Firm Profile > Morrison & Foerster LLP > Washington DC, United States
Morrison & Foerster LLP Offices
2000 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, NW
WASHINGTON, DC 20006-1888
Morrison & Foerster LLP > The Legal 500 Rankings
Dispute resolution > Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: consumer products (including tobacco) Tier 1
Morrison & Foerster LLP specializes in defending class actions and multi-party serial tort litigation, providing a one-stop shop for product manufacturers and resellers. The firm is experienced in pre- and post-market regulatory compliance, product labeling and litigation risk assessment. Additional areas of expertise include product recalls, crisis management, and insurance and indemnification issues. Splitting her time between San Diego and San Francisco, Erin Bosman acts as national coordinating and trial counsel in class action cases and multi-district proceedings. Bosman jointly leads the team with Tiffany Cheung, who has experience defending clients in consumer class actions, particularly in relation to Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) disputes, as well as in matters involving unfair business practices and consumer fraud laws. Also notable is Julie Park, who focuses on multi-jurisdictional litigation in state and federal court for pharmaceutical and consumer product giants. All named lawyers are based in San Francisco unless stated otherwise.
Morrison & Foerster LLP fields a team of 'phenomenal lawyers', who are widely recognized among the market leaders in high-profile government contract matters. Joint practice chairs Kevin Mullen and Alex Ward are the main figureheads; together they handle a variety of complex and incredibly high-value false claims and bid protest litigation for clients including defense contractors. Northern Virginia based Bradley Wine co-chairs the firm’s litigation department and has over twenty years of experience representing government contractors in various industries. Another key figure is James Tucker, who has experience in large bid-protest work before the Government Accountability Office. The team also handles internal investigations and corporate government transactions, areas where Damien Specht is name to note. Also recommended are former co-chairs David Churchill and Jay DeVecchio, Daniel Chudd and Tina Reynolds, who specializes in cybersecurity-related matters.
‘James Tucker is the leading light in the practice, a brilliant legal mind.’
‘A team of phenomenal lawyers.’
‘Morrison & Foerster has an exceptional government contracts practice, able to offer a broad range of services well calibrated to the seriousness and difficulty of the issue at hand. David Churchill has a very steady hand, and is adept at synthesizing and presenting issues to senior leadership. He is not alone. I’d particularly cite Kevin Mullen and Alex Ward as well-rounded and skilled partners, capable of handling the most serious matters. Dan Chudd is very strong as a mid-level partner, with a wide range of substantive and skill-based (i.e., bid protest and litigation). Jim Tucker is an associate who will be a superstar. They are my go-to firm.’
Accenture Federal Services
Arlington Capital Partners
IDEMIA Identity & Security USA
Verizon Business Network Services
Other key lawyers:
‘Practical advice given in a timely manner! They listen and provide guidance that can be applied to your actual situation.‘
‘Large number of talented attorneys specializing in a diverse array of privacy sub-specialties across numerous jurisdictions. For complex projects requiring multidisciplinary privacy expertise, they are a top-tier one-stop shop. Particularly strong on EU law, financial privacy, employment privacy, and M&A support.‘
‘We’ve worked with a few other firms on issues in this area, and Morrison & Foerster’s team has consistently been able to thoroughly understand our unique context, in order to provide expertly tailored and incredibly helpful advice. This has been an evolution over time – looking at the advice they give us now compared to that when our relationship started, it’s so much more bespoke and useful. I suppose that is to be expected, but I can say from experience that not all outside counsel are able to so thoroughly understand such context, and adjust their viewpoint and advice.‘
‘Christine Lyon provides clear, cool-headed advice even in stressful situations.‘
‘Mary Race is a talented and responsive senior associate.‘
‘Their advice has always been practical and practicable – easy to understand and to effect, because of their deep understanding of our organization and its goals.‘
‘This team is incredibly responsive and pragmatic. What sets them apart is their ability to provide business-minded advice.‘
‘Miriam Wugmeister has an incredible command of the law and can apply it in a business friendly manner. Miriam is also aware of budgetary constraints and does not try to add work just to increase the bill.‘
‘The Mofo team has deep experience in both privacy and cybersecurity, and their team covers all regions of the world. They are a true one-stop shop for global privacy and security advice. The team also has deep government experience, which in my view separates it from other firms, particularly in the cybersecurity space. That experience and those connections are invaluable when dealing with law enforcement, state actors, and other high profile incidents. The team also has expertise in our industry.‘
‘I’ve also found the team to be very deep and full of strong lawyers, from the senior partners to the junior associates. Unlike with some firms, I am comfortable interacting with MoFo’s junior and mid-level associates and have found them to be knowledgeable attorneys with good judgment.‘
‘John Carlin is an exceptional attorney with deep and diverse government experience. He has significant expertise in cybersecurity matters, and his government experience is critical in matters that require working with law enforcement and in high stress crisis management situations. His advice is highly strategic, and he is able to see all sides of an issue. He is also very down-to-earth and accessible, and his level of client service is the same regardless of whether he is speaking with a line in-house attorney, the general counsel, or the Board of Directors.‘
‘Alex Iftimie, an of counsel in the practice, has excellent judgment and strong experience, including in the government. He is the lead Mofo attorney on our day-to-day matters, and also takes a leading role in higher profile matters. He is a trusted advisor and counselor.‘
‘The team at Morrison and Foerster, at least in my opinion, is unique in that they have privacy experts globally. If we had a specific question for a specific country, they were able to identify an internal resource right away (or appoint an outside firm that was highly recommended). The guidance from all individuals at Morrison and Foerster was consistent and practical. They took the time to learn our business and provide practical guidance that we could easily use.‘
‘They were also quick to respond and provided responses in easy to understand format. They also appreciated you challenging their analysis, and they were able to provide legal advice from numerous points of view.‘
‘Chris Lyon (Partner) and Mary Race (Associate) were always responsive, and if they didn’t have an answer, they would find someone internally who could answer. Chris also took time to travel to our office to train our new General Counsel and Compliance Officer on GDPR which was very much appreciated.‘
‘Mary and Chris were always articulate and to the point with their responses, and never made me feel like their suggestions were the only way to conduct business. They took the time to learn about our business, and provide practical guidance to support our global manufacturing company.‘
‘The team has exceptional practitioner experience.‘
‘The team has exceptional relationships through out the legal, government and private sector and are able to create communities of professionals.‘
‘John Carlin and Miriam Wugmesiter have VERY unique real like experience that they’re able to translate into practical advice for large complicated multi-national companies. They are available and always engaged in matters.‘
‘Kristen Mathews is highly-competent, knowledgeable, dependable and accessible.‘
Altaba (formerly Yahoo!)
Morrison & Foerster LLP's team is composed of former high-ranking federal prosecutors, SEC and DOJ officials, senior government regulators, White House and FBI counsel, providing clients with an impressively deep bench of expertise. The group is particularly noted for FCPA and anti-corruption work, which is jointly led by Washington DC's Charles Duross and James Koukios, both of whom are experienced trial attorneys. Other areas of expertise in the department include matters involving cybersecurity, securities, financial and accounting fraud, national security, AML and FCA. Duross co-chairs the investigations and white-collar defense group alongside Craig Martin in San Francisco and New York's Ruti Smithline, whose practice has a particular focus on issues arising out of Latin America. New York's Carrie Cohen is the go-to practitioner for c-suite workplace misconduct issues, while Amanda Aikman has notable experience handling monitorships. 2019 was a year of massive expansion for the San Francisco team, which took on, among others: former counsel to the attorney general Alex Iftimie , Bonnie Lau from Dentons and Christine Wong from an in-house position at Fujitsu and Eliot Adelson (with an impressive roster of Japanese and US clients) from Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
Other key lawyers:
‘In house accounting expertise excellent; partner engagement excellent‘
‘The entire team, especially Craig Martin, is very knowledgeable and responsive.’
‘The team brings together an amazing group of talent, clearly cultivated and trained in this specialty.’
‘Ron White has a background of unique and unequaled experience. He is very responsive, empathetic, pro-active, tireless, and develops a strategy of defense few can match‘
Michael L. Cohen (Och Ziff Capital Management)
New York City Council
Morrison & Foerster LLP's restructuring and bankruptcy practice's wide offering does not only encompass Chapter 11 proceedings (of which the most notable examples are PG&E and Sears Holding) and a broad array of Chapter 15 cases across the globe (with the main locations being Puerto Rico and Latin America), but also a highly appreciated bankruptcy counsel service, carried out by the firm's mediation group. In its capacity, the team is very active on the debtor side - but has a special affinity with creditor representation. Lorenzo Marinuzzi and former judge James Peck lead the department, Jennifer Marines is a key practitioner.
‘The Mofo team is always well prepared and thorough in its analysis of the legal matters at hand’
‘Dennis Jenkins (partner) and Raff Ferraioli (associate) are the day-to-day lawyers that make the team what it is. Dennis has a calm demeanor and a sense of getting things done thoroughly and correctly. Raff is detail-oriented and dependable and shows a solid understanding of the specifics of oil & gas law’
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Windstream Holdings and its affiliated debtors
Ad Hoc Group of holders of debt issued or guaranteed by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Cloud Peak Energy and certain of its subsidiaries
An ad hoc group of first lien noteholders of Sanchez Energy Corp
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of aerospace manufacturer The NORDAM Group and affiliated debtors
Ad Hoc Group of holders of EP Energy’s 1.125 & 1.25 lien secured notes
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Westmoreland Coal Company and affiliated debtors
The liquidators of Kingate Global Fund and Kingate Euro Fund in Madoff Clawback Proceedings
Various creditors in the ongoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases of Sears Holdings Corporation and its affiliated debtors
Ad Hoc Group of Puerto Rico Ports Authority Bondholders, which currently consists of six alternative asset managers
Three non-debtor affiliates of Sears Holding Company
Ad Hoc Group of Convertible Noteholders and Wilmington Trust
Various creditors and hedge funds, as well the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council, and the debtors in the Chapter 11 cases of Pacific Gas & Electric
The Puerto Rico Public Buildings Authority (PBA) Funds
Life sciences mandates form the backbone of Morrison & Foerster LLP's practice, with healthcare, technology and fintech matters also prominent in the team's workload. In 2019 the firm opened an office in Boston which houses Ori Solomon, who joined from Proskauer Rose LLP; Solomon represented Lux Capital in its $50m Series C financing of Cala Health. Other highlights include Steve Rowles in San Diego acting for Geneos Therapeutics in its $10m Series A financing. Solomon and Rowles share leadership of the practice with San Francisco-based Murray Indick. In Palo Alto, Timothy Harris is well known for his extensive experience in advising start-ups and investors. In October 2019 Thomas Knox moved to the Washington DC office of King & Spalding LLP.
Other key lawyers:
New Enterprise Associates
Aira Tech Corp
ARCH Venture Partners
Hambrecht Ducera Growth Venture Management
Morrison & Foerster LLP's industry-focused practice group brings together multi-disciplinary expertise in financial services, technology, intellectual property, data protection and cybersecurity to advise its emerging bank and non-bank fintech clients on a full range of issues facing the sector. Key contacts include financial regulatory expert Obrea Poindexter, Sean Ruff and corporate partner Eric McCrath in San Francisco, and Palo Alto-based Stephanie Sharron.
Real estate > Real estate Tier 2
Home to ‘a deep bench of seasoned lawyers’, Morrison & Foerster LLP has a ‘solid reputation' built on a 'very client-focused’ approach and extensive experience of real estate finance deals. The group has broad core strengths in equity finance, large syndicated lending, construction loans and deals involving multiple forms of debt. The structuring and formation of joint ventures and real estate funds for the operation, development and ownership of real estate is a further strength. New York-based Mark Edelstein (‘always available') heads the department. Thomas McGovern is Boston is also recommended; his workload encompasses various restructurings and workouts of troubled real estate loans. The practice group has experience in all major asset classes including office, residential, retail, industrial and hospitality.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is extremely knowledgeable about the real estate industry and provides extremely client focused coverage. They understand current issues in the market and are willing to act as advisors with helpful advice when appropriate. The real estate coverage team is always available, which is crucial in this space.’
‘What sets this team apart is the quality of their depth. It is not just one or two individuals that provide coverage but rather the entire team, with all of the participants exhibiting high quality work. This is a departure from other firms where they have B and C teams, within the practice.’
‘Practical advice and counsel.’
‘Willing to use market contacts.’
‘They continue to be fantastic at hosting events that put me in front of the people that I need to be in front of to generate more business. This is invaluable. From a practice standpoint, they get our documents and advise us appropriately, making the job easier on larger, more complex deals.’
‘Mark Edelstein is always available. There is never a time that a phone call to him goes unanswered. Beyond that, they know the market so well and provide great guidance on how we could legally structure a deal to ensure it can be sold in the market.’
‘The team has local expertise in multiple markets with a deep bench of seasoned lawyers. They are very client focused and have a solid reputation.’
‘Jeff Temple, Keith Print and Billy Hildbold each have exceptional legal expertise. They have the ability to work through complex transactions and provide workable solutions to complicated issues.’
Bizzi & Partners Development
BlackRock Realty Advisors
Boyd Gaming Corporation Corp.
CIBC World Markets
Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp.
People’s United Bank
Pontiac Land Group
UNIZO Holdings Company
Antitrust > Cartel Tier 3
Morrison & Foerster LLP is frequently involved in cartel and competition investigations, in addition to providing risk assessments and compliance to Fortune 500 clients. Jeff Jaeckel, who also co-chairs the global antitrust practice, is in charge of the US department. He sits in Washington DC, where the following team members are based. Lisa Phelan adds valuable criminal investigation and enforcement experience to her antitrust practice, which she combines with white collar work. Megan Gerking also focuses on government-facing antitrust matters alongside her litigation practice. The group covers an extensive array of industry sectors including automotive and pharmaceuticals. In October 2019, the San Francisco office welcomed Eliot Adelson from Kirkland & Ellis LLP, a significant addition to the litigation and government investigation practice.
The service portfolio at Morrison & Foerster LLP ranges from defense of follow-on cartel damages claims to class action and multidistrict litigation as well as individual representation across numerous industry sectors. Jeff Jaeckel, who works out of Washington DC and operates a diverse antitrust practice, is responsible for the team. Also located in the capital, Brad Lui often litigates antitrust matters related to supranational, sub-sovereign and agency bonds, fruit labeling equipment and telecoms. The San Francisco office received a boost in 2019 thanks to the arrival of Bonnie Lau from Dentons in April and Eliot Adelson from Kirkland & Ellis LLP in October.
‘Smart, experienced antitrust practitioners.’
Matsuo Electric Co., Ltd.
Oath (formerly Yahoo!)
Softbank Group Corp.
Arturo González - Morrison & Foerster LLP Arturo González has a very diverse trial practice, spanning copyright infringement, trade secrets and civil rights cases, the last of which he often handles on a pro-bono basis. Looking at his historical highlights, González achieved a landmark judgment on behalf of the plaintiff in the case of Butt v. State of California (1992), reinstating the constitutional doctrine in California that the State must provide financial aid to keep schools open even when a school district runs out of its allocated funds. More recently, González caught the media's attention as lead trial counsel to Uber in the case of Waymo v. Uber (2018). In terms of his pro-bono work, González achieved a significant plaintiff-side verdict in the case of Barajas v. City of Rohnert Park (2018), in which the federal jury ruled that the police unlawfully entered the plaintiff's home, subsequent to which damages were awarded and an injunction was obtained preventing further illegal searches.
Dispute resolution > Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices Tier 3
Morrison & Foerster LLP has a track record in defending clients in multi-party serial tort and mass tort litigation, serving as national counsel in federal courts and in various state jurisdictions throughout the US. Made up of experienced trial and appellate lawyers, the team has expertise includes representing pharmaceutical and medical device clients in mass tort litigation, labelling requirements, risk assessments, recalls and consumer fraud. The group is is co-led by Erin Bosman, who splits her time between San Diego and San Francisco and has experience acting as national coordinating and trial counsel in class action cases and multi-district proceedings; and consumer class actions specialist Tiffany Cheung in San Francisco.
Morrison & Foerster LLP is experienced defending multi-party serial tort and mass tort litigation. The firm acts for product manufacturers and resellers, providing advice on regulatory compliance, product labelling, and litigation risk assessment. The practice also has expertise in assisting clients with matters including product development, crisis management, insurance, and acquisitions involving ongoing product liability claims. Splitting her time between San Diego and San Francisco, Erin Bosman is known for expertise as national coordinating and trial counsel in class action cases, multijurisdictional, and multidistrict proceedings. She co-leads the team with San Francisco-based Tiffany Cheung, who focuses on defending clients in consumer class actions in a broad range of industries.
Morrison & Foerster LLP's securities litigation, enforcement and white-collar defense group handles federal and state securities class actions, derivative litigation, merger litigation, US Attorney and SEC enforcement investigations and litigation, white-collar matters, internal investigations and other complex litigation involving shareholder suits and corporate governance. The firm is able to handle cases in any jurisdiction across the US, thanks to the presence of securities litigators in many of its offices. Jordan Eth in San Francisco, Joel Haims in New York and Dimitria Doufekias in Washington DC are co-chairs of the practice. In class actions, the firm frequently acts for clients from a broad range of sectors including technology, software, media, banking, financial services and consumer products. It is also a key adviser to officers, directors and special committees in derivative cases.
Altaba fka Yahoo!
RH Inc. and its Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer
Fitbit Inc. and certain of its directors and officers
TerraVia Holdings, Inc. (previously known as Solazyme, Inc.)
Blackberry Ltd. and certain of its offers and directors
Medequities Realty Trust
Education Realty Trust Inc.
Farmland Partners Inc.
Stanley Perla, Abby Wenzel, directors of Hospitality Investors Trust, Inc.
TriLinc Global Impact Fund LLC
William Spears, former director of UnitedHealth Group
Morrison & Foerster LLP advises clients including mid-market and regional banks, investment funds and corporate end-users on a variety of transactional and regulatory derivatives matters. The practice group is jointly headed by commodities expert David Kaufman, and Vladimir Maly, who divides his time between New York and London, and specializes in equity derivatives in relation to cross-border financing transactions and M&A.
Morrison & Foerster LLP is known for its strength in the life sciences and technology sectors. Key figures Richard Hung and Michael Jacobs are based in the San Francisco office. Nicole Smith joined Jones Day in August 2019.
Labor and employment > Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional Tier 3
Co-heading Morrison & Foerster LLP’s employee benefits and executive compensation practice from New York, Ron Aizen, Ann Becchina and Domnick Bozzetti frequently advise on high-value M&A transactions and IPOs. The team’s client base spans early-stage companies, venture capital funds, private equity houses and publicly-listed companies. As well as providing bespoke equity-based and deferred compensation advice to sophisticated technology clients, Becchina is also the firm’s go-to ERISA Title 1 and prohibited transactions expert for pension plan or investment funds clients, having taken over from the recently-retired former practice head Paul Borden.
ON Semiconductor Corporation
MedEquities Realty Trust, Inc.
Renesas Electronics Corporation
Science Applications International Corporation
ACEA Biosciences, Inc.
Main Post Partners
The Happy Planner
Morrison & Foerster LLP handles technology outsourcing deals, offering 'insightful and business-minded' advice to clients in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, cyber security and insurance sectors. 'Tough negotiator' Vivian Hanson, the New York practice head who is cited for 'in-depth, well-reasoned and expert advice', leads a team that acts for a mix of international and domestic corporations. The department was boosted by Matthew Karlyn, who joined from Foley & Lardner LLP bringing 20 years of experience representing clients in the life sciences and technology sectors, while Thomas Knox departed to join King & Spalding LLP. San Francisco-based Paul Jahn is another name to note.
‘Vivian Hanson understands the big picture of client’s deal goals with very detail-oriented mindset to manage the day to day negotiation. She is a very tough negotiator for the vendor.’
‘The team possesses experts in their field, thoughtful negotiators on transactions. They provide insightful and business-minded input and guidance.’
‘Vivian Hanson is a fantastic lawyer and counselor. She provides in-depth, well-reasoned and expert advice.’
‘Very competent, very responsive, deep bench of talent.’
‘Justin Salon – strong business judgment with top notch legal technical skills. John Hensley – outstanding associate, he will be a great partner when the time comes.’
‘The REIT team has many years of experience as advisors in all types of transactions—M&A, compensation, litigation, deal structuring, tax, etc. My company has used all of the above and we thought the service, knowledge and results were outstanding.’
‘My main contacts are David Slotkin, Andy Campbell, Justin Salon and Lauren Bellerjeau. They provide timely, practical advice. They have many years of experience and can usual draw from a prior engagement for many of the issues that arise.’
MedEquities Realty Trust
Carter Validus Mission Critical REIT II
Alexandria Real Estate Equities
Steadfast Apartment REIT
Equity Residential (Designated Underwriters Counsel)
Sandler O’Neill + Partners
Janney Montgomery Scott
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Armada Hoffler Properties
Procaccianti Hotel REIT
Black Creek Industrial REIT IV
Hines Global Income Trust
Broad Street Realty
Robert W. Baird & Co.
LEDIC Realty Company
Plymouth Industrial REIT (Designated Underwriters Counsel)
Sotherly Hotels (Designated Underwriters Counsel)
Antitrust > Merger control Tier 4
Morrison & Foerster LLP coordinates merger and acquisition reviews in the US, Europe and Asia as well as related disputes. Jeff Jaeckel in Washington DC, who is acting on secondment as Sprint’s global M&A counsel, co-chairs the global antitrust group with Tokyo-based Rony Gerrits. Jon Gowdy in Washington DC showcases deep knowledge of antitrust law beyond the US when securing antitrust clearances for mergers, acquisitions, and other strategic transactions around the globe. David Meyer is another name to note in the capital, in particular for his recent role assisting Softbank Group in the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile US.
Morrison & Foerster LLP has significant experience in consumer class actions, and also represents clients in investigations and regulatory enforcement actions at state and federal level. Michael Miller represents clients in a range of state and federal claims, including antitrust cases, class actions, and cases under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Also recommended are David Fioccola, who represents clients in commercial disputes and consumer class actions, both in litigation and arbitration; and Natalie Fleming Nolen, who has experience of antitrust litigation, consumer class actions and state-led investigations. James McGuire left the firm to join Buckley LLP in January 2020.
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.
Krystal Biotech, Inc.
Vonage Holdings Corp.
Boyd Gaming Corporation
Aspire Capital Partners, LLC
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Shell International Finance (Designated underwriters counsel)
Equity Residential (Designated underwriters counsel)
Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.
Morrison & Foerster LLP's well regarded financial transactions group is a trusted advisor to corporate borrowers, private equity sponsors, banks, and credit funds. The firm has invested heavily in the practice and opened an office in Boston in 2019 following its recruitment of the finance team from Riemer & Braunstein, including well regarded partner David Ephraim and its New York-based partner Jonathan Jacobs. While the east coast practice expanded - and it is in New York that finance chair Mark Wojciechowski is based - the west coast team also stands out for its strong niche in tech-based financings. San Francisco-based partners such as Dario Avram and Jill Feldman are especially noted in this area.
‘Great finance lawyers who are excellent business partners for their clients. They know their clients inside out and are very responsive and commercially savvy’
‘Dario Avram is hard-working and gives very helpful advice. He is good at understanding and advising on the business trade-offs of legal terms’
‘David Ephraim is an excellent lawyer and client relationship manager’
Silicon Valley Bank
‘The team are experts in the field of financial services regulation. They have comprehensive and thorough knowledge of this area and are able to provide accurate advice quickly.’
‘They are flexible and willing to go the extra mile to help us resolve our issues expeditiously.’
Despite being significantly depleted by a number of high-profile departures over the past few years, including in July 2019 that of the former team head Jeffrey Chester to Greenberg Traurig LLP, Morrison & Foerster LLP still maintains a not insignificant presence on the West Coast. Los Angeles-based partner Elizabeth Sluder has a focus on renewables-related project financing and San Francisco-based Susan Mac Cormac has extensive experience representing startup to late-stage private companies within the clean technology, renewable energy and sustainable space.
Based in California, Morrison & Foerster LLP handles a variety of environmental litigation, but stands out for its ability to reach successful outcomes in high-profile cases related to Proposition 65. Headed by William Tarantino, the team is also active toxic tort litigation, natural resources damage claims and matters involving the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act. Other key contacts include Michael Steel and Proposition 65 specialist Robert Falk. Named attorneys are based in San Francisco.
Morrison & Foerster LLP's environmental team is routinely engaged to advise on regulatory, compliance and enforcement matters, involving consumer products law, such as Proposition 65, as well as issues concerning the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and water rights. Environmental and consumer product safety expert William Tarantino leads the department out of San Francisco. Also in San Francisco, Robert Falk stands out for his expertise in matters relating to California Proposition 65, while Michael Steel is noted for his Clean Air Act work.
Other key lawyers:
Ally Bridge Group
ARCH Venture Partners
Washington University in St. Louis
Intellectual property > Patents: prosecution (including re-examination and post-grant proceedings) Tier 4
Morrison & Foerster LLP's traditional strengths lie in the life sciences, technology and consumer product sectors, with the group's expertise in the prosecution of agricultural patents as a clear stand-out feature. With offices on both coasts, the team is geographically well placed to assist its high-profile client base.
Morrison & Foerster LLP has an established strength in technology M&A, maintained over the past year with several notable transactions. The team's sector strengths in software, telecoms, and real estate are evidenced by a sample of its key clients, which include Softbank, Sprint, and WeWork. The practice group is jointly led by Spencer Klein in New York and Eric McCrath in San Francisco, with the firm's West Coast group driving the bulk of its work for tech and innovation clients. San Francisco-based Brandon Parris and Washington DC-based David Slotkin advised Sprint and Softbank on the $59bn merger of the former with T-Mobile, which marked a significant shift within the telecoms market.
Axalta Coating Systems
GLP (formerly Global Logistics Properties)
Morrison & Foerster LLP has particular expertise in the tax treatment of REITs and real estate transactions, partnerships, and private equity. The practice is jointly led by Anthony Carbone, who advises on corporate reorganizations and fund formations, and Denver-based David Strong, who works alongside the firm's nationwide corporate and finance team to advise on the tax aspects of M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions, securities offerings and restructurings. Another name to note is Bernie Pistillo in San Francisco, who advises on federal, state and local tax issues in relation to corporate transactions and tax controversies. Craig Fields joined Blank Rome LLP in 2020.
Other key lawyers:
ON Semiconductor Corp
SoftBank Group Corp.
MedEquities Realty Trust
Black Creek Industrial REIT IV
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)
Shell International Finance
Morrison & Foerster LLP has a well-respected projects practice with good expertise on renewables projects. The team has a good track record advising clients on greenfield developments, refinancings, tax equity investments, acquisitions, and divestitures. Corporate clients and organisations also regularly use the firm for advice on power purchase agreements, as demonstrated by the team's work for Vail Resorts. The bulk of the practice is based in Los Angeles, where practice head Elizabeth Sluder has built up a strong reputation. Julia Balas is also active in this area representing a range of renewables developers.
Morrison & Foerster LLP advises funds on lifecycle investments, from strategic investments, to full leveraged buyouts, to exits, as well as advising portfolio companies. The firm's international reach allows it to represent funds involved in multiple industries, with clients ranging from established industry funds to newer private equity teams. Key partners in the team include Dario Avram, Patrick Huard, and Eric McCrath in San Francisco.
Tax > International tax Tier 5
Morrison & Foerster LLP's tax group has experience of domestic and cross-border M&A and business structuring. Contacts include Bernie Pistillo, an experienced tax partner in the San Francisco office, and David Strong, who divides his time between Denver and New York.
Tax > US taxes: contentious Tier 5
Morrison & Foerster LLP represents clients before the IRS and numerous state tax authorities in audits and appeals. Leveraging the firm's strong reputation in DC, the team has also advocated before the Treasury Department to influence the regulatory process. The firm was also among the first large US law firms to form a dedicated SALT practice. Of counsel Edward Froelich leads the firm's federal tax controversy group in Washington DC and has extensive experience representing clients in audits and federal tax litigation of all kinds. Anthony Carbone and David Strong in New York are contacts in the wider tax group. Mitchell Newmark, Craig Fields and Nicole Johnson left the firm for Blank Rome LLP.
Other key lawyers:
‘They have an awareness of their high-end position in legal field and delivering on it; a sense of mission and sensitivity as regards clients’ needs and crises; high expertise and well-established competitive position; they have a well-deserved and earned respect of the other firms and peers.’
‘The SALT partners and professionals provide the highest quality of service and understanding to the issues we have.’
‘The SALT attorneys and partners I deal with provide a level of understanding necessary to deal with issues I raise with them. I find the advice I solicit and receive is value-adding and timely to service our needs.’
‘The fact that many of the attorneys have previous experience working in the state tax administration gives them a good understanding of the procedures and strategies likely to be used by the revenue department. The fact they have experience working cases in several states provides a strong litigation background.’
ADP Vehicle Registration
Daimler Investments US Corp.
Kohl’s Department Stores
Lorillard Tobacco Company
Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company
US Bank National Association
Morrison & Foerster LLP > Firm Profile
With approximately 1,000 lawyers in 16 offices, Morrison & Foerster is a preeminent global law firm dedicated to delivering business-oriented results to clients across the United States, Europe and Asia. Dynamic technology and life science companies, large financial institutions, leading consumer product companies and other market leaders come to MoFo for knowledge, innovation and business aptitude. MoFo handles some of the world’s largest cross-border transactions and resolves major disputes across multiple jurisdictions. The firm has a long-standing commitment to pro bono work and social justice.
Main areas of practice
Business restructuring and insolvency: MoFo is counsel to debtors, creditors’ committees, secured lenders, and other participants in the distressed markets in large, complex matters. The firm is a market leader in creditors’ committee representation, cross-border insolvencies, distressed real estate, the restructuring of financial institutions, insolvencies involving key intellectual property, and hedge fund failures.
Capital markets:The firm is a leading firm for issuer and underwriter representations for IPOs, offerings of debt, hybrid, preferred and structured securities, private placements, PIPEs, 144A/Reg S offerings, continuous issuance programs, including MTN, CP and covered bond programs. MoFo is a pioneer in developing synthetic products, hybrid securities, structured products and derivatives.
Finance: MoFo has one of the most experienced finance practices in the US Our finance attorneys maintain an impressive borrower-side client roster, working extensively for private equity funds and private companies in acquisitions and refinancings, while also offering extensive experience in acting for certain lenders and credit funds. In addition, MoFo assists clients in all aspects of project finance and development around the world with a focus on energy, alternative energy, and renewable resources. The group has also become very well known in the Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts space.
Intellectual property: MoFo is a global IP powerhouse, developing novel solutions for protecting and enforcing some of the most prized IP in the world. MoFo is called upon to represent clients in their most high-profile and complex patent, copyright, trademark, trade dress, trade secrets, and licensing matters.
Investigations:The team has experience handling internal and government investigations on six continents and in more than 65 countries, bringing significant cross-border experience to compliance and enforcement matters worldwide. MoFo provides advice on the many US and foreign laws regulating international business transactions including the FCPA, the U.K. Bribery Act, Sarbanes-Oxley, federal securities laws, the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, international trade, export control and sanctions laws, and AML/BSA. The firm have successfully represented many clients in obtaining favorable settlements or other resolutions—often ending with the DOJ or other government enforcement bodies closing their investigations with no action taken.
Litigation:The firm’s litigators are renowned for their success in high-stakes, complex cases—representing clients in all stages of federal and state litigation, from grand jury to trial through to appeal. MoFo drive strategy to position our clients for the best possible outcome, whether that is winning at trial or resolving a matter quickly. The team includes top trial and appellate lawyers, as well as leading practitioners in securities, financial services, consumer and false advertising, product liability, environmental, and employment litigation as well as white-collar criminal defense, antitrust and unfair competition, and international arbitration. MoFo is a destination firm for class actions, no matter the subject area, and understand the shortest path to win and resolve cases.
Mergers and acquisitions: MoFo has a leading global M&A practice. The depth and breadth of the practice, including a strong focus on cross-border transactions, reflects the dynamic nature of clients, which include Fortune 500 companies, private equity sponsors, investment banks, and privately held companies.
Privacy and data security: MoFo’s market-leading privacy and data security group is a destination for clients—from startups to sophisticated global clients alike—seeking advice on every aspect of privacy laws and regulations, as well as incident preparedness and response. The team helps companies fit compliance with evolving data protection laws within the context of a truly global, consistent strategy, and have also served as lead counsel and coordinated all components of clients’ responses to some of the highest-profile data breaches of recent years.
Real estate: MoFo is a recognized leader across a broad spectrum of real estate activities, including development deals, acquisitions and dispositions, leases, market standard and complex financings, and restructurings. Its clients include lenders, developers, equity investors, and REITs.
Tax: MoFo’s tax practice enjoys a global reputation for innovative tax planning and the successful resolution of important tax controversies. The group advises on state and local tax, federal tax, compensation, benefits and ERISA, and trusts, estates and nonprofit organizations.
Staff FiguresNumber of Partners : 316 Number of Other Lawyers : 738
OtherChair : Larren M Nashelsky Managing Partners : Paul Friedman Managing Partners : Craig Martin Managing Partners : Eric Piesner Managing Partners : Tessa Schwartz International Offices : Beijing International Offices : Berlin International Offices : Brussels International Offices : Hong Kong International Offices : London International Offices : Shanghai International Offices : Singapore International Offices : Tokyo
Diversity and Inclusion
Our Diversity Mission
Diversity has long been a core value of Morrison & Foerster. More than 20 years ago, we formally implemented our diversity mission statement, which continues to define the firms cultural values today. We understand that fostering an environment of inclusion enables us to offer a wide range of perspectives to provide exemplary services to our clients.
As we state in our mission statement We at Morrison & Foerster will continue our work to break down barriers to equal opportunity, to value fully the differences among people in our organization while recognizing our similarities, and to create an atmosphere in which each individual can develop his or her potential to the fullest extent possible the firm believes that diversity among its lawyers and staff serves its overall institutional values, which emphasize excellence in client service, collegiality, respect for everyone, professional and business ethics, and duty to the profession and the community.
Spotlight: Diversity Strategy Committee
At Morrison & Foerster we believe bringing diverse experiences to our work strengthens the quality of the service that we provide to our clients, the legal profession, and our communities. We are committed to creating an environment that promotes and celebrates diversity and inclusion.
Formed in 2003, MoFos Diversity Strategy Committee (DSC) supports a variety of internal diversity initiatives, programs, and groups designed to recruit, train, mentor, and retain diverse lawyers and staff.
The DSC is comprised of senior and mid-level partners, including the firms chair, and a firmwide managing partner, as well as the director of diversity and inclusion and director of attorney development.
Spotlight: Women’s Strategy Committee
Morrison & Foerster has long championed the advancement of women within the legal profession, providing our clients with the best legal talent. Creating an inclusive culture that supports the growth and development of talented women lawyers is at the heart of our shared values and commitment. When our women succeed, we succeed as a firm.
Founded in 2006, MoFos Womens Strategy Committee (WSC) works closely with firm leaders including the firms chair, firmwide managing partners, executive committee, and board of directors to ensure that the advancement of women is a constant strategic priority.
Twenty-six partners, counsel, of counsel, and associates serve on the WSC, along with seven members of our senior staff.
Diversity Leadership Q&A
What is the ethos behind the firms approach to diversity?
At Morrison & Foerster, diversity is fundamental to who we are as a firm. Were a mix of individuals from various ethnic, cultural, and racial backgrounds united in a belief that our shared diversity makes a difference in serving the interests of our clients, our profession, and our communities. Thats why we continuously work to attract, develop, and retain talented lawyers with diverse backgrounds. Ultimately, our goal is to create an environment in which our lawyers can see and recognize MoFo as a firm where they can professionally grow, advance, and make a meaningful difference.
What has a more diverse and inclusive workplace brought to your firm, and also to your clients?
We believe that diversity adds value to our organization by attracting the most talented people possible. By creating an inclusive environment that makes the best use of the talents of those who work here, we enhance our ability to serve our clients. By bringing diverse experiences to our work, we are not only able to provide more innovative solutions to the complex issues our clients present, but the quality of our work product and decision making is strengthened. Diversity is critical to our ability to effectively serve our clients, the legal profession, and our communities.
How do you encourage a more diverse and inclusive workplace?
The firm communicates and encourages the importance of diversity and inclusion in a variety of ways including through internal training and workshops, firmwide executive communications from the chair and managing partners, a D+I newsletter, digital and social media, and the firms intranet. We also include questions related to diversity and inclusion in our partner evaluation process.
In 2017, the firm became one of only 44 firms to participate in the Mansfield Certification Pilot and committed to ensuring at least 30 percent of our talent pools for leadership positions, promotions and lateral hiring are diverse. In that same year, the firm created a department dedicated to diversity and inclusion to oversee the firms diversity efforts and ensure diversity and inclusion is top of mind.
We also hold a series of biannual town halls to discuss diversity and inclusion in each of our domestic offices and in Asia. During these meetings we not only solicit and receive associate feedback but also disseminate information about and encourage attorneys to actively support the firms diversity and inclusion efforts.
What is needed to help bring more diverse candidates into the legal profession?
A true commitment to increasing diversity, open communication, a willingness to learn, and the will to practice inclusiveness every day.
What are your policies for recruitment, and what are the major challenges?
In 2013, the firm created what is now known as the Wetmore Fellowship, which allows us to interview and hire the most talented diverse first-year law students as summer associates. We also remain committed to participating in diverse talent pipeline development programs like the SEO Scholars program, 1L LCLD Scholars, Law Preview, and Legal Outreach.
The firm has two Partner Recruiting Committees focused on identifying and supporting diverse and women lateral partner candidates through the interview/hiring process.
Retention of diverse staff is a critical issue what are the programs your firm has in place that you feel will help retain your staff?
The firm invests in actively promoting and supporting sponsorship of diverse and women associates and provides unconscious bias training on an ongoing basis. It has created two Associate Advisory and Engagement Committees on diversity and womens affairs to ensure open, honest, and consistent dialogue among associates and between associates and partners.
Firmwide, we have 29 affinity groups that give voice to lawyers of color, women lawyers, LGBTQ+ lawyers, working parents, and veterans. The firm holds local, regional, and firmwide diversity workshops, training, and events which firm leaders attend and participate in, and reiterate the importance of diversity.
A Longstanding Core Value: Firmwide Initiatives and Programs
Investing in the next generation of diverse leaders is a key priority at MoFo. Our Diversity Mentoring Program supports the development of under-represented minority associates by matching them with partners who mentor the attorneys through their associate years.
Senior lawyers across the firm including women and men readily acknowledge their indebtedness to the mentorship and guidance they received early in their careers and are committed to paying back that debt by sponsoring senior women associates for partnership.
Fostering a Culture of Inclusion
We are constantly looking to improve and build on the training and programs we offer our lawyers. As a firm, we provide opportunities for our diverse lawyers to talk candidly about issues they are facing and how we can address them.
Our affinity group programs for lawyers of color, women lawyers, and LGBTQ+ lawyers create a sense of community. Launched in 2008, the programs have expanded to include more than two dozen affinity groups.
Founded in 2011, our Keith Wetmore 1L Fellowship for Excellence, Diversity, and Inclusion awards fellowships to promising first-year law students who are members of historically under-represented groups in the legal profession.
For More Information
For more information on our diversity-related programs and initiatives, visit here.
For more information on our MoFo women-related programs and initiatives, visit here.
Stay up to date on our firmwide diversity events and activities by subscribing to our MoFo+ blog here.
Awards and Accolades
We are honored to be recognized for our commitment to diversity in our firm, in our communities, and the legal profession.
- The American Lawyer has ranked MoFo a top 15 firm on its Diversity Scorecard for 17 years in a row. MoFo was among the top 10 law firms in 2017.
- In 2018, MoFo was named to Yale Law Womens inaugural list of Top 10 Female Friendly Firms.
- Vault 100 ranked MoFo among the top 15 firms for LGBT diversity, the top 25 firms for minorities, and the top 20 firms for women.
- Named Law Firm of the Year for Flexible Working Environments and Innovative Programs for Mothers at the 2017 Chambers Women in Law Awards
- For 15 consecutive years, the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index has given MoFo a 100 percent perfect rating in its annual report on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality in corporate America.
- 2017 marks the ninth year MoFo has been named to Working Mothers list of the Top 50 Firms for Women.
- For seven consecutive years, MoFo has received Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum in recognition of the integration of women into the firms top leadership.
|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
- Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: consumer products (including tobacco)
- Government contracts
- Patents: licensing
- Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection)
- Data Privacy and Data Protection
- Appellate: Courts of Appeal
- Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to corporates
- Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
- Venture capital and emerging companies
- Advertising and marketing: litigation
- Real estate
- Civil litigation/class actions: defense
- Appellate: Supreme Courts (States and Federal)
- Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to individuals
- Leading trial lawyers
- Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices
- Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: toxic tort
- Securities litigation: defense
- Structured finance: derivatives and structured products
- Patents: litigation (full coverage)
- Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters)
- Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
- Technology transactions
- Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
- Merger control
- Financial services litigation
- Advice to issuers
- Advice to underwriters
- Advice to lenders
- Financial services regulation
- Energy: renewable/alternative power
- Environment: litigation
- Environment: regulatory
- Healthcare: life sciences
- Patents: prosecution (including re-examination and post-grant proceedings)
- M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
- US taxes: non-contentious
- Advice to borrowers
- Advice to Lenders
- Advice to Sponsors
- Private equity buyouts
- International tax
- US taxes: contentious