Firm Profile > Morrison & Foerster LLP > London, England

Morrison & Foerster LLP
The Scalpel
52 Lime Street
EC3M 7AF
England

Debt capital markets Tier 3

Globally, Morrison & Foerster LLP is a leading securities and capital markets firm that advises issuers, underwriters and agents in domestic and international, private and public financings. The small London team focuses predominantly on private placements, in which it has 'strong market credentials, knowledge and experience, and is very responsive to agents, issuers and all parties they engage with'. Key partner Brian Bates focuses on advising non-US issuers on cross-border private placements of securities to US financial institutions and one client remarks that he is 'not your conventional lawyer - he brings his own style and personality to his work along with vast experience in the private placement market'. Key partner Scott Ashton and structured finance partner and banking regulation expert Jeremy Jennings-Mares also play key roles in the practice.

Fraud: civil Tier 3

The London team at Morrison & Foerster LLP has expertise in cross-border fraud investigations and disputes, as well as asset tracing, fraud claims with trust elements and enforcement actions brought in by the Serious Fraud Office. Other areas of focus include compliance, money laundering and tax investigations; clients include senior executives, financial institutions, funds, trustees, and multinational public companies. The 'exceptionalJonathan Wheeler, co-managing partner of the US firm's City base, focuses on cross-border disputes, contentious insolvency and international fraud matters. During 2018 the team was boosted by the addition of Saqib Alam, who joined from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP as of counsel.

Testimonials

‘They have some real star players’.         

‘Jonathan Wheeler is exceptional’.

Key clients

Grant Thornton LLP as trustees in the bankruptcy of Muhamad Al-Ansari

Liquidators of Saad Investments Company Limited

Landsbanki (leading Icelandic financial institution)

Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group

Fraud: white-collar crime Tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP advises on financial crime, corruption, bribery and money laundering investigations and high-profile white-collar investigations. Other areas of expertise include compliance, tax investigations, commercial disputes, international fraud and asset tracing. It often deals with investigations from the FCA and SFO, and also handles cross-border contentious insolvency matters. Clients include senior executives, financial institutions, funds, trustees, and multinational public companies. Head of team Jonathan Wheeler is experienced in court proceedings, arbitrations, and mediations. Saqib Alam joined as of counsel from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

Key clients

Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group

IT and telecoms Tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP is frequently instructed on cross-border IT projects by its impressive client roster, which includes technology service suppliers, technology-focused start-ups and companies investing in a range of technologies including AI, machine learning projects and payment processing solutions. Alistair Maughan assists major companies and public sector organisations with commercial contracts and technology-based projects, while of counsel Greg Joynson has particular experience handling corporate and financing transactions for technology companies.

Testimonials

Andrew Boyd, Alistair Maughan and associate Mercedes Samavi are all commercial and practical with a sound understanding of the relevant issues, and proactive in their approach.

Key clients

SoftBank

UPS

Vonage Holdings Corp.

Novartis

Cellpoint Mobile

Ubitricity

Seagate

Smart Communications

Combat Stress

SoftBank

Derivatives (including commodities) Tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP has a strong transactional practice that works closely with the firm's banking, regulatory, ERISA, tax and capital markets teams to assist clients with ongoing regulatory change in the market. Its key strengths lie in equity derivatives as part of large cross-border capital markets and M&A transactions; regulatory advice; and risk mitigation for non-cleared derivative products. Vladimir Maly  leads the derivatives group and handles a wide range of derivatives and structured products in the context of corporate finance, capital markets and M&A activity. Partner Jeremy Jennings-Mares  has a transactional practice focused on securities, structured products, derivatives and structured financings. His areas of specialism include credit-linked, fund-linked and equity-linked OTC derivatives. Senior of counsel Peter Green focuses primarily on structured credit, structured products and derivatives transactions, often for investment banks and corporate issuers.

Key clients

Adara GmbH

Ally Bridge

Arrowgrass

AXA

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Blackrock

CIBC

Citigroup

Credit Suisse

CVC Capital Partners

Deutsche Bank

Farallon Capital

Fortress

Goldman Sachs

ING

HSBC

JPMorgan

Lending Club

Moonshot Capital

Morgan Stanley

MUFG

Natixis

Nomura

Oxygen

PIMCO

Royal Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Scotland

RWE

Tiberius Asset Management

Toronto Dominion

UBS

Regulatory investigations and corporate crime Tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP handles cross-border financial crime, corruption, bribery and money laundering investigations from its London office. It is experienced in dealing with investigations by organisations including the FCA and SFO. Other areas of expertise include contentious insolvency, disputes, antitrust and compliance. Clients include senior executives, financial institutions, funds, trustees, and multinational companies. Head of team Jonathan Wheeler focuses on cross-border disputes. Saqib Alam joined as of counsel from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

Key clients

Grant Thornton as trustees in bankruptcy of Muhamad Al-Ansari

Landsbanki

Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans Tier 5

Morrison & Foerster LLP continues to grow its finance offering in London, with the vastly experienced Christopher Kandel as the latest to join the team in February 2019 from Latham & Watkins. Although Kandel's focus is on leveraged finance, he also adds further depth to the team's ability across public M&A, as well as general corporate lending where he is able to provide expertise across the capital structure and across both UK and US law-governed products.

Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 5

Morrison & Foerster LLP is well known for complex, international disputes and investigations involving banking and finance components. Jonathan Wheeler's expertise includes international fraud and asset tracing, investigations, international trust litigation, and contentious insolvency. Other key advisers are Gemma Anderson and Paul Friedman. Shawna Pasquale is the associate to note, and of counsel Saqib Alam, who specialises in regulatory compliance and investigations, joined from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

Key clients

Landsbanki

Liquidators of Saad Investments Company

Commercial contracts Tier 5

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s outsourcing practice covers a range of sectors, with a particular focus on technology. The team acts for established technology services providers, tech start-ups seeking advice on their technology roll-outs, and technology-enabled companies needing multi-jurisdictional expertise. Practice head Alistair Maughan is co-chair of the firm’s global technology transactions group and leads the European TMT practice. He focuses on commercial contracts and technology-based projects for major companies and public sector organisations.

Key clients

NNIT

MSA Security

Olympus

Novartis

UPS

Commercial litigation Tier 5

Morrison & Foerster LLP's London Litigation team is best known for handling complex cross-border disputes that often have finance, insolvency or antitrust components. A significant number of the team's disputes' clients  are in the technology and finance sectors, but it has also advised on litigation involving the manufacturing, retail and media sectors, among others. Practice head Jonathan Wheeler and Gemma Anderson are all highly rated practitioners, and Richard Jerman is a well-regarded associate.

Testimonials

‘Stable staffing on long-running cases with the benefits of being a large global player that can attract high-quality individuals’.

Jonathan Wheeler is a user-friendly, highly capable litigator who is always measured in his approach to litigation, rejecting the histrionics of some of his opponents’.

Key clients

Grant Thornton, as trustees in the bankruptcy of Muhamad Al-Ansari

Liquidators of Saad Investments Company

Landsbanki

Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group

Private funds Tier 5

Morrison & Foerster LLP's London funds team is led by partners Oliver Rochman and Rob Mailer. Sitting within a wider global offering, the team advise sponsors and institutional investors on a cross section of funds work including real estate, infrastructure and private equity. The firm has particular experience within the startup, venture capital and tech funds sectors in the UK, acting on a number of high profile matters in these markets.

Testimonials

‘A knowledgeable and experienced team able to understand and cater to a client’s individual needs.’

‘I had a very positive experience working with Rob Mailer. Rob scored highly on all of my criteria for choosing a lawyer to set up my first venture fund. He is a pleasant person, trustworthy, has a strong professional manner and is always reachable on very short notice. He understands my business and has experience working with similar clients. He is commercial and realistic. He really helped me understand what was going on at each step of the process and helped coach me throughout. I felt that I could confide and ask for advice anytime. That was important to me.’

‘Oliver Rochman is an outstanding lawyer who understands his clients well and is able to provide high quality and pragmatic advice and solutions.’

‘Rob Mailer provides hands on support and, notwithstanding other client demands, is always available. He is personable, professional, and combines good legal knowledge with a very practical approach and good commercial awareness.’

Key clients

SoftBank Group Corp.

Newgate Private Equity

Apis Partners

STAR Capital

Seedcamp

Global Logistic Properties (GLP)

Hoxton Ventures

Oxx

Force Over Mass Capital

Social Finance Ltd

Next Gen Capital

Connect Ventures

Outlier Capital

Brookstreet Equity Partners

Air Street Capital

Fabric Ventures

Blockhead AB

Concrete VC

Creolus Ltd

Eos Venture Partners

Edge Investments Ltd

Hermes GPE LLP

Impact X Capital Partners LLP

Playfair Capital

Voulez Capital

Ada Partners

Eka Ventures

Collective Equity Ownership

M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £500m+ Tier 6

Morrison & Foerster LLP has  a particular focus on the technology sector, as well as pharmaceuticals, healthcare and energy. With dual strengths in both the UK and US, the firm is able to advise on transatlantic matters, and also has notable experience acting for Japan-headquartered clients, as well as continental European companies. Graeme Sloan co-chairs the global M&A practice in addition to heading the London corporate offering. He has a strong track record advising public and private companies on M&A transactions and joint ventures, in addition to sovereign wealth funds and private equity houses. The firm has been continuing to build up its City presence, adding Dan Coppel from Jones Day , whose practice focuses on cross-border private M&A, with sector-specific experience in technology, manufacturing and natural resources.

Key clients

SoftBank Group Corp.

VISA

Tate & Lyle PLC

Vonage Holdings Corp.

Meininger Hotels

Sonora Mills Foods Inc.

Zenios LLP

ON Semiconductor

With more than 1,000 lawyers in 16 offices, Morrison & Foerster is a leading global law firm dedicated to delivering business-oriented results to clients across the United States, Europe and Asia.

The firm: 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.

London office: the firm’s London office is at the heart of the network, offering access to UK- and US-qualified lawyers who advise on all aspects of mergers and acquisitions, including corporate, finance, securities, taxation and restructuring issues; funds; technology, intellectual property and commercial transactions; capital markets; and litigation, dispute resolution, employment and privacy law.

Types of work undertaken:Corporate: the London office’s corporate lawyers offer a broad and deep understanding of corporate transactions, including public and private mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt issues, private equity, funds and venture capital transactions, corporate reorganisations, demergers and general corporate counselling.

Mergers and acquisitions: the London team advises on national and cross-border M&A transactions, including on related financing, due diligence and regulatory issues, and is an acknowledged market leader in the TMT sector. The attorneys advise on squeeze-outs, corporate structuring and restructuring, foreign investments and acquisition financing, private equity and venture capital, and start-ups, including on related financing structures.

Funds: the London funds team represents fund sponsors and investors in the formation and operation of all types of private investment funds, including buyout, venture capital, growth, infrastructure, private debt, funds-of-funds, special situations, real estate, hedge funds, secondary transactions, sponsors and investors on co-investment opportunities, and complex fund restructuring situations.

Tax: the London office’s tax team advises on mergers and acquisitions, international corporate tax planning, tax-efficient domestic and cross-border financing structures, capital markets transactions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, private equity and venture capital formation, planning for IP-intensive companies, transfer pricing matters, outsourcing, employee equity participation and executive compensation, and matters relating to VAT, stamp duty and stamp duty reserve tax.

Technology transactions: the firm’s London lawyers are particularly recognised for their representation of technology providers and technology-enabled enterprises of all types in licensing, strategic partnering, outsourcing, e-commerce and new media, regulatory, contractual and other collaboration matters. The firm’s outsourcing group is a market-leading practice.

Litigation: the firm’s London litigators represent public and private sector clients in complex national and cross-border litigation of all types, including international fraud and asset tracing, international trust litigation and insolvency, regulatory compliance and corporate investigations, as well as alternative dispute resolution procedures. They also advise and represent clients in corporate and capital market lawsuits, in post-M&A disputes and commercial litigation.

Employment: the London office provides comprehensive advice on all areas of UK and international employment and data privacy law.

Capital markets and finance: MoFo’s London lawyers have experience and expertise in the traditional, but constantly changing, senior and secured lending market across all asset types, as well as advising investment banks, issuers, investors and other providers of financial services on national and international capital market transactions, initial public offerings and private placement of shares, equity- and debt-linked instruments, bonds and structured products, and trading of securities.

Business restructuring and insolvency: MoFo’s business restructuring and insolvency group in London is at the vanguard of the profession and handles, among other things, financial institution restructurings, cross-border insolvencies, distressed real estate, insolvencies involving key intellectual property, and hedge fund failures.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chair Larren M Nashelsky
European managing partner Paul Friedman
London managing partners Alistair Maughan
London managing partners Jonathan Wheeler

The Lex 100 Verdict

Morrison & Foerster is 'a leader in life sciences dealing with international work'. The US firm recruits a small trainee intake which appealed to applicants as it offers higher levels of responsibility and flexibility. The 'technology focus and link to Japan' attracted new recruits, as well as the 'culture of the firm which was impressive'. Compared to some firms, Morrison & Foerster offers 'a greater level of involvement in work and contact with senior colleagues', which makes the 'high quality of work more personal'. Trainees were unanimously drawn to the 'the inclusive and friendly culture' at the firm which makes them feel supported throughout their training contract. As expected, many respondents didn't appreciate long hours, in particular 'working until 4.30am following two days of staying till 3am'. The limited 'real seat-specific training' was also a concern, meaning new recruits had to 'learn everything on their own'. However, many trainees' work highlights related to moments where they held positions of responsibility. These included 'advocacy at a tribunal' and 'dealing with advice on a pro-bono matter with little need for supervision'. Moreover, one trainee relished the opportunity to 'be part of a successful completion' and was grateful to be 'a valued member of the team'. Morrison & Foerster is a Lex 100 Winner for social life, salary, approachability, inclusiveness and vacation scheme. The firm also 'actively encourages' trainees to take on 'broad and interesting pro bono opportunities' which respondents found particularly rewarding. If this, combined with 'high contact with supervisors and partners', sounds appealing, apply to Morrison & Foerster.