Firm Profile > Morrison & Foerster LLP > Palo Alto, United States

Morrison & Foerster LLP
755 PAGE MILL ROAD
PALO ALTO, CA 94304-1018
United States

Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection) Tier 1

Led in the US by New York-based Miriam Wugmeister, the data protection team at Morrison & Foerster LLP provides expert advice in relation to FTC investigations, breach response and litigation. In particular, the practice group has noted experience of matters linked to HIPAA, TCPA, and COPPA, areas in which it regularly interacts with federal regulators and state AGs in class action defense. Moreover, its broad capabilities are evidenced by a portfolio featuring key players in the areas of pharmaceuticals (Pfizer), sportswear (Adidas) and social media (Facebook) as well as in recent work dealing with the complexities of Chinese Cyber Security Law and Privacy Shield/SCHREMS II. Also recommended in the practice group are Kristen Mathews (New York), Julie O’Neill (Boston/Washington DC),  Purvi Patel (Los Angeles), Christine Lyon (Palo Alto) and associate Melissa Crespo (Washington DC). John Carlin departed for the Department of Justice in January 2020.

Practice head(s):

Miriam Wugmeister; Alex van der Wolk

Other key lawyers:

Julie O’Neill; Purvi Patel; Christine Lyon; Melissa Crespo; Mary Race; Tiffany Quach

Government contracts Tier 1

Morrison & Foerster LLP has broad capabilities across the entire array of government contract and public procurement work, but is perhaps best known for its bid protest practice. The team balances a busy contentious and transactional workload with a significant proportion of its mandates involving classified matters and sensitive FCA litigation, contract claims against the government in forums such as the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA), and M&A involving government contractors. The team is one of the first ports of call for emerging Sillicon Valley tech companies that rely on government contracts and grant funding, thanks to the firm's strong presence in San Francisco and its wide-ranging expertise in IP protection and cybersecurity issues. Based in Washington DC, the department is jointly led by Alex Ward, Tina Reynolds and Kevin Mullen, the latter of whom specializes in bid protest litigation. Also recommended are David Churchill, government contracting M&A specialist Damien Specht and James Tucker, who focuses on bid protests.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Mullen; Tina Reynolds; Alex Ward

Other key lawyers:

David Churchill; Damien Specht; James Tucker; Jay DeVecchio

Testimonials

‘Exceptional government contracts practice, able to offer a broad range of services. I work particularly with Alex Ward who is very pleasant, diligent and sophisticated.’

‘Accessible, available at any time and provide smart recommendations.’

‘Extremely practical advice, deep knowledge in the government practice sector, and exceptional customer service.’

‘Tina Reynolds is one of, if not the, best outside counsel I have worked with. She gives extremely practical advice, has deep knowledge in the government practice sector, and provides exceptional customer service.’

Key clients

Amazon Web Services

Vectrus Systems Corporation

Vertex Aerospace, LLC

IAP Worldwide

ASRC Federal Holding Co./ASRC Industrial Services LLC

L3Harris Technologies, Inc.

Telephonics Corp.

Leonardo DRS

Patents: licensing Tier 1

Morrison & Foerster LLP excels in high-stakes technology licensing matters, both in a transactional and commercialization context and in development projects, often in the shape of joint development agreements or of strategic alliances. San Francisco-based practice head Aaron Rubin and his team make a point of specializing in disruptive technologies as they emerge and have built an impressive track record of matters involving artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technology, fintech, and virtual and augmented reality, among others. The life sciences sector is the group's second mainstay, but the practice is also particularly active in acting for consumer product and semiconductor clients. The practice's many international clients also benefit from the firm's wide geographical presence. Key licensing contacts include Matthew Karlyn in Boston; San Francisco-based trio Rufus Pichler, Tessa Schwartz and William SchwartzStephanie Sharron in Palo Alto; and New Yorkers Vivian Hanson and Anthony Ramirez, an of counsel.

Practice head(s):

Aaron Rubin

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Karlyn; Rufus Pichler; Tessa Schwartz; Stephanie Sharron; Vivian Hanson; Anthony Ramirez

Key clients

BlueSphere Bio

Johnson & Johnson

Praxis

Silicon Valley Bank

SurvivorCorps

Verinomics

Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: consumer products (including tobacco) Tier 1

Morrison & Foerster LLP helps guide its clients through all phases of their product’s life cycle, advising them on regulatory compliance, product labelling and litigation risk, as well as defending them in product liability disputes. The firm has a diverse client roster of household names including leading technological companies. David Fioccola in New York co-heads the practice together with Erin Bosman based in San Diego and San Francisco, who handles many of the firm’s most high-profile matters in this space. Julie Park in San Diego remains a lawyer to watch as she manages complex and multi-jurisdictional litigation both in state and federal court as well as product recalls. First-chair trial lawyer Jessica Grant joined the team from Venable LLP in January 2020, while David Walsh left for Paul Hastings LLP in October 2020.

Practice head(s):

Erin Bosman; David Fioccola

Other key lawyers:

Julie Park; James Schurz; William Tarantino; Claudia Vetesi

Key clients

Fitbit

Coffee Joint Defense Group

Etsy

Advertising and marketing: litigation Tier 2

Consumer class action litigation is a forté for the team at Morrison & Foerster LLP. The West Coast team is well versed in California regulations such as California’s False Advertising Law and the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and its proximity to Silicon Valley has attracted a number of major technology companies. Key names in California include San Francisco-based Claudia Vetesi and Tiffany Cheung, who co-chairs the firm’s global litigation department; and David McDowell, a former co-chair of the firm's global litigation department and managing partner of the Los Angeles office. Erin Bosman and David Fioccola jointly chair the practice from San Diego and New York, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Erin Bosman; David Fioccola

Other key lawyers:

Claudia Vetesi; Tiffany Cheung; David McDowell

Key clients

Unilever

Premier Nutrition Corp.

Recology San Francisco

Interstate National Dealer Services, Inc.

Costco Wholesale Corp.

Chobani

Target

Cartel Tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP assists a broad range of clients in cartel investigations, particularly those involving price-fixing, market allocation, or bid-rigging allegations. Jeff Jaeckel leads the global antitrust practice group alongside Lisa Phelan, who was appointed co-chair in November 2020 and places a special focus on criminal investigations and issues relating to international cartel conduct. Promoted to partner in early 2020, DC-based Megan Gerking also has extensive experience in representing companies in civil and criminal antitrust government investigations before the DOJ, FTC, and state enforcers. Located in the firm’s San Francisco office, Eliot Adelson fuses his litigation practice with internal and government investigation capabilities. In other news, Roxann Henry retired from practice in July 2020.

Practice head(s):

Jeff Jaeckel; Lisa Phelan

Other key lawyers:

Megan Gerking; Eliot Adelson

Key clients

SoftBank Group Corp.

Teradata

Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

Hitachi Ltd.

Matsuo Electric Co., Ltd.

Nexstar Media Group, Inc.

Nouryon Pulp and Performance Chemicals LLC

Continental Building Products

ON Semiconductor

Target Corporation

Entrata, Inc.

Etsy

Fintech Tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP has a solid reputation for commercial and regulatory matters. Its long track record in the technology sector extends to payments and lending services, blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Banks and financial services companies also seek out the firm for advice on related technology products, licensing agreements and alliances. The team is jointly led by Crystal Kaldjob and Jeremy Mandell. Other key partners include San Francisco-based corporate co-chair Eric McCrath, and technology transaction specialist Stephanie Sharron in Palo Alto. Dario De Martino and Susan Gault-Brown jointly lead the blockchain and smart contracts group out of New York and Washington DC, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Crystal Kaldjob; Jeremy Mandell

Other key lawyers:

Eric McCrath; Stephanie Sharron; Dario De Martino; Susan Gault-Brown

Key clients

Arca

Symbridge LLC

Atomyze LLC

Real estate finance Tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP is recognized for its leading reputation for advice on large-scale syndicated term and construction loans that involve multiple forms of debt. Its services also include development, conduit and mezzanine loans, interest rate swaps, net lease financing, and co-lender and intercreditor agreements. Mark Edelstein leads the global real estate department and also serves as co-chair of the distressed real estate group, frequently supporting his clients in bankruptcy, workout and restructuring matters; he operates from New York alongside Christopher Delson, a key contact for securitized, mezzanine subscription and REIT credit facility transactions, as well as debt and equity investments. Over on the West Coast, Los Angeles-based Thomas Fileti (‘one of the smartest and most thoughtful attorneys in the market') is a specialist in the financing of hotels and resorts in addition to credit and master lease transactions pertaining to corporate property. At the more junior end, up-and-coming partner Keith Print, who divides time between Miami and New York, is a star name for multi-family apartment and office building project financing.

Practice head(s):

Mark Edelstein

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Fileti; Jeffrey Temple; Lawrence Ceriello; Philip Levine; Christopher Delson; Keith Print

Testimonials

‘Morrison & Foerster is a leader in real estate finance, and has been such for a number of years.’

‘Tom Fileti is one of the smartest and most thoughtful attorneys in the market today.’

Key clients

Brookfield

Capital One

CIBC World Markets

Citigroup

HSBC Bank

ING

JPMorgan

Wells Fargo

GLP Pte. Ltd.

Goldman Sachs

Lendlease

SoftBank

Tishman Speyer

Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate Tier 2

Based in New York, the team at Morrison & Foerster LLP has a strong track record handling debtor-side work, though it is perhaps best known for its successful representation of creditors and, in particular, creditors’ committees, in many of the biggest bankruptcy and restructuring matters worldwide. In addition to handling Chapter 11 work, the team is regularly involved in precedent-setting matters that have shaped the law under Chapter 15. The group also stands out for the quality of its bankruptcy mediation practice, which regularly acts in offshore restructuring and liquidation proceedings; former judge James Peck is one key contact for mediation work, and also takes the lead on cross-border matters. Also recommended are practice co-chairs Lorenzo Marinuzzi and Jennifer Marines, and specialist bankruptcy litigator Theresa Foudy, who joined from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP in October 2020. This followed the departure of John Pintarelli to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP in July 2020.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Marines; Lorenzo Marinuzzi

Other key lawyers:

Theresa Foudy; James Peck

Testimonials

‘James Peck has the complete set of skills. He is knowledgeable, experienced, seasoned, practical, insightful, and hard working. Every case I hired him to do resulted in an agreement growing out of the mediation he conducted. I would use him again in a heartbeat.’

Key clients

Official committee of unsecured creditors of Avianca Holdings S.A. and its affiliated debtors

Official committee of unsecured creditors of Grupo Aeroméxico, S.A.B. de C.V. and its affiliated debtors

Official committee of unsecured creditors of LVI Holdings, Inc.

Official committee of unsecured creditors of Murray Energy Holdings Co. and its affiliated debtors

Official committee of unsecured creditors of Valaris plc and its affiliated debtors

Official committee of unsecured creditors of Windstream Holdings, Inc., and its affiliated debtors

Ad Hoc Group of holders of debt issued or guaranteed by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

The official committee of unsecured creditors of Cloud Peak Energy and certain of its subsidiaries in its chapter 11 cases

The secured noteholders of Sanchez Energy Corp.

Ad Hoc Group of holders of EP Energy’s 1.125 & 1.25 lien secured notes

The liquidators of two British Virgin Islands investment funds in Madoff Clawback Proceedings

Various creditors and hedge funds, as well the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council, and the debtors in the chapter 11 of Pacific Gas & Electric

Official committee of unsecured creditors of Avianca Holdings S.A. and its affiliated debtors

Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional Tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP counts executive compensation work among its core strengths. The team is headed up by San Francisco-based Amanda Hines Gold, who is very experienced in handling severance and executive employment agreement negotiations, and Domnick Bozzetti, a name to note for advice on equity- and non-equity-based incentive compensation arrangements. Ron Aizen acts for public companies in proxy matters and assists with tax and securities-related questions. Unless stated otherwise, all named attorneys are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Ron Aizen; Domnick Bozzetti; Amanda Hines Gold

Key clients

Mobileiron, Inc.

Concept Brokerage Holding Corp

Autodesk, Inc.

Carter Validus Mission Critical REIT II, Inc.

Vector Capital Management, L.P.

Adicet Bio, Inc.

Steadfast Apartment REIT, Inc.

Unity Technologies, Inc.

Main Post Partners

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.

Softbank Group Corp.

VMware, Inc.

Broad Street Realty, LLC

Barclays Capital Inc. (Plymouth Industrial)

Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd

Healthcare: life sciences Tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP is active in all segments of the life sciences market, showcasing key strengths in contentious proceedings including patent invalidation actions, infringement and product liability litigation. Of recent note, the firm has been advising pharmaceutical clients and developers on an array of matters concerning Covid-19, ranging from clinical trials, funding for vaccine development, FDA approval and assisting with agreements to ensure supply in developing countries. Global chair of life sciences Michael Ward (San Francisco) is a recognized figure in patent litigation, and is highlighted for his niche experience in agriculture IP. Catherine Polizzi (Palo Alto) focuses on portfolio development and commercialization breakthrough therapies, as does patent specialist Janet Xiao. Bethany Hills (New York) has a wealth of experience in FDA regulations and compliance.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Polizzi; Michael Ward

Other key lawyers:

Janet Xiao; Bethany Hills

Testimonials

‘MoFo has made an exceptional effort in relationship building to get to know our company’s risk profile and corporate strategy. This is an immense help to me, because any feedback and deliverables provided don’t require extensive analysis on my end to determine if it fits within our internal objectives; ultimately saving me a lot of time.’

Key clients

Krystal Biotech

BGI Genomics

Pliant Therapeutics, Inc.

Nevro Corp.

Washington University in St. Louis (WashU)

Survivor Corps.

Adicet Bio, Inc.

Santen Pharmaceutical

Leading trial lawyers Tier 3

Arturo González - Morrison & Foerster LLP San Francisco-based trial lawyer Arturo González is well respected in the industry for his strong corporate defense and pro bono practice. In the former area, Gonzalez's historical highlights include winning a major class action for Bank of America, while in the latter, he recently represented two California Highway Patrol offices and two East Indian immigrants in a Section 183 and malicious prosecution case, resulting in the acquittal of all defendants after an eighteen month preliminary hearing and a year long trial.

Outsourcing Tier 3

New York-based Vivian Hanson heads up the outsourcing practice at Morrison & Foerster LLP, which advises well-known multinationals in the financial services, consumer products and media and entertainment sectors on global outsourcing transactions involving IT systems and business processes. Other key practitioners include San Francisco-based Paul Jahn, who has broad expertise in tech and IP-driven transactions, and Aaron Rubin, who handled a large-scale transaction in the healthcare sector. The team has also recently handled international commercial agreements for several Japanese clients.

Practice head(s):

Vivian Hanson

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Karlyn; Paul Jahn; Aaron Rubin

Testimonials

Great team; thoughtful, thorough and business-oriented‘.

Vivian Hanson is an excellent lawyer and counselor‘.

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

Morrison & Foerster LLP demonstrate its crisis management and trial capabilities in a wide range of product liability cases including consolidated federal class actions and MDLs. 'Exceptional strategistErin Bosman based in San Diego and San Francisco and David Fioccola in New York both lead the practice. Next generation lawyer Julie Park is also recommended. David Walsh left for Paul Hastings LLP in October 2020, however the team was reinforced by recognized trial lawyer Jessica Grant from Venable LLP in January 2020.

Practice head(s):

Erin Bosman; David Fioccola

Other key lawyers:

Julie Park; Jessica Grant

Testimonials

‘This team has strong complementary expertise and works in a collaborative and efficient manner. The depth of experience and solid mix of strategic thinking with tactical execution makes this team exceptional. As a team, they execute at a very high level. Rather than a single stand out star this is a team of stars who play off of each others strengths. It is truly a great team.’

The team is a great mix of people and backgrounds. I appreciate the female leadership and the diversity of the team in general. They are one of the most collaborative teams I have worked with. I think the back office is well run and use of technology is appropriate.’

Erin Bosman is truly outstanding in all ways. She has outstanding personal attributes (integrity, strong values, interpersonal skills, intelligence) with real leadership competencies and an ability to manage highly complex situations. She is an exceptional strategist with highly effective negotiation skills. She reads situations quickly and adjusts her strategies and tactics accordingly. She has the respect and admiration of her team and her clients.’

Key clients

Prelude Fertility, Inc.

MicroPort Orthopedics Inc.

McKesson Corporation

Fitbit

Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: toxic tort Tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP has a track record of successfully defending multi-party serial tort litigation and mass tort litigation, handling claims related to hazardous materials, waste disposal, chemical release and reporting issues, among others. Skilled negotiator Erin Bosman, based in both San Diego and San Francisco, is at the helm of the practice together with David Fioccola in New York, who focuses on the defense of complex commercial disputes and consumer class actions. Trial lawyer Jessica Grant joined the team from Venable LLP in January 2020 while David Walsh departed for Paul Hastings LLP in October 2020.

Practice head(s):

Erin Bosman; David Fioccola

Other key lawyers:

William Tarantino; James Schurz

Key clients

Coffee Joint Defense Group

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) Tier 3

The full-service REITs practice at Morrison & Foerster LLP advises sponsors, listed and non-listed REITs on M&A, capital markets transactions and real estate matters, as well as on all related tax issues. Its experience gives it a deep understanding of a variety of asset classes with particular activity in data centers, healthcare, multi-family and multi-use. Justin Salon and David Slotkin jointly head the practice from Washington DC. New-York based Jay Blaivas is a name to note for fund formation, and Heath Linsky in Atlanta has considerable experience representing clients in M&A and other capital markets transactions.

Practice head(s):

Justin Salon; David Slotkin

Other key lawyers:

Jay Blaivas; Heath Linsky; Alice Connaughton; Shane Shelley; Andy Campbell

Testimonials

‘The team has full-service capabilities— M&A, litigation, employee benefits, SEC, and general matters. I have used all of the above services. Their experience is outstanding and they provide both technical and practical advice. They are truly business advisors. With their experience, they provide well thought out, but very timely answers to questions and also emerging trends.’

Key clients

Special Committee of Resource Real Estate Opportunity REIT II, Inc.

Freehold Properties, Inc.

Barclays Capital Inc. (Plymouth Industrial)

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.

Steadfast Apartment REIT, Inc.

Equity Residential

Farmland Partners

Piper Sandler Companies

UDR, Inc.

Jernigan Capital

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Armada Hoffler Properties, Inc.

Procaccianti Hotel REIT, Inc.

Black Creek Industrial REIT IV Inc.

Hines Global Income Trust, Inc.

Whitestone REIT Inc.

Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. (Apple REIT)

GLP

Strategic Capital

Securities litigation: defense Tier 3

'They have a deep understanding of securities litigation and have an impressive track record of achieving great results', say clients of Morrison & Foerster LLP. The firm has a deep bench of versatile litigators who can handle securities class actions, derivative cases and M&A disputes. Jordan Eth, Chrstine Wong and Mark Foster in San Francisco, along with James Koukios in Washington DC, are co-chairs of the securities litigation, enforcement and white-collar defense group. Eth and New York-based partner Jamie Levitt (who are 'clear, substantive and practical') along with Anna Erickson White in San Francisco, are representing Prothena Corp in a case arising from the discontinuation of a new drug candidate following a randomized controlled trial. New York-based partner Joel Haims is also key to the practice, having defended in class action and fraud actions filed by the SEC.

Practice head(s):

Jordan Eth; Christine Wong; Mark Foster; James Koukious

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Levitt; Anna Erickson White; Joel Haims; Ryan Keats

Testimonials

‘Joel Haims, Jordan Eth and Jamie Levitt are clear, substantive, very experienced, practical and very timely in providing the necessary details to us.’

‘This law firm handled many MLDs and they provide the necessary information in a clear ethical fashion. This firm is one of the best in United States, specifically in securities class action litigation.’

‘Joel Haims, Jordan Eth and Jamie Levitt are very timely and ethical in providing the information necessary to detail the exposure of the insured defendants.’

‘The attorney who represented us, Joel Haims is top-notch. He understands matters very well and quickly. So, he gets to heart of the dispute without waste of time or resources. He is very smart and can usually find a unique aspect of a matter that can provide leverage to get it settled.’

‘The people are excellent, including paralegals and administrative. Attorneys are very, very good. Billing is fair and they try to proceed in an economical manner.’

‘Joel Haims is a great attorney. A go to guy for any securities issues.’

‘Intelligent, experienced, cost-effective and sensitive. Calm, strategic, forward-thinking and with an excellent bed-side manner.’

‘Joel Haims is smart and practical. Gets to the core issues.’

‘Professional skills are excellent. They are also very client-focused and easy to work with.’

‘I have worked with Anna Erickson White and senior associate Ryan Keats over the last several years on securities litigation matters. We picked them to handle our securities litigation because they have a deep understanding of securities litigation, have handled a wide variety of securities litigation matters over decades, and have an impressive track record of achieving great results. They are known in Northern California as being the pre-eminent securities litigation firm with a ton of experience in the Northern District of California and Santa Clara County Superior in particular.’

‘Anna Erickson White is great to work with. The quality of her teams’ work-product is outstanding, she and her team are always thinking ahead regarding the best strategy for the litigation, and she brings a deep bench of experienced, dedicated lawyers to the matter. Not only is she an expert in her field, but she takes a practical and business-minded approach to litigation. She and her team work closely with my in-house team to make sure that the litigation strategy is consistent with our business goals. The team is also very responsive and easy to work with. Like a lot of GCs, I have a lot to juggle. I need someone whom I trust to look out for our interests and who can effectively communicate the important issues to me. Anna and her team do just that.’

‘In addition to Anna Erickson White, Ryan Keats, the senior associate on her team, stands out. His work product is excellent, he cares deeply about achieving great results for us, and he is always on top of the various tasks and issues.’

Key clients

Monster Beverage Corporation

Cloudera, Inc.

Banc of California

RH

SoftBank Corp.

Goldman Sachs and Citigroup

SoftBank Group Corp

Oracle Corporation

Acer Therapeutics

Pivotal Software Inc.

Prothena Corp. PLC

McKesson Corporation

Precision Castparts

TerraVia Holdings, Inc.

BlackBerry Limited and its former CEO, CFO, and CLO

Farmland Partners Inc.

MedEquities Realty Trust

Education Realty Trust Inc.

Hospitalities Investors Trust

Array Photonics Inc.

Trilinc Global Impact Fund

Marrone Bio

Michael Cohen

Structured finance: derivatives and structured products Tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP's New York-based derivatives and structured products group is best known for its regulatory advice, with expertise covering the Dodd-Frank Act and Volcker Rule, SIFI regulation, as well as EU regulations with the support of the firm's European operations. The team is perhaps strongest in the commodities space, though its has experience of all major asset classes, and has been increasingly engaged in matters relating to cryptocurrencies and carbon credits. Key figures in the team include David Kaufman, a specialist in structured transactions involving commodities and derivatives; Vladimir Maly, who divides time between New York and London and is an expert in equity derivatives in cross-border financings; and Lloyd Harmetz, who leads on structured products, particularly in relation to financial institutional offerings. Washington DC-based counsel Chrys Carey is a key name for derivatives regulations and compliance.

Practice head(s):

David Kaufman; Vladimir Maly; Lloyd Harmetz

Other key lawyers:

Chrys Carey; Seth Lucia

Key clients

Adara

Arrowgrass Master Fund Limited

AXA Investment Managers

Bank of Montreal and BMO Capital Markets

ING

Ping An Real Estate Capital

Royal Bank of Canada and RBC Capital Markets

Tiberius Asset Management

Technology transactions Tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP is very well known for advising tech-sector clients on matters ranging from patent and technology licensing and acquisitions to joint ventures and other large-scale commercial agreements. Start-up companies benefit from the firm's strong domestic and international footprint, as well as its experience advising investors and established technology giants. The group's experience covers artificial intelligence and robotics, blockchain and distributed ledger, and the Internet of Things. Aaron Rubin leads the group out of San Francisco, with strong input from highly rated Vivian Hanson in New York, who leads the firm's sourcing practice. Also recommended are Stephanie Sharron in Palo Alto, and IP transactional gurus Tessa Schwartz and William Schwartz, both in San Francisco.

Practice head(s):

Aaron Rubin

Other key lawyers:

Vivian Hanson; Stephanie Sharron; Tessa Schwartz; William Schwartz

Testimonials

‘Aaron Rubin is practical and efficient.’

‘They really seek to understand the business and the technology–they “get” the objectives every single time. They have had this practice area for longer than any other firm–the experience is deep and they have seen everything.’

‘Tessa Schwartz gives incredible client service–efficient, empathetic. She is among the best negotiators I have seen in action. There is simply no better technology transactions attorney than Billy (William) Schwartz. He has been doing it longer and better than anyone.’

‘Vivian Hanson is an excellent lawyer, sharp, detail-oriented and a fantastic counselor with good business input and consideration.’

Key clients

BlueSphere Bio

Johnson & Johnson

Praxis

Silicon Valley Bank

SurvivorCorps

Verinomics

US taxes: non-contentious Tier 3

The team at Morrison & Foerster LLP has continued to grow its reputation, acting for blue-chip corporations, financial institutions, venture capital groups and real estate companies in a range of transactions and advisory mandates. Headed up by federal tax chair Anthony Carbone in New York, the team regularly handles M&A, capital markets transactions, and public and private REIT deals. Also in New York, Jay Blaivas concentrates on REIT taxation and opportunity zone fund formation. In the San Francisco office, Bernie Pistillo advises on the tax aspects of a variety of corporate transactions, restructurings, and spin-offs. Shane Shelley is a name to note for federal income tax matters in San Diego. Of counsel David Sturgeon  joined the New York office from Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Carbone

Other key lawyers:

Jay Blavias; Bernie Pistillo; David Sturgeon; Shane Shelley

Testimonials

‘Very practical and timely advice. Not excessively academic, but provides advice that is approachable to those that are not tax experts.’

‘Shane Shelley has been incredibly proactive, responsive and practical when providing advice.’

‘Very responsive with practical advice on complex matters.’

‘Shane Shelley is  practical and responsive. Able to weigh recommendations against market practice.’ 

‘Immediately and deeply knowledgeable; commercially aware/sensitive and consequently provides relevant and applicable advice; amenable and open professional approach that fosters good client relations; reliable advice when tested.’

‘Bernie Pistillo a stand-out lawyer.’

‘Very competent, personable and responsive.’

‘Shane Shelley is simply one of the most competent tax attorneys in the REIT space.’

‘Superb team with excellent technical knowledge and business-oriented advice ’

‘Superior technical knowledge with business-oriented advice.’

Key clients

SoftBank Group Corp.

Visa

SoundCloud Limited

Piper Sandler Companies

Carter Validus Mission Critical REIT II, Inc.

Adicet Bio, Inc.

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.

Ad hoc group of first lien noteholders of Sanchez Energy Corp.

Sprint Corp.

Steadfast Apartment REIT, Inc.

Barclays Capital Inc.

Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd / Elbrus Investments Pte. Ltd

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.

Broad Street Realty, LLC

Venture capital and emerging companies Tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP has a versatile practice representing a broad mix of entrepreneurs, start-ups and investors ranging from venture and corporate capital funds through to sovereign wealth funds. The firm's breadth of expertise extends to the life sciences, fintech and agtech segments, and, indeed, to most areas of emerging technology. Experienced partners Murray Indick and Steve Rowles co-chair the team from San Francisco and San Diego, respectively. Other key individuals include Palo Alto-based Timothy Harris and San Francisco's Susan Mac Cormac, who chairs the firm's energy and clean technology group.

Practice head(s):

Murray Indick; Steve Rowles

Other key lawyers:

Timothy Harris; Susan Mac Cormac

Key clients

SoftBank Group

Temasek

Orbimed Advisors

Visa, Inc.

Netly Fiber

Fortive Corp

The Pill Club

OpenInvest

RefleXion Medical

Carlsmed, Inc.

Capital markets: debt offerings Tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP has a broad practice covering investment grade debt, structured notes, convertible bonds, cross-border private placements, and retail debt. Consumer products, energy and cleantech, financial institutions, life sciences and biotech, retail, technology, and telecoms are key sectors. It also has particular expertise in REITs. Moreover, given its strong bank regulatory practice, the firm is uniquely placed to handle offerings by financial institutions and fintech businesses. The firm is best known for issuer engagements, though acted as designated underwriters’ counsel to Shell International Finance on three debt offerings with totaling over $10bn. Lead partner on the deal, Washington DC-based Justin Salon, is one of the firm's most prolific advisers on large-scale debt offerings.

Other key lawyers:

Justin Salon; David Slotkin

Civil litigation/class actions: defense Tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP is retained by clients in a broad range of follow-on cartel damages claims, and other class actions and multi-district litigations, spanning the automotive parts, technology, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, financial services and transportation sectors. Jeff Jaeckel co-chairs the global antitrust practice group with Lisa Phelan, who was appointed to the co-chair position in November 2020; both are located in the firm’s Washington DC office, alongside David Cross and Megan Gerking, the latter of whom was made partner in early 2020. Stationed in the firm’s San Francisco office, Eliot Adelson and Bonnie Lau routinely defend companies in antitrust litigation involving claims of price-fixing, output suppression, monopolization and group boycotts.

Practice head(s):

Jeff Jaeckel; Lisa Phelan

Other key lawyers:

Megan Gerking; Bonnie Lau; David Cross; Eliot Adelson

Key clients

SoftBank Group Corp.

Teradata

Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

Hitachi Ltd.

Matsuo Electric Co., Ltd.

Nexstar Media Group, Inc.

Nouryon Pulp and Performance Chemicals LLC

Continental Building Products

ON Semiconductor

Target Corporation

Entrata, Inc.

Etsy

Energy: renewable/alternative power Tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP regularly advises venture capital firms and private equity sponsors on renewable energy investments, as part of the firm's overarching focus on sustainability and impact investing. San Francisco-based corporate partner Susan Mac Cormac chairs the energy and social enterprise and impact investing practices. She also leads on much of the most significant transactional work in the renewables sector (particularly in relation to later-stage venture capital financing). Moreover, Mac Cormac provides advice to company board members on corporate governance and fiduciary duties as applied to sustainability and climate change.

Practice head(s):

Susan Mac Cormac

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Sluder; Julia Balas

Key clients

Vision Ridge Partners, LLC

Generate Capital

U.S. Department of Energy

Huck Capital

European Climate Foundation/Tempest Advisors LLC

Pivotal Investment Corporation II

Virgo Investment Group

Environment: litigation Tier 4

Led by William Tarantino, the team at Morrison & Foerster LLP is experienced in litigating cases across the entire spectrum of environmental law. Based in California, the group has carved out a niche in the Proposition 65 arena, having served as lead counsel in critical trials in the past two decades. Recent mandates also demonstrate its broad capabilities in environmental remediation and related class actions, as well as natural resources damage claims. Based in San Francisco, Tarantino specializes in hazardous substances and mass torts, while Michael Steel focuses on multi-party actions. Robert Falk retired in September 2020

Practice head(s):

William Tarantino

Other key lawyers:

Michael Steel; Justin Fisch

Testimonials

‘Good bench for all situations and great cross-functional collaboration across practice areas, to service a complex matter.’

‘William (Bill) Tarantino and Murray Indick offer great personalized services and have a true desire in understanding our business, in order to add value and provide tailored solutions.’

Key clients

Clorox Company

C&D Technologies Inc.

Commerce Trust Company, as trustee of Seven Springs Limited Partnership

Rokos Capital Management LLP

Norcal Harvesting LLC

Array Photonics

Coffee Joint Defense Group

Zinzino AB

Major Retailers (General Merchandise)

Union Pacific Railroad Company

Environment: regulatory Tier 4

The California-based environmental group at Morrison & Foerster LLP  has particular expertise in matters relating to California Proposition 65. The team benefits from strong working relationships with relevant regulatory and enforcement agencies and is well positioned to guide clients throughout environmental remediation matters and federal Superfund cases in California. Regulatory compliance, the Endangered Species Act and water quality issues are other core strengths of the group. Contacts in the team include William Tarantino, whose areas of expertise include hazardous substances and consumer protection, and Michael Steel, who has wide-ranging experience in land use, air pollution control and waste management. Robert Falk retired in September 2020. All named practitioners are based in San Francisco.

Practice head(s):

William Tarantino

Other key lawyers:

Michael Steel; Justin Fisch

Key clients

Clorox Company

C&D Technologies Inc.

Commerce Trust Company, as trustee of Seven Springs Limited Partnership

Rokos Capital Management LLP

Norcal Harvesting LLC

Array Photonics

Coffee Joint Defense Group

Zinzino AB

Major Retailers (General Merchandise)

Union Pacific Railroad Company

Financial services litigation Tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP acts for regional and large nationwide financial institutions in consumer financial litigation. A recent highlight for the practice was Nancy Thomas' work defending small-dollar lenders, facing litigation challenging their interest rates as unconscionable, following the California Supreme Court's ruling in De La Torre v. Cashcall, which addressed inordinately high interest rates for small personal and business loans. Michael Miller  is a name to note for financial institutions accused of violating consumer financial protection laws and antitrust legislation. Practice head David Fioccola is also experienced in consumer class actions. James McGuire left the team in January 2020, joining Buckley LLP.

Practice head(s):

David Fioccola

Other key lawyers:

Michael Miller; Nancy Thomas; Natalie Fleming Nolen

Financial services regulation Tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP‘s financial services group has noted expertise in transactional matters, wholesale banking, and consumer finance regulatory work. The team counts US and foreign investment banks, fintech companies and trade associations amongst its clients, with New York-based Barbara Mendelson leveraging more than 30 years’ experience advising foreign banks entering the US market. Joan Warrington focuses on retail financial services and is highly active in advising non-financial institutions, such as retail and hospitality companies on their credit card schemes. Marc-Alain Galeazzi specializes in anti-money laundering work (AML); his highlights in 2020 included advising a fintech start-up on ensuring its platforms comply with all existing AML regulations. Both Galeazzi and Warrington are based in New York. In Washington DC, senior partner Rick Fischer handles retail financial services for banks and non-banks, with a particular focus on the growing area of privacy and data security.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Mandell; Barbara Mendelson

Other key lawyers:

Marc-Alain Galeazzi; Joan Warrington; Rick Fischer

Key clients

Walmart

CITIC Group Corporation

International trade Tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP is particularly well-known for its work on national security mandates. The team is particularly prominent in the economic sanctions space, as it houses multiple former OFAC officials, including former OFAC director and practice co-head John Smith. Also recommended in the sanctions and export control space is Brandon Van Grack. The team also focuses on CFIUS-related instructions, with practice co-head Nicholas Spiliotes having three decades of experience in the field. John Carlin took a position at the Justice Department.

Practice head(s):

John Smith; Brandon Van Grack; Nicholas Spiliotes

Testimonials

‘The lead partner of the US team has tremendous insight from his former role in government, as do his European-based counterparts. This leads to insightful advice and excellent, well-informed strategies.’

‘Extensive understanding of CFIUS and national security matters and a high number of matters before the CFIUS. Extremely knowledgeable about national security matters. Terrific judgment.’

‘A first-class sanctions team.’

‘Mofo’s sanctions team has superb knowledge and experience in the field. The team gives risk-based and pragmatic advice which is directly applicable to its clients’ businesses.’

‘The MoFo team brings a great combination of strong expertise while being great to work with.  They have broad experience in national security matters that makes them a good partner.’

‘John Smith provided first-class sanctions advice. He has excellent knowledge and close connections with the OFAC due to his past role of former Director at the OFAC. Very responsive. Very commercial.’

‘John Smith is an outstanding partner at MoFo. He is our first choice because of his knowledge and experience. He also provides pragmatic and risk-based advice which the businesses can easily understand and apply.’

‘Nick Spiliotes, Joe Benkert, and Charles Capito are a great team. They do high quality work and great customer service.’

Key clients

The Clearing House

Nordea Bank

Clifford Chance / Navigator Equities Limited

Elsevier

Itochu

SoftBank Group Corp. / SoftBank Vision Fund L.P.

M&A: large deals ($1bn+) Tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP has continued its strong record in technology M&A, advising on high-profile transactions within the industry. Of late, the team worked with Softbank and Sprint on their $59bn merger with T-Mobile, and also represented Softbank and its Vision Fund in the $40bn sale of Arm to NVIDIA. This reflects the firm's capabilities in complex cross-border transactions across a variety of tech and tech-related industries. The West Coast transactional team was bolstered by the arrivals of prolific M&A counsels Omar Pringle and Mitchell Presser from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer  in April 2020; the pair advised Pivotal Investment Corporation II on its $1bn merger with XL Fleet not long after their recruitment. Presser has also become global co-chair of the corporate team. New York's Spencer Klein and San Francisco-based Eric McCrath also lead the team, and are noted for their representation of major tech clients and expertise in complex merger proceedings, including takeover defense and contested deals. Randy Bullard divides time between New York and Miami, and is a co-chair of the firm's Latin America desk, specializing in cross-border deals in the region.

Practice head(s):

Spencer Klein; Eric McCrath; Mitchell Presser

Other key lawyers:

Omar Pringle; Randy Bullard

Key clients

Autodesk

Axalta Coating Systems

BlackBerry

ON Semiconductor

Santen Pharma

SoftBank

Unity Technologies

Visa

VMware

Vonage

Merger control Tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP was engaged as merger control counsel in two of 2020’s largest deals. The team represented Softbank and Sprint in the $146bn combination of Sprint and T-Mobile, and also represented Softbank Vision Fund in its sale of Arm Limited to NVIDIA. The firm has also been active elsewhere, securing clearances for transactions in the chemicals and manufacturing sectors, as well as representing a range of clients in associated antitrust investigations and proceedings initiated by the DOJ and FTC. Practice head Jeff Jaeckel continued his strong record, successfully defending the Sprint/T-Mobile merger and securing clearance, while former senior DOJ practitioner Lisa Phelan became co-head of the global antitrust team in November 2020. Mergan Gerking was promoted to partner, and has extensive experience in merger review proceedings, including litigation, before the DOJ, FTC, and state bodies. Roxann Henry retired and David Meyer founded his own law practice. All lawyers are in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Jeff Jaeckel; Lisa Phelan

Other key lawyers:

Megan Gerking

Testimonials

‘Intelligent, experienced, excellent bed-side manner, cost effective and sensitive, calm, strategic, forward-thinking.’

Key clients

SoftBank Group Corp.

Teradata

Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

Hitachi Ltd.

Matsuo Electric Co., Ltd.

Nexstar Media Group, Inc.

Nouryon Pulp and Performance Chemicals LLC

Continental Building Products

ON Semiconductor

Target Corporation

Entrata, Inc.

Etsy

Patents: litigation (full coverage) Tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP maintains a reputation as a strong life sciences and technology litigation team. Richard Hung in San Francisco is a key contact.

Private equity buyouts Tier 4

The arrival of new chair Mitchell Presser and experienced transactional lawyer Omar Pringle from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer  has significantly strengthened the team at Morrison & Foerster LLP, with Presser bringing significant in-house and private practice experience and helping the firm to add a number of notable new clients, including Bridge Investment Partners, Cohen Private Ventures, and Fidelio Capital, among others. The firm offers a range of sector expertise, with strengths in healthcare, life sciences, tech, agriculture, and consumer products. It is active in buyouts, investments, exits, and portfolio company transactions in each of these key industries. A standout transaction in 2020 was the firm's representation of Pivot Investment Corporate in its $1.4bn merger with XL Fleets, a complex and notable tech-sector deal. Other key players include San Francisco-based duo Patrick Huard and Dario Avram, who combine buyout and investment expertise with regular work on behalf of portfolio companies. Boston's Todd Boudreau handles cross-border transactions for funds and strategic companies, as well as fund formation and institutional investment work.

Practice head(s):

Mitchell Presser

Other key lawyers:

Omar Pringle; Patrick Huard; Dario Avram; Todd Boudreau

Key clients

3CC Partners

Abry Partners

Alpine Investors

Altamont Capital Partners

Aqua Capital

Bridge Investment Partners,

Cohen Private Ventures

Ethos Capital

Fidelio Capital AB

ForeVest

Francisco Partners

Freedom 3 Capital

Fremont Macanta

GI Partners

Granite Bridge Partners

Gryphon Investors

Main Post Partners

Mesoamerica

MGG Investment Group

NorthBridge Partners

Paine Schwartz Partners

Palladium Equity Partners

Peninsula Investments

Quabbin Capital

San Francisco Equity Partners

SoftBank Vision Fund

Tene Capital

Tinicum

Vector Capital Management, L.P.

Virgo Investment Group, LLC

Vision Ridge Partners

Real estate Tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP's clients highlight the group’s ‘years of experience in successfully completing transactions’, namely the acquisition, disposition and financing of real estate projects and entire property portfolios. A further field of activity is the joint venture and co-investment space where its lawyers act on a range of structures such as LLCs, LPs and participating development and management agreements. Development projects are also an integral component of the practice which is involved at every stage of substantial schemes including master-planned communities, urban entertainment projects, industrial facilities and large-scale redevelopments. Based in New York, Mark Edelstein fronts the global real estate practice and also serves as co-chair of the distressed real estate department, frequently representing creditors’ committees and secured and unsecured lenders in a variety of workouts and restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Mark Edelstein

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Fileti; Christopher Delson; Lawrence Ceriello; Jeffrey Temple

Testimonials

‘Morrison & Foerster has a deep and extensive knowledge of real estate.’

‘Thomas Fileti is outstanding.’

‘Our experience with Morrison & Foerster’s real estate practice has been exemplary. We have turned to them in three complex real estate acquisitions and at every turn we found that Morrison & Foerster had the depth to address whatever issues arose.  The seemingly simple transactions involved everything from oil and gas leases to water rights law to trust and estate matters to tax-exempt gifts to liens and forced property auction.  There is no substitute for experience developed through years of practice in successfully completing transactions.  That is one overarching theme of the practice, working steadily to arrive at the desired result, closing on the property.’

‘Our primary attorney, partner Thomas Fileti, has a tremendous breadth of experience, a calm yet confident manner, and insightful perspective on the issues that arise in the course of our acquisition transactions.  It is not just that he is familiar with the law, he also is familiar with customary practices as a benchmark for negotiations. He is excellent at forecasting issues that might arise in the course of the transaction as well as issues that we might face in the future during property ownership, addressing the latter through transaction documents to protect our interests.  We find his advice invaluable in guiding our board in its decisions.  We have adopted his mantra of friendly but firm as our own.  Tom and Morrison & Foerster stand out for the quality of work and for productivity.’

Key clients

GLP Pte. Ltd.

Goldman Sachs

Lendlease

SoftBank

Tishman Speyer

Brookfield

Capital One

CIBC World Markets

Citigroup

HSBC Bank

ING

JPMorgan

Wells Fargo

Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters) Tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP advises on protecting clients against the theft of IP from external and internal threats, as well as employee agreements and proprietary information agreements with restrictive covenants. Notable in the team are Palo Alto-based Kenneth Kuwayti and Michael Jacobs in San Francisco.

Other key lawyers:

Kenneth Kuwayti; Michael Jacobs 

International tax Tier 5

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s international tax practice is headed by New York-based Anthony Carbone, who advises on M&A, reorganizations, fund formation and capital markets operations. On the West Coast, Bernie Pistillo and recently promoted partner Maureen Linch in San Francisco handle minority investments and equity acquisitions in the financial services, telecoms and digital technology sectors. The team also acts for Palo Alto-based start-ups on outbound business expansion strategies. Also in the recent review period, the group advised multiple media and entertainment companies on tax matters relating to IP restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Carbone

Other key lawyers:

Bernie Pistillo; Maureen Linch

Key clients

SoftBank Group Corp.

Visa

SoundCloud Limited

Piper Sandler Companies

Carter Validus Mission Critical REIT II, Inc.

Adicet Bio, Inc.

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.

Sprint Corp.

Steadfast Apartment REIT, Inc.

Barclays Capital Inc.

Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd / Elbrus Investments Pte. Ltd

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.

Broad Street Realty, LLC

US taxes: contentious Tier 5

Washington DC-based Edward Froelich and Anthony Carbone in New York are the key names at Morrison & Foerster LLP for representation in tax controversies. Litigation is handled at the state and federal level for high-net-worth individuals and corporates in the technology sector, with ongoing mandates pertaining to IRS audits and appeals regarding worthless stock reduction validity, section 482 adjustments and foreign disclosures.

Practice head(s):

Edward Froelich; Anthony Carbone

Appellate: courts of appeals / Appellate: supreme courts (states and federal)

Described as ‘effective, engaged, and practical’, Morrison & Foerster LLP’s stable of appellate litigators is known for its astute handling of claims brought before numerous federal courts of appeal across the country. The department is spearheaded by Deanne Maynard and Joseph Palmore, with both being regarded as ‘a superb team for appellate matters’. Maynard is noted for her top performance in the Federal Circuit, as is Brian Matsui; this IP litigation excellence recently manifested itself in her presentation of winning arguments for Nevro Corp. in a high-stakes patent infringement dispute with Boston Scientific Corporation. The firm has a significant appellate strength on the West Coast; recently promoted partner James Sigel (San Francisco) places an emphasis on work in the Ninth Circuit and is also praised by clients for his brief writing skills. Just as importantly, the team is among the key players in the US Supreme Court, where a team led by Palmore and briefed by Sigel prevailed on behalf of the respondent in the employee-benefits case of Thole v U.S. Bank, N.A.

Practice head(s):

Deanne Maynard; Joseph Palmore

Other key lawyers:

Brian Matsui; James Sigel; Seth Lloyd; Lena Hughes

Testimonials

‘I have been impressed by MoFo’s efficiency and its competent junior lawyers. The appellate practice is small, but effective, engaged, and practical.’

‘Deanne Maynard and Joe Palmore are a superb team for appellate matters. And James Sigel is a true rising star in their San Francisco office.’

‘I recently hired Joe Palmore and James Sigel to handle a US Supreme Court argument for us and were very impressed with both of them.’

‘I have worked extensively with Brian Matsui and Seth Lloyd, both of whom are excellent thought-partners who are efficient, provide practical solutions, and have a collaborative mindset. I relish the opportunity to work with either of them again.’

‘James Sigel argued a Ninth Circuit appeal for us extremely well. He was one of four advocates, and the panel clearly thought that he was the best as they kept him up and asked him questions that went beyond the scope of our participation as an amicus.  He’s also done very well-written briefs for us, he always does a great job of keeping us up to speed on developments as they happen, and he’s a pleasure to work with.’

‘Joe Palmore and Deanne Maynard are well known. Deanne continues to excel at patent appeals in particular, and she and Joe are great at any appeals. Very knowledgeable with a great sense of strategy. Joe deserves a lot of credit for winning his ERISA case in the Supreme Court last year, as that was a very uphill battle for his side.’

‘James Sigel was able to come up with a very sophisticated argument strategy that I firmly believe won the day for us.’

‘Joe Palmore executed the argument flawlessly and the Court mirrored the language he thoughtfully chose in its ultimate order.’

Key clients

Directors of CIG Wireless, Inc.

Daiwa House

Gregory A. Christian et al.

Mallinckrodt Pharmaceutical

National Abortion Federation

Netlist, Inc.

Nevro Corp.

New York State Citizen’s Coalition for Children

Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Peabody Energy

Pacific MSO, LLC and Prelude Fertility, Inc.

Washington University

Commercial lending

Morrison & Foerster LLP stands out for its impressive breadth of service, with the firm capable of assisting traditional banks, direct lenders, private equity sponsors and corporate borrowers, particularly within the technology, healthcare and life science sectors. Most of the team operates from the New York office, where key names include practice head Mark Wojciechowski, Dario Avram, Jay Gavigan (a 2019 arrival from Clifford Chance) and  Geoffrey Peck. Outside of New York, David Ephraim, who acts as managing partner of the firm's Boston office, is recommended for fund finance, while Jill Feldman maintains a broad practice that includes project finance and real estate finance from San Francisco.

Practice head(s):

David Ephraim; Mark Wojciechowski

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Jacobs; Dario Avram; Jill Feldman; Jay Gavigan

Key clients

Silicon Valley Bank

Altamont Capital Partners

Vector Capital Management, L.P.

Group of Noteholders to Mesquite Energy

Palladium Equity Partners

International Bank

Perceptive Advisors

OrbiMed Advisors

Hayfin Capital Management

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

Morrison & Foerster LLP fields an experienced team including former DOJ officials, federal prosecutors, White House and FBI counsel, and national security specialists. As part of an impressive global network, the team is well placed to handle multi-jurisdictional investigations and white-collar matters for senior executives, financial institutions, funds, trustees and multinational public companies. The practice is headed by San Francisco’s Craig MartinRuti Smithline in New York, who focuses on litigation, SEC enforcement, securities litigation, and corporate internal investigations; and Washington DC-based Charles Duross, who is experienced in FCPA matters and global anti-corruption strategies. Haima Marlier joined from the SEC in New York in February 2020. Amanda Aikman left for an in-house role at UNICEF in May 2020.

Practice head(s):

Charles Duross; Craig Martin; Ruti Smithline

Other key lawyers:

James Koukios; Carrie Cohen; Amanda Aikman; Alex Iftimie; Bonnie Lau; Christine Wong; Eliot Adelson

Testimonials

‘Chuck Duross really is Mr. FCPA, he is a roll-up-your-sleeves practical lawyer who can help you implement compliance inside your company’.

‘They are all US attorneys but have an outward looking skill and experience towards a multitude of other jurisdictions’.

‘This team are all client-facing in their respective roles’.   

‘This firm compares well with other US law firms both on the east coast and west coast that I have instructed over decades’.

‘Years of real life experience combined with responsiveness and insight in charting the best course of action’.

Key clients

Novartis AG

Alcon, Inc.

PG&E

Odebrecht Monitorship

Sylvia Ash

New York City Council

Michael Cohen

Project finance

Morrison & Foerster LLP is an active player in the projects space, mostly notably in the renewables sector, where it frequently advises energy companies on the sale of renewable assets. Among its core clients is the US Department of Energy, which the team advises on obligations as loan guarantor of wind farm and solar energy plants. Frederick Jenney leads the team from Washington DC, and Elizabeth Sluder is recommended M&A, tax equity investments and construction financing.

Practice head(s):

Frederick Jenney

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Sluder; Julia Balas

Key clients

EDF Renewables

Vision Ridge Partners, LLC

Generate Capital

U.S. Department of Energy

Virgo Investment Group

Andean Telecom Partners

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.

Number of Partners : 316
Number of Other Lawyers : 738
Chair : 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

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 firm’s 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, MoFo’s 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 firm’s chair, and a firmwide managing partner, as well as the director of diversity and inclusion and director of attorney development.

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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, MoFo’s Women’s Strategy Committee (WSC) works closely with firm leaders — including the firm’s 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.

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Diversity Leadership Q&A

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Larren Nashelsky
Chair of Morrison & Foerster LLP

What is the ethos behind the firm’s approach to diversity?

At Morrison & Foerster, diversity is fundamental to who we are as a firm. We’re 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. That’s 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 firm’s 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 firm’s 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 firm’s 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 women’s 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

Mentoring 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.

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Sponsorship Program

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.

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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.

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Affinity Groups

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.

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Recruiting Initiatives

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.

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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 Women’s 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 Mother’s 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 firm’s top leadership.

Diversity Stats

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.
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