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Morrison & Foerster LLP

2000 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, NW, SUITE 6000, WASHINGTON, DC 20006-1888, USA
Tel:
Work +1 202 887 1500
Fax:
Fax +1 202 887 0763
Email:
Web:
http://www.mofo.com

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


United States

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

The ‚Äėvery knowledgeable, responsive and professional‚Äô Morrison & Foerster LLP¬†handles a broad range of real estate matters including commercial real estate equity and debt transactions, joint ventures, and the purchase and sale of all real estate asset types. The firm's client base includes banks, investment banks, mortgage REITs and debt funds. Global practice chair Mark Edelstein¬†recently advised Wells Fargo on a $1.5bn construction loan for an office and retail tower located at 50 Hudson Yards in New York. Keith Print¬†and Edelstein both advised Wells Fargo and a major multinational bank on a $640m construction loan to finance the construction of three large multi-family, mixed-use buildings in New York. Los-Angeles based Thomas Fileti¬†recently acted for GLP on portfolio financing for more than 75 properties with an aggregate value of over $1bn. Christopher Delson¬†and Edelstein worked together to advise Goldman Sachs, Hines Interests and Pontiac Land on the $860m construction financing for the MoMA Tower in New York. Philip Levine, in the Palo Alto office, represented Bayview on a $289m construction loan for the development of two luxury apartment towers in San Jose, California. The ‚Äėexcellent‚Äô Lawrence Ceriello,¬†who is ‚Äėgreat to work with‚Äô, specializes in debt financing, securitizations and large commercial real estate loans for the CMBS market. Thomas McGovern¬†focuses on real estate finance and restructuring. John Davie¬†joined as of counsel from Forest City Ratner Companies. All named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Next generation lawyers

Thomas McGovern - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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United States: Antitrust

Cartel
Cartel - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Lisa Phelan recently joined the antitrust team at Morrison & Foerster LLP from the DOJ, where she gathered 'unmatched experience of the regulators'. Vishal Mehta and of counsel Megan Gerking arrived from Baker Botts L.L.P. and Covington & Burling LLP respectively. Bradley Lui is currently representing individuals in the landmark aut parts cartel case brought by the DOJ, and is advising a shipping company on a joint investigation by the DOJ and Australian competition regulator. Also notable are 'unequaled and extensively experienced' practice head Roxann Henry, who successfully defended an individual against proposed dual criminal and civil charges by the DOJ pursuant to new prosecutorial policies, and Demme Doufekias, who is currently assisting the director of a pharmaceutical company in a price-fixing investigation brought by the DOJ. All named individuals are based in Washington DC.

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Civil litigation/class actions: defense
Civil litigation/class actions: defense - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

The antitrust litigation practice at Morrison & Foerster LLP, under the leadership of practice co-head Jeff Jaeckel, is currently representing Fujifilm and several of its subsidiaries in a federal class action brought by direct purchasers of capacitors on the grounds of alleged price-fixing, bid-rigging and output-restricting practices on a wide range of products. He also recently won a motion to dismiss on behalf of Oath in a case where plaintiffs claimed search engines such as Yahoo!, Google and Bing were harming competition by favoring a certain group of businesses in their search results, to their detriment. Brad Lui is currently acting for an employee of Citibank in a class action filed by plaintiffs claiming he conspired to reduce competition in an alleged market manipulation of USD-denominated bonds. Other key names are practice co-head David Cross and senior of counsel Roger Fones.

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Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Jeff Jaeckel is a key name to note in Morrison & Foerster LLP's antitrust team, which recently welcomed Vishal Mehta from Baker Botts L.L.P., Lisa Phelan from the DOJ and of counsel Megan Gerking from Covington & Burling LLP. Jaeckel is currently working alongside David Meyer as lead counsel to Sprint and SoftBank regarding Spint's blockbuster merger with T-Mobile. Also notable is the firm's work for Infineon Technologies in its cross-border sale of its radio frequency power business division to Cree, and Jaeckel's advice to Fujifilm on its proposed acquisition of Xerox. Associate Kerry Jones is also a key name to note in the Washington DC office, where all named attorneys are based.

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United States: Dispute resolution

Appellate
Appellate: Courts of Appeal - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Appellate: supreme courts (states and federal) - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP‚Äôs appellate team provides ‚Äėgreat client communication‚Äô and ‚Äėexcellent written and oral advocacy skills‚Äô. Praised by clients as being ‚Äėa superstar in oral argumentation‚Äô, Deanne Maynard¬†delivers ‚Äėefficient and effective representation during all stages of litigation‚Äô. Partnering with ‚Äėsuperb‚Äô practice co-chair¬†Joseph Palmore¬†at the Federal Circuit (acting on remand from the US Supreme Court), Maynard secured a unanimous victory for defendant-appellee Sandoz Inc in a dispute with Amgen Inc over the federal 2009 Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act. At the Ninth Circuit, Maynard and Brian Matsui¬†were brought in by respondent-appellant Lummi Nation at the appeal stage of a decades-long dispute with S‚ÄôKlallam tribes over the Lummi‚Äôs fishing rights in waters west of Whidbey Island; the duo won a reversal of the district court‚Äôs judgment.

Leading lawyers

Deanne Maynard - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to individuals - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

The team at Morrison & Foerster LLP is called upon to represent corporate and individual clients in a range of investigations and criminal matters - particularly those with cross-border elements. In 2018-2019, the group benefited from the arrival of a number of former government lawyers, including former senior trial lawyer at the SEC Michael Birnbaum in New York; former DOJ assistant attorney general John Carlin, former senior sanctions policy adviser at OFAC Michael Dobson and former general counsel for the director of national intelligence Robert Litt in Washington DC; and, in San Francisco, former SEC regional director Jina Choi. Exemplifying the group's capabilities, Charles Duross in Washington DC and New York's Ruti Smithline were appointed to the Odebrecht monitorship by the DOJ, following a coordinated action by US, Brazilian and Swiss law enforcement agencies in relation to corrupt practices. Other key names include FCPA experts James Koukios (DC) and Amanda Aikman (New York), and Demme Doufekias (DC), who specializes in FCA and other healthcare-related cases.

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Financial services litigation
Financial services litigation - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Leveraging the firm's strong regulatory capability, particularly as it relates to issues impacting the credit card sector, Morrison & Foerster LLP is well positioned to represent clients across a range of consumer finance-related private litigation and agency enforcement actions/investigations, irrespective of geographical location. The team has picked up a significant amount of Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) related disputes, and led out San Francisco by Angela Kleine and Jim McCabe  is representing DHI Group and Dice in a putative class action alleging that companies offering an online employment recruiting platform should be classified as a 'consumer reporting agency' under the FCRA. 'Terrific' New York-based co-head David Fioccola is 'superb at handling complex litigation', which often includes representing financial services clients. San Francisco-based co-head James McGuire is also recommended.

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Leading trial lawyers
Leading trial lawyers - ranked: tier 4

Arturo Gonz√°lez - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Arturo González - Morrison & Foerster LLP Arturo González is known for his 'energetic and emotive' victories in the courtroom. Chair of the firm's commercial litigation practice group, González has recently secured a defense verdict against VMware on allegations of copyright infringement and breaches in a $110 million claim. Described by a client as 'a sight to be seen in the courtroom', González is representing Uber in a high-profile trade secrets dispute with Waymo, Google’s autonomous vehicle subsidiary, which he led to a favorable settlement.

Leading lawyers

Arturo Gonz√°lez - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Product liability, mass tort and class actions: consumer products (including tobacco) - defense
Product liability, mass tort and class actions: consumer products (including tobacco) - defense - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

The product liability group at Morrison & Foerster LLP has outstanding expertise in the technology sector and often handles regulatory matters, recalls and class actions. Practice head Erin Bosman in San Diego continues to represent Fitbit together with Julie Park in two putative class actions regarding the accuracy of its sleep and heart rate tracking function, while Claudia Vetesi represented Unilever in a nationwide consumer class action in which plaintiffs allege that certain ingredients in a facial scrub cause skin irritations. In another highlight, James Schurz is defending Starbucks, Nestlé and other coffee companies against the claim that they are required under Prop 65 to provide cancer warnings on coffee based on the presence of a chemical after roasting. William Stern joined Covington & Burling LLP in January 2019. All named partners are based in San Francisco unless otherwise stated.

Next generation lawyers

Julie Park - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Product liability, mass tort and class actions: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense
Product liability, mass tort and class actions: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

The San Diego-based team at Morrison & Foerster LLP handles product liability lawsuits, MDLs and class actions for pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing companies. Practice head Erin Bosman and Julie Park continue to represent McKesson in product liability litigation regarding Zofran, Eliquis, Taxotere, and Reglan, and are also acting for Fresenius Kabi in litigation concerning heparin contamination. The firm’s client roster also includes MicroPort Orthopedics.

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Product liability, mass tort and class actions: toxic tort - defense
Product liability, mass tort and class actions: toxic tort - defense - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP is noted for its work in the food and beverages industry. Indeed, the team is acting for the Hershey Company, the National Confectioners Association and Barry Callebaut in litigation and negotiations relating to the allowable levels of lead and cadmium in chocolate, and is also defending several coffee companies against claims that manufacturers and retailers are required to provide cancer warnings on coffee. In an environmental matter, the team represented a government contractor in a putative class action involving personal injury and property damage claims resulting from environmental contamination. Erin Bosman in San Diego leads the team; James Schurz and William Tarantino in San Francisco are also recommended.

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Securities litigation - defense
Securities litigation - defense - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

At Morrison & Foerster LLP, which has busy teams in both California and New York, 'the securities defense attorneys are substantially thorough, experienced, ethical and prompt', according to one client. Another points out that the 'outstanding, brilliant' Joel Haims and other New York practitioners are 'so knowledgeable that they can anticipate the upcoming issues that will arise'. Haims, Jordan Eth in San Francisco and Dimitria Doufekias in Washington DC are the co-chairs of the securities litigation, enforcement and white-collar defense group. Haims and Jamie Levitt represented online crafts marketplace Etsy, Inc in a class action alleging that the company knowingly concealed information that certain products might be counterfeit or infringe intellectual property, triggering a stock drop after its IPO. Haims and James Beha successfully represented the former CEO and CFO of Nortel Networks in a securities class action filed after the company's bankruptcy.

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United States: Finance

Capital markets: debt
Capital markets: debt - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Capital markets: debt offerings - advice to underwriters - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Experienced in issuer and underwriter appointments Morrison & Foerster LLP’s practice group has a diverse industry focus, with recent strong showings in the real estate and hospitality areas. REIT-related work is a sweet spot and Washington DC-based REITs specialist David Slotkin advised the underwriters on Equity Residential’s $500m public notes offering. On the issuer side, Los Angeles-based senior of counsel Kenneth Kohler assisted Alexandria Real Estate Equities with two public offerings of senior notes totaling $900m. On the hospitality front, San Francisco’s Brandon Parris acted for Boyd Gaming Corporation on multiple securities deals, including a $700m senior notes offering. Washington DC-based David Lynn, who recently rejoined the firm from Jenner & Block LLP, San Francisco-based Gavin Grover and Washington DC’s Scott Lesmes co-chair the practice. John Owen joined in New York from Jones Day.

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Capital markets: equity offerings
Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to managers - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

The life sciences and REIT sectors accounted for most of Morrison & Foerster LLP’s equity transactions during 2018. Among its highlights, Northern Virginia-based Stephen Thau and San Francisco’s Alfredo Silva advised Menlo Therapeutics on its $136.9m IPO. On the REIT front, Los Angeles-based senior of counsel Kenneth Kohler assisted Alexandria Real Estate Equities with a significant public share offering. The firm also acts for managers, which recently included Washington DC-based Justin Salon advising the underwriters on Plymouth Industrial REIT’s $42.5m follow-on offering of shares. San Francisco-based Gavin Grover and Washington DC-based Scott Lesmes co-chair the department together with Washington DC-based David Lynn, who recently rejoined the practice from Jenner & Block LLP. The firm also recently added corporate finance partner John Owen in New York from Jones Day.

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Financial services regulation
Financial services regulation - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

With the ability to draw upon the expertise of lawyers based on both coasts, as well as in key locations across Europe and Asia, Morrison & Foerster LLP has the breadth and depth to handle both pure domestic regulatory matters as well as those requiring a global perspective and analysis. The firm's traditional strength in the retail sector continues, with practitioners including 'fantastic' senior partner Rick Fischer (who has been at the vanguard of payments-related matters for four decades) and Oliver Ireland - both of whom are based n New York - regularly promoting policy change on behalf of interested parties in the sector. Another core strength is the team's work on behalf of foreign financial institutions seeking to expand their business operations in the US, either by virtue of merger activity or in a greenfield capacity. In this regard, the 'superb' New York-based Jiang Liu is particularly well versed in advising Chinese financial entities on the regulatory implications of their US activities; he recently helped secure regulatory approval for China Merchants Group to extend credit and service loans through a US subsidiary. Based out of Los Angeles, senior counsel Henry Fields has longstanding expertise within the bank M&A space and, alongside of counsel Ben Chung, recently advised CVB Financial (the holding company for Citizens Business Bank) on its $903m merger with Community Bank. New York-based Barbara Mendelson is noted for her work on behalf of foreign banks impacted by US regulatory strictures and is a key part of the team, as is Washington DC-based fintech expert Obrea Poindexter.

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Project finance
Project finance: advice to lender - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Project finance: advice to sponsor - ranked: tier 5

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP regularly handles project finance mandates in the renewables space, acting for sponsor and lender clients. Elizabeth Sluder in Los Angeles acted for Cathay Bank in its first tax equity investment into Sunnova. Elsewhere, practice head Jeffrey Chester, who is also based in Los Angeles, advised Apex Clean Energy on the sale of a 163MW wind power project on the Gulf Coast in Texas to Sammons Renewable Energy. Of counsel Julia Balas, who is based across the firm’s Los Angeles and New York offices, is also a key figure. The team saw a number of departures, including that of Jeffrey Kayes, who joined Baker Botts L.L.P. in 2018.

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Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Best known for its creditors and creditors' committees practice, Morrison & Foerster LLP also has an increasingly strong debtor-side practice, as well as representing bondholders and trustees in offshore matters. The team is led from New York by Lorenzo Marinuzzi and senior counsel James Peck, who can call on the expertise of finance department deputy chair Jennifer Marines. Also notable is New York-based Gary Lee, who led in representing holding company Real Industry in its Chapter 11 case in Delaware. The practice assisted with a plan that preserved the company’s tax attributes, allowing it to emerge from Chapter 11 in May 2018. In another highlight, Dennis Jenkins in Boston represented an ad hoc group of investors and fund managers holding notes issued by subsidiaries of Southeastern Grocers, in connection with the prepackaged Chapter 11 proceedings of Southeastern Grocers and its affiliates, a major grocery store chain that entered bankruptcy with approximately 700 stores; after filing in March 2018, the company emerged from Chapter 11 in May 2018.

Next generation lawyers

Jennifer Marines - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Structured finance: derivatives and structured products
Structured finance: derivatives and structured products - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP acts for a variety of middle-market banks and market makers, which it advises on a variety of structured product and derivatives transactions and comprehensive US and cross-border regulatory matters. David Kaufman and of counsel James Schwartz advised Alexandria Real Estate Equities on forward transactions in connection with the company's issuances of common stock. Additionally, Kaufman and Washington DC-based of counsel Julian Hammar acted for corporates and major financial institutions in relation to various commodity-linked derivative transactions. Another key contact is Lloyd Harmetz, who is acting for Natixis in relation to various note offerings and proprietary trading matters. The team also provides a range of regulatory advice on issues including cleared and uncleared derivatives and proprietary trading. Also recommended in the Washington DC office are Susan Gault-Brown, who co-chairs the firm's blockchain and smart contracts group, and of counsel Chrys Carey, who has experience advising dealers and end-users on transactional and regulatory derivatives issues.

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Structured finance: securitization
Structured finance: securitization - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP has wide-ranging corporate and finance capabilities spanning warehouse financing and structured lending, and has niche expertise in acting for alternative lenders and online lending platforms. Geoffrey Peck and Los Angeles-based Kenneth Kohler acted for LendingClub Corporation in relation to a warehouse credit agreement, which was secured by a pool of consumer loans. Also of note, the team advised Longitude Ventures on a $47.5m 144A transaction backed by royalties from a prescription drug portfolio. The group also has experience in PACE securitization, timeshare loan and credit card receivables securitizations. Despite its continued activity, the practice group took a hit in 2018, losing Anna Pinedo, Jerry Marlatt and Bradley Berman to Mayer Brown.

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United States: Government

Government contracts
Government contracts - ranked: tier 1

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP handles a variety of government contract work, including intellectual property and licensing matters, contract claims, corporate governance, transactions and internal investigations, and it has a particular sweet spot for bid protests. It also a niche advising clients in the healthcare and life sciences industry on cost allowability and other issues. Kevin Mullen and Alex Ward jointly lead the practice. In recent matters, Ward has represented Buchanan & Edwards in, among other things, two bid protests: one at agency level which pertained to an FBI contract and led the agency to take voluntary corrective action. Northern Virginia-based Bradley Wine was busy acting for Accenture Federal Services (AFS) and Accenture; his workload included handling a number of bid protests as well as a significant internal investigation for AFS and ASM, and he further advised the company on compliance issues as a result of acquiring a new subsidiary. David Churchill, Jay DeVecchio and Northern Virginia-based Damien Specht are the other names to note. Andrew Turnbull joined as of counsel in May 2018 from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

Leading lawyers

David Churchill - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Next generation lawyers

Damien Specht - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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United States: Industry focus

Energy: renewable/alternative power
Energy: renewable/alternative power - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP advises leading investors and private equity firms, developers, banks and non-bank lenders, and renewable energy companies. San Francisco-based Susan Mac Cormac heads the practice and focuses on working with renewable energy start-up companies and developers in the solar, wind and biofuel industries; Mac Cormac recently acted for Emerson Collective Investments in relation to its $5m investment in Natel Energy. Another name to note is Los Angeles-based Elizabeth Sluder, who advised Cathay Bank on its $30m tax equity investment into Sunnova, which was the first such investment made by the client. Goldman Sachs, Apex Clean Energy and EDF Renewables are also among the team's clients.

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Environment: litigation
Environment: litigation - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP has particular expertise in Proposition 65 cases, and also handles ESA, Clean Water Act, CEQA, NEPA, and consumer products matters. It is representing over 50 major coffee manufacturers, including Starbucks, Krafts Heinz and Nestlé, in a Proposition 65 claim relating to the alleged increased risk of cancer to humans due to the chemical acrylamide, created when coffee beans are roasted; of counsel Robin Stafford is working on the case. William Tarantino heads the 13-strong team, which further includes Michael Steel, who is handling hazardous waste cases for large retailers in California, and Robert Falk. All practitioners are San Francisco based. Michèle Corash retired.

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Environment: regulatory
Environment: regulatory - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s integrated environmental, natural resources, and land use group advises on compliance and enforcement, due diligence, consumer products law and regulation, and emerging issues, such as permitting and entitlement matters involving climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon trading, and renewable and non-renewable energy. In a landmark case, the firm has been representing over 50 coffee manufacturers, including Starbucks, Kraft Heinz, and Nestlé, in a trial claiming that coffee manufacturers and retailers are required under Proposition 65 to provide cancer warnings on coffee, based on the chemical acrylamide, which is created when coffee beans are roasted. Based in San Francisco, Michael Steel, William Tarantino, and senior counsel Robert Falk are the key practitioners. Michèle Corash retired.

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Healthcare: life sciences
Healthcare: life sciences - ranked: tier 5

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s team is made up of corporate, transactional, IP and litigation professionals. The names to note are San Diego-based senior counsel David Doyle, who focuses on patent litigation disputes for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and other technology companies; corporate and M&A specialist Spencer Klein in New York; and Palo Alto’s Janet Xiao, who advises clients on patent procurement, patent portfolio management and strategic planning. Abraxis BioScience, DaVita and Sandoz are recent clients.

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United States: Intellectual property

Copyright
Copyright - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP assists clients in both contentious and non-contentious copyright matters, with a strong emphasis on the entertainment and technology fields. Key figures from the team include Michael Jacobs, who is particularly strong in software disputes, and technology-focused Richard Hung.

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Patents: licensing
Patents: licensing - ranked: tier 1

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP's strong suit is transactions in the technology sector. The group combines a global footprint with in-depth knowledge of the technology sector, enabling it to assist with a broad range of instructions, including joint ventures, joint development agreements, distribution and supply agreements and outsourcing mandates. Via Licensing instructed the team to advise on a new patent tool for autonomous motor vehicles and several licensing agreements concerning existing or newly created patent pools. In a recent transactional highlight, the team advised SoundCloud on its partnership agreement with Pandora, allowing users to purchase SoundCloud's ad inventory through Pandora. Other clients include Shanghai Henlius Biotech, Wal-Mart and WM Partners. Aaron Rubin in San Francisco and Alistair Maughan in London direct the technology transactions group. Other key US practitioners include Rufus Pichler, Tessa Schwartz, Northern Virginia's Thomas Knox and Vivian Hanson in New York. John Delaney joined Perkins Coie LLP.

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Patents: litigation (International Trade Commission)
Patents: litigation (International Trade Commission) - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP has an established reputation in the life sciences, technology and consumer electronics sectors. The team includes senior counsel Brian Busey in Washington DC, Daniel Muino and Mark Whitaker.

Leading lawyers

Brian Busey - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Patents: litigation (full coverage)
Patents: litigation (full coverage) - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP impresses with an excellent track record of litigation in the life sciences, consumer products and technology sectors. Jointly led by San Francisco-based Richard Hung and Michael Jacobs, the practice group provides the full range of patent litigation services; the team has a deep bench of PTAB specialists and appellate experts, and also benefits from a big international footprint. Notably, the team regularly acts in conjunction with colleagues from the Tokyo office.

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Patents: prosecution (including re-examination and post-grant proceedings)
Patents: prosecution (including re-examination and post-grant proceedings) - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP focuses on the technology, life sciences and consumer product sectors. A standout feature is the group's experience of agriculture patents, including plant patents, and its track record of advising on plant variety protection certificates and plant breeders rights; practice head Michael Ward is the key figure in this area. Jonathan Bockman in the Northern Virginia office directs the East Coast patent prosecution group, while Los Angeles' Mehran Arjomand leads the IPR and post-grant practice. Peng Chen joined Rimon PC.

Leading lawyers

Michael Ward - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters)
Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters) - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP has a strong background in litigation as well as pre-emptive measures, such as employment and proprietary information agreements. Litigators Kenneth Kuwayti, who is based in Palo Alto, and Michael Jacobs, who is based in San Francisco, are both key figures, and are both highly skilled in the technology and life sciences sectors.

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Trademarks: litigation
Trademarks: litigation - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP is recommended for the full scope of trademark-related disputes in federal and state courts. In San Francisco, Jennifer Lee Taylor chairs the practice and is experienced in acting on matters related to apparel, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and motorcycles, among others. Benjamin Fox, a specialist in a wide range of industries, including entertainment, healthcare and financial services, is a standout attorney in the Los Angeles office.

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s compensation, benefits and ERISA practice is headed by Paul Borden, who advises on a wide range of matters relating to employee benefits, fiduciary and prohibited transaction issues arising from M&A transactions. Domnick Bozzetti sits in New York and is a key name for equity and non-equity executive compensation arrangements in the context of mergers and IPOs. Also recommended are of counsel Linda Barrett in Palo Alto, and of counsels Ali Nardali and Amanda Hines Gold. Ann Becchina and Ron Aizen joined the practice from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, and Yana Johnson left the firm for Jackson Lewis P.C.. Named lawyers are based in San Francisco unless otherwise stated.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP remains at the forefront of telecoms, media and technology (TMT) deals. In part, this is driven by its relationship with SoftBank Group, the acquisitive Japanese conglomerate. The firm advised Sprint and its controlling shareholder SoftBank on its landmark merger with T-Mobile US. The firm also advised SoftBank on its $7.7bn primary and secondary investment in Uber and advised the Japanese client on its $4.4bn series of investments in WeWork Companies. Former co-chair of the global M&A practice, Robert Townsend, joined SoftBank as chief legal officer in 2018, which should further cement the firm's relationship with its anchor client, although it will deprive it of one of its more respected and senior M&A practitioners. In another headline deal, the firm represented Renesas Electronics in its $6.7bn acquisition of Integrated Device Technology. The team 'is able to provide seamless and uninterrupted advice across many jurisdictions and time zones with a strong focus on client service'. Palo Alto partner Charles Comey is recommended for deals involving Chinese corporates and New York's Spencer Klein is noted for healthcare and life sciences transactions. Eric McCrath and Brandon Parris have fine records in technology sector deals; both 'are greatly skilled at advising on most complex and high-profile M&A transactions'. Washington DC partners David Slotkin and Lauren Bellerjeau are 'key members of the team' and recommended for real estate M&A. Global corporate group co-chair Jaclyn Liu is also highly reputed. Named partners are based in San Francisco unless stated otherwise.

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Private equity buyouts
Private equity buyouts - ranked: tier 5

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP has impressive mid-market and large-cap credentials, particularly in its San Francisco office. Its large-cap work is primarily associated with anchor client SoftBank, which it advised on its $7.7bn primary and secondary investment in Uber, as part of the company's $9.3bn sale of stock. In the middle market space, it advised Windjammer Capital portfolio company Flinn Scientific on its acquisition of WhiteBox Learning. Other key clients include Alpine Investors, Francisco Partners, Main Post Partners and Vision Ridge Partners. Key partners in the team are Dario Avram, Patrick Huard and Eric McCrath in San Francisco, Alex Kaufman in Palo Alto, and Denver-based Erik Knudsen. Former in the New York office, Jonathan Melmed has joined King & Spalding LLP.

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Venture capital and emerging companies
Venture capital and emerging companies - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP garners praise for its 'incredible knowledge of the law', and has been particularly active in handling mandates from the healthcare and life sciences sectors, an example of which included Palo Alto's Timothy Harris advising RefleXion Medical on its $100m Series C preferred stock financing. The team also acted for Menlo Therapeutics in its $50.5m Series C financing led by venBio, a life sciences investment firm, and assisted the same client with its subsequent $137m IPO. San Francisco partner Murray Indick shares leadership of the practice with San Diego's Steve Rowles and Thomas Knox in Northern Virginia. Susan Mac Cormac is another key contact in San Francisco.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Advertising and marketing: litigation
Advertising and marketing: litigation - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

The advertising and marketing team at Morrison & Foerster LLP has particular experience acting for clients in the technology, retail, and food and beverage sectors. It is handling a range of food misbranding class actions for clients such as Del Monte, Twinings, McCormick, Unilever and Amazon Preservation Partners, and is acting for Uber Technologies in several matters including TCPA litigation. San Francisco-based Tiffany Cheung heads the consumer class action practice: Los Angeles-based partner Dan Marmalefsky successfully defeated the plaintiffs’ bid for a nationwide class certification in allegations of misleading statements on can labels brought against clients Monster Beverage and Monster Energy, and David McDowell continues to represent FanDuel in over 40 multi-district litigation class action matters involving allegations of false advertising and misuse of confidential or proprietary information.

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Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection)
Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection) - ranked: tier 1

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Data Privacy and Data Protection - ranked: tier 1

Morrison & Foerster LLP

‚ÄėAt the top of its game‚Äô,¬†Morrison & Foerster LLP¬†focuses on high-profile data breaches, enforcement actions and privacy compliance matters. Clients span the consumer products, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, pharmaceutical, transportation, food and beverage, hospitality, insurance and financial sectors. New-York based co-head¬†Miriam Wugmeister‚Äôs ‚Äėguidance and experience is invaluable‚Äô. She has been assisting a number of global industry leaders with their compliance with GDPR and CCPA.¬†Julie O‚ÄôNeill¬†and Purvi Patel, who are based in Washington DC/Boston and Los Angeles respectively, have been acting for Unity Technologies in two putative class actions alleging the violation of the Children‚Äôs Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by Disney and Viacom mobile gaming apps, which use the client‚Äôs software. The ‚Äėmaster‚Äô Nathan Taylor¬†and¬†John Carlin¬†(both based in Washington DC) and New York-based associate¬†Melissa Crespo¬†are other key team members.¬†Kristen Mathews¬†joined the New York office from¬†Proskauer Rose LLP¬†in March 2019.

Leading lawyers

Julie O'Neill - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Kristen Mathews - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Miriam Wugmeister - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Rising stars

Melissa Crespo - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Fintech
Fintech - ranked: tier 1

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP boasts extensive financial services regulations experience and leverages an interdepartmental team to handle a breadth of matters in the fintech space, with particular strength in consumer lending and mobile payments. Recent work includes advising online lender Elevate Credit on its IPO and assisting SoftBank Group with several investments in fintech companies including the $500m series F financing of Social Finance and $250m series F financing of Kabbage. The practice acts for both developers and providers of fintech, and also financial institutions investing in technology, including in emerging payment and lending solutions. Other experience includes assisting e-commerce companies in utilising payment technologies. The group is jointly led by financial services expert Obrea Poindexter; Sean Ruff, who has particular experience with funds transmission and related compliance initiatives; corporate partner Eric McCrath in San Francisco; and Palo Alto-based Stephanie Sharron, who handles a range of technology, intellectual property, and data rights issues. The team was further bolstered with the arrival of Susan Gault-Brown from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, who boasts expertise in securities and derivatives law. All attorneys mentioned are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

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Outsourcing
Outsourcing - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP is involved in the outsourcing of technology-based business operations for clients in the pharmaceuticals, healthcare, cybersecurity and insurance technology sectors. Vivian L. Hanson, who is based in New York, heads the practice and San Francisco-based Paul E. Jahn is also recommended. The firm saw a number of departures in 2018-2019: Christopher D. Ford left the Washington DC office for Ballard Spahr LLP in August 2018, New York-based John F. Delaney joined Perkins Coie LLP in January 2019, and Scott W. Stevenson, also in Washington DC, left for Culhane Meadows Haughian & Walsh PLLC.

Leading lawyers

Vivian L. Hanson - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Technology transactions
Technology transactions - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP advises on the establishment of technology development joint ventures, technology and software licensing agreements and the outsourcing of technology-based business operations. Northern Virginia-based Thomas Knox has expertise in the cybersecurity, media and transportation sectors, and Vivian L. Hanson in New York is especially active in the areas of software and IT. Contacts in San Francisco include practice co-head Aaron P. Rubin, who regularly advises life sciences and healthcare companies, and Paul E. Jahn, who acted for Airmap, a provider of air traffic management systems for drone operations, in its transaction with the navigation systems operator Skyguide to enable the provision of air map services. Also recommended in San Francisco are William I. Schwartz and of counsel Scott Reynolds Carter. John F. Delaney left the New York team for Perkins Coie LLP in January 2019.

Leading lawyers

William I. Schwartz - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Next generation lawyers

Scott Reynolds Carter - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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United States: Real estate

Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP's REIT practice is 'commercial in focus and speaks in plain English, yet has very strong technical skills'. It has a strong bench of attorneys, who are experienced in capital markets, M&A, tax, real estate, real estate financing, investment management, and corporate governance. The team assisted longstanding client MedEquities Realty Trust, a REIT that is focused on healthcare properties, with its merger agreement with Omega Healthcare Investors. David Slotkin is 'very experienced and provides excellent legal and practical business advice'; Justin Salon 'takes a holistic approach to serving clients and is very knowledgeable' and the 'excellent' Lauren Bellerjeau 'runs circles around M&A lawyers on the other side'. Alice Connaughton, who advises public, non-traded REITs, was hired from Greenberg Traurig LLP, while Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP's former co-group head Heath Linsky joined in Atlanta. The lawyers recommended are in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

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United States: Tax

International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

At Morrison & Foerster LLP, San Francisco’s Bernie Pistillo is a key partner, advising on the US federal income tax aspects of international and domestic mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings and spin-offs. He recently advised SoftBank in relation to its $1bn investment in WorldVu Satellites. David Strong, managing partner of the Denver office, is another key name. Senior counsel Thomas Humphreys departed in February 2018 to Mayer Brown's New York office, while Remmelt Reigersman joined the same firm in Palo Alto.

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US taxes: contentious
US taxes: contentious - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

At Morrison & Foerster LLP, the mostly New York-based group has a reputation for state and local tax controversy matters. Key names in the group include Craig Fields, whose clients have included Agilent Technologies and Du Pont; he is advising the former in an ongoing matter at the Colorado Court of Appeals. Mitchell Newmark focuses on state and local tax litigation and appeals before administrative tribunals and judicial courts. Senior counsel Hollis Hyans and Nicole Johnson focus on company audit matters. Washington DC-based of counsel Edward Froelich specializes in federal contentious tax matters.

Leading lawyers

Craig Fields - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Next generation lawyers

Nicole Johnson - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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US taxes: non-contentious
US taxes: non-contentious - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s tax department handles M&A and REIT deals, SALT matters and restructuring, and has particular experience of the TMT, real estate and financial services industries. In one matter, Bernie Pistillo in San Francisco advised SoftBank on the tax aspects of its $5bn investment in Didi, and also on its $7.7bn primary and secondary investment as part of a $9.3bn sale of stock by Uber. Pistillo is also advising Sprint and SoftBank Group (the controlling shareholder of Sprint) on the tax aspects of the merger between Sprint and T-Mobile US. In San Diego, Shane Shelley acted for the management team of Parkway REIT in the acquisition of Parkway by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for approximately $1.2bn. Joy MacIntyre in San Francisco and David Strong based in Denver are also recommended. Jay Blaivas joined the New York office from The Blackstone Group, and William Gorrod joined the San Francisco office from Greenberg Traurig LLP in June 2018.

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