Morrison Foerster > San Diego, United States > Firm Profile

Morrison Foerster
12531 HIGH BLUFF DRIVE
SUITE 100
SAN DIEGO, CA 92130-2040
United States

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

Led from San Diego and New York by Erin Bosman and David Fioccola, respectively, Morrison Foerster‘s class actions and mass torts group is a popular destination for product manufacturers and resellers, including within the technology space in relation to the defense of consumer litigation alleging, inter alia product liability infractions. Although the team is accomplished at handling bench and jury trials, having defended clients in many California and New York state and federal courts, it is also extremely well regarded from a counselling/risk management perspective and effectively protects clients’ products throughout the product life cycle. Bosman excels in handling high-stakes litigation and product recalls and is frequently at the forefront of the team’s highest-profile mandates, including her continued representation of Fitbit on product liability matters, as well as its dealings with the CPSC. Julie Park is also based in San Diego and frequently works alongside Bosman on many product liability and consumer class actions, including as it relates to medical devices/pharmaceuticals, where she also effectively leverages her science background.  

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

This team has deep relevant experience and a brilliant group of well functioning attorneys. They operate as an integrated team each bringing unique strengths and experiences to bear.’

In my experience, this team was superior in strategy, relationship management, and overall execution. They are the best I have ever worked with.’

Incredible values, extraordinary intellect, deep domain experience and efficiency in their work. The ability to take something really complex, break it down for the client with clarity and then create strategies and propose solutions and execute against those things.’

Key clients

Prelude Fertility, Inc.

Fitbit Inc.

Unilever

MicroPort Orthopedics Inc.

McKesson Corporation

Etsy

Premier Nutrition Corp

Fitbit Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented Prelude Fertility, Inc. when The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the plaintiffs must arbitrate their claims against Prelude based on the arbitration provision in their agreements with Pacific Fertility Center.
  • Represented Fitbit as lead product liability counsel for all matters and has served as lead counsel in five class action lawsuits and over 300 personal injury lawsuits arising from Fitbit’s 2014 recall of its Force activity tracker and negotiated favorable settlements of all claims.
  • Represented Unilever in a long-running false advertising suit for its vegetable oil “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!” spray.

Government > Government contracts Tier 1

Morrison Foerster covers the full range of contracting and public procurement work. Assisting clients in their regulatory and contractual needs, the team enjoys a strong reputation in their bid protests and M&A work, with tech companies in particular considering the team as the first port of call in part to the firms San Francisco presence and IP and cybersecurity expertise. More impressively, the team has a number of practitioners with security clearance, handling complex classified and sensitive matters, as well false claims litigation and classified contracts matters. The Washington DC-based team is led by Alex Ward, Tina Reynolds and Kevin Mullen, who focus on bid protests; the tech industry and cybersecurity; and bid protest litigation respectively. David Churchill is trusted by some of the country’s largest contractors, and Damien Specht has expertise in contract transactions and M&A.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Mullen; Tina Reynolds; Alex Ward

Other key lawyers:

David Churchill; Damien Specht; James Tucker; Jay DeVecchio

Testimonials

‘MoFo’s team is unique in its breadth and depth; our partners bring terrific expertise to their work, and also draw upon MoFo’s experts across the firm.’

‘Tina Reynolds stands out for her outstanding knowledge of government contracts law and her judgment as to what’s a prudent position for a commercial company selling to the government.’

 

Key clients

Vectrus Systems Corporation

ManTech International Corporation

Arlington Capital Partners

Sagewind Capital

L3 Harris Technologies, Inc.

IAP World Services, Inc.

Vertex Aerospace, LLC

ASRC Federal Holding Co./ASRC Industrial Services LLC

Intellectual property > Patents: licensing Tier 1

The robust practice at Morrison Foerster offers deep expertise spanning the full range of technology transactions, from patent and technology licensing and acquisitions, joint ventures and joint development projects, to strategic alliances, M&A-related tech transactions, distribution and supply agreements, and global outsourcing projects. In addition, the firm has developed subsector specialty groups in key disruptive technology fields, which makes them a preferred choice for semiconductor, software technology and life sciences clients as well as for blockchain, fintech, AI and virtual and augmented reality players. The practice enjoys a wide geographical footprint, and is led by Aaron Rubin from San Francisco. Working alongside him in this office are William Schwartz, Justin Haan, and Tessa Schwartz, who garners praise for her ‘good knowledge of how matters play out’. Stephanie Sharron in Palo Alto, and New York-based of counsel, Anthony Ramirez, are other names to note. Former partner Rufus Pichler left the firm in October 2021.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Tessa Schwartz has a good knowledge of how matters play out.’

Key clients

Divvy

Kahoot

Main Post Partners

MobileIron, Inc.

Salesforce

ShowingTime

SoftBank

Unity Software Inc.

Walmart

Media, technology and telecoms > Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection) Tier 1

Morrison Foerster is particularly well-known for guiding high-profile clients in their response to disruptive data breaches, disputes and compliance. Among the firm’s notable work includes acting as breach counsel to FireEye/Mandiant in the SolarWinds supply-chain compromise, alongside representing other major clients before federal regulators and in other inquiries, class actions and investigations. Highly recognized Miriam Wugmeister acts as global co-chair in New York. Julie O’Neill, who divides their time between Boston and Washington DC, is a privacy and consumer protection law expert. Purvi Patel in Los Angeles has a niche expertise in businesses’ collection of personal information. Christine Lyon  left the firm in August 2021. New York’s Kristen Mathews is ‘by far the most knowledgeable data privacy and data protection lawyer one can work with’, demonstrating ‘leading expertise’ in the full spectrum of privacy, data protection, and cybersecurity law. DC-based counsel Melissa Crespo is also highlighted.

Practice head(s):

Miriam Wugmeister

Testimonials

‘Kristen Mathews’s knowledge of the law exceeds that of any data privacy or data protection expert. She is able to draft complex consent forms, privacy policies, and data protection addendums within days. She is extremely responsive, yet her work was at the same time extremely thorough. She collaborates deftly with lawyers around the world, helping clients to adapt their policies to different jurisdictions with widely varying data protection laws.’

‘Kristen Mathews is by far the most knowledgeable data privacy and data protection lawyer one can work with. She is a leading expert in the full spectrum of privacy, data protection, and cybersecurity law. But this is far from her only quality. Although her expertise is vast, she has an acute awareness of its limits, knows precisely when it is helpful to involve other partners and external experts. Finally, she has excellent leadership skills and has been an incredible point person for our broader engagement with Morrison & Foerster.’

‘The team is led by Kristen Mathews who is extremely detail oriented and offers tailored solutions based on client needs.’

Key clients

Salesforce

Marriott

Adidas

Samsonite

Unity Technologies

Pfizer

FireEye

American Bankers Association

Prudential

Target

Work highlights

  • Represented FireEye/Mandiant in connection with the company’s investigation of and response to the unprecedented SolarWinds compromise that was also used to target key U.S. government and private sector entities.

Antitrust > Cartel Tier 2

Morrison Foerster takes the lead on major technology, healthcare, and financial services sector investigations, acting on behalf of domestic and international clients, both corporate and individual, with a particular specialism in acting for Japanese clients facing DOJ and FTC scrutiny over cartel activity. The team is regularly sought out by clients for its considerable in-house experience, exemplified by practice co-chair Lisa Phelan‘s lengthy tenure as a senior DOJ Antitrust Division enforcer, during which time she played a key role in pharmaceutical and proteins sector investigations, and continues to lead on major sectoral investigations. Alongside support in investigations, encompassing compliance and responses to regulatory scrutiny, the team also regularly represents clients in civil and criminal litigation. The practice was further bolstered by the arrival of co-head Alex Okuliar, a specialist in civil enforcement, and David Shaw, both joining from the DOJ Antitrust Division. San Francisco-based Eliot Adelson regularly handles cross-border investigations, and is lead counsel to Murata Manufacturing in a price-fixing investigation by the DOJ, while Megan Gerking is recognised as an up-and-coming name in the market, primarily working with healthcare and energy companies, such as Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, on cartel investigations. Also in San Francisco, Bonnie Lau is an active litigator, regularly defending clients in antitrust trials and handling counterclaims. Lawyers are in Washington DC unless otherwise stated. Jonathan Gowdy  has left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Alex Okuliar; Lisa Phelan

Key clients

Gary McDonald

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals

Hitachi Ltd.

Jean Paul Van-Avermaet

Matsuo Electric

Murata Manufacturing

Nexstar Media Group

Work highlights

  • Reprsenting Nexstar Media Group in an antitrust investigation by the DOJ.
  • Representing Glenmark Pharmaceuticals in a multi-district antitrust litigation relating to price-fixing in the generic pharma industry.

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

Morrison Foerster strikes the right note with its ‘deep knowledge and expertise‘. In particular, sources highlight the appellate practice as a ‘true leader in intellectual property‘. That said, the broad group’s experience takes in the full suite of matters, with its recent cases spanning class actions, human rights and data protection, among other issues. Led from Washington DC, the national practice fields well-staffed platforms across the country and has advised on cases before the US Supreme Court, every federal court of appeals as well as state appellate courts in California, New York and elsewhere. In Washington DC, group co-heads Deanne Maynard and Joseph Palmore are highlighted together as ‘exceptionally strong lawyers and gifted oral advocates‘. Maynard, who has argued 14 times before the US Supreme Court, had a banner year, which included winning cases for Pivotal Software (US Supreme Court), VMware (Federal Circuit) and Washington University (Third Circuit). Palmore recently secured a Second Circuit win for Carlos Lopez & Associates in a precedent-setting data breach case. Brian Matsui is also recommended in Washington DC, while in San Francisco James Sigel is noted for his ‘wise litigatory maneuvers‘.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

Morrison Foerster’s appellate team brings deep knowledge and expertise to matters and addresses the client’s concerns with efficiency and professionalism.

The team has two co-leaders, Deanne Maynard and Joseph Palmore, who are both of exceptional ability and range. The firm is a true leader in intellectual property appellate practice, but its strength is not confined to that subject.

I work closely with James Sigel, an attorney of outstanding capability and insight who is quick to respond with insightful advice and wise litigatory maneuvers.

Both Deanne Maynard and Joe Palmore stand out as leaders in the appellate bar. They are both exceptionally strong lawyers and gifted oral advocates in particular.

Key clients

VMware

Uber

C.R. Bard, Inc.

Washington University

Lummi Nation

Carlos Lopez & Associates, LLC

Blackberry Limited

Victim Rights Law Center

UPS

Bank of America

Whole Women’s Health

Work highlights

  • Obtained a win for Pivotal Software (part of VMware), following the US Supreme Court’s granting of a petition for a writ of certiorari requesting the review of a major securities law question.
  • Secured a victory for VMware in the Federal Circuit in a mandamus proceeding filed by Cirba Inc.
  • Successfully represented C.R. Bard in the Federal Circuit, reviving its patent claims and allowing it to proceed on remand with its infringement case.

Dispute resolution > Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

With a strong global network, Morrison Foerster is well placed to handle large multi-jurisdictional mandates. It offers broad expertise in financial crime matters, such as securities fraud, accounting fraud, money laundering and insider trading, and is well versed in antitrust violations, FCPA matters and, more recently, COVID-19-related fraud. Charles Duross is a name to note for corporate investigations and the defense of government enforcement actions, and James Koukios, as a former federal prosecutor, is well equipped to defend companies and individuals in court. Other key practitioners include New York’s Ruti Smithline, and Christine Wong and Craig Martin in San Francisco. At the start of 2021, the team was bolstered by the arrival of Brian Kidd and Brandon Van Grack, who both joined from the DOJ, whilst John Carlin and David Newman left for the DOJ. In October 2021, Adam Braverman joined from the DOJ in San Diego. All partners based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Charles Duross; Craig Martin; Ruti Smithline; James Koukios; Christine Wong; Carrie Cohen

Other key lawyers:

Alex Iftimie; Brian Kidd; Brandon Van Grack; Adam Braverman; Haima Marlier

Key clients

Novartis AG

Odebrecht S.A.

Recology. Inc.

New York City Council

Work highlights

  • Successful resolution of a years-long transnational bribery investigation on multiple continents of Novartis AG, securing extraordinary cooperation credit, avoiding the imposition of a corporate compliance monitor, and negotiating a deferred prosecution agreement from the DOJ and a non-bribery based resolution from the SEC in spite of FCPA violations.
  • Acting as as a corporate compliance monitor to Odebrecht (now known as Novonor).
  • Achieved a significant resolution for Recology, a San Francisco-based resource recovery company, in an extensive and wide-ranging investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California.

Finance > Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate Tier 2

The practice at Morrison Foerster is led by both Jennifer Marines and Lorenzo Marinuzzi, who offer substantial experience representing debtors in Chapter 11 proceedings, as well as creditors and investors in out-of-court restructurings and distressed acquisitions and representation of debtors and creditors in bankruptcy cases and workouts, respectively. Both practice from the New York office. Notable representations includes the official committee of unsecured creditors of Avianca Holdings S.A. and its affiliated debtors. The practice saw personnel changes in April 2021 including the departure of Brett Miller , Todd Goren and Dennis Jenkins.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Marines; Lorenzo Marinuzzi

Other key lawyers:

Theresa Foudy; James Peck

Testimonials

‘The Morrison team with which I am working has a great depth of talent, and has been constructed to provide the expertise that we need for our transaction, and with a careful view to costs. We interviewed other firms for our needs, and decided on Morrison for these reasons, and have not been disappointed. The level of cooperation with me and other experts has been first rate.’

‘I would commend Jennifer Marines in particular for her practical approach and communication skills as well as her deep understanding of legal issues and ability to bring that to bear on complex business situations.’

‘It is a group of hard-working individuals, all of whom seem to like each other and their work.’

‘Jennifer Marines is an outstanding lawyer, who finds practical solutions to complex problems.’

Key clients

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

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

Ad hoc group of holders of debt issued or guaranteed by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

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

SoftBank Group Corp.

Independent Directors Of Hospitality Investors Trust, Inc.

Winterhawks Sports Group LLC

AeroCentury Inc.

RREF III Storage LLC (joint venture between Related Companies and Storage Rentals of America)

Parties in the GUE Liquidation Trust bankruptcy

Silicon Valley Bank

Liquidators of two British Virgin Islands investment funds

Liquidity Capital II, L.P.

Osmium Partners, LLC

CalPlant

United Parcel Service, Inc. (together with its affiliates and subsidiaries) (“UPS”)

Nuveen Real Estate

M&A/corporate and commercial > Venture capital and emerging companies Tier 2

Morrison Foerster  has a ‘super capable‘ team that handles an impressive range of work. The firm represents an ever-expanding list of emerging companies from a diverse spread of sectors in the technology and life sciences spheres. Its early-stage team also benefits from strong relationships with market-leading incubators and accelerators. This is combined with an extremely good track record for advising fund investors, who leverage off the firm’s impressive cross-border reach. Relationships with global funds such as SoftBank reflect the firm’s status in this regard. Clients particularly rate Murray Indick in San Francisco, whose ‘mastery of how the business of a start up runs from the board room, to fundraising to advising on corporate matters, is just stellar‘. Indick co-chairs the group with Steve Rowles in San Diego, who has over 30 years’ experience in the market. Susan Mac Cormac in San Francisco stands out for her expertise in energy and clean technology, while Silicon Valley partners Timothy Harris and Mike Krigbaum are ‘good people who care about you as a person and your objectives‘.

Practice head(s):

Murray Indick; Steve Rowles

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Every person I have worked with at MoFo has been top notch for their level, so my overall impression is that MoFo is super capable as a firm, that they have real depth in many areas including in privacy and IP and that their start up practice is the best I have ever worked with. When other founders ask me, I always recommend MoFo and Murray Indick in particular. No weaknesses that I can see.’

‘Murray Indick is the best lawyer I have ever worked with over the last 20 years of being in start ups. Murray’s mastery of how the business of a start up runs from the board room, to fundraising to advising on corporate matters is just stellar. I can’t recommend Murray enough. Kristen Mathews  is a superb privacy lawyer. Kristen was able to quickly identify all the potential challenges and then help us solve each one of them. She was really instrumental in helping us close that deal, I recommend her very highly. Brad Kondracki is great on all the detail of all the deals. Super fast, great judgement on what needs our input and what he can just do himself. Good negotiator with the counter-parties counsel.’

‘Tim Harris and Mike Krigbaum: practical advice, commercial-minded lawyering and good people who care about you as a person and your objectives.’

‘I think the strength in the fund formation group is Murray Indick’s knowledge base and experience as a former GP himself. He provides not only technical expertise but practical business advice that is always well received. Being able to get a read on the current market conditions and best practices is key for a small firm like us.’

‘As mentioned above, Murray has been an invaluable resource for his guidance and business advice as much as he is for the legal execution (which is a commodity that any firm can provide). What I value is his options and his suggestions that are based on his own experiences and those of clients in similar spots. Brandon Galovan has been a great junior on Murray’s team and very responsive and also good at discerning between letter of the law and spirit of the law and the practical application to our business.’

 

Key clients

Avenue 8

SoftBank Corp

Symbio Robotics

Terviva

Aventine Property Group

Immune-Onc

Rakuten Medical

Innovusion Holdings

OrbiMed Advisors

RefleXion Medical

FLYR Inc.

Republic

Work highlights

  • Advised SoftBank and SoftBank Vision Fund II on nearly $2bn in financings.

Media, technology and telecoms > Advertising and marketing: litigation Tier 2

Morrison Foerster‘s advertising practice aims at clients from the technology, retail and food and beverages sectors throughout the United States. The team has a strong track record in regulatory and compliance matters as well as litigation. Deceptive or false advertising claims, in particular under California’s False Advertising Law, the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act and the Lanham Act, feature prominently in the California-based team’s caseload. Based in San Diego and San Francisco are co-chair Erin Bosman and global litigation co-chair Tiffany Cheung. Claudia Vetesi in San Francisco concentrates on consumer class action defense and false advertising. David McDowell, who manages the Los Angeles office, has a focus on unfair business practice issues, false advertising, and consumer class action litigation. David Fioccola from New York co-chairs the practice together with Bosman.

Practice head(s):

Erin Bosman; David Fioccola

Key clients

McKesson

Unilever

Unilever

Premier Nutrition Corp.

Nature’s Path

Suja Green Juice

Work highlights

  • Represented McKesson in a decertification in connection to a TCPA Fax Case.
  • Represented Unilever in a summary judgment in a long-running false advertising suit for its vegetable oil spray.
  • Representing Suja in a class action lawsuit, accusing the defendants Suja Life and Whole Foodsof knowingly and actively concealed the material fact that the Suja Juices contain the chemical element lead at levels above the safety threshold set by the State of California in Proposition 65.

Media, technology and telecoms > Fintech Tier 2

Morrison Foerster combines an impressive pedigree for technology-focused advice with strong financial services regulatory and enforcement expertise. Clients include banks, payments providers, established technology companies and start-up and emerging disruptors. On the technology side, the team regularly assists with digitization projects and the development of new products and platforms, and is also a market leader in data privacy issues. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are also climbing up the agenda, with recent advice to banks on related custody issues and the development of stablecoin platforms. The practice is jointly led by Washington DC-based regulatory partners Crystal Kaldjob and Jeremy Mandell. DC-based partner Maria Earley (who recently joined from Reed Smith LLP with the ‘exceptionally knowledgeable‘ New York regulatory partner Jeffrey Silberman) is a former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau enforcement attorney who adds weight on enforcement issues. Stephanie Sharron in Palo Alto is active on the technology transactional side. New York of counsel Evan Minsberg, who joined from Venable LLP, is a ‘go-to attorney for all new product introductions and iterations‘.

Practice head(s):

Crystal Kaldjob; Jeremy Mandell

Testimonials

‘FinTech business model expansion and bespoke new product introductions.’

‘Evan Minsberg is my go-to attorney for all new product introductions and iterations. He is a part of our business team and our legal team.’

‘Morrison & Foerster has vast experience representing startups in the financial sector and emerging technology.’

‘Jeff Silberman is an exceptionally knowledgeable lawyer who gives practical, straightforward advice. He is very business-oriented and attuned to our business needs as well as our legal needs.’

Key clients

Divvy

Ocrolus

Elevate Credit

Work highlights

  • Advised Divvy in connection with its US$2.5bn sale to Bill.com.
  • Advised Ocrolus in connection with partnership and integration agreements with Plaid and Blend and its $80m Series C Financing.
  • Advised Elevate Credit in an investigation filed by the DC Attorney General concerning ‘true lender’ issues.

Media, technology and telecoms > Technology transactions Tier 2

The lawyers at Morrison Foerster bring ‘excellent advice and insight‘ on an impressively broad range of technology related transactions. M&A deals and other forms of corporate finance feature prominently, but the firm also impresses with its embedded expertise in strategic matters, including joint development, distribution and supply agreements, as well as global outsourcing projects and all forms of IP licensing and commercialization. This extends to all corners of the technology market, including artificial intelligence, AR/VR, blockchain, fintech, healthtech, semiconductors and the internet of things. Recent work highlights include advising the gaming and animation company Unity Technologies on its $1.6 billion acquisition of the technology division of Weta Digital. A team led by San Francisco-based Tessa Schwartz assisted Salesforce on the IP, privacy and regulatory aspects of its $27 billion takeover of Slack Technologies. Aaron Rubin  heads the practice from San Francisco, with other highly experienced partners including William Schwartz and Justin Haan also based in the Bay area. A well-stocked New York office includes outsourcing head Vivian Hanson and of counsel Anthony Ramirez.

Practice head(s):

Aaron Rubin

Testimonials

‘Excellent advice and insight. The individuals work as a part of our team and are an invaluable member of any transaction or negotiation.’

‘There are several things that make the people at MoFo stand out. All big firm attorneys need to meet Big Law Table Stakes: Knowledge, Skill and Judgement. MoFo’s team easily does that. Where they differentiate is on the commitment to the client relationship. Our MoFo attorneys work with us to really learn our business, our concerns, our technology and our risk tolerance. They treat our “smaller” deals with the same responsiveness and attention as our “big” deals, because they all matter to us. They commit to building long term relationships with us and getting to know us a bit outside of our billable matters. They also work with us to achieve our shared goals of building a more diverse and inclusive team. Tessa Schwartz and Monica Cai are two standout attorneys with whom we often work.’

‘I have used many top firms during my career and MoFo stands out in several ways. MoFo has deep subject matter expertise in technology transactions and licensing matters. They bring great technical know how to drafting and negotiation. They also have great industry knowledge, which helps us weigh risks and stay competitive with peer companies. They also have great judgement – they give good practical advice on matters, weighing legal risks and norms as well as business goals. I would also say that they have an all around great team. Everyone I have worked with there has been smart, responsive and personable.’

Key clients

Divvy

Kahoot

Main Post Partners

MobileIron, Inc.

Salesforce

ShowingTime

SoftBank

Unity Software Inc.

Walmart

Divvy

Kahoot

Main Post Partners

MobileIron, Inc.

Salesforce

ShowingTime

SoftBank

Unity Software Inc.

Walmart

Work highlights

    Real estate > Real estate finance Tier 2

    Morrison Foerster is recognized for its expert handling of large syndicated term and construction loans and with deals involving multiple types of debt, as well as its strong involvement in convertible mortgages, mezzanine or layered debt/equity structures, conduit loans and loans originated for securitization, in addition to its knowledge of EB-5 and bond financing. Outside of the core syndicated, participated, and CMBS loan arrangement practice, global department chair Mark Edelstein is the go-to lawyer for debt restructurings and bankruptcies of high-profile real estate companies and developers. US real estate co-chairs Jeffrey Temple and Thomas Fileti in New York and Los Angeles respectively are key attorneys for REIT work and credit facilities of all types. New York’s Christopher Delson and Lawrence Ceriello alongside Miami-based Keith Print are all highly recommended, alongside New York-based of counsel Tushna Gamadia, for securitized lending, balance sheet lending and syndicated loan transactions.  

    Practice head(s):

    Mark Edelstein; Thomas Fileti; Jeffrey Temple

    Testimonials

    ‘The team has a deep expertise and they come with solutions to problems.’

    ‘Highly accessible professionals. Well versed in market conditions and practices.’

    ‘This practice is well known in the market, sees many type deals for all the various lenders they cover. While not sharing industry secrets, they are well versed. Also if you need to syndicate a deal, their involvement helps sell the deal and the quality of the deal.’

    Key clients

    Brookfield

    Capital One

    CIBC World Markets

    Citigroup

    HSBC Bank

    ING

    JPMorgan

    Wells Fargo

    GLP Pte. Ltd.

    Goldman Sachs

    SoftBank

    Standard Chartered

    Tishman Speyer

    Work highlights

    • Represented Wells Fargo Bank as the lead in the $973m construction loan for the construction of Google’s new campus in Hudson Square in New York City.
    • Represented JPMorgan in a $550m construction loan for the Salesforce Tower Chicago.
    • Represented an insurance company in the origination of an approximately $430m first mortgage loan in connection with the acquisition by the borrower and its affiliates of a 14.3 million-square-foot logistics portfolio located across several states.

    Antitrust > Merger control Tier 3

    Morrison Foerster has continued to grow its profile in merger work on both coasts, combining its longstanding strength in tech sector deals with growing involvement in other highly-scrutinised sectors, including labour markets, energy, and pharma. The team welcomed Alex Okuliar as co-chair in March 2021, who arrived after serving as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Enforcement in the DOJ, and brings significant expertise in regulatory reviews of transactions by both the DOJ and FTC, currently representing ShowingTime in the Second Request relating to its purchase by Zillow, alongside up-and-coming partner Megan Gerking. Co-chair Jeff Jaeckel combines merger control advice with strong capabilities in contentious work, regularly representing public and private companies in merger-related litigation, and is continuing to represent SoftBank and Arm in Arm’s $40bn purchase by Nvidia. David Shaw is another recent addition to the team, arriving from the Antitrust Division in January 2021, and offering notable expertise in state attorney general investigations of transactions, as well as federal merger investigations. Vishal Mehta is noted for his work on digital platforms, and has represented a wide range of clients in FTC and DOJ merger proceedings. All lawyers mentioned are in Washington DC.

    Practice head(s):

    Jeff Jaeckel; Alex Okuliar

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    The team is responsive and creative. We have had a long relationship with the Mofo team, and this has built a lot of trust as well as a lot of understanding. They have a good sense of the business’s goals and preferences, and this puts the team in an excellent position to be a partner in creative problem solving as well as issue spotting.’

    ‘Jeff Jaeckel and Mary Kaiser both know our company well, and go out of their way to make themselves available to talk through any antitrust issue we might face or question we might have, whether it is big or small. They make great sounding boards, and excellent partners in creative problem solving.’

    ‘Knows our firm very well. Is able to give excellent advice based on industry knowledge and our objectives.’

    ‘Jeff Jaeckel is irreplaceable. Excellent technical knowledge, superb judgment, and ability to quickly get under the hood of a new industry to understand market dynamics.’

    ‘The MoFo team is incredibly responsive, practical and agile. The team is impressively strong in the areas of media, entertainment and technology.’

    ‘I always get a response from MoFo within minutes of reaching out, weekdays and weekends. As a General Counsel, the comfort in knowing that someone is “on it” is priceless, helping me to manage by CEO, Board and other internal stakeholders. The lawyers are upbeat, friendly and great oral and written communicators.’

    ‘The team provides very practical advice, is extremely efficient and responsive.’

    ‘Jeff Jaeckel is an incredible resource. He is incredibly knowledgeable, but also provides very practical advice and is an excellent communicator.’

    Key clients

    Arm Limited

    Axalta Coating Systems

    Clorx

    Divvy

    DSP Group, Inc.

    Ethos Capital

    Kindred Biosciences

    Kyowa Kirin Co., Ltd.

    Onsemi

    Santen Pharmaceutical Co.

    Showingtime

    SoftBank

    SoundCloud

    Southwest Gas

    UPS

    Work highlights

    • Represented ShowingTime.com, Inc., a leading property technology company for the residential real estate industry, in its $500 million acquisition by Zillow Group, Inc.
    • Representing SoftBank Group Corp., SoftBank Vision Fund, and Arm Ltd. in the $40 billion sale of Arm to U.S. chip company NVIDIA.
    • Representing Southwest Gas in connection with its proposed acquisition of Quester Pipeline for approximately $2 billion and Carl Icahn’s unsolicited tender offer to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of Southwest Gas for approximately $4.2 billion.

    Dispute resolution > Leading trial lawyers Tier 3

    Arturo González Morrison Foerster. Described by a client as ‘one of the finest trial lawyer in the country’, San Francisco-based trial lawyer Arturo González is known for his corporate defense and pro bono work and is well respected in these areas. He is also trusted by large companies such as Uber and VMware for high-stakes litigation and trial work.

    Testimonials

    ‘Arturo Gonzalez, one of the finest trial lawyer in the country. His ability to educate and engage a jury on complex technologies is true artistry.’

    Work highlights

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

      Drawing upon deep knowledge within the life sciences sector, as well as fundamental overarching litigation strength, Morrison Foerster is a popular choice among established and early-stage companies throughout the product life cycle. Erin Bosman  typifies this approach, combining expertise for clients when they are facing high-stakes litigation, including class actions, as well as a counselling service which sees her regularly advising clients on risk management procedures, including effective product labeling. Leveraging her in-house experience as a medicinal chemist at Pfizer, Julie Park is popular among clients as a result of her combined legal and technical knowledge; she regularly manages complex and multi-jurisdictional litigation, both in state and federal court, as well as guiding clients through product recalls. David Fioccola co-heads the class actions and mass torts team alongside Bosman. All named practitioners are based in San Diego unless otherwise indicated.    

      Practice head(s):

      Key clients

      Prelude Fertility, Inc.

      Fitbit Inc.

      MicroPort Orthopedics Inc.

      McKesson Corporation

      Premier Nutrition Corp.

      Nature’s Path Foods, LLC

      Suja Green Juice

      Work highlights

      • Represented Pacific MSO, LLC and Prelude Fertility, Inc. in The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which ruled that the plaintiffs, patients of the fertility clinic who had tissue stored in the tank at the time of the incident, must arbitrate their claims against Prelude and Pacific MSO based on the arbitration provision in their agreements with Pacific Fertility Center.  
      • Represented MicroPort in dozens of international product liability matters.
      • Representing McKesson in multidistrict litigation and state court proceedings comprising thousands of cases arising out of plaintiffs’ allegations that they suffered permanent hair loss after being treated for breast cancer with Taxotere.

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

      Morrison Foerster has all-encompassing expertise advising clients on toxic tort-related matters regarding hazardous materials, waste disposal and chemical release. This manifests itself not only in the ability to secure favorable settlements, early dismissals and trial verdicts but also in relation to risk management. The firm’s well-resourced West coast offices have an excellent track record defending clients in Proposition 65 litigation, with San Francisco-based William Tarantino particularly noted for his ‘deep knowledge‘ of the regulations. Erin Bosman  and David Fioccola  co-head the class actions and mass torts offering from San Diego and New York, respectively.  

      Practice head(s):

      Testimonials

      William Tarantino has deep knowledge of California’s environmental regulations/laws.’

      Key clients

      Suja Green Juice

      Clearwater Seafoods

      Mexilink, Inc.

      Etsy, Inc.

      Clorox Company

      Work highlights

      • Defending Suja in a class action lawsuit, accusing the defendants (Suja Life and Whole Foods) of knowingly and actively concealing the material fact that the Suja Juices contain the chemical element lead at levels above the safety threshold set by the State of California in Proposition 65.
      • Defending Clearwater Seafoods, the largest producer of shellfish in North America in a Proposition 65 enforcement action brought by the California Attorney General claiming that certain clams, mussels, and shellfish contain excessive levels of heavy metal.
      • Acting for Mexilink, resolved Proposition 65 investigations and civil enforcement matters for this leading importer and distributor of top consumer packaged goods brands for the Spanish-speaking market.

      Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: defense Tier 3

      Morrison Foerster is home to a group of experienced partners dealing with securities litigation and regulatory enforcement matters. The firm has ‘an extremely knowledgeable and experienced team with a practical and business-oriented mindset‘. Jordan Eth , who is ‘good in the board room’ and Mark Foster in San Francisco lead the practice; together they acted for Pivotal Software Inc. in federal and state securities litigation matters. New York-based partner Jamie Levitt, who is co-chair of the commercial litigation and trial group, settled a class action and derivative suits for Acer Therapeutics Inc. concerning the development of a drug that treats vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Anna Erickson White in San Francisco is ‘always thinking ahead regarding the best strategy for the litigations‘. New York-based partner Joel Haims is also recommended.

      Practice head(s):

      Jordan Eth; Mark Foster

      Other key lawyers:

      Jamie Levitt; Anna Erickson White; Joel Haims; Derek Foran; Ryan Keats; Michael Birnbaum

      Testimonials

      ‘I have worked with Morrison & Foerster for several years on securities litigation matters. They have consistently achieved outstanding results for us.’

      ‘They have a deep bench of securities litigators in Northern California. A number of partners and associates have worked on our matters over the years and they’ve all been terrific and clearly experts in their field.’

      ‘Their work product is top-notch. They write excellent and persuasive briefs that require little editing on our end, as just one example. They collaborate with us. They work to understand our goals and culture and make sure the litigation strategy is consistent with them. They are very responsive and always provide timely and practical advice.’

      ‘The MoFo teams handling our securities litigation are diverse. The lead partner is a women and the teams are usually about 50% women and 50% are people of color.’

      ‘The lead partner, 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 litigations, and she brings other experienced, dedicated lawyers to the matters. Not only is she an expert in her field (securities litigation), but she takes a practical and business-minded approach to litigation.’

      ‘Anna Erickson White 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 Cloudera’s interests and who can effectively communicate the important issues to me. Anna and her team do just that.’

      ‘Derek Foran stands out. He provides excellent and strategic litigation advice. Ryan Keats is also outstanding. His work product is stellar, he cares deeply about achieving great results for us, and he is always on top of the various tasks and issues.’

      ‘Jordan Eth is a strong leader of the team. Good in the board room. Good with complicated fact patterns. A good partner to the client.’

      Key clients

      Acer Therapeutics Inc.

      Amazon.com, Inc.

      Array Photonics, Inc.

      BlackBerry Limited

      Cloudera, Inc.

      Education Realty Trust, Inc.

      Farmland Partners

      Goldman Sachs and Citigroup

      Greenlane Holdings

      Independent Directors of Hospitality Investors Trust, Inc.

      Launch Capital LLC

      Monster Beverage Corporation

      Oracle Corporation

      Pivotal Software Inc.

      Precision Castparts Corp.

      SoftBank Group Corp. (SBG)

      TriLinc Global Impact Fund LLC

      Work highlights

      • Representing Precision Castparts Corp. in a securities class action relating to the company’s long-term guidance.
      • Representing Pivotal Software and its executives in federal and state securities litigation. The plaintiffs alleged that Pivotal misled investors about the capabilities of its software products and sales projections as the company transitioned its product offerings.
      • Represented SoftBank Group Corporation in litigation brought by a special committee of WeWork’s Board of Directors and by Adam Neumann alleging that SoftBank Group Corporation improperly failed to complete a $3 billion tender offer for WeWork stock.

      Finance > Structured finance: derivatives and structured products Tier 3

      Morrison Foerster focuses on cross-border derivatives, with particular strengths regarding regulatory matters, insolvency risk mitigation, and commodity transactions. The team has also seen an increase in activity advising fintech start-ups in crypto compliance and trading. In New York, co-chair David Kaufman is a key contact regarding structured transactions involving derivatives, and is also highly experienced in M&A and reorganizations. He works alongside co-chair Vladimir Maly, a specialist in cross-border equity derivatives and bespoke transactions. In Washington DC, counsel Chrys Carey is well-regarded for his work on derivatives regulatory and compliance matters, while counsel Seth Lucia covers energy regulatory and derivatives mandates.

      Practice head(s):

      David Kaufman; Vladimir Maly

      Other key lawyers:

      Chrys Carey; Seth Lucia; Lloyd Harmetz

      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

      Work highlights

      • Advising various domestic middle market banks on derivatives matters relating to financial regulatory reform, including the Dodd-Frank Act.
      • Advising U.S.-based commercial bank clients on a novel legal services partnering arrangement, serving as the exclusive external provider of legal services in support of the client’s derivatives business and play a central role in helping the client manage work flow.
      • Advising number of investment banks on derivatives matters relating to financial regulatory reform, including MiFID 2/MiFIR and Basel III.

      Industry focus > Healthcare: life sciences Tier 3

      Clients praise Morrison Foerster for its ‘key expertise in IP agreements and contracts'. The team also acts on joint ventures, M&A, including Protomer’s $1bn sale to Eli Lilly, and licensing agreements. Patents are a key strength of the team, with Palo Alto-based partner Catherine Polizzi known for creating patent strategies for emerging companies in the drug, therapy and medical technologies sectors. On the contentious side, the team acts on patent infringement cases ranging from biosimilars actions all the way to packaging-focused matters. Boston-based Michael Ward leads the team, with a growing emphasis on data analytics. Palo Alto-based Janet Xiao brings expertise in the Chinese IP market, and Washington DC-based former FDA Chief Counsel Stacy Cline Amin co-leads the compliance practice.

      Practice head(s):

      Michael Ward

      Testimonials

      ‘They work well as a team, better than other firms I’ve experienced, bringing each other up to speed on projects so that talking to each of them results in them all being informed adequately to move work forward. They are also quite strategic and supportive in general.’

      ‘Catherine Polizzi is highly strategic, understands the business, provides advice but has a balanced understanding of the pros and cons of different decisions and strategies.’

      ‘Knowledgeable and responsive. Key expertise in IP, agreements, contracts that involve multiple parties from both public and private sectors. In my 30-year career, I have worked with a number of law firms (big and small) and rate this practice at Morrison & Foerster as one of the very best.’

      ‘Great customer service and communication. Able to explain complex legal issues, concerns and provide advice that is easily understandable to non-lawyers.’

      ‘The talent and humanity of the people at MoFo make this firm stand out. Every single attorney/paralegal I’ve interacted with has been bright, attentive, responsive, yet have a personality at the same time. There is diversity, especially at the more junior ranks.’

      Key clients

      Bayer

      Bard

      Carlsmed, Inc.

      Genentech

      Johnson & Johnson

      McKesson Corporation

      Orbimed Advisors

      Rakuten Medical

      Santen Pharmaceutical

      Seagen

      Intellectual property > Patents: litigation (full coverage) Tier 3

      Morrison Foerster houses a renowned IP practice with proven credentials in the technology and life science sectors, considered by some as the ‘go-to team for high-stakes patent litigation’. The team garners additional praise for offering advice which is ‘precise like an accurate watch’, and for being able to understand ‘the smallest technical issues, to the extent they can have direct discussion with key engineers and technical people. The group is active in the US’ main patent litigation forums, including the ITC and the PTAB, and includes key practitioners Richard Hung, the San Francisco-based co-chair of the litigation team; Los Angeles' Bita Rahebi, a regular advisor to leading technology companies; and the San Francisco-based Michael Jacobs, who earns praise as ‘one of the most experienced patent trial attorneys in the country’.

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      ‘The teams are agile, but also capable of scaling up quickly for broad scope multi-disciplinary litigation across multiple jurisdictions.’

      ‘Richard Hung is creative and strategic. A strong litigator with solid business acumen.’

      Michael Jacobs is one of the most experienced patent trial attorneys in the country. You can always count on Michael for complex high-stakes patent litigation.’

      The team is able to understand the smallest technical issues, to the extent they can have direct discussion with key engineers and technical people.’

      Their legal advice is precise like an accurate watch. Highly experienced team with broad knowledge of law, able to flexibly and rapidly proposed creative solutions to cope with difficult and intricate situations that change according to the dynamics of the negotiations and the business environment.’

      The team has a highly sophisticated technology knowledge base. Great diversity on team from associate to partner level. The go-to team for high-stakes patent litigation.’

      Richard Hung’s rare combination of technical and legal expertise and writing excellence give him that unique ability to manage all aspects of a litigation as well as shine at court.’

      Key clients

      Teradata

      JOLED

      Malvern

      Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

      VMware

      Seagen

      San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

      Palo Alto Networks

      Quibi Holdings

      NortonLifeLock Inc. (f.k.a. Symantec Corporation)

      Work highlights

      • Representing Teradata in a case against SAP involving patent infringement, trade secret misappropriation, and antitrust violations.
      • Secured a victory in the Federal Circuit for VMware in an ongoing high-profile patent infringement lawsuit involving virtual system optimization software filed by Cirba Inc. and Cirba IP in the U.S. District Court of Delaware.
      • Representing Seagen in a dispute with Daiichi Sankyo, which seeks to hold Daiichi to the terms of the parties’ collaboration agreement and obtain an assignment of Daiichi “Improvements” to Seattle Genetics’ technology.

      Intellectual property > Patents: litigation (International Trade Commission) Tier 3

      Morrison Foerster offers a well-established, ‘very smart and strategic’ ITC practice which garners plaudit for its ‘good knowledge of the peculiarities of this forum. The group maintains a busy caseload of complex investigations, acting both for plaintiffs and defendants, covering a wide range of technologies, including software, LED lighting and semiconductors. Mark Whitaker in Washington DC and San Francisco’s Stefani Shanberg, who appeals to clients for being ‘whip-smart, dedicated, determined, and knowledgeable’, act as co-heads of the team. DC’s Brian Busey has extensive ITC experience. Of counsel Veronica Ascarrunz is another name to note.

      Practice head(s):

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      MoFo has a strong and well-known ITC team. I have found their team knowledgeable and well prepared.’

      This is a very smart and strategic ITC team. Lots of ITC teams overpromise and underdeliver, but this team does not. Good knowledge of the peculiarities of the forum.’

      Stefani Shanberg is the ITC lawyer you want: whip-smart, dedicated, determined, and knowledgeable. She’s going to maintain credibility and professionalism and correctly position your matter before the ITC.’

      Stefani Shanberg is laser-sharp, creative and communicative.’

      The legal advice is precise like an accurate watch. Highly experienced team with broad knowledge of law.’

      Key clients

      JOLED

      Amazon

      Renesas Electronics

      Advance Auto Parts, Inc.

      Leviton

      TSMC

      Work highlights

      • Representing Renesas Electronics Corp. and Renesas Electronics America Inc. in an ITC investigation related to a complaint filed by NPE, Neodron Ltd. of Ireland.
      • Defended JOLED against Samsung Display in a patent infringement matter involving JOLED’s OLED displays incorporated into ASUS monitors.
      • Represented Amazon in two actions at the ITC seeking to exclude its Amazon Fire Tablets against Neodron.

      Intellectual property > Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters) Tier 3

      With offices on both coasts, including the capital, Morrison Foerster‘s trade secrets group is well place to litigate numerous high-profile cases for an impressive roster of blue-chip clients. In Palo Alto, first-chair trial lawyer Bryan Wilson represents a number of clients from the life sciences, healthcare, and semiconductor sectors, while Kenneth Kuwayti is noted for his expertise in a range of tech sector litigations and arbitrations, both at home and abroad. In the San Francisco office, Michael Jacobs is entrusted with major cases for some of the largest media and ride-sharing corporations in the world. Also in Palo Alto senior associate James Hancock is also recommended.

      Practice head(s):

      Richard Hung; Bita Rahebi

      Other key lawyers:

      Bryan Wilson; Kenneth Kuwayti; Michael Jacobs; James Hancock

      Key clients

      RoadSync

      Teradata Corp.

      Walmart

      Snap-on Inc.

      Quibi Holdings LLC

      VMware

      Haldor Topsoe AS

      Seagen (former name Seattle Genetics)

      Alector LLC

      Work highlights

      • Representing Walmart in a trade secret misappropriation suit filed by Fintiv relating to Walmart’s mobile payment technology.
      • Representing Teradata in a case against SAP SE, a leading European technology company.
      • Represented Quibi Holdings in hotly contested patent and trade secret litigation adverse to Eko concerning Quibi’s “Turnstyle” feature for changing video content in response to a change in orientation of a user’s mobile phone.

      Media, technology and telecoms > Outsourcing Tier 3

      Morrison Foerster is engaged by clients across a range of sectors to handle complex outsourcing transactions. The team particularly stands out for the global nature of its practice, with practice head Vivian Hanson collaborating with the firm’s offices in Europe and Asia to advise on large-scale deals covering multiple jurisdictions. Hanson is based in New York, and is supported by Aaron Rubin in San Francisco and Matthew Karlyn in Boston, who are both focused on outsourcing transactions involving technology. Anthony Ramirez is also based in New York and was promoted to partner in January 2022, while Paul Jahn has now retired.

      Practice head(s):

      Vivian Hanson

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      ‘Practical and knowledgeable advice in a way that helps in-house attorneys and business teams.’

      ‘Aaron Rubin is very experienced in technology transactions and I have always valued his responsiveness and ability to balance protecting the organization’s risk, practical to-the-point advice, and closing the deal. A lot of the issues that we deal with require threading the needle and being creative and he helps us do that.’

      ‘Amazing team and we always receive high quality, thoughtful, well-reasoned and well-researched advice based on legal and practical considerations.’

      ‘The partners and associates are true partners in our work.’

       

      Real estate > Real estate investment trusts (REITs) Tier 3

      Morrison Foerster is strong on capital markets transactions advising both issuers and underwriters on landmark mandates. The team works across a spectrum of asset classes ranging from healthcare to housing. Fielding a deep bench, including seasoned practitioner Larry Medvinsky, with expertise in equity and debt offering, the team is jointly managed by Washington DC- based duo Justin Salon  and highly rated David Slotkin . Also in DC, Alice Connaughton is also rated by clients and represents public and private companies in a variety of corporate work. Jay Blaivas is recommended for fund formations, with expertise in private equity work. Other key contacts include Mary Katherine Rawls and Heath Linsky in Atlanta. Lawyers are in New York unless otherwise stated.

      Practice head(s):

      Justin Salon; David Slotkin

      Testimonials

      ‘REITs represent a unique public company structure and the Morrison Foerster REIT team has built an expertise that is specially tailored to specific issues REITs must deal with, including tax & capital markets but also takes into account issues that affect all public companies such as SEC compliance.’

      ‘David Slotkin is a leader in the field and recognized as an expert. He is very talented advising REITs on M&A, capital markets, SEC compliance, public disclosures and other topics. He is deeply rooted in the sector and understands the market completely. While he is an expert on legal regulations and requirements, he is also business savvy and a practical problem-solver, which make his combined talents very rare.’

      ‘MoFo is the rare law firm in the REIT space that has lawyers with extensive expertise in both publicly traded and publicly registered non-traded REITs. They have strategically assembled prominent REIT attorneys from multiple firms and the group, led by David Slotkin and Justin Salon, functions seemlessly and efficiently. They are clearly thought leaders and have published extensively on REIT-related topics, including a terrific publication on executive compensation trends in the REIT sector (in conjunction with FTI).’

      ‘David Slotkin is a thoughtful, strategic and really smart advocate for his clients. His excels in M&A transactions and in advising Boards and Board Committees. He is fearless and will not be bullied or coerced – he is of the highest ethical caliber. Justin Salon is terrific at structuring creative solutions for clients and is always a delight to work with. Heath Linsky is a master at achieving desired results for clients; he is a trusted advisor, present in the Board room and with management and he often acts as a liaison between the two. He is a very effective advocate and very innovative.’

      ‘Ali Connaughton is one the strongest technical REIT lawyers I work with – she knows the nuances of the SEC disclosure regimen and guides clients artfully through the process. Mary Katherine Rawls is a tireless and detailed securities and transactions lawyer – she is an asset to any deal that she works on and everyone looks to her to keep the process running smoothly.’

       

      Key clients

      Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE: ARE)

      American Healthcare Investors, LLC

      Armada Hoffler Properties, Inc. (NYSE: AHH)

      Aventine Property Group

      Robert W. Baird & Co

      Barclays

      Black Creek Industrial REIT IV Inc.

      BofA Securities, Inc.

      Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.

      Equity Lifestyle Properties (NYSE: ELS)

      Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR)

      Farmland Partners, Inc. (NYSE: FPI)

      Freehold Properties, Inc.

      Hines Global Income Trust, Inc.

      Humphreys Capital

      Piper Sandler

      Plymouth Industrial REIT

      Procaccianti Hotel REIT, Inc.

      Steadfast Apartment REIT, Inc.

      Treehouse Real Estate Investment Trust

      UDR, Inc. (NYSE: UDR)

      Whitestone REIT (NYSE: WSR)

      Work highlights

      • Representing Aventine Property Group, Inc., one of the largest internally managed REITs serving the legal adult- and medical-use cannabis industry (the “Company”), in connection with its $100 million private offering of 8.00% senior unsecured convertible notes due 2026.
      • Representing American Healthcare Investors, LLC on its acquisition of its business by Griffin-American Healthcare REIT III, Inc, a healthcare-focused real estate investment trust, in consideration for approximately $135,000,000 in operating partnership units.
      • Representing Steadfast Apartment REIT, Inc in connection with the definitive merger agreement under which STAR will merge with and into Independence Realty Trust, Inc., (NYSE: IRT) (“IRT”), with IRT surviving as the continuing public company.

      Real estate Tier 3

      Morrison Foerster is noted for the ‘experience of its members and the firm’s breadth of practices’  in acquisitions and sales of real estate projects, equity investments, hospitality developments, REIT and real estate tech. Global chair Mark Edelstein  is supported by U.S co-chairs Jeffrey Temple  and Los Angeles-based Thomas Fileti. The firm also benefits from Lawrence Ceriello‘s knowledge of distressed real estate, and Christopher Delson‘s experience acting for investment fund sponsors and private equity investors. All lawyers are in New York unless otherwise stated.

      Practice head(s):

      Mark Edelstein; Thomas Fileti; Jeffrey Temple

      Other key lawyers:

      Christopher Delson; Lawrence Ceriello; Alex Walker; Phil Levine

      Testimonials

      ‘Very deep experience in commercial real estate legal issues in this region.’

      ‘Phil Levine does a great job of providing context for his advice and helping to triage issues in terms of priority and risk/exposure.

      Alex Walker has been extremely responsive and efficient.’

      ‘We look to the MoFo real estate practice to handle our complex land transactions because of the experience of its members and the firm’s breadth of practices. We have consistently felt our MoFo counsel have superior understanding of the transaction details and pivot points compared with the seller’s lawyers. In the MoFo real estate practice there is a high degree of sophistication on how deal terms will play out in practicality.

      ‘What makes the MoFo Real Estate Group shine is the quality of the personnel. Tom Fileti, as a senior partner, brings his years of experience to bear in negotiating complex real estate transactions. He has a feel for the industry norms and when variance from them is warranted and realistic. Tom is a key partner in getting the deal to the finish line, always with the knowledge to back up his positions and a low-key yet confident demeanor that the other parties respond positively to.

      Key clients

      GLP Pte. Ltd.

      Goldman Sachs

      Lendlease

      SoftBank

      Tishman Speyer

      Brookfield

      Capital One

      CIBC World Markets

      Citigroup

      HSBC Bank

      ING

      JPMorgan

      Wells Fargo

      Work highlights

      • Represented a foundation in the sale of 66 residential apartment complexes in San Diego for more than $1.1bn to Blackstone Group. This was one of the largest real estate transactions in San Diego County history and the proceeds from the deal will be used for charitable grants primarily in San Diego.
      • Represented a subsidiary of a real estate trust in connection with the $535m sale of HQ@First, a three-building office park in San Jose, California, wholly leased to Micron Technologies, to a subsidiary of the KKR Real Estate Select Trust fund.
      • Advised a REIT in connection with the definitive merger agreement under which the client will merge with and into Independence Realty Trust, Inc. (“IRT”), with IRT surviving as the continuing public company.

      Tax > US taxes: non-contentious Tier 3

      Led by seasoned tax chair Anthony Carbone, Morrison Foerster is frequently sought out by a diverse range of high-profile clients operating in technology, healthcare, banking, real estate, private equity, and financial services. The team is also noted for its sovereign investor acumen, where Babak Nikravesh - who joined the practice in July 2021 from Hogan Lovells US LLP - works with wealth funds, public sector pension plans, and central banks on transactional and advisory mandates. Jay Blavias is a cornerstone of the firm’s real estate-related funds, advising on all manner of REIT and UPREIT tax considerations. On the West Coast, San Diego-based Shane Shelley maintains a broad focus encompassing REITs, renewable energy, and financial products, while San Francisco-based Maureen Linch assists start-up companies with debt and equity financing issues. All named lawyers are based in New York unless noted otherwise.

      Practice head(s):

      Anthony Carbone

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      ‘We work with Babak Nikravesh and followed him when he moved to Morrison & Foerster. He is great to work with, makes himself available, explains US tax in clear and simple terms, is patient and has been a great advocate for our business. He is also very personable and interested in what we do and the world around us.’

      ‘Excellent technical understanding and negotiating capabilities and ability to communicate well to the executive team.’

      ‘Bernie Pistillo and Tony Carbone are superb.’

      Key clients

      Alexandria Real Estate Equities

      Alpine Investors

      Anzu Partners

      Black Creek

      Cambridge Quantum Computing Ltd

      Divvy

      GLP

      MAP Energy

      MGG Investment/Pivotal

      Paine Schwartz Partners

      Restoration Hardware

      SoftBank Group Corp.

      The Chemours Company

      UDR

      Unity Technologies

      Antitrust > Civil litigation/class actions: defense Tier 4

      With a practice group that is active on both sides of the aisle, Morrison Foerster is well equipped to represent clients in multidistrict class actions and follow-on civil litigation pertaining to allegations such as price-fixing, monopolization, no-poaching and wage-fixing. The practice group is led by Washington DC-based trio Jeff Jaeckel, Lisa Phelan, and Alex Okuliar. The latter joined the department as co-chair in early 2021 from the DOJ, and the firm also welcomed David Shaw in spring 2021, formerly at the DOJ. In San Francisco, Eliot Adelson handles complex antitrust litigation for clients from a variety of sectors, and Bonnie Lau is involved in cases with a large international dimension.

      Practice head(s):

      Jeff Jaeckel; Alex Okuliar; Lisa Phelan

      Key clients

      Alcon

      DNA Genotek

      Gary McDonald

      Glenmark Pharmaceuticals

      Hitachi

      Matsuo Electric

      Murata Manufacturing

      Nexstar Media Group

      Teradata

      Work highlights

      • Representing Nexstar Media Group, Inc., a national media company and the largest owner of local television stations in the United States, in an antitrust investigation by the DOJ and follow-on class action litigation related to the broadcast television spot advertisement market.
      • Defending Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, a major pharmaceutical company in a multi-district antitrust litigation, consolidated in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, relating to alleged price fixing against generic drug makers.
      • Acting as lead trial counsel for Matsuo Electric Co., Ltd., a Japanese electric components company, in its defense of price-fixing conspiracy claims regarding capacitors brought by a direct purchaser class, indirect purchaser class, and opt-out plaintiffs filed in the Northern District of California.

      Dispute resolution > Financial services litigation Tier 4

      Morrison Foerster is particularly focused on class actions in the consumer payments space, where it represents prominent payment providers facing allegations such as anti-competitive behaviour. The team’s work elsewhere in consumer finance litigation includes handling claims alleging violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and state-level limits on interest rates. David Fioccola leads the team and also serves as co-chair of the firm’s class actions and mass tort practice group, with deep experience in these areas. Nancy Thomas, Michael Miller and Grant Esposito are other key partners in the practice. Fioccola, Esposito, and Miller are based in New York, and Thomas is based in Los Angeles.

      Practice head(s):

      David Fioccola

      Testimonials

      ‘Attentive, creative and collaborative.’

       

      Key clients

      Elevate Credit Inc. and Wheels Financial Group LLC dba Loanmart

      DHI Group, Inc.

      Vonage

      Work highlights

      • Representing small-dollar lenders in actions challenging interest rates as unconscionable per the California Supreme Court’s ruling in De La Torre v. CashCall. To avoid their agreement to arbitrate disputes on an individual basis, plaintiffs seek public injunctive relief in accordance with the California Supreme Court’s ruling in McGill v. Citibank.
      • Representing DHI Group, Inc. and Dice Inc. in a putative class action alleging that the company’s online employment recruiting platforms make it a “consumer reporting agency” under the FCRA. Successful settlement currently in class administration.
      • Represented Vonage in litigation brought by a former channel partner who alleges that Vonage breached the agreements between the parties by, among other things, wrongfully clawing back commission payments, failing to adequately support the partner, and wrongfully terminating the agreement.

      Dispute resolution > International trade Tier 4

      Valued by sources for its ‘deep understanding of the CFIUS process‘, Morrison Foerster also attracts glowing reviews for its ‘expertise in OFAC and sanctions-related issues‘. The group’s strength in these key areas is due in no small part to its impressive bench of former government officials, including ‘unparalleled sanctions expertJohn Smith, who formerly served as the Director of OFAC. Additionally, Brandon Van Grack, who joined in 2021, most recently served as Chief of DOJ’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit. Senior counsel Nicholas Spiliotes co-chairs the national security practice alongside Smith and Van Grack and has a focus on CFIUS reviews. The group also includes Charles Capito, who has a focus on CFIUS and export controls, and of counsels Andrea Delisi, who was formerly Assistant Chief Counsel at OFAC, and James Brower. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

      Testimonials

      ‘M&F have real expertise in OFAC and sanctions-related issues. They are experts in this field which is invaluable from an international perspective. John Smith is a former OFAC director. He is a real expert in sanctions issues and he gets results quickly and efficiently. He is a leader in the field.’

      ‘Approachable and pragmatic team (with team members on all levels) that thinks outside-the-box, providing clients with a practical and risk-based advice.’

      ‘We are working on a very complicated issue requiring multi-discipline experience. The firm’s ability to work across teams and coordinate advice into a holistic approach has been amazing.’

      ‘Predictable, trustworthy and really enjoyable to work with on a difficult and time-sensitive matter. Super agile in regards to the project’s developments. Very attentive to our information needs in a difficult process and took the time to explain the process so we always felt we had a very good grasp of the process.’

      ‘The team has a deep understanding of the CFIUS process and approaches transactions and CFIUS requirements from a practicable perspective. They also know the staff very well. Hard to find a team with a parallel amount of experience in this space.’

      ‘MoFo’s sanctions team is as expert and experienced as they come. John Smith is an unparalleled sanctions expert who provides timely and deeply expert opinions.’

      ‘Brandon Van Grack and James Brower are a super duo and are each themselves highly competent and respectable lawyers. Provided valuable insight into regulatory workings, which turned out to be of significant importance in our matter.’

      ‘Charles Capito (partner) and Joseph Benkert (senior advisor) are excellent on international trade issues and can advise on incredibly complex issues by distilling the issues into easily understandable guidance.’

      Key clients

      Nordea Bank

      Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan/Navigator Equities Limited

      Elsevier/Association of American Publishers

      The Clearing House

      SoftBank Group Corp.

      SoftBank Vision Fund

      ITOCHU Corporation

      L3Harris Technologies, Inc.

      Finance > Capital markets: debt offerings

      Morrison & Foerster LLP has an especially strong record in offerings by REITs, financial institutions and fintech businesses, benefitting from its bank regulatory expertise. Consumer goods, energy and cleantech, life sciences and biotech, technology and telecoms are also key sectors. The sizeable team, which is largely based in Washington DC, covers investment grade, high-yield, convertible debt and debt issuance programs, among other areas. Justin Salon is a key partner in the team, along with Scott Lesmes and David Slotkin, who is highly rated for REIT offerings.

      Practice head(s):

      Dave Lynn; Scott Lesmes; Gavin Grover; David Slotkin; Justin Salon

      Testimonials

      ‘Strong understanding of securities laws and materiality.’

      ‘Extremely high level of experience, market knowledge, and practical deal-making, particularly in the REIT sector. Able to accommodate tight timeframes. Definitely in the upper echelon.’

      ‘David Slotkin is highly talented and experienced, and knows how to balance legal and regulatory requirements with practical solutions. He has a deep knowledge of the REIT debt market in particular and handles transactions efficiently and comprehensively.’

      Key clients

      Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.

      Armada Hoffler Properties, Inc.

      Aspire Capital Partners, LLC

      Aventine Property Group, Inc.

      Bank of America Merrill Lynch

      Barclays Capital Inc.

      Boyd Gaming Corporation

      Citibank

      Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.

      Equity Residential

      Ekso Bionics Holdings

      Hines Global Income Trust, Inc.

      Krystal Biotech, Inc.

      McKesson Corporation

      Novartis Capital Corporation

      ON Semiconductor Corp.

      Piper Sandler & Co.

      Pivotal Investment Corporation II

      RE/MAX

      RH

      Shell International Finance B.V.

      Southwest Gas Corporation

      The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

      The Chemours Company

      UDR, Inc.

      Veeco Instruments Inc.

      Vonage Holdings Corp.

      Work highlights

      • Advised eBay in connection with a cash tender offer and a $2.5bn offering of senior unsecured notes under its existing shelf registration statement.
      • Advised Alexandria Real Estate Equities on its simultaneous $1.75bn public offering of senior notes, tender offer for its outstanding 4.000% senior notes due 2024, and redemption of any such notes remaining outstanding following the tender offer.
      • Advised Vontier Corporation on its $1.59bn 144A private offering of senior notes.

      Finance > Capital markets: equity offerings Tier 4

      Morrison Foerster has made an impression in REIT and SPAC IPOs along with other equity offerings. It has an impressive list of issuer and underwriter clients. The firm is also noted for its experience in energy, cleantech, life sciences, financial services, healthcare and technology.  Much of the team is based in Washington DC where Dave Lynn and Scott Lesmes head the capital markets department, and David Slotkin  and Justin Salon  provide further capital markets expertise, including in the REITs segment.

      Practice head(s):

      Dave Lynn; Scott Lesmes

      Other key lawyers:

      David Slotkin; Justin Salon

      Key clients

      Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.

      Armada Hoffler Properties, Inc.

      Aspire Capital Partners, LLC

      Aventine Property Group, Inc.

      Bank of America Merrill Lynch

      Barclays Capital Inc.

      Boyd Gaming Corporation

      Citibank

      Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.

      Equity Residential

      Ekso Bionics Holdings

      Hines Global Income Trust, Inc.

      Krystal Biotech, Inc.

      McKesson Corporation

      Novartis Capital Corporation

      ON Semiconductor Corp.

      Piper Sandler & Co.

      Pivotal Investment Corporation II

      RE/MAX

      RH

      Shell International Finance B.V.

      Southwest Gas Corporation

      The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

      The Chemours Company

      UDR, Inc.

      Veeco Instruments Inc.

      Vonage Holdings Corp.

      Work highlights

      • Advised Hines Global in connection with its third public offering of up to $2.5bn of common stock.
      • Advised Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. in several public offerings of common stock with an aggregate value of over $4.4bn.
      • Advised BCI IV on its third public offering of up to $5bn of common stock.

      Finance > Financial services regulation Tier 4

      Morrison Foerster’s financial services regulation practice stands out in the US market for the breadth of its practice, which includes handling transactions involving financial services companies as well as compliance with both banking and consumer lending regulations. In the consumer lending space, the team has a particular focus on payment processing and credit cards, acting for payment processing companies, banks and non-financial services companies involved in branded credit cards. The practice is also engaged in fintech and cryptocurrency-related work, providing advice on compliance with state and federal regulations. Anti-money laundering is another area of expertise. Barbara Mendelson and Jeremy Mandell serve as practice co-heads, with focuses on banking and fintech respectively. Marc-Alain Galeazzi is another name to note in the banking space, while Maria Earley and Crystal Kaldjob specialize in fintech and consumer lending matters. Earley and Jeffrey Silberman joined the firm from Reed Smith LLP in July and September 2021, respectively. Mendelson, Galeazzi and Silberman are based in New York, while Mandell, Early and Kaldjob are based in Washington DC.

      Practice head(s):

      Jeremy Mandell; Barbara Mendelson

      Other key lawyers:

      Key clients

      American Airlines

      MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

      MLC Wealth Ltd.

      Orient Bancorporation

      Work highlights

      • Represented American Airlines on some of the financing aspects of a $10 billion senior secured notes offering and loan agreement, secured by American Airline’s AAdvantage Loyalty Program. In particular, the firm advised on the AAdvantage Loyalty program assets, including AA’s credit card co-branding agreements, which were part of the collateral for the financing.
      • Advising banking clients on regulatory matters in connection with transactions related to the sale of portfolio companies, including compliance with federal Bank Merger Act and applicable state laws and foreign laws governing transfer of trust, custody and agency relationships.
      • Advising banking clients with respect to U.S. federal and state enforcement actions and examinations.

      Industry focus > Energy: renewable/alternative power Tier 4

      Industry focus > Environment: litigation Tier 4

      Based in California, Morrison Foerster represents clients before judicial tribunals in all areas of environmental law, with a particular emphasis in cases arising under the federal Superfund law, claims of wrongful chemical exposure, and remediation of historical uses of soil and groundwater. Led by William Tarantino , the team is a strong performer in Proposition 65 trials and is also adept at assisting with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) processes from the planning stage through litigation. Other areas of expertise include natural resources claims and challenging contentious matters under the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act. Tarantino is seasoned at trying cases in state and federal courts. Justin Fisch is singled out for his comprehensive knowledge of climate change, site cleanups and brownfield development. Both attorneys are based in San Francisco.

      Practice head(s):

      William Tarantino

      Other key lawyers:

      Key clients

      Commerce Trust Company, as trustee of Seven Springs Limited Partnership

      Clearwater Seafoods

      C&D Technologies Inc.

      Norcal Harvesting LLC

      Array Photonics

      Etsy, Inc.

      Mexilink, Inc.

      Zinzino AB

      Clorox Company

      Major Retailers (General Merchandise)

      Work highlights

      • Representing Commerce Trust Company, as trustee of Seven Springs Limited Partnership, in various regulatory and litigation proceedings alleging liability for groundwater contamination that allegedly occurred decades prior to the Partnership’s purchase of the site.
      • Acting for C&D Technologies in a complex, 10-year multi-party environmental remediation litigation brought by the Orange County Water District seeking remediation of a regional plume of volatile organics.
      • Defending the largest producer of shellfish in North America in a Proposition 65 enforcement action brought by the California Attorney General claiming that certain clams, mussels, and shellfish contain excessive levels of heavy metal.

      Industry focus > Environment: regulatory Tier 4

      Labor and employment > Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional Tier 4

      Morrison Foerster counts private equity firms, public companies and senior executives among its key roster of clients. The team focuses on the executive compensation aspects of M&A arising out of the finance, technology, agriculture and healthcare sectors. With the May 2021 departure of Ron Aizen and Ann Becchina, Amanda Hines Gold jointly leads the practice from the firm’s office in San Francisco, alongside New York-based Domnick Bozzetti. Together, the team leaders are praised as ‘a walking encyclopedia of equity and executive compensation issues’. Of counsel Brooke Monahan, who operates from the firm’s Phoenix office, joined in March 2021 from Quarles & Bradley LLP.

      Practice head(s):

      Amanda Hines Gold; Domnick Bozzetti

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      ‘My experience with the group (specifically Amanda Hines-Gold and Dom Bozzetti) has been stellar. They have an expansive and deep knowledge and understanding of the equity and executive compensation arena. They are practically a walking encyclopedia of equity and executive compensation issues, and have extensive real-world experience across the full spectrum of equity and executive compensation issues a company may come across.’  

      ‘I can always reach out to Amanda Hines-Gold and the team and be assured of a timely response. They are willing also to walk my colleagues and me through esoteric provisions in the tax code to make sure we can clearly understand the issue.’ 

      Key clients

      Alpine Investors

      American Healthcare Investors LLC

      ATN International

      Autodesk

      Divvy

      Ethos Capital

      Main Post Partners

      Freedom 3 Capital

      General Finance Corporation

      Huck Capital

      Kindred Biosciences

      MGG Investment

      Minerva Engineering

      MobileIron

      MUFG

      OpenInvest

      Paine Schwartz

      Silver Crest Acquisition Corp

      SoftBank

      M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: large deals ($1bn+) Tier 4

      Morrison Foerster's team is well-regarded for ‘bringing a lot of experience to the deal table’. The practice - which has notable strength on cross-border deals, as well as in-depth knowledge of the technology sector - is co-chaired from New York by Spencer Klein; his track record includes more than 150 mergers, tender and exchange offers, stock and asset acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures. Over in San Francisco, Brandon Parris  is the second co-chair and caters to a number of gaming, technology, energy, media, consumer goods and life science players.

      Practice head(s):

      Spencer Klein; Brandon Parris

      Other key lawyers:

      Eric McCrath; Mitchell Presser; Randy Bullard

      Testimonials

      ‘I have used MoFo attorneys for many years – and the number one strength I like is their ability to very simply answer questions. My view is that attorneys who truly understand their subject matter can answer questions clearly and succinctly. MoFo has always been able to handle our matters across the business, and each referral to another MoFo attorney has resulted in a positive relationship. MoFo has handled many complicated issues for us but always quickly, efficiently, and effectively. I’ve also never had issues reaching any attorney I needed almost immediately.’

      ‘There are many partners and other attorneys at MoFo that have been truly trusted partners to our business.’

      ‘The team are true experts who think strategically about your business and the transaction to ensure a great outcome. They inspire confidence in the whole deal team.’

      ‘Knowledgeable about the region, they bring a lot of legal experience to the deal table.’

      ‘Their key strength was balancing legal advice and practical implications of closing a deal. I always felt M&F gave me straightforward advice and getting to the point of how to close the deal. Very high level of ethics and integrity throughout the process which i meant i could trust them 100% to handle any situation.’

      Key clients

      Autodesk

      Axalta

      Boyd Gaming

      DPR Construction

      Greenlane Holdings

      LIVEKINDLY

      MGG Investment Group

      onsemi

      Petlove

      Pivotal Investment

      popchips

      Santen Pharmaceutical

      Silver Crest Acquisition Corporation

      Sky Harbour

      SoftBank

      Southwest Gas

      Unity

      Visa

      VMware

      Walmart

      Work highlights

      • Advising SoftBank in connection with several high-profile and note-worthy transactions, including its $40bn sale of ARM, two SPAC transactions involving portfolio companies SoFi and WeWork, and the $2.8bn acquisition of stake in AutoStore.
      • Advising Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. in connection with its acquisition of Questar Pipeline, consisting of Dominion Energy Questar Pipeline, LLC, its subsidiaries, and certain associated affiliates, and also represented the company in connection with the acquisition by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Centuri Group, of Riggs Distler & Company, Inc.
      • Advising Unity Technologies in connection with several acquisitions including its $1.625bn acquisition of assets of Weta Digital, the creator of visual effects and animation for movies and shows including Avatar, Black Widow, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Planet of the Apes, The Suicide Squad, and more.

      M&A/corporate and commercial > Private equity buyouts Tier 4

      Morrison Foerster made another notable addition to its private equity team with the hire of Aly El Hamamsy from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in June 2021, bolstering its strength in private equity deals across the board, as well as the financial services sector specifically. Elsewhere, the firm remains an active player in buyouts, exits, and minority investments, and maintains a leading role in SPAC and de-SPAC transactions, most notably demonstrated in its work with SoftBank as the lead investor in WeWork on its combination with BowX. This was a standout deal for Omar Pringle, who continues to bolster his reputation in the market for innovative work. The team is led by Mitchell Presser, who remains active on behalf of clients such as Paine Schwartz Partners in buyouts and SPAC deals, alongside San Francisco-based Patrick Huard, a regular advisor to active funds and their portfolio companies. Also in San Francisco, Susan Mac Cormac specializes in ESG work, advising social enterprises, impact investors, and private funds on targeted investments. Counsel Shai Kalansky in San Diego is noted for his work on domestic and cross-border deals in the high tech, consumer products, life sciences, and healthcare industries, while associate Joseph Sulzbach is increasingly active on behalf of top clients including SoftBank. Lawyers are in New York unless otherwise stated.

      Practice head(s):

      Patrick Huard; Mitchell Presser

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      ‘The Morrison Foerster team is awesome. They are commercial, have our best interest in mind and are always responsive to our needs’

      ‘Patrick Huard has been an exceptional M&A partner who is efficient and protects our interests.’

      ‘We worked with the team to set up an infrastructure fund. They were highly knowledgeable, were able to bring to the table a full team from multiple jurisdictions and specialties very quickly and efficiently. They are our “go to” firm for major transactions and funds.’

      Not only a service provider but a partner.

      ‘Certainly Morrison & Foerster LLP stands out from the traditional law firm. Their knowledge of the sector an ability to navigate highly complex negotiation with simplicity is what makes them a best in class. After well over a year working together with the firm, we were able to face different levels of challenges and all were always fairly well overcome thanks for their expertise.’

      ‘Randy Bullard is a superstar partner. Always available, Randy provide precise and timely legal recommendations that were key to drive the company forward.’

      Mitchell Presser – great combination of PE experience and legal expertise. Very practical and helpful for our SPAC listing. Same for Justin Salon and Omar Pringle from this team who were my day to day lead partners.

      Key clients

      Alpine Investors

      Altamont Capital Partners

      Antarctica Capital

      ATN International, Inc.

      Confirmit AS

      Excellere Partners

      Fidelio Capital AB

      FoodChain ID

      Francisco Partners

      Freedom 3 Capital, LLC

      Fremont Macanta, LLC

      GI Partners

      Gryphon Investors

      Huck Capital

      Longitude Capital

      Main Post Partners

      MAP Energy

      MGG Investment Group LP

      Paine Schwartz Partners

      Palladium Equity Partners

      Pivotal Investment Corporation II

      Pulse Agri Investments Ltd.

      Rubicon Technology Partners

      San Francisco Equity Partners

      Sedgwick Public Sector, LLC

      ShowingTime.com, Inc.

      Silver Crest Acquisition Corporation

      Sky Harbour

      SoftBank

      Tene Capital

      Tinicum Inc.

      Vector Capital

      Verdane Capital Advisors

      Verisem Group BV

      Virgo Investment Group

      Vision Ridge Partners

      Work highlights

      • Advised SoftBank Group Corp in connection with WeWork’s agreement to merge with BowX Acquisition Corp.
      • Advised Paine Schwartz Partners in connection with the sale of Verisem to Syngenta.  
      • Advised Alpine Investors, a middle market private equity firm, in relation to multiple acquisitions across multiple platforms.

      Finance > Commercial lending Tier 5

      Finance > Project finance

      Morrison Foerster's projects team is ‘highly qualified to offer immediate attention to project finance issues and its availability and knowledge of infrastructure issues in Latin America are its best tools‘. The group, which also handles US-based projects, increased its bench strength in 2021 with the arrivals of Greg Smith and Ann Lilienthal, who joined from DLA Piper LLP (US) in July alongside some more junior lawyers. The pair now lead the team from Washington DC, which works with development finance institutions, host country governments, project sponsors and private equity funds. In Los Angeles, Elizabeth Sluder  handles build-transfer agreements as well as M&A in an energy context.

      Practice head(s):

      Greg Smith; Ann Lilienthal

      Other key lawyers:

      Elizabeth Sluder; Julia Balas; Rafael Hernandez

      Testimonials

      ‘MOFO’s team is highly qualified to offer immediate attention to project finance issues and its availability and knowledge of infrastructure issues in Latin America are its best tools.’

      ‘Rafael Hernandez is a highly qualified professional for the analysis of business issues in project finance, as well as the due collateralization of the same, with great capacity in the drafting of credit agreements associated with these operations.’

       

      Key clients

      Inter-American Investment Corporation

      U.S. International Development Finance Corporation

      U.S. Department of Energy

      Export-Import Bank of the United States

      International Finance Corporation

      African Development Bank

      Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO)

      Japan Bank for International Cooperation

      European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

      CDC Group plc

      Export-Import Bank of Korea

      Nippon Export and Investment Insurance

      Central American Bank for Economic Integration

      Corporacion Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura

      Apex Clean Energy

      EDF Renewables

      Vision Ridge Partners, LLC

      Generate Capital

      Virgo Investment Group

      Work highlights

      • Advised DFC on all aspects of its $225m financing of a new 12-fibre pair subsea cable system.
      • Advised DFC in connection with its $85m financing of the eCombustible hydrogen project in Brazil.
      • Advised DFC in connection with its financing of Orb Energy Private Limited, an innovative project where the borrower will construct a 25 MW ground-mounted solar array and 3km transmission line located in Karnataka.

      Tax > International tax Tier 5

      Tax > US taxes: contentious Tier 5

      The tax controversy team at Morrison Foerster handles audits, appeals, and dispute resolution proceedings before federal and state authorities and the IRS. Additionally, the team has represented corporations relating to tax shelter transactions and criminal enforcement proceedings. In New York team chair Anthony Carbone and counsel Rebecca Ulich-Balinskas focus on SALT controversy. In Washington DC, tax controversy leader and counsel Edward Froelich specializes in tax litigation, particularly involving complex corporate refund matters. San Francisco-based Bernie Pistillo takes the lead on international tax controversy work.

      Practice head(s):

      Anthony Carbone

      Testimonials

      Edward Froelich stood out in my mind, first and foremost, for his expertise and experience in navigating a tax related cases such as mine and offering not only solutions but a variety of options in achieving the desired result.’

      ‘The team has deep industry-level knowledge, particularly in the financial services area. Their real-world experience and practical insights allows team members to provide excellent legal services.’

      ‘Ed Froelich is my main point of contact at the firm. His character, attention to detail, and extensive experience practicing before the IRS makes him one of the best tax lawyers in the United States. Ed is a practictioner I know I can trust. His judgment and keen insights ensure we achieve the right results efficiently and with excellence.’

      ‘The breadth and depth of experience of the Controversy practice makes it uniquely strong and capable of handling a wide variety of U.S. tax controversy matters. This attribute distinguishes MoFo from many of its competitors. The innovative ways in which the firm seeks to resolve tax controversies and their unparalleled dedication to a client’s best interests also set them apart.’

      ‘I’ve been particularly impressed by Ed Froelich, one of the firm’s Washington, DC controversy attorneys. Ed’s ability to handle any stage of the controversy process (from IDRs to Appeals to potential litigation) and experience with a wide variety of substantive tax issues ensures that he both understands the tax issues at hand and can advise clients as to the relative merits of different means of resolving the dispute. His commitment to his clients is, frankly, unparalleled. I look forward to working with Ed again in the future.’

      ‘Ed Froelich is an outstanding lawyer. He is very knowledgeable about a vast swath of US tax law. I’ve often gone to Ed with tricky tax questions / issues, and he invariably has meaningful insights for me. In particular, he is knowledgeable about many of the procedural aspects of US tax controversy. I will also note that he has had remarkable insights for me on the Altera transfer pricing / cost sharing / equity compensation that I simply have not heard anywhere else. I highly recommend Ed Froelich.’

      ‘We worked with Edward Froelich at Morrison & Foerster. Ed was very professional and knowledgeable. His prior experience with the IRS was priceless. Ed successfully defended our position and the IRS dropped their case against us.’

      Dispute resolution > General commercial disputes

      Morrison Foerster has a ‘strong litigation team with a deep bench, and is capable of litigating multiple legal subject matters in multiple jurisdictions at the same time‘; it regularly handles corss-border business disputes in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
      X

      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 : Eric T. McCrath
      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.

      Read more

      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.

      Read more

      Diversity Leadership Q&A

      Image

      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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