess insurance coverage issued by Travelers.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a well-established reputation in the market for advising investment managers on ETF mandates across the East Coast area. In Washington DC, John McGuire acts as counsel to ETF Securities, which recent;y included advising on the sale of its US business to Aberdeen Standard Investments. Also in Washington DC, Laura Flores advised Guggenheim Partners on the sale of its ETF fund worth $1.2bn to Invesco Powershares. In another matter, Flores and Christopher Menconi (also based in the Washington DC office) advised Exchange Traded Concepts, an ETF platform provider, on the launch of the REX BKCM ETF, which invests in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology-related companies. In Boston, Toby Serkin, Roger Joseph and Lea Anne Copenhefer advised Scotland-based manager Martin Currie on the launch of the Martin Currie EM SMASh Fund, which uses a zero-fee structure. Timothy Levin in Philadelphia, Thomas Harman and Joshua Sterling in Washington DC, and Jeremy Kantrowitz in Boston are also key names. Other clients include Domini Funds, Pioneer Funds and WisdomTree.
Outsourcing Tier 2
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has wide-ranging outsourcing expertise, and has been especially active in the healthcare, consumer products, fintech, professional services and transportation industries. ‘Exceptional’ Philadelphia-based attorney Barbara M. Melby has ‘the ability to quickly grasp technical and commercial aspects of the deal and identify legal issues’; she jointly heads the practice with Michael L. Pillion, who is also based in Philadelphia. The team is advising Colgate-Palmolive on the structuring and negotiation of warehouse and logistics management transactions, which included a deal for the outsourcing of distribution operations to Mexico, as well as the outsourcing of the administration and management of the client’s contribution and health benefits plans. In addition, the practice group is representing Haemonetics Corporation in the negotiation of a $40m outsourcing agreement regarding certain IT functions and business processes. Philadelphia-based associate Christopher C. Archer is another name to note. Senior attorney Ada Finkel left the Boston office to join a consultancy as assistant general counsel in January 2019.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s product liability, tort and insurance practice handles personal injury, wrongful death and product liability litigation relating to environmental, chemical exposure and water contamination claims. Key figures in the team include practice head Paul Zevnik in Washington DC and Los Angeles-based Yardena Zwang-Weissman. The team is defending Cotter Corporation and Exelon Corporation in a toxic tort class action alleging contamination of plaintiff’s home and properties by the release of radioactive materials originating from Manhattan Project operations during World War II. Additionally, the team is acting as coordinating counsel for the Southern California Gas Company in litigation and investigations arising from the natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility. Craig Stanfield joined King & Spalding LLP in January 2018 and David Luttinger left for Covington & Burling LLP in March 2018. Kelci Atkins and Kyle Poe were promoted to partner in October 2018.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has 'a deep team with top-notch lawyers who understand the client exceptionally well'. Clients also praise the practice for its 'good leadership and client counseling, which includes telling the client what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear'. The firm defends public and private companies, financial institutions, underwriters, and officers and directors in federal and state courts, and frequently handles regulatory enforcement matters for broker-dealers, investment managers and funds. Jordan Hershman and Timothy Burke lead the securities enforcement and litigation practice from Boston, along with Susan Resley in San Francisco. 'All exercise sound judgment and are very good at handling complex cases with many moving parts', says one client. Charlene Shimada in San Francisco represented the underwriter defendants in In re Avalanche Biotechnologies, Inc. Securities Litigation. Also recommended are Marc Sonnenfeld in Philadelphia, Jason Frank and Michael Blanchard in Boston, and Mary Gail Gearns and Kenneth Schacter in New York.
Shareholder activism Tier 2
At Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, practice head Keith Gottfried and Sean Donahue advised Alaska Communications on its defense of an activism campaign initiated by TAR Holdings, whose notice of director nominations was publicly rejected for its failure to comply with the company's by-laws. Gottfried also advised the special committee of the board of Perry Ellis on a threatened proxy contest brought by the company's founder; the situation resolved when the company approved a sale to founder at a 21.6% premium.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP advises banks, asset managers and other market makers on a variety of regulatory flow matters, leveraged lending and trading activity, and also acts for corporate end-users in commodity and equity-linked derivative transactions. Of particular note, the team was involved in several equity forward deals in 2018. In one such example, Thomas D’Ambrosio advised Entergy Corporation on a public, underwritten offering of 15.3m shares of common stock, which is expected to yield over $1bn upon settlement of the forward transaction. D'Ambrosio also advises several prominent asset managers on margin regulations and associated insolvency issues. Washington DC-based Daniel Kleinman has advised clients on the enforceability of certain netting rights, while Michael Philipp in the Chicago office has advised financial institutions, foreign exchanges and clearing organizations on regulatory matters concerning exchange-traded and OTC derivatives. Boston-based Edwin Smith, who has experience of structured finance and bankruptcy, is another key contact.
Technology transactions Tier 2
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has particular expertise in the business application of blockchain technology, and is also experienced in cybersecurity projects and data exchange platforms. Philadelphia-based practice heads Michael L. Pillion and Barbara M. Melby are acting for BOX Options Exchange in relation to a blockchain and surveillance technology license and services agreement as a basis for StokynX, a joint venture that will operate as a regulated exchange for the trading of security tokens. New York-based Vito Petretti and Doneld G. Shelkey in Boston advised Colgate-Palmolive on negotiations regarding a strategic sourcing and contract management platform, and also assists the client with the management of a portfolio of IT transactions. Philadelphia-based associate Christopher C. Archer is also recommended, and Jeffrey S. Dinerstein joined the Houston office from Jones Day in June 2018.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is notable for its advice on wireline and fiber matters, as well as assisting foreign telecoms clients with national security issues. It earns praise for its 'deep industry experience, together with legal and regulatory expertise', while its 'enormous bench strength' allows it to provide a broad range of services. Practice head and veteran practitioner Andrew Lipman has particular experience in undersea cable work, and is considered both a 'brilliant legal tactician' and a 'savvy business and financial adviser', according to one client. Lipman leads the firm's advice to Hawaiki Cable on the construction of its trans-pacific cable and related regulatory approvals, along with Ulises Pin. Pin specializes in cross-border work , and has been handling telecoms infrastructure work for Facebook along with internet media and VoIP specialist William Wilhelm. Deputy practice head Catherine Wang 'provides creative and innovative legal and regulatory strategies', focusing on spectrum and wireless issues. Wang advised Cincinnati Bell on the regulatory aspects of its acquisition of Hawaiian Telecom, along with Lipman and Russell Blau, who specializes in telecoms litigation and regulatory policy. Other key team members include satellite and wireless specialist Timothy Bransford and Ronald Del Sesto, who is noted for his work on privacy matters and contract negotiation issues.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is known for its work with competitive and local telecoms providers on mid-market transactions, but also has a strong track record in large deals, such as Straight Path Communications' $3bn sale to Verizon. Andrew Lipman, a veteran in telecoms transactions and 'pre-eminent in the field', is most notable for his work with private equity firms and competitive carriers. Lipman advised Swedish private equity firm EQT on its $1.7bn acquisition of fiber company Lumos, as well as its acquisition of a majority stake in Spirit Communications. Russell Blau assisted Lipman in obtaining approvals for EQT's transactions, as well as handling GTT communications' $2.3bn acquisition of Interoute, along with Ulises Pin. Other key recent work highlights for the firm include its work on Impact Telecom's acquisition by Lingo Communications, on Cincinnati Bell's $650m acquisition of Hawaiian Telecom, and on FirstLight's acquisition by Antin Infrastructure Partners. Catherine Wang 'offers practical solutions' and is another key contact at the firm, specializing in complex regulated transactions as well as wireless and spectrum matters, and is recommended by clients for her 'great judgement and very sound advice'.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has an excellent reputation for its prominence in biotech, medical devices and digital health, acting for a client base drawn from across Northern California, Boston and the Mid-Atlantic. Recent work highlights include acting for LiquidHub in its $500m acquisition by Capgemini, and advising Welltok on its $75m Series E-2 preferred stock financing. Michael Conza in Boston and Princeton-based Steven Cohen co-lead the practice, which includes Boston-based Julio Vega, who 'can anticipate issues before they arise and is outstanding at problem solving', and Joanne Soslow in Philadelphia. Senior counsel Tom Kellerman in Silicon Valley is noted for handling cross-border transactions for technology companies. In February 2018 William Perkins moved to Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.'s Boston office.
Alternative/hedge funds Tier 3
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's 'strong' team houses 'excellent lawyers'; the group has been kept busy with funds-of-one work as well as fund formation mandates and regulatory matters. Jedd Wider and Christopher Dlutowski, both based in New York, continue to advise the California Public Employees’ Retirement Scheme (CalPERS), most recently on the formation and launch of a fund-of-one. In the Boston office, Stephen Tirrell advised Mariner Investment Group on forming a fund with a key focus on the mortgage-backed security (MBS) markets, while Richard Goldman advised Innocap Investment Management, a Canadian hedge fund manager, on forming a number of private funds for a Canadian pension plan; Steven Giordano is also a key name. In Miami, Ethan Johnson advised HODL Investments on the formation of a cryptocurrency fund, and assisted Dragon Capital with forming a fund for investing in exchange-listed securities in Vietnam. Wider and Goldman jointly lead the practice.
Appellate Tier 3
With an appellate practice split across Washington DC, Houston and San Francisco, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP handles sophisticated appeals in state and federal courts nationwide. In two cases concerning the enforcement of arbitration agreements, Bryan Killian and J. Warren Rissier secured a victory for Expedia’s subsidiary HomeAway as appellant at the Fifth Circuit, which unanimously reversed the district court’s judgments and affirmed the appellee’s obligation to arbitrate threshold arbitrability questions. Randall Levine led the team on scoring a win for appellant TDY and Allegheny Technologies in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERLA) case at the Ninth Circuit. Washington DC-based duo Levine and David Salmons successfully defended a gas company against tort claims related to a gas leak. William Peterson (Houston) and Thomas Peterson (San Francisco) are also noted. In June 2018, former co-head Allyson Ho departed to join the Dallas office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.
Cartel Tier 3
Steven Reed leads the global antitrust group at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP from the Philadelphia office. Reed is currently acting for a generic drug manufacturer in a government investigation into allegations of price fixing and customer allocation. In other highlights, Silicon Valley's Mark Krotoski and New York-based Richard Taffet are currently advising a major technology company on a DOJ investigation into a potential Sherman Act violation as well as allegations of collusion regarding the development of technical standards. Deputy practice leader Jon Roellke sits in the Washington DC office alongside Clayton Everett, Jr and Scott Stempel. Roellke has a strong record assisting clients with antitrust issues in the financial services sector, while Everett and Stempel have recently handled matters in the technology and electronics space. Ryan Kantor recently joined the practice from the DOJ in Washington DC.
The 'super practical and goal-oriented' team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP fields 'true experts on antitrust who just get the job done'. Particularly noted is the 'excellent' and 'super-responsive' Jon Roellke, whose advice is 'clear, consistent and actionable'. In Philadelphia, global practice head Steven Reed obtained a dismissal on behalf of Shire ViroPharma in a case brought by the FTC alleging the client tried to hinder generic competition to its drug by abusing government processes. Also notable in Philadelphia is Brendan Fee, who is a 'real star in the making' and 'just gets it'; he collaborated with Reed to advise clients such as Comcast, Uber and Gemtex. Richard Taffet is a key name to note in New York and recently led a cross-office team in the representation of Qualcomm in a variety of consumer class action claims alleging that the client's licensing and chip supply practices violated Section 5 of the FTC Act. Ryan Kantor recently joined the team from the DOJ in Washington DC and is a key contact, as is San Francisco's Brian Rocca.
Copyright Tier 3
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a big presence in copyright litigation, and works with clients such as Amazon and the American Society of Civil Engineers. J Kevin Fee leads the team and acted for the American Society for Testing and Materials in a dispute in which another party posted the client's copyrighted standards on the basis that governmental agencies had incorporated these standards and are now allegedly subject to public ownership. Another name of note is John Polito, who 'provides an invaluable mix of in-depth knowledge of software issues and copyright law'. He regularly represents Oracle in infringement issues. Litigator Carla Oakley is also recommended.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's group stands out for its ability to bring together individual partners with 'unique strengths and expertise', who 'work together effectively to deliver great results'. The global practice handles matters throughout the US and around the world, including the full spectrum of investigations and criminal proceedings. Philadelphia's Eric Sitarchuk leads the white-collar litigation and government investigations team, while Boston's Timothy Burke heads the securities enforcement and litigation group. Together with Steven Reed (also in Philadelphia), Sitarchuk is defending Teva USA and Cephalon in a major multi-district litigation concerning allegations of false and misleading opioid medicine marketing. Acting as co-counsel with a team from Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Century City's Nathan Hochman successfully defended Eric Pulier in his federal criminal prosecution involving allegations of fraud arising from the sale of ServiceMesh to Corporation Service Company; charges were dismissed in the Central District of California. Other names to note include Susan Resley in San Francisco, Tinos Diamantatos in Chicago and New York's David Miller, who is praised for his 'sharp mind, strategic thinking and client-focused advice'.
International arbitration, construction-related litigation, regulatory litigation and enforcement proceedings are some key areas of activity for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's energy litigation practice. Recent highlights include a team led by Jim Dragna (Los Angeles) and Bryan Killian (DC) acting for Anadarko Petroleum in six climate change lawsuits brought by municipalities and cities in California; the cases are currently on appeal at the Ninth Circuit. Elsewhere, Pittsburgh-based John Gisleson and others are representing Noble Energy in a statewide class action arising from the allegation that the client underpaid natural gas royalties to certain royalty owners, who are claiming millions of dollars in damages. Brad Fagg (DC), Michelle Pector (Houston) and Winstol Carter (Houston) are some key contacts. A number of internal promotions and additions have reinforced the team; of particular note is the arrival of Kenneth Polite in the Philadelphia office, who was former vice president and chief compliance officer at Entergy.
Environment: litigation Tier 3
‘Shrewd, responsive and exceedingly well prepared’, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP handles high-stakes complex matters involving environmental litigation, crisis management, mass tort, multiparty hazardous waste proceedings and compliance issues. It is representing key client Anadarko Petroleum in three lawsuits seeking damages and other relief for the alleged climate change impacts of oil and gas exploration and development; respected Los Angeles-based practice head James Dragna leads the case. In Pittsburgh, John Gisleson is recommended. David Schrader in Los Angeles, deputy practice leader John McGahren in Princeton, and Thomas Lotterman and Duke McCall in Washington DC, are other names to note. Camarin Madigan moved to Perkins Coie LLP in February 2019.
'Drawing on a variety of transactional and litigation experience', the 'responsive, hardworking and knowledgeable' team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a particularly strong reputation in the consumer finance space for banks, broker-dealers, trust companies and funds. 'Capable of adding value on litigation and pre-litigation disputes across a variety of securitization transactions and subject matters', the firm has an excellent track record representing clients in RMBS cases. 'Creative, thoughtful and knowledgeable' Michael Kraut in New York is at the forefront of most of the firm's work in this area and is noted for his 'knowledge of changing trustee practices based on industry developments and case law evolution'. Led out of New York and Washington DC by Kenneth Schacter and Jon Roellke respectively, the firm is also representing Morgan Stanley as a defendant in a benchmark antitrust case involving the Australian BBSW rate (its equivalent of Libor). Miami-based Robert Brochin, Philadelphia-based firm chair Jami Wintz McKeon, and Boston-based Elaine McChesney are also recommended.
General commercial disputes Tier 3
The thriving commercial disputes department at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP forms part of the firm's global litigation practice; in the US, the sizeable team counts sixteen fellows of the ACTL. The large size of the team matches the breadth of its practice, with partners experienced in the healthcare, financial services and technology sectors, among others. The firm's cross-disciplinary crisis management group is another draw, and the team is often called on for representation in sensitive litigation and investigations. Susan DiCicco heads the team; other key figures include David Levy, Michael Kraut, Michelle Pector and Lisa Veasman, who made partner in 2018.
Merger control Tier 3
The antitrust team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP was recently strengthened in Washington DC by the arrival of Ryan Kantor from the DOJ. Also in the team in DC, Jonathan Rich recently led a team including David Brenneman and Willard Tom to handle the antitrust aspects of several transactions by private equity firm Apollo Global. In New York, Harry Robins oversaw a number of transactions in the financial services sector, and represented Aramark in its $1bn acquisition of AmeriPride Services. Other notable clients include AmeriHealth Caritas, Comcast, the Dr Pepper Snapple group and Merck & Co.
Patents: licensing Tier 3
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP fields a varied practice across the life sciences, pharmaceuticals and technology sectors. A recent healthcare highlight saw Pittsburgh's Peter Watt-Morse negotiate multiple license agreements for the embedding of proprietary content in healthcare technology products for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. SanDisk instructed the team to advise on the drafting and negotiation of patent agreements regarding its SD flash memory card joint venture with Toshiba and Panasonic -- a cross-border mandate involving the US and Japanese jurisdictions. 'Extremely knowledgeable' key practitioner Rahul Kapoor in Silicon Valley, whose 'analysis of completely new issues and drafting skills are exceptional', is 'intelligent, creative and thinks outside of the box'. Philadelphia-based practice heads Louis Beardell and Eric Kraeutler, and San Francisco's Benjamin Pensak are also recommended. Christopher Bright, Kenneth Cheney, Michael Dreznes, Nathan Smith, Soyeon Pak Laub, and Todd Hales joined in Orange County, Brent Hawkins joined in San Francisco, Hosang Lee joined in Washington DC, and Chicago gained Hersh Mehta and Kevin Shortsle, all former McDermott Will & Emery LLP practitioners. Randall Sunberg left for Baker McKenzie LLP. Other clients include Alpha & Omega Semiconductor, Medisix Therapeutics and Yandex.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP reports an increase in sovereign wealth fund matters, and in this space, Peter Phleger in San Francisco advised Pantheon Ventures on a $2bn commitment into a customized fund from Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the sovereign wealth fund of Japan. Paul McCoy, who operates out of the New York and San Francisco offices, represented the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a $50m investment in Warburg Pincus Financial Sector LP. Pension plan matters are another core area of strength; Louis Singer, who splits his time between London and New York, advised the New York City Comptroller's Office on the launch of a number of strategic partnerships, with an aggregate value of $3bn, between KKR and five New York City pension funds. Gerald Kehoe, who advises Lime Rock Partners, is a key contact in the Boston office.
Product liability, mass tort and class actions: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense Tier 3
At Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Washington DC-based Paul Zevnik leads the product liability, tort and insurance practice, while John Lavelle in Philadelphia heads the product liability litigation team. The group is experienced in pharmaceuticals and medical devices-related class actions and personal injury lawsuits, which has recently included representing Teva Pharmaceuticals and affiliated companies as coordinating and national counsel in opioid-related litigation. Other highlights include defending Zimmer Biomet against product liability claims relating to an artificial hip manufactured by the client. Ethel Johnson in Houston and Los Angeles-based Yardena Zwang-Weissman are other names to note. In October 2018, Kelci Atkins in Houston and Lisa Veasman in Los Angeles were promoted to partner. David Luttinger left to join Covington & Burling LLP in March 2018.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's REIT practice is led by over 25 lawyers from the securities, finance, tax, M&A, real estate, employee benefits, environmental and labor groups. It advised RAIT Financial Trust, a publicly traded Maryland REIT, on its defense against an activist investor campaign that was threatened by Highland Capital Management and its affiliates. Eric Stern and Justin Chairman in Philadelphia head the team.
The team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has experience in portfolio management as well as IP-related transactions. Practice head Karen Butcher and Anita Polott serve as counsel to Anthem, managing its trademark portfolio and coordinating global clearance, protection and enforcement strategies. On the transaction front, Boston-based Rachelle Dubow along with Ron Dreben and Dana Gross handled the IP elements of Apollo Global Management’s acquisition of Qdoba Restraurant Corp. Urban Outfitters, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Wayfair are also clients. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.
US taxes: non-contentious Tier 3
The ‘outstanding’ tax practice at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP impresses with its ‘very deep legal knowledge, especially in cross-border transactions’. Recent examples include Boston-based Dan Nelson working with Australian industrial property group Goodman on its expansion into Brazil and the establishment of a $700m investment platform, the Goodman Brazil Logistics Partnership. Washington DC partners Bill McKee, Scott Farmer and John B. Magee handled the tax aspects of a multi-jurisdictional joint venture for a major entertainment industry client. Elsewhere, New York partners Richard Zarin and Mary Hevener acted for Dr Pepper Snapple Group in its merger with Keurig Green Mountain, resulting in the creation of Keurig Dr Pepper. The Chicago office has expanded its capabilities in domestic and international tax planning and SALT matters with the recruitment of Michael Liu, Matthew Mock and Joshua Richardson from Baker McKenzie LLP in February 2018, and corporate tax planning specialist Larry Axelrod in Washington DC from the offices of Ivins, Phillips & Barker. Associate Meghan McCarthy is recommended for federal and state tax law matters. Sarah-Jane Morin in San Francisco and Cosimo Zavaglia in New York made partner in October 2018.
Capital markets: debt Tier 4
The securities practice at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, best known for its issuer-side work, handles a significant volume of energy and financial services-related deals. In New York, Thomas Giblin is a popular choice for energy and utilities issuers and recently advised American Water Works, and its finance subsidiary American Water Capital, on $1.3bn worth of senior notes offerings. Giblin also assisted Florida Power & Light with its $1bn issuance of first mortgage bonds. In Washington DC, Sean Donahue has a strong record in corporate governance matters and recently advised Clorox on a $400m debt offering. The group also benefits from the senior experience of Joanne Soslow, who acts as deputy chair of the corporate practice, and Justin Chairman, both of whom are based in Philadelphia.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s ‘very solutions-focused team’ is praised by global clients for its ‘strong local knowledge and ability to overcome unexpected problems as they arise’. The group, which is involved in a relatively even split of issuer and underwriter-side work, handled a steady stream of energy, financial services and TMT-related deals during 2018. Among its highlights, New York-based Christopher Jensen advised Newmark Group on its $325m IPO. John Hood, also in New York, advised Entergy on a $1.1bn offering of common stock through a series of equity forward agreements. Other key contacts include New York-based Thomas Giblin, who brings to bear a strong record in energy matters, and Philadelphia-based Joanne Soslow.
Commercial lending Tier 4
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP 'takes a very commercial approach to transactions, which enables its clients to stay competitive and relevant in a very challenging market'. In particular, the group is praised for its 'deep knowledge of the law', and is especially active on the lender side, where it acts for a number of institutional clients in asset-based transactions and also advises a range of direct lenders on leveraged finance deals. In addition, the team is noted for its expertise in the film finance market, and recently advised JPMorgan Chase on a $2.1bn facility to MGM, which will be used partly to finance film and television development and production. Additionally, the team advised GSO Capital Partners as creditor on the Chapter 11 proceedings of Video Equipment Rentals, which involved a $465m pre-petition term debt and DIP financing, followed by the subsequent merger with Production Resources Group. Other key clients include Bank of America, Ares Capital, and Crystal Financial. Jonathan Bernstein leads the team out of Boston, and is backed up by a strong group including Matthew Furlong, Amy Kyle and Hartford-based Daniel Papermaster. Other key individuals include leveraged finance expert Frederick Eisenbiegler and Thomas Mellor in New York.
At Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, practice leaders Gregory Parks, W. Reece Hirsch and Mark Krotoski (based in Philadelphia, San Francisco and between Silicon Valley and Washington DC respectively) have been advising a number of companies from the energy, financial, health, hospitality and retail sectors on compliance with CCPA. Parks and Philadelphia’s Ezra Church have been acting for department stores chain Hudson’s Bay in all class actions following a payment cards data incident involving client-owned brand banners Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor. Start-up Blink Health, which offers a mobile app for consumers to access discounted medications outside of their health insurance plans, is a key client.
Defending Southern California Gas Company in multiple lawsuits arising from the high-profile Aliso Canyon storage leak has formed a large portion of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's recent work. Notably, Los Angeles-based Jim Dragna and others succeeded in reaching a $8.5m settlement for the client with California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District. Elsewhere, a group led by DC-based Brad Fagg successfully represented Duke Energy in a class action in which the plaintiffs sought class certification for over a million customers, injunctive relief and the disgorgement of rates collected under Florida’s Nuclear Cost Recovery System. Besides these highlights, the team handles commercial litigation and breach-of-contract cases for conventional energy clients. Michelle Pector (Houston), John Gisleson (Pittsburgh) and Ezra Church (Philadelphia) are also recommended. The group was fortified by numerous promotions and new additions to the litigation practice in 2018.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP advises publicly held utilities companies and independent power producers, engineering and construction firms, major lenders, and institutional investors and private equity firms on development, financing, acquisitions and disposals of power projects. Key contacts in the Boston-office include Michael Müller and Richard Filosa, who assisted Entergy Corporation with the establishment of a transmission company and subsequent development of a transmission project in the MISO service area. James Tynion leads the project finance and infrastructure group in the New York office, and Jonathan Morris acted for Linden Cogen Holdings in its $913m sale of 50% equity interest to a joint venture between subsidiaries of Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power. In the Houston office, Jeffrey Dinerstein joined from Jones Day, and Sameer Mohan joined from Baker & Hostetler LLP.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is 'a one-stop-shop for a variety of energy-sector transactions'. Jointly headed by New York-based James Tynion and Boston-based Richard Filosa, the team has broad experience of a range of upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas mandates, and is instructed by energy companies, traders and investors as every stage in the oil and gas chain. Also recommended is Houston-based Felipe Alice, who is 'always available to address clients' needs', and has 'a wealth of knowledge about oil and gas in Latin America'. Alice is acting for a major utility company in connection with the EPC contract for the development of a natural gas treatment, gas processing, and liquefaction facility.
The healthcare practice at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is known for representing a broad range of clients, including hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, private equity firms, pharmacies, specialist facilities and hospice agencies. Compliance issues, litigation, coverage and reimbursement, employment, as well as data privacy and transactions constitute the service portfolio. In a private equity highlight, Washington DC partners Joyce Cowan and Howard Young advised Varsity Healthcare Partners on its investment in Ideal Option. Susan Feigin Harris, who in late 2017 joined the Houston office within team of five other lawyers from Baker & Hostetler LLP, resolved a major Medicaid reimbursement claim for twelve of the nation's largest children's hospitals.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP recently added to the team former McDermott Will & Emery LLP prosecution experts Mark Itri, Michael Dreznes, Soyeon Pak Laub, John Magluyan, Andrew Mickelsen and Nathan Smith; post-grant specialist Kenneth Cheney in the Orange County office; Brent Hawkins in San Francisco; Chicago trio Hersh Mehta, Kevin Shortsle and Kristen Vink Venegas; and Hosang Lee in Washington DC. Life sciences, electronics and technology matters are at the heart of the practice. In a recent mandate, a team including Washington DC's Robert Smyth, Philadelphia-based deputy practice head Louis Beardell, practice leader Eric Kraeutler also in Philadelphia, and John Gorman in the Wilmington advised Acerta Pharma on the worldwide prosecution of patents. Newly promoted partners include Jason Gettleman and Liying Sun in Silicon Valley, and Dana Gross and Janice Logan in Washington DC. Finch Therapeutics, SanDisk and Synthetic Biologics are also among the team's clients.
Private equity buyouts Tier 4
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a fine record in the mid-market, thanks to prominent teams in Philadelphia, New York and Orange County. It has notable strength in specific areas such as energy, technology, life sciences, healthcare, retail, financial services and distressed investing. Team members 'act like true partners', 'are very hands on, accessible and commercial in their approach', are 'smart, efficient, good value for money, focus on the things that matter and explain them in clear English'. Clients include Apollo Global Management, Ares Management, Arsenal Capital Partners, Platinum Equity, Freeman Spogli & Co and Sun Capital Partners. The team is led by two experienced partners in Philadelphia's Barbara Shander, who is 'an A+ lead partner', 'always available and thoughtful', 'manages the transaction process very well and is effective at winning the points that matter the most', along with Orange County-based James Loss, who is 'arguably one of the best M&A lawyers in the world', 'extremely knowledgeable from a legal point of view but also very commercial and practical'. Shander headed the group that advised Sun Capital Partners portfolio company Aclara Technologies, on its $1.1bn sale to Hubbell Power System while Loss led the team that advised Platinum Equity on its $2.1bn acquisition of Johnson & Johnson’s LifeScan business. In Boston, Mark Stein 'balances technical expertise with seasoned business judgment' and is recommended for healthcare and life sciences deals. New York's Alec Dawson is another key member of the team and Orange County partner Randall Wood is also praised by clients.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is active in the automotive and aviation sectors, where it acts for clients such as Boeing, Toyota and General Motors as national, trial and appellate counsel in class actions and product liability lawsuits involving manufacturing defects, design defects and personal injury claims. Practice head Paul Zevnik in Washington DC, Miami-based Brian Ercole and Gordon Cooney in Philadelphia are the key contacts in the practice.
Real estate Tier 4
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's real estate practice covers issues such as land assemblage, ownership, use and development, leasing financing, investment, workouts, restructurings, tax matters and dispositions. The firm's client base includes developers, corporate end-users, REITs, private equity and pension funds, institutional lenders, advisers and servicers. Boston-based Richard Toelke acted for Berkshire Group and CBRE Global Investors on the acquisition and financing of various multifamily apartment complexes across the US. Eric Stern, who is based in the Philadelphia office, advised Incyte Corporation on the lease of its headquarters in Delaware. Washington DC-based Michael Pickett took a lead role for The JBG Companies on the combination of fund assets with the Vornado REIT DC real estate portfolio, a deal which created JBG SMITH Properties. Philadelphia-based of counsel Kathleen Keyser and Washington DC-based Thomas Klanderman are also recommended.
The ‘deep and experienced restructuring team’ at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is particularly known for its energy sector and transport sector work as well as its experience in cross-border mandates. The firm provides ‘an understanding of business and the expertise to handle complicated contentious restructurings’. The practice is led by John Goodchild III in Philadelphia, Boston-based Jonathan Bernstein, and Daniel Papermaster, who splits his time between Hartford and New York, and was recently boosted by the arrivals in the New York office of debtor-side specialist Craig Wolfe from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP and insurance insolvency practitioner Scott Fischer, who joined from the New York State Department of Financial Services. Also notable in the team is experienced counsel Rachel Jaffe Mauceri in Philadelphia and New York-based ‘strong advocate and skilled negotiator’ Glenn Siegel, who ‘brings creativity to his advice, as well as being adept in contentious circumstances’. Siegel is leading in representing Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas as indenture trustee to the holders of two series of notes of Seadrill. The client is the single-largest unsecured creditor in the Chapter 11 of Seadrill and its affiliates. In another highlight, the firm is acting for the indenture trustee for two series of senior secured notes of Avaya in the company’s Chapter 11 restructuring. The department is also lead US counsel for Servicios Tamaulipas in connection with M&G USA Corporation’s Chapter 11 proceedings. Renee Dailey left the practice to join Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) Tier 5
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's extensive resources across the US and its increasingly expansive global presence, makes it a regular adviser on cross-border transactions. It has an especially strong record in US inbound deals. Moreover, its full-service approach – with the firm fielding eminent teams in intellectual property, employment, employee benefits and regulatory matters – makes it an even more compelling proposition to parties in M&A transactions. Life sciences, energy, technology, retail, financial services, healthcare and media are key sectors for the M&A team. It advised Dr Pepper Snapple Group on the completion of its merger with Keurig Green Mountain, the largest-ever deal in the global soft drink industry with the combined business being valued at some $40bn; the firm successfully saw off litigation brought in Delaware challenging the absence of appraisal rights pursuant to the deal structure. The firm also advised Aramark on its $1bn acquisition of AmeriPride Services, the uniform and linen rental and supply company. Philadelphia partner Richard Aldridge leads the team with Boston partner Laurie Cerveny operating as deputy head. New York's Charles Engros and Robert Dickey have extensive big-ticket M&A experience. New York partner Steven Navarro and Orange County's James Loss are also recommended.
The 'strategic thinkers' at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP combine 'formidable depth of experience' with 'out of the box advice that balances commercial needs, costs, risk and impact'. One of the fastest-growing practices in the market, the 'smart, dedicated and extremely focused' group, jointly headed by Louis Beardell and Eric Kraeutler, has built an impressive litigation portfolio with a broad spread of sector experience. A recent example of the team's court prowess was the win for the Alfred E. Mann Foundation for Scientific Research in a long-running case against Cochlear, started in 2007 and involving $268m in damages awarded to the foundation. Nathalie Bennett joined the Washington DC office, Christopher Bright, who 'provides insightful, forward-thinking advice', joined in Orange County, Jeffrey Gargano, Hersh Mehta, Kevin Shortsle and Krista Vink Venegas joined in Chicago and Brent Hawkins joined in San Francisco, all from McDermott Will & Emery LLP. Palo Alto's Jason Gettleman recently made partner, and Michael Abernathy is also noted. Other clients include BlackBerry, Taro Pharmaceuticals and Yahoo!.
The ‘exceptional’ team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is particularly noted for its experience in energy project finance mandates; it is active on the sponsor side, and its lender practice has been further boosted with the recent arrival of Amy Maloney from Latham & Watkins LLP. Neeraj Arora in Los Angeles advised Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, as administrative agent for a syndication of lenders, on the financing of SWG Finco’s portfolio of five operating gas-fired electrical generation facilities located in California, Colorado and New Mexico. Richard Filosa, who jointly heads the team with James Tynion in New York, led advice for Ares on the development and financing of the St Joseph Energy Center Phase 2 power project. Further, Wayne Song in Los Angeles advised Coronal Energy on a $235m tax equity financing from US Bankcorp Community Development Corporation and back-leveraged term debt from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, for a combined portfolio of solar facilities on US Department of Defense property. Marc Reardon, Michael Müller, Felipe Alice in Houston, who is ‘always available to address the needs of the client’, and Jonathan Morris in New York are also recommended, as is Houston-based John Crespo. Named individuals are based in Boston unless otherwise stated. Adrian Talamantes joined Holland & Knight LLP in 2018.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP > Firm Profile
From the firm’s 30 offices* in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Morgan Lewis works across all major industries with clients that range from established, global Fortune 100 companies to enterprising start-ups. The firm provides comprehensive corporate, transactional, litigation and regulatory services that help address and anticipate challenges across vast and rapidly changing landscapes. Founded in 1873, Morgan Lewis stands on the shoulders of more than 140 years of achievement, but never rests on its reputation.
Main areas of practice
Corporate and business transactions: Morgan Lewis provides corporate, finance and investment counsel to a diverse clientele of public and privately held businesses of all sizes and across industry sectors including banking and financial services, energy, life sciences, technology, telecommunications, media and retail.
Litigation, regulation and investigations: clients turn to Morgan Lewis when their vital interests are at stake, looking to the team’s trial legal and business sophistication, broad scope of litigation services, and ability to find solutions to complex challenges. Litigators at the firm handle cases in virtually every jurisdiction in the United States and globally and serve as trial, strategic, permitting and co-ordinating counsel in large, complex matters.
Intellectual property: from start-ups to celebrated global brands, clients around the world rely on the diverse strengths of Morgan Lewis patent, trademark and copyright lawyers and professionals and IP litigators. The firm’s full range of IP services includes litigation, patent preparation and prosecution, trademark and copyright registration, counseling and opinions, transactions and due diligence.
Labor, employment and benefits: the firm’s labor, employment, executive compensation and benefits practitioners apply a solution-oriented approach to give clients a competitive edge and help employers around the world navigate the constantly changing landscape of global, US state, and local laws and regulations that govern the workplace.
|Class actions||Molly Moriarty Lane|
|Class actions||Scott Schutte|
|Corporate and business transactions||Steven Browne|
|Corporate and business transactions||Alec Dawson|
|Corporate and business transactions||Joanne Soslow|
|Employee benefits||Steven Spencer|
|Employee benefits||Craig Bitman|
|Intellectual property||Eric Kraeutler|
|Intellectual property||Louis Beardell|
|International trade||Giovanni Cinelli|
|Investment management||Louis Singer|
|Investment management||Timothy Levin|
|Labor and employment||Grace Speights|
|Labor and employment||David McManus|
|Life sciences||Randall Sunberg|
|Life sciences||Howard Young|
|Life sciences||Kathleen Sanzo|
|Life sciences||Jeffry Mann|
|Life sciences||Michele Buenafe|
|Life sciences||Mark Stein|
|Life sciences||Margaret Erin Rodgers Schmidt|
|Litigation||Ella Foley Gannon|
|Product liability||Paul Zevnik|
|Product liability||Yardena Zwang-Weissmann|
|Retail||Anne Marie Estevez|
|Securities litigation/enforcement||Amy Greer|
|Securities litigation/enforcement||Timothy Burke|
|Securities litigation/enforcement||Jordan Hershman|
|Securities litigation/enforcement||Susan Resley|
|Structured transactions||Reed Auerbach|
|Structured transactions||John Arnholz|
|Structured transactions||Jeff Johnson|
|Telecommunications, media and technology||Andrew Lipman|
|White-collar/government investigations||Eric Sitarchuk|
|White-collar/government investigations||Nathan Hochman|
|White-collar/government investigations||Chris Warren-Smith|
|Dale Barnes||View Profile|
|Ella Foley Gannon||View Profile|
|Tera Heintz||View Profile|
|Frank Hinman||View Profile|
|Scott Karchmer||View Profile|
|William Kissinger||View Profile|
|Camarin Madigan||View Profile|
|Eric Meckley||View Profile|
|Donn Pickett||View Profile|
|Brian Rocca||View Profile|
|John Rosenthal||View Profile|
|Charlene Shimada||View Profile|
|Edward Strohbehn||View Profile|
|James Vzquez-Azpiri||View Profile|
OtherChair : Jami Wintz McKeon Managing Partner : Steven C Browne Managing Partner : David W Pollak Managing Partner : Steven R Wall
Diversity and Inclusion
At Morgan Lewis, culture cascades from the top. From Firm Chair Jami McKeon to practice group leaders to office managing partners and members of the C-suite, our firm leaders know that their actions will create opportunities and promote parity for diverse lawyers.
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a core value at Morgan Lewis. It influences how we serve clients, collaborate with colleagues, and recruit, retain, and promote the firms lawyers and legal professionals across the globe. From the creation of our D&I Committee in 2003 to 2006 when the firm hosted its first lawyer-of-color retreat to the appointment of our first woman Chair in 2014 and the launch of our lawyer networks for women, minorities, LGBT individuals, veterans, and returning-to-work associates in 2015, our philosophy is to show, not tell how we promote and celebrate diversity.
We are proud of the work we have done and continue to do within and outside the firm to ensure that the values of diversity and inclusion are increasingly the norm, not the exception. Morgan Lewis recognizes and leverages diverse talent in key roles; commits time, finances, and other capital resources; collaborates with clients and the community; and designs and executes programs focused on addressing unconscious bias to ensure the values of D&I are embedded in our DNA as well as the wider legal community. With nearly 2,000 lawyers in 30 offices across the United States, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, we are determined to be as diverse as the world in which we operate.
In the spirt of showing and not telling, we invite you watch the videos below to hear from our lawyers themselves about what shaped them and why they are such an important part of Morgan Lewis.
As we celebrate the risk takers and the history makers during Black History Month, some of our Morgan Lewis lawyers did a little reflecting of their own on their professional journeys and personal stories.
Growing up in rural North Carolina, Larry Turner was inspired by two lawyers. Perry Mason was one. Who was the other? Watch to find out.
Posted by Morgan Lewis on Tuesday, 6 February 2018
As we celebrate the risk takers and the history makers during #BlackHistoryMonth, some of our Morgan Lewis lawyers did a little reflecting of their own on their professional journeys and personal stories. Jocelyn Cuttino shares a lesson she learned from one of the first mentors she had in her career: the importance of authenticity. #WeAreMorganLewis
Posted by Morgan Lewis on Tuesday, 20 February 2018
As we celebrate the risk takers and the history makers during #BlackHistoryMonth, some of our Morgan Lewis lawyers did a little reflecting of their own on their professional journeys and personal stories. What professional achievement is Undray Wilks most proud of? Hint: It doesnt have anything to do with the law. Watch this to find out. #WeAreMorganLewis
Posted by Morgan Lewis on Saturday, 24 February 2018
As we celebrate the risk takers and the history makers during #BlackHistoryMonth, some of our Morgan Lewis lawyers did a little reflecting of their own on their professional journeys and personal stories.
After 22 years as a trial lawyer, which cases left the biggest mark on RJ Hendricks? Watch this to find out.
Posted by Morgan Lewis on Thursday, 15 February 2018
Diversity progress recognized
Morgan Lewiss progress in expanding diversity has been acknowledged by our peers and our clients. Below is a sample of some of the firms recent D&I recognitions:
- Client JPMorgan Chase honored Morgan Lewis with the Joan Guggenheimer Diversity Champion Award for promoting and maintaining a culture of diversity and inclusion (2018).
- Yale Law Women named Morgan Lewis to its annual list of the Top 10 Family Friendly Firms, as well as to its inaugural Top 10 Female Friendly Firms. We were one of only four firms named to both lists (2018).
- Client TIAA presented Morgan Lewis with a Diversity and Inclusion Award (2017).
- Law360s annual Glass Ceiling Report named Morgan Lewis one of the Top 10 Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys based on the percentage of female lawyers both at the nonpartner and partner levels (2017).
- Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) granted Morgan Lewis its Gold Standard Certification for the third consecutive year, recognizing our firm alongside 44 others (2017).
- The Human Rights Campaign Foundation Corporate Equality Index gave Morgan Lewis a 100% Rating for the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality for the 10th year in a row (2009 2018).
- Client Morgan Stanley honored Morgan Lewis with its Leadership & Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award (2017).
- Client Lockheed Martin honored Morgan Lewis with its Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award (2017).
- Equality Illinois named Morgan Lewis a Top Law Firm, LGBTQ Diversity & Inclusion Practices, (2017).
- Client Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company gave Morgan Lewis with its Legal Excellence Award: Inclusion & Diversity Leader (2016).
- The Philadelphia Inquirer named Firm Chair Jami McKeon one of Philadelphias most iconic business leaders and inducted her into its Business Hall of Fame at The Union League of Philadelphia (2017).
- The National Bar Association presented Morgan Lewiss Labor and employment chair Grace Speights with its Gertrude E. Rush Award because she exemplifies the same spirit and commitment to humanity that the bar groups sole female co-founder demonstrated (2017).
- The Los Angeles Business Journal selected Litigation partner Esther Ro as one of the Most Influential Minority Lawyers for 2018 for helping lead Morgan Lewis teams to victory in the precedent-setting Rubenstein v. Gap as well as Starks v. Geico Indemnity cases (2017).
- San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee officially proclaimed August 2 as Joan Haratani Day in the City and County of San Francisco in recognition of partner Joan Haratani for her years of community service including being the first woman of color to serve as president for the Bar Association of San Francisco and for serving as president of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (2017).
- The Minority Corporate Counsel Association recognized Labor and employment partner Melissa Rodriguez as a Rising Star for 2017.
Morgan Lewis is committed to developing and advancing diverse associates and women lawyers through consistent implementation of internal and external groundbreaking initiatives that underscore the importance of these lawyers within the firm and within the legal profession.
Morgan Lewis recognizes the imperative to increase diversity in the educational pipeline leading to the legal profession. Below are but a few examples of the many ways in which Morgan Lewis endeavors to increase diversity in the legal profession by increasing the number of diverse candidates who are financially able to pursue a legal education:
- Morgan Lewis Foundation The Morgan Lewis Foundation provides multiple $40,000 scholarships annually to diverse second- and third-year law students with excellent academics and serious financial need. Since its founding in 2014, the foundation has disbursed nearly $750,000 to increase diversity in the legal profession.
- Morgan Lewis Diversity Career Fellowship Established in 2008, the Morgan Lewis Diversity Career Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for future participants in our Summer Associate Program who share a commitment to supporting D&I across the legal industry. The program awards four or five of these prospective summer associate candidates a $15,000 stipend for demonstrating leadership in D&I through the fellowship.
- ML Diversity Scholarship Program/BARBRI Law Preview Partnership Morgan Lewis also partners with select law schools on the ML Diversity Scholarship Program and BARBRI Law Preview, which respectively provide second- and third-year students with financial support and incoming first-year students with critical preparation for success.
- Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program Recognizing the need to educate and provide opportunities to underrepresented, ethnically diverse students as early as possible,
Morgan Lewis proudly supports the New York City Bar Associations Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program, which places high-achieving inner-city high school students with legal employers for the summer.
Participation in minority law student/diversity job fairs
Morgan Lewis works aggressively to improve diversity in our firm and in the legal profession, and actively seeks out talented diverse candidates by participating in and/or sponsoring a number of prominent minority law student and/or diversity job fairs, including, but not limited to:
- National Black Law Students Association Regional Job Fairs
- Boston Lawyers Group Diversity Job Fair
- Cook County Minority Job Fair
- Philadelphia Diversity Job Fair
- Hispanic National Bar Association Convention and Career Fair
- Rocky Mountain Diversity Legal Career Fair
- Vault/MCCA Legal Diversity Job Fair
- LGBT Bar Associations Annual Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair
- Bay Area Diversity Career Fair
- Lambda Legal
- Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
In addition to the above, Morgan Lewis partners with clients to educate diverse first-year law students by offering internal workshops focused on providing law students with the tips and tools they need to successfully interview for employment and get off to a great start in their legal careers. Morgan Lewis shares our clients commitment to diversity and is proud to represent a number of MCCA members, including JP Morgan Chase, Amazon, Cigna and Merck, to name a few.
Outreach to leadership of minority student organizations
During students 1L years, Morgan Lewis sponsors affinity groups at many law schools, and supports diverse students in various ways, including by hosting mock-interview events. We also work with the Asian Pacific American Law Students Associations, Latin American Law Students Associations, and Womens Law Centers, among many other groups.
We are also an advocate level sponsor at the National BLSA conference, and our Washington, DC, office hosted a Lunar New Year celebration, inviting all of the local APALSA students from area law schools to attend.
Partner J. Goodwin Bland, co-leader of our D&I Committee, is vice chair of our New York Recruiting Committee, where he is actively involved in recruiting diverse talent. We are proud that 55% of our New York summer associate class has been comprised of persons of color or LGBT lawyers for several years, and the class has always been 50% or more women. J. is also a member of the Alumni Council at University of Virginia (UVA) Law School, where he helps recruit diverse students to UVA, actively attends UVA BLSA and Lambda Law Alliance events, and received an alumni award recognizing his extraordinary efforts on behalf of the LGBT community to create an open, supportive, and welcoming environment for diversity at the law school and beyond.
Following are additional examples of our diversity outreach efforts:
- University of Pennsylvania – Sponsor for the 30th Annual Sadie T.M. Alexander Commemorative Conference; and BLSA mentors
- University of Virginia – Firm sponsor for the 2017-2018 school year, as well as attending both the winter and spring BLSA receptions, exclusive BLSA mentor partnership, and led interview preparation and mock interview program for BLSA and Lambda Law students
- Boston University – Sponsor for BLSA this school year and helped to coordinate and plan their annual gala
- Duke University – Together with our clients, the Duke Law School Alliance Team (LSAT) led an interviewing workshop for the Duke chapter of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and Duke Outlaw student groups
- Michigan University – The Michigan LSAT team was a headline sponsor of the Michigan Outlaws Scholarship Gala, and attended an Out in Big Law panel discussion and networking reception
At Morgan Lewis, we recognize how beneficial mentoring programs are to the retention and development of all our associates, but we find these programs to be even more critical to the success of our diverse talent. In fact, we conduct regular meetings with hiring chairs and other firm leaders to discuss diversity recruiting/mentoring and how best to coordinate our efforts. To retain and advance diverse lawyers, practice leaders, influential partners, and their designees (many of whom serve as mentors to our diverse associates) meet regularly to assess the progress and prospects of diverse associates in their respective practices. Meetings address work assignments, associate access and exposure to senior partners and clients, and associate career trajectories.
Morgan Lewis also recently launched a Sponsorship Program for high-performing, ethnically diverse associates with four to six years of experience with the firm. The program partners these associates with an influential member of firm leadership who can offer guidance, provide access to assignments and business development opportunities, and provide associates with greater exposure throughout the firm. The goal is to give high-performing, ethnically diverse associates the opportunity to gain the skills necessary to navigate the pipeline to partnership and firm leadership positions and have long-term success at the firm.
We also launched an innovative cross-pairing mentorship program and business development initiative with key client SoCalGas. This program pairs a select group of women lawyers from Morgan Lewis with a group of women lawyers from SoCalGas in an effort to provide mutually beneficial one-on-one mentoring, professional guidance, and business development opportunities. The ultimate goal of the program is to establish meaningful bonds between women lawyers, while strengthening and deepening the firms relationship with an important client.
The firm also established the Diversity Leadership Program, an ongoing partnership with two clients, Bank of America and State Street Bank, that provides diverse associates with direct access to clients through pro bono clinic projects, shadow programs in the clients offices, and other social activities, thereby strengthening diversity, mentoring, and business development opportunities for all three organizations.
At Morgan Lewis we appreciate that the retention and advancement of our diverse attorneys is an essential element of our D&I mission. We approach the career development of women lawyers, lawyers of color, and LGBTQ lawyers from multiple angles, both internal and external, all of which intersect to build and support their careers. This involves paying close attention to the work assignment process to ensure that diverse lawyers receive the right opportunities and exposure, and paying for and encouraging them to attend and participate in external programs that enhance their professional development, while also providing networking and leadership opportunities.
Strength in Numbers
We offer our lawyers support from several internal affinity groups for lawyers who support and/or identify with the following populations:
- ML African-American/Black
- ML Asian-American/Asian
- ML Hispanic/Latino
- ML LGBT
- ML Returning to Work
- ML Veterans
- ML Women
Led by influential partners, these popular groups bring community and heightened understanding as well as enhanced opportunities to everyone at the firm through forums, special movie screenings and event, and networking opportunities.
For example, our LGBT affinity group partners with dozens of external organizations to expand the firms footprint in the LGBT community. From annual firm-wide Pride Week celebrations; to our sponsorship of organizations such as the LGBT Bar Association, BALIF (Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom), Lambda Legal and OUTLeadership; to our recent A Focus on LGBT Asylum Issues presentation, which addressed asylum and immigration legal issues affecting the LGBTQ community, Morgan Lewis is proud of our diversity efforts on behalf of and commitment to the LGBT community.
The D&I Business Case from the Clients Perspective
Morgan Lewis routinely engages clients to share best practices and create programs and partnerships to enhance D&I in the legal profession. One such collaborative program was a panel discussion, The D&I Business Case from the Clients Perspective, which included a candid conversation about how diversity impacts clients business operations and their relationships with outside counsel. Everyone who attended the discussion benefitted from hearing about the D&I business case directly from clients.
Advancing Gender Parity in the Legal Profession
While Morgan Lewis consistently showcases women lawyers work within the firms 30 offices, we strive to keep the goal of gender parity top of mind in the broader legal profession. Below are recent collaborations and conferences we have been actively involved in:
- March 2018, Morgan Lewis sponsored the 10th annual Ms. JD Conference on Women in the Law, hosted at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. This years conference centered on the theme Her Story and featured keynote speaker Michelle Banks, co-chair of UCLA Law Women LEAD. The Ms. JD Conference on Women in the Law is the premier gathering for women law students and young lawyers across the United States to continue and expand on progress for women in the profession and to discuss remaining challenges.
- In December 2017, Morgan Lewis hosted Passion & Purpose: The Secrets of Gritty Women in the Legal Profession, a presentation in partnership with the American Bar Associations Law Practice Division and co-sponsored by its ABA Legal Career Central and Commission on Women in the Profession.
- In November 2017, Morgan Lewis partnered with Ellevate Network, a global professional community focused on advancing women in the workplace and helping companies succeed in supporting the development of female leaders. This provides our firms female lawyers access to Ellevates community of 90,000 women and resources.
Accountability and metrics
Morgan Lewis has an outstanding Implicit Bias training program, which is mandatory for partners and associates. Focusing on raising awareness of unconscious biases in the workplace, the training teaches lawyers how to recognize biases and provides guidance to address these biases. The firms program mirrors what has steadily been gaining ground as an essential component of onboarding and leadership planning throughout much of corporate America.
In addition, Morgan Lewis was one of the first law firms to pledge to adopt the Mansfield Rule, which measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered women and lawyers of colorat least 30% of the candidate poolfor leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, and lateral positions. The Mansfield Rule, named after Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to practice law in the United States, was one of the winning ideas from the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon.
Morgan Lewis is chaired by Jami McKeon, distinguishing it as the worlds largest law firm headed by a woman. Ms. McKeon is also a long-time advocate of diversity and gender parity within the legal industry and a recognized leader who has spoken at a number of premier leadership conferences and major events in the business, finance, and legal industries, among others. Organizations such as the Financial Times, The American Red Cross, and the United Way are among the many that have recognized her and Morgan Lewis for their efforts.
Women are well represented in Morgan Lewiss 30 offices, practices, and industry initiatives. Heres just a small sample:
- Grace Speights, Washington, DC, leader of the firms nationally prominent labor and employment practice
- Suet-Fern Lee, Singapore, chair of the firms International Leadership Team
- Frances Murphy, London office managing partner
- Kathryn Sutton, Washington, DC, leader of the firms energy practice
- Joanne Soslow, Philadelphia, deputy leader of Morgan Lewiss corporate & business transactionssecurities practice
- Christina Edling Melendi, New York, firmwide hiring partner
- Michele Coffey, New York, Morgan Lewis general counsel
- Kate Weinstein, New York office co-managing partner
- Barbara Fitzgerald, Los Angeles office managing partner and firm employment counsel
- Allyson Ho, Houston, appellate practice leader and winner of multiple US Supreme Court decisions
A primary vehicle for the firms commitment in this area is ML Women, led by Joanne Soslow. Through this initiative, the firm invests in the development of its women lawyers and regularly encourages and provides opportunities for building relationships, both internally and externally. ML Women hosts bimonthly business development sessions across offices and offers opportunities to learn from Morgan Lewis rainmakers tips on client development and business generation strategies.
Through ML Women, Morgan Lewis in April 2017 sponsored its inaugural Women of Power & Prominence Summit in Washington, DC. The summit drew high-achieving women from government, politics, the news media, and industry to share their knowledge and expertise with 125 senior-level women clients. Later, in July 2017, our Moscow office hosted an ML Women event, Women Making History in Moscow – A Glance from the Rooftop, celebrating women leaders, highlighted by a local guide out places of significance in womens history from the offices rooftop in the heart of historic Moscow. In attendance were 20 women executives and general counsel from major companies.
|Firm has a written diversity strategy that has been communicated to all Firm attorneys.||Firm gives billable credit for work that is directly related to diversity efforts (but is not pro bono work).||Firm ties a component of partner compensation to diversity efforts.||Firm has a diversity committee that includes senior partners and that reports to the Firm’s highest governing body.||Firm has a full or part-time diversity professional who performs diversity-related tasks.||Firm has affinity or employee resource groups for its women and diverse attorneys, which meet at least quarterly.||Firm has a succession plan that specifically emphasizes greater inclusion of women and diverse lawyers.||Firm mandates and monitors that minority and women attorneys have equal access to clients, quality work assignments, committee appointments, marketing efforts and Firm events.||Firm requires inclusion of at least one diverse candidate in all hiring decisions.||Firm policy specifically prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.||Firm provides opportunity for attorneys to voluntarily disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression through Firm data collection procedures.||Firm policy specifically provides for paid maternity leave.||Firm policy specifically provides for paid paternity leave.||Firm has a formal, written part-time policy that permits partners to be part-time.||Firm has a flex-time policy.||Firm provides for or mandates diversity training for all lawyers and staff.||Firm has a supplier diversity program.|
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Commercial deals and contracts
- Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design
- Energy regulation: conventional power
- ERISA litigation
- Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense
- Labor-management relations
- Not-for-profit (Fortune 1000 private foundations, and national trade associations and charities)
- Structured finance: securitization
- US taxes: contentious
- Workplace and employment counseling
- Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
- Energy regulation: oil and gas
- Energy: renewable/alternative power
- Environment: regulatory
- Healthcare: health insurers
- Healthcare: life sciences
- Insurance: advice to policyholders
- Mutual/registered/ exchange-traded funds
- Product liability, mass tort and class actions: toxic tort - defense
- Securities litigation - defense
- Shareholder activism
- Structured finance: derivatives and structured products
- Technology transactions
- Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory
- Telecoms and broadcast: transactional
- Venture capital and emerging companies
- Alternative/hedge funds
- Civil litigation/class actions: defense
- Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
- Energy litigation: oil and gas
- Environment: litigation
- Financial services litigation
- General commercial disputes
- Merger control
- Patents: licensing
- Private equity funds (including venture capital)
- Product liability, mass tort and class actions: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense
- Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
- Trademarks: non-contentious (including prosecution, portfolio management and licensing)
- US taxes: non-contentious
- Capital markets: debt
- Capital markets: equity offerings
- Commercial lending
- Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection)
- Energy litigation: conventional power
- Energy: transactions: conventional power
- Energy: transactions: oil and gas
- Healthcare: service providers
- Patents: prosecution (including re-examination and post-grant proceedings)
- Private equity buyouts
- Product liability, mass tort and class actions: automotive/transport - defense
- Real estate
- Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
- M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
- Patents: litigation (full coverage)
- Project finance