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Morrison & Foerster LLP

New York

Morrison & Foerster LLP - New York
  • 1290 Avenue of the Americas
  • New York
  • New York
  • USA
  • NY 10104-0050
  • Tel:+1 212 468 8000
  • Fax:+1 212 468 7900
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Web:Visit website
  • Chair of the Firm: Larren M Nashelsky
  • Managing Partners: Craig D Martin, Eric Piesner, Anna Erickson White
  • Number of partners worldwide: 365
  • Number of US partners: 291
  • Number of other lawyers worldwide: 735
  • Number of other US lawyers: 579
  • Regional Offices: The firm also has offices in Denver, Los Angeles, Northern Virginia, Palo Alto, Sacramento and San Diego
  • International Offices:  The firm has offices in Beijing, Brussels, Hong Kong, London, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo.

Firm Overview:
With more than 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 crossborder 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:
Antitrust & Competition:
The firm’s global antitrust lawyers are recognized leaders who resolve complex antitrust cases through dispositive motions, but are capable of taking any case to trial. They draw on a deep well of experience to obtain successful results in criminal investigations and merger reviews.

Business Restructuring & 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 the restructuring of financial institutions, crossborder insolvencies, distressed real estate, creditors’ committee representation, insolvencies involving key intellectual property and hedge fund failures.

Capital Markets:
The firm is a pioneer in developing synthetic products, hybrid securities, structured products and derivatives. MoFo ranks as one of the leading firms for issuer and underwriter representations for initial public offerings, international offerings, REIT offerings, as well as offerings of debt, hybrid, preferred and structured securities. The firm advises in connection with private placements, PIPEs, IPOs, 144A/Reg S offerings, continuous issuance programs, including MTN,CP and covered bond programs.

Financial Services:
MoFo has one of the most recognized and most experienced banking and financial services regulatory practices in the United States, with more than five decades of work in the field. The firm represents domestic and foreign banks, credit card and other payment systems companies, savings associations, industrial loan companies and other financial services organisations.

The firm’s financial transactions practice provides a wide range of services to both lenders and borrowers, with leading lawyers in finance, investment management, debt trading and infrastructure finance. The firm handles virtually every type of real and personal property secured and unsecured financing transaction.

Intellectual Property:
MoFo has one of the largest and highest-rated intellectual property practices in the world.The firm provides a full range of services, including counseling, prosecution, litigation, dispute resolution, trade secrets and licensing transactions in patent, trademark and copyright matters.

The firm’s litigators are renowned for their success in high-stakes, complex cases worldwide.MoFo has some of the top trial and appellate lawyers in the United States, as well as leading practitioners in antitrust, securities,white-collar criminal defense, products liability, class action defense, unfair competition, employment, financial services, international arbitration, intellectual property, trade secrets and patents. The firm is noted for its US Supreme Court and appellate practice. MoFo is the only international law firmin Japan with a full-service litigation capacity.

Mergers & Acquisitions:
Morrison & Foerster 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. Lawyers work as an integrated team with colleagues with deep experience in key areas such as IP, antitrust, litigation, tax, labor and benefits, finance and bankruptcy, real estate, environmental law and securities.

Project Finance & Development:
The firm’s project finance lawyers assist clients in all aspects of the development, construction, financing, restructuring and purchase and sale of infrastructure projects around the world with a focus on energy, alternative energy and renewable resources. They also provide political risk insurance counseling.

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.

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.

Areas of Practice

  • Antitrust & Competition
  • Business Restructuring & Insolvency
  • Capital Markets
  • Cleantech
  • Corporate
  • Employment & Labor
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Financial Transactions
  • Intellectual Property
  • Investment Management
  • Land Use & Environmental
  • Life Sciences
  • Litigation, Arbitration, Trials, Appeals & Supreme Court
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Privacy & Data Security
  • Product Liability
  • Project Finance & Development
  • Real Estate
  • Tax
  • Technology
  • Transactions


  • 1290 Avenue of the Americas,
  • New York,
  • USA
  • NY 10104-0050
  • Tel +1 212 468 8000
  • Fax +1 212 468 7900
  • Email : info@mofo.com
  • Website : www.mofo.com
  • 425 Market Street,
  • San Francisco,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 94105-2482
  • Tel +1 415 268 7000
  • Fax +1 415 268 7522
  • Email : info@mofo.com
  • 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW,
  • Suite 6000,
  • Washington, DC,
  • District of Columbia
  • USA
  • 20006-1888
  • Tel +1 202 887 1500
  • Fax +1 202 887 0763
  • Email : info@mofo.com

Antitrust - California

THE FIRM This group's focus is on the intersection between technology, IP and antitrust, an increasingly relevant and important part of the California antitrust market. Its clients include several major names in these areas such as Verizon, which it represented on a policy matter, and Nikon Metrology, for which it acted in a case involving antitrust matters in relation to patents. Its two California offices undertake antitrust litigation, counseling and transactional work.

Sources say: "Substantive expertise is a given - what differentiates them is that their partners are very practical and business-oriented problem solvers."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Penelope Preovolos is held in high regard by sources, who call her a "very bright and successful lawyer." Her antitrust expertise covers areas such as consumer class action defense and product liability, with an emphasis on technology matters.

Banking & Finance - California

THE FIRM Clients single out Morrison & Foerster's banking and finance team for the excellence of its debt work, and the firm has built up a strong foothold in cleantech financing as well. The group continues to represent Boyd Gaming Corporation, advising it on several significant matters, including obtaining commitments for financing the purchase of Peninsula Gaming.

Sources say: "Their work is always strong. They are pragmatic and have the ability to prioritize properly between business and legal issues."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Daniel Leventhal splits his time between California and London. Sources say: "He is good to work with and builds strong relationships with in-house counsel. Has an excellent delivery and is always timely." He is well versed in cross-border deals, including syndicated and asset-based lending matters.

Corporate/M&A - California

THE FIRM With a firm grounding in technology and life sciences, Morrison & Foerster continues to be a strong contender in the California corporate market. It has been involved in a number of important deals across the state, and the Northern California team continues to act on acquisitions for Intel and its new subsidiary, Intel McAfee. Other significant clients include Novellus, Hitachi, Clorox and Visa. In Southern California, recent highlights include representing Raymond James Financial in its $1.2 billion acquisition of Florida-headquartered Morgan Keegan.

Sources say: "I like that the team is responsive and able to address issues practically with experience-based solutions. The expansive global platform from which they operate gives us access to most of the specific expertise that is likely to become necessary."

KEY INDIVIDUALS San Francisco-based global M&A cochair Robert Townsend "is highly responsive and provides great client service," say sources. One market observer comments that he is a "highly tactical" M&A lawyer with deep expertise in Asian deals. Highlights include advising Novellus on its $3.3 billion sale to Lam Research.

San Diego partner Jay de Groot continues to represent SKINIT, most recently in its $8 million Series E financing.

San Francisco-based Michael O'Bryan has, since advising a special board of directors on taking 99 Cents Only Stores private in 2011, continued to advise the committee on potential deals in Northern California.

Stephen Thau has a strong life sciences practice, and recently acted on a $27 million Series B financing for TOPICA Pharmaceuticals.

Gavin Grover is "diligent and thoughtful," sources say, and offers "a great balance between providing the right legal counsel alongside practical business considerations." His highlights include representing healthy snack business popchips! in the sale of a majority interest to Belgian investment firm Verlinvest.

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation - California

THE FIRM This compact team comprises two California partners and is split between offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco. Its forte lies in advising firms on employee benefits, executive compensation and ERISA matters arising out of sizable corporate transactions. The group is also developing a specialty advising clients on compliance with new healthcare laws. The team recently acted for Novellus System in its merger with Lam Research, a deal valued at $3.3 billion.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Paul Borden represents clients from a variety of industries, including aerospace, finance and technology. "He is really outstanding," states a market commentator.

Michael Frank is particularly active during M&A deals and attendant transactions. He recently represented Novellus System when it merged with Lam Research.

Energy & Natural Resources - California

THE FIRM Morrison & Foerster's energy and environment practice earns high market praise, with clients particularly praising its regulatory expertise before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). In recent highlights, the group has been advising enXco, a renewable energy project development and management company, on a variety of regulatory, siting and environmental issues relating to wind and solar energy.

Sources say: "They provide outstanding representation and service in a cost-efficient manner."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Senior counsel Peter Hanschen is an experienced energy specialist who is described as an "excellent lawyer." He has recently acted for Verizon Wireless in the CPUC's investigation into utility pole failure relating to the 2007 Malibu Canyon fire.

Environment - California

THE FIRM The environment group at Morrison & Foerster is known for its strength across the full spectrum of environmental matters, and is particularly active in the renewable energy sector. It currently provides environmental advice to enXco on its wind and solar developments, and on such matters as compliance with the California Endangered Species Act and the CEQA. The team also handles high-value litigation arising from a broad range of federal and state environmental statutes, including chemical regulation relating to consumer products and food and drink.

Sources say: "I wouldn't use anyone else – they're unbelievable! They can handle a lot of technical issues and I know of no better lawyers for air quality issues." "They're a big player and we use them when we need the heavy guns."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Market-leading environmental attorney Michèle Corash has a top reputation as a "brilliant strategist" with excellent knowledge of Proposition 65 regulation.

Michael Steel wins applause from market sources for being "very responsive, very insightful and very engaged – he had a good intuition for the government agency we were dealing with and what our organization was ultimately trying to achieve." He has been closely involved in advising Union Pacific Railroad on compliance issues for the modernization of an intermodal rail yard.

According to sources, Peter Hsiao is "an amazing lawyer who is really good at advocating your position in a professional way. He is a great strategist who has never steered me wrong." Clients also value his technical understanding provided by a background in chemical engineering.

Intellectual Property - California

THE FIRM This multiservice firm has a strong Californian presence, with IP practices in its Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Palo Alto offices. The team is known for both IP litigation and patent prosecution, particularly in the hi-tech and life sciences fields. Recent work includes assisting Genentech with the development of patent strategy and prosecution. The team also acted for Oracle on a high-profile patent and copyright infringement action against Google.

Sources say: "As big a firm as it is, they're very low key and approachable. The work is great."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Jacobs is "a pillar of the Silicon Valley patent litigation community," with expertise in hi-tech and life sciences technologies. He recently represented Novell in long-running software copyright litigation, defeating damages claims of between $115 and $200 million.

Harold McElhinny focuses his practice on patent, trade secret and copyright litigation in the electronics and life sciences fields. Market commentators identify him as "a fabulous trial lawyer and a nice guy who has had some major successes." He recently obtained a summary judgment of invalidity for Nikon in relation to patent infringement claims brought by Anvik.

Rachel Krevans is a patent litigator with experience in a variety of electronic and life science technologies. Sources say she is "incredibly bright" with a "good reputation" in the market. She recently represented DISH Network/EchoStar at the Federal Circuit, achieving a summary judgment of invalidity ruling for the client.

David Doyle focuses on patent disputes in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device fields. He is also experienced in cases involving electronics. He recently acted for Sandoz in a number of ANDA litigation matters, defending its products against infringement claims made by Allergan and Hospira, among others.

IT & Outsourcing - California

THE FIRM This team of highly esteemed practitioners meets with widespread acclaim. The firm's global sourcing and technology transactions group brings a wealth of expertise to complex deals, and is singled out by interviewees for the intellectual strength that hones its work product. The dedicated team attracts a host of high-profile clients such as Dreamworks Animation and Intel, with the latter instructing lawyers in a series of strategic acquisitions. The firm is particularly well known for its expertise in areas of high activity, such as social media and cloud computing.

Sources say: "They are very attuned to commercial realities and have a wide range of experience that is beneficial to their clients."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "excellent" William Schwartz is singled out for his "encyclopedic knowledge of licensing law and agreements." An established presence in the field, he has wide-ranging expertise that includes strategic alliances and outsourcing transactions. Sources attribute his success to his "practical, experienced and really smart" approach. He has continued to represent Yahoo! in a series of transactions.

Paul Jahn is "a very strong strategist and negotiator" whose pragmatism and tireless dedication in complex deals impresses both peers and clients. Interviewees praise his responsiveness and attention to the commercial realities of business. Recent highlights include advising Intel on its acquisitions of QLogic Corporation's InfiniBand networking assets and Fulcrum Microsystems.

Rising star Aaron Rubin stands out to market commentators for his ability to explain legal terminology to the layperson. Sources note the "bright and detail-oriented" approach that produces "an excellent work product." The past year has seen him represent Dreamworks Animation on a joint venture in China.

Interviewees praise Tessa Schwartz's astute understanding of her clients' business needs. She is "exceedingly practical and smart about what really matters in a deal." An impressive breadth of practice sees her handle a range of transactions for both emerging and established clients, such as Catchlight Energy and McAfee.

Labor & Employment - California

THE FIRM This compact but effective seven-partner team is dispersed among four offices, and enjoys a growing reputation for its litigation capabilities. Wage and hour class actions form a substantial part of the team's work, but the group also handles trade secrets, misclassification and discrimination matters. The group recently advised Brinker Restaurants on a California Supreme Court case, the ruling of which stated that employers have to provide meal breaks, but do not have to ensure that employees take meal breaks.

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "excellent" Karen Kubin is particularly well regarded for her work in wage and hour class actions, although she is equipped to handle a range of employment issues. She recently acted on the influential Brinker case.

Raymond Wheeler is considered to be a veteran of the labor and employment space. He has an impressively broad practice encompassing matters such as union organizing and trade secrets issues.

Life Sciences - California

THE FIRM This highly regarded firm advises life sciences clients from its San Diego, Palo Alto and San Francisco offices. The team has an excellent reputation for IP matters, including patent prosecution, enforcement and counseling. As well as an active product liability litigation practice, the firm also has strong corporate capabilities, and can draw on in-depth expertise in early round financings. Key clients include Genentech, Novartis and Sandoz.

Sources say: "Morrison & Foerster has a really good reputation in this area."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers describe Gladys Monroy as a "stateswoman of patent prosecution" in California. Her practice ranges from strategy and patent portfolio management to interference, reexamination and reissue proceedings. She also undertakes due diligence evaluations and patentability analysis.

Catherine Polizzi assists clients with portfolio management and patent prosecution, as well as due diligence reviews and opinion work. Her experience takes in a broad spectrum of areas, including biologics, nanotechnology, drug formulation and nucleic acids.

Stephen Thau is a biotech specialist who offers clients "outstanding advice and timely follow-up." He has been highly active in venture financings of late, and also handles strategic alliances, licensing and public offerings.

John Campbell is a corporate attorney whose practice covers M&A, venture capital financings and public and private securities offerings. His client base includes various life sciences companies, investors and underwriters.

Sources name Kate Murashige as an "extremely distinguished" practitioner in the California life sciences industry. She represents clients in patent drafting and prosecution, and is seen as a thought-leader in biotechnology litigation.

Litigation - California

THE FIRM Drawing on excellent national and international resources, this litigation giant is a natural choice for big-ticket commercial and securities litigation. The firm continues to handle complex litigation matters, such as representing Capital One and US Bank in a major overdraft fee class action spanning several jurisdictions, obtaining a $21 million arbitration award on behalf of Marin General Hospital, and handling a $2.5 billion breach of contract dispute on behalf of EchoStar Satellite. It has also assisted clients with impressive securities matters, such as representing a Chinese automotive parts manufacturer in a class action involving insider trading and securities fraud allegations.

Sources say: "Excellent advocates. They demonstrate excellent judgment and a mastery of their subspecialties."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Arturo González is a "dynamic individual" praised for "reading judges well and bonding with the jury." He cochairs the firm's litigation practice and recently represented International Lease Finance and AIG in their suits alleging breach of fiduciary duty and trade secret theft.

Jordan Eth is championed by peers and clients for being "practical, thorough and experienced in the securities area." He is renowned for his prestigious securities practice and has a strong track record in advising public companies with SEC investigations and complex derivative matters. He recently handled a high-profile securities class action on behalf of Yahoo! involving Chinese regulations limiting foreign ownership of online payment systems.

Real Estate - California

THE FIRM The real estate practice at Morrison & Foerster places particular focus on workouts and restructuring work, representing major banks such as JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Eurohypo. The group also has strong expertise in loan origination, and recently advised AMB Property Corporation on a $210 million portfolio financing and $160 million loan restructuring, secured by a portfolio of 26 properties in six states. Other key clients represented by the firm include Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Gramercy Capital and AREA Property Management.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Thomas Fileti is experienced in a variety of real estate finance transactions, with emphasis on the lease financing of corporate real estate assets. "He's a smart, cooperative and knowledgeable lawyer who pursues his clients' interests," say clients.

Marc Young chairs the firm's global real estate group. He undertakes high-profile work for investment banks, capital companies, commercial banks and mezzanine investment funds. According to sources, he is "a businessman's lawyer," and "very thorough and well respected."

The eminent Kim Seneker has extensive experience in California real estate law, from land use matters to complex financing transactions.

Sources describe Scott McPhee as "a practical lawyer who gets deals done, with expertise in tricky high-end lending." He represents investors, lenders, owners and developers on real estate financing matters including joint ventures and ground leases.

Tax - California

THE FIRM This extensive tax team enjoys a solid reputation advising clients on state and local tax matters especially. It also provides comprehensive advice on tax ancillary to funds, real estate and infrastructure, and M&A transactions. Besides a strong local client base, the firm serves many major names, including the likes of General Mills and Toshiba.

Sources say: "The team has excellent communications skills and the lawyers are able to explain highly technical issues within a nonlegal context."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Eric Coffill receives widespread praise thanks to his litigation skills in state and local tax controversy work.  

Corporate/M&A - Colorado

THE FIRM This nationally renowned firm's group in Colorado has been boosted in recent years by a series of partner-level hires. The office has expertise in private equity and represents clients in a number of different industries. Recent highlights include acting for DaVita on its recent $4.4 billion acquisition of Healthcare Partners Holdings.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Tara Dunn is a key contact.

Antitrust - District of Columbia

THE FIRM The antitrust practice group at Morrison & Foerster was boosted by the arrival of Roxann Henry from Dewey & LeBoeuf in May 2012. She joins an emerging group that is well regarded by sources for the understanding of economics it can bring to its antitrust work, and for its expertise in the technology sector. Recent cases include representing Elpida Memory in its $2.5 billion sale to Micron.

Sources say: "What differentiates their partners is that they are not only substantively strong, but also very practical and business-oriented problem solvers."

KEY INDIVIDUALS One source calls Stephen Smith "the single smartest lawyer in Washington," while others highlight his "ability to coalesce the issue into actionable, practical advice." His antitrust practice covers civil litigation and he has a strong reputation in merger-related antitrust work. He recently represented Intel in a $4.1 billion transaction with ASML Holdings.

The experienced Roxann Henry is an "excellent lawyer" with a reputation for being a "tough, hard-nosed advocate." She practices across antitrust law and since her arrival at the firm has largely been focusing on cartel and criminal defense matters.

David Meyer is described as a "really smart, really strong lawyer" who "understands the issues well and is well connected." He has a wide-ranging antitrust practice with a niche in representing railroads in transportation-related issues. His recent work includes the abovementioned Elpida Memory matter.

Corporate/M&A - District of Columbia

THE FIRM This international firm serves a range of domestic and international clients from its DC office, utilizing its cross-border experience to provide full coverage of M&A, financing, securities and advisory issues. Regular clients include Deutsche Bank, Citi and Salient Federal Solutions. The team recently advised ManTech Group on its $90 million acquisition of Worldwide Information Network Systems.

Sources say: "It is a strong firm; we regularly see it in the market."

KEY INDIVIDUALS David Lynn and David Slotkin are two key contacts at the firm.

Intellectual Property - District of Columbia

THE FIRM MoFo's DC office is a hotbed of IP litigation talent, and continues to impress in this domain, leading high-profile representations in district, federal and ITC court settings. Electrical and chemical engineering are areas of pronounced strength for the team, which includes a number of former federal circuit clerks. It acts for a number of prominent science and technology market leaders, among them Fujitsu, Huawei, Novartis and Toshiba.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Brian Busey is a key contact.

Technology - District of Columbia

THE FIRM Morrison & Foerster's outsourcing group continues to handle a diverse range of business-critical work. The team draws on the firm's wider expertise in a wealth of practice areas to provide comprehensive support to an international clientele. Its lawyers are experienced in the specific concerns that affect transactions from a variety of industries, including life sciences, financial services and clean technology. The practice attracts market-leading clients such as Ingersoll-Rand, Novartis and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the latter of which it recently represented in a sizable facilities management outsourcing.

Sources say: "First-class; working with them is a pleasure."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Global sourcing group chair Christopher Ford is recommended for his "expertise in the IT field, diligence and sound guidance." He is experienced in the full spectrum of ITO and BPO outsourcing transactions, joint ventures and licensing matters on an international scale. He recently advised Bank of America on an $850 million card processing services outsourcing transaction.

Antitrust - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm has recently strengthened its presence in Washington, DC, giving it a recognized antitrust practice on the East Coast to go with its established presence in California. Sources praise the group's depth of expertise in the antitrust arena, and highlight its aptitude in technology and IP-related matters. It is also experienced in handling work with cross-border elements, and tackles complex litigation and transactions for a wide range of clients. It recently acted for JPMorgan Chase in the ATM fees antitrust litigation.

Commercial Awareness "What differentiates their partners is that they are not only substantively strong, but also very practical and business-oriented problem solvers. You don't just get the black letter law but also a very practical solution that allows you to apply it to the real world situation."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The practice group heads are Stephen Smith and David Meyer, both based out of the Washington, DC office.

Appellate Law - Nationwide

THE FIRM This active firm remains a popular choice for appellate matters, and is particularly experienced in handling complex Supreme Court arguments. The team's impressive work includes achieving an 8-0 win before the Supreme Court in the closely watched RadLAX Gateway Hotel v Amalgamated Bank case, representing the latter party. 

Sources say: "I really think their performance is excellent, and they have consistently been very adept as attorneys."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Deanne Maynard chairs the firm's appellate practice, arguing an impressive number of cases before the Supreme Court and is deemed "very skilled" by market commentators. She has recently worked on behalf of Synovus Bank, Bank of America and NuVasive.  

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Nationwide

THE FIRM Morrison & Foerster has experienced another successful year, with its bankruptcy and restructuring team now a fixture among the major players in the industry. The group undertakes the gamut of bankruptcy-related representations, with high-profile recent engagements for both debtor and creditor-side clients. Its recent highlights include advising ResCap on what has been one of the biggest bankruptcy filings of the past year. It also continues to advise the Chapter 11 trustee of MF Global on its highly public bankruptcy case. On the creditor-side, the team is representing the unsecured creditors' committees in both the PMI and Pinnacle Airlines Chapter 11 proceedings.

Commercial Awareness "They're very commercial and aggressive, with a very good understanding of the market around them. They take into account all aspects of the situation."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Brett Miller is managing partner of Morrison & Foerster's New York office. He is a "professional, smart, deal-oriented lawyer," according to interviewees, who add: "He is very bright and gets the whole process – he is great at moving people into positions to get deals done." He is currently lead counsel to Louis Freeh, the Chapter 11 trustee in the MF Global bankruptcy, and is also advising the unsecured creditors' committee in the bankruptcy of Pinnacle Airlines.

Capital Markets - Nationwide

THE FIRM This team is held in high esteem for its diverse array of transactions including IPOs, preferred stock offerings and investment grade offerings. It represented National Bank of Canada in the establishment of a $5 billion medium-term bank note program. Other clients include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the Resolution Committee of Landsbanki and RBC Capital Markets.

Sources say: "They are responsive and highly knowledgeable about the financial markets and financial institutions."

KEY INDIVIDUALS James Tanenbaum is praised by sources as a "highly effective and tough negotiator." He represented the underwriters in Capital One Financial's $1.25 billion issue of common stock.

Capital Markets - Nationwide

THE FIRM This team is active in advising clients on regulatory, transactional and restructuring matters across a range of derivatives asset classes. It is also recognized for its expertise in structuring novel products. Highlights include advising Residential Capital on its insolvency proceedings and derivatives claims. Other clients include the Royal Bank of Canada, UBS and HSBC.

Commercial Awareness "I really get the sense that they have their finger on the pulse."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "extremely responsive" Anna Pinedo is "knowledgeable and diligent," "identifies issues" and "gets the deals done," impressed clients say. She advised Incapital on the establishment of a $500 million SEC-registered repackaging program.

David Kaufman "knows his stuff" and is "responsive at communicating market developments and managing overall investment bank relationships," clients say. He represented Merrill Lynch on establishing its first Rule 144A structured note program.

Climate Change - Nationwide

THE FIRM Morrison & Foerster's climate change group is pivotal to its broader cleantech group, which offers clients significant expertise in matters including corporate, litigation and environment issues. It regularly acts for a broad client base, such as insurers, alternative energy providers and technology platform companies. The group was recently involved in eight lawsuits on behalf of Sierra Pacific Industries, each of which centers around a challenge to the impact analysis of greenhouse gas emissions for almost all of the California timber operations. Key clients also include Ceres, Nature Conservancy and EDF Renewable Energy.

Sources say: "They have been fundamental in guiding our people."

KEY INDIVIDUALS San Francisco-based William Sloan leads the environmental practice group's carbon team.

Corporate/M&A - Nationwide

THE FIRM This robust firm has a corporate presence across the country, notably featuring highly rated practices on both coasts. Its recent engagement by Softbank to act on its acquisition of a 70% stake in Sprint Nextel for $20.1 billion propelled this ambitious global firm into the limelight. Its technology, life sciences and healthcare sector expertise makes it an attractive prospect for a wide range of corporate clients, including the likes of DaVita, Intel and Hitachi.    

Commercial Awareness "I would say that they are pragmatic lawyers, they understand the big picture and the business objectives, and are not overly legalistic in their analysis."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Scott Stanton is a notable contact in the San Diego office.

Financial Services Regulation - Nationwide

THE FIRM Sources note that the strength of the Morrison & Foerster regulatory practice is its depth of knowledge and expertise in the consumer finance space. The team has been advising financial services giants including JPMorgan Chase, Capital One Financial and ING on the regulatory compliance considerations surrounding consumer product portfolios and transactional matters. It has been active in helping clients to comply with credit card regulatory requirements imposed by the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act. It also draws upon the firm's broad international platform to advise non-US banking entities on US regulatory matters, notably gaining regulatory approvals on behalf of Bank of Communications, a Chinese financial institution, for a new West Coast branch. 

Client Service "They are easy to work with and they give great advice. They are always available and accessible when we need them."

Commercial Awareness "They have the expertise and depth to provide quick concise legal analysis for us to understand not only the legal aspects but also the political context."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Fischer is described by sources as the "dean of consumer lawyers." He is "knowledgeable on both historical and current regulatory trends" and is "creative in his ability to ensure that you can get to the right answer." Fischer's particular forte is in the credit card arena and he has been advising Capital One on the new compliance requirements imposed by the CARD Act.

Oliver Ireland advises the firm's banking clients on regulatory compliance issues. He is considered to be a preeminent expert on consumer finance payment system issues, with sources noting that he has "superb insights" and moreover "helps us navigate a very complex regulatory environment and is an incredibly valuable resource."

San Francisco-based Michael Agoglia is an active and well-respected litigator practicing in the consumer finance arena. He is a former cochair of the firm's financial services litigation group and is noted for his handling of consumer class actions.

Respondents consider Los Angeles-based Henry Fields to be "experienced, knowledgeable and creative when it comes to regulation and M&A." Fields has particular strength in the West Coast market and is valued for his knowledge of "all the pitfalls and regulatory options and his ability to explain them."

Respected banking lawyer Barbara Mendelson provides regulatory counseling to domestic and international banks and assists clients to obtain necessary regulatory approvals in relation to transactions. She handled the aforementioned matters for the Bank of Communications.

New York-based consumer finance litigator Mark Ladner gains recognition for his expertise in the payment card and systems arena and is an accomplished consumer class action attorney.

Highly respected consumer regulatory specialist Leonard Chanin joins the firm from the CFPB, where he served as assistant director. He is tipped to be an important player and a future leader in regulatory compliance matters at a federal level.

Donald Lampe recently joined the team from Dykema Gossett. Lampe is considered to be a talented attorney who "really gets into the fight on issues." He represents a range of financial service providers on consumer regulatory matters, with a focus on mortgage-related compliance issues.

Intellectual Property - Nationwide

THE FIRM This large and distinguished practice group has a very strong market presence, above all in California and Washington, DC. The formidable IP litigation practice has been at the forefront of some of the most significant high-technology and life sciences cases: notably, it acted for Bayer HealthCare where a federal court found that certain patents were not enforceable against Bayer due to the principle of inequitable conduct. The case has attracted considerable attention. The group's accomplished copyright, patent and trademark prosecution and transactional resources are also well regarded.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Rachel Krevans and Michael Ward, both based in San Francisco, are the group practice heads.

International Arbitration - Nationwide

THE FIRM Morrison & Foerster maintains a notable presence in the international arbitration arena, and has core strength in trial advocacy skills. It has particular expertise in IP-related matters and disputes arising from the technology industry. It also has a particular focus on arbitrations involving Asia. The group recently represented SUSE Linux in an ICC arbitration against The SCO Group that involved claims of copyright infringement.

KEY INDIVIDUALS San Francisco-based James Schurz is a key contact.

International Trade - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm maintains a very active ITC practice, and attracts plaudits for both the strength of its team and the caliber of its clients. The team has been heavily involved in the 'smartphone wars', and is also handling cases involving numerous other technologies. Highlights include representing Hitachi Metals in a case regarding patents for rare earth magnets used in household, automobile and military products. The group also defended Fujitsu against claims that two flash memory reader patents had been infringed.

Sources say: "They kept us fully informed through every phase, and were very responsive and available."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Brian Busey is a respected ITC trial lawyer who is a real hit with clients: "He has good insight and can give us strategic advice regarding the whole direction of a case."

Life Sciences - Nationwide

THE FIRM This multiservice firm has a strong West Coast practice in addition to offices in New York, DC, Denver and Northern Virginia. The team is particularly known for its work with Asian companies and US companies in the Asian market. In addition to IP and corporate capabilities, the firm also assists clients in product liability cases. Recent work includes representing Japanese company Terumo in the $2.6 billion purchase of CaridianBCT, the US medical device company.

Sources say: "They have made huge inroads into the Japanese market and are really considered leaders." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources describe Kate Murashige as "the mother of biotechnology litigation" in California. An experienced life sciences attorney, she advises clients on patent prosecution, due diligence, opinion work and reexaminations. 

Outsourcing - Nationwide

THE FIRM Morrison & Foerster's global sourcing group attracts a stellar lineup of clients from a range of industries such as pharmaceuticals, financial services and cleantech. The team assisted Bank of America in a transaction to outsource processing services for its credit card portfolio. Clients also include Ingersoll Rand and Residential Capital.

Commercial Awareness "All aspects of their work are excellent - particularly their  commercial acumen, understanding of our business priorities and negotiating skills."

KEY INDIVIDUALS John Delaney is noted for the hi-tech expertise that complements his outsourcing capabilities. Clients range from emerging companies to established entities, while sources comment that "he is very focused on adding value, has a tremendous level of experience and is very practical."

Market leaders recommend Christopher Ford for his "expertise, diligence and sound guidance." The global sourcing group chair centers his practice around high-value ITO and BPO transactions for clients such as Ingersoll Rand.

Vivian Hanson's knowledge and experience are held in high regard by both peers and clients, with one interviewee remarking that "I'm always glad she's on my side of the table." Hanson is notable for her expert handling of large-scale transactions involving a diverse range of industries, and for her specialist knowledge of the Japanese market.

Privacy & Data Security - Nationwide

THE FIRM This continues to be considered one of the nation's premier firms for privacy and data security issues. The team's expertise includes data security breaches, regulatory investigations, and data protection and privacy policy implementation. The team has particularly close ties with the financial services sector, and recently represented Citibank in two consumer class actions stemming from allegations of data security breach. Other clients include Capital One Financial, Visa and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Sources say: "With regard to international data privacy and security issues, they have more lawyers who are knowledgeable in this area, more collective experience and better worldwide resources."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Fischer remains a leading figure whom peers regard as "brilliant." He is notable for his expert handling of matters involving clients from the financial industry, but offers experience of a wide range of industries.

Reed Freeman has a commendable breadth of industry knowledge, and is notable for his capable handling of FTC matters.

Global privacy and data security chair Miriam Wugmeister advises high-profile clients on the collection, use, disclosure and transfer of information. Sources attest that she is a "great" attorney and "a real force" in the privacy and data security Bar.

Privacy expert Andrew Smith routinely advises clients from the financial sector. He is well known for his regulatory expertise, and sources describe him as "a thoughtful, sensible legal thinker."

Shortly prior to publication, Andrew Serwin joined the team from Foley & Lardner. Serwin is commended for the strength of his practice. Work highlights at his previous firm include acting on behalf of Spokeo in an FTC matter alleging improprieties following the sale of internet information, and leading in the aforementioned matter for Wyndham Worldwide.

Products Liability - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm maintains a solid presence in the market, offering experience in a range of matters including toxic torts and pharmaceutical product liability. The trial team receives particular praise from market commentators. Recent work highlights include defending APP Pharmaceuticals in multidistrict litigation and in state consolidated cases concerning the generic form of a cancer treatment. Other clients include Bayer, Lucasfilm and MD Helicopters.

Sources say: "I'm always pleased with what they do for us. They work efficiently and have some very good talent and depth."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Erin Bosman leads the practice from the firm's San Diego office.

Projects - Nationwide

THE FIRM This practice stands out for its strength in renewables and alternative energy projects, representing clients such as First Solar, CleanPath Ventures and Petra Solar. Recent work highlights include representing the Department of Energy in relation to its funding for a $2 billion solar thermal project, and being involved in connection with the big-ticket financing of a hydroelectric power plant in Peru.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeffrey Chester recently joined the firm from Kaye Scholer LLP. Chester is "very entrepreneurial and commercially oriented, with a firm grasp of both the law and what it takes to actually get a deal done." While at his prior firm he represented RPM in connection with the $116 million financing of several wind energy projects.

Securities - Nationwide

THE FIRM Morrison & Foerster provides broad-spectrum securities advice delivered by a geographically dispersed but operationally integrated team. The team is applauded for its thorough and creative litigation defense capabilities and acts for some of the world's biggest household names on securities and derivatives lawsuits. It has represented Yahoo!, Capital One, Zynga and various officers and directors in recent class and shareholder actions. 

Client Service "An excellent firm to work with: very capable attorneys, reasonable billed hours and very customer service-oriented."

KEY INDIVIDUALS "First-rate" Jordan Eth is located in San Francisco and cochairs the litigation, enforcement, and white-collar defense practice group. An accomplished securities litigator, Eth is praised for his passion and efficiency and has played a lead role in noteworthy cases for the key brands mentioned above.

David Lynn cochairs the firm's 25-partner public companies group. He advises clients on securities regulation compliance and has a special focus on executive compensation disclosure and reporting requirements. 

Martin Dunn recently joined the team from O'Melveny & Myers. Dunn is an immensely respected regulatory expert who spent two decades at the SEC prior to joining the firm. He provides high-end securities counseling on regulatory compliance and transactional matters.

Tax - Nationwide

THE FIRM Morrison & Foerster has recently seen substantial growth in tax controversy matters relating to bankruptcy. The firm can call upon impressive knowledge relating to complex financial instruments and has extensive experience in tax litigation. Its capabilities are especially lauded in state and local tax controversy issues, as well as in federal engagements. The team's recent highlights include representing the Official Unsecured Creditors' Committee of Ambac in the US tax aspects of the company's high-profile bankruptcy proceedings.

Client Service "There is always someone available to address any problems or issues that might arise. The firm has always been very responsive."

Commercial Awareness "I would regard their commercial sense as high – they have an excellent understanding of our business and the issues therein."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Edward Froelich is a rising name in the tax controversy arena. He recently played a key role in the firm's representation of the Official Unsecured Creditors' Committee of Ambac. 

Paul Frankel is a nationally renowned practitioner highlighted as a superb attorney in state tax issues. He has an impressive track record in litigation and a very good reputation for both state and local tax controversy.

Transportation - Nationwide

THE FIRM Market observers praise this firm's impressive track record in aviation-related disputes. The team is recognized for its representation of helicopter manufacturers, including Honeywell and MD Helicopters. Recent matters include the high-profile Getz v Honeywell case, arising from a Chinook helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Other clients include Cessna Aircraft and Amlin Aviation.

Client Service "The lawyers mapped out in advance what their strategy was, told us what the key points of law and evidence were, and they were right because it all worked."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "articulate and thoughtful" Don Rushing is a respected product liability and trial lawyer. He attracts praise from the market, with one source commenting on his "first-class papers and good oral advocacy." He has a lead role on trial and litigation work for Cessna Aircraft.

William O'Connor acted on the aforementioned Getz v Honeywell matter, and has also advised MD Helicopters. He is described as "a very good lawyer."

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - New York

THE FIRM This group has continued to make great strides in the bankruptcy and restructuring industry with a steady flow of extremely high-profile engagements. Its broad range of expertise includes debtor, creditor and lender-side matters. On the debtor side, it is currently advising Residential Capital and the Chapter 11 trustee of MF Global in relation to each of their high-profile bankruptcies. On the creditor side, the team advised the unsecured creditors' committees in connection with the PMI and Pinnacle Airlines Chapter 11 proceedings. 

Sources say: "They're very commercial and aggressive, with a very good understanding of the market around them. They take into account all aspects of the situation."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Brett Miller has gained considerable prominence of late from his ongoing representation of Louis Freeh, Chapter 11 trustee in the MF Global bankruptcy. He is described as a "professional, smart, deal-oriented lawyer." Miller is particularly highlighted for his expertise in the aviation sector, and is currently advising the unsecured creditors' committee in the bankruptcy of Pinnacle Airlines.

Larren Nashelsky was recently appointed global chair of Morrison & Foerster. Prior to being elected, Nashelsky led the firm's representation of ResCap in its $15 billion bankruptcy case. 

Gary Lee Gary Lee is the chair of the bankruptcy and restructuring group and cochair of the finance department. He is currently lead counsel to ResCap during its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and has quickly made a name for himself in the industry. Interviewees praise him as "very smart, direct and to the point. He doesn't break glass and he makes sure he maximizes his time - there is no guesswork in what he thinks or says."

Anthony Princi is acclaimed for his "excellent communication and understanding of the commercial and economic impacts of various legal outcomes." While maintaining a broad range of expertise, he is especially noted for his knowledge of representing creditors' committees in insurance company restructurings. 

Lorenzo Marinuzzi takes the spotlight with a number of prominent roles in some of the most significant bankruptcies this past year. Interviewees are "incredibly impressed with his ability to convey positions to the judge."

Corporate/M&A - New York

THE FIRM The New York office of this preeminent West Coast firm houses a six-partner M&A team with expertise in life sciences and technology, as well as apparel and financial services. As a consequence of the firm's strong Asian offering, the group continues to receive mandates from top-drawer Far East clients such as Terumo and Toshiba. Important domestic clients include DaVita and Qatalyst Partners. Recent highlights include advising CNOOC's financial advisers BMO Nesbitt Burns on the company's $19.4 billion deal to acquire Nexen.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Mark Wojciechowski recently joined the team from Allen & Overy. Wojciechowski is highly experienced in M&A, as well as leveraged and acquisition finance. He continues to advise major banks, as well as long-term client Balfour Beatty, on a range of corporate matters.

Litigation - New York

THE FIRM The New York-based contingent of this impressive firm offers substantial litigation capabilities both in the USA and on an international scale. Sources highlight the exceptional depth of its litigation bench, highlighting the quality of its practitioners, from associates to partners. The team handles a broad range of commercial litigation, and is also noted for its securities and white-collar criminal defense expertise. It works with high-profile clients such as Cadbury, Ernst & Young, Nikon and Novartis.

Sources say: "It is an excellent firm to work with and has very capable attorneys. They are very customer service-oriented."  

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "excellent" Jack Auspitz is highly commended for his securities litigation expertise. "He knows the field inside out and has great presence," say sources. He has particular expertise in representing non US-based clients in securities disputes, such as Astellas Pharma and Qiao Xing Universal Telephone.

Carl Loewenson is acclaimed for his "very experienced and calm" approach to handling white-collar criminal defense litigation and investigations. He represents individuals and institutions in a range of matters, and has acted as receiver in three enforcement actions brought by the SEC.

Market commentators highlight Dennis Orr's notable experience as a trial lawyer. He focuses on commercial litigation, and his client base reflects the impressive breadth of his practice.

Real Estate - New York

THE FIRM Morrison & Foerster's real estate group is highly respected in the corporate and finance arenas. Interviewees praise its performance in a whole host of roles, including as lender's counsel, and in refinancings and distressed debt purchases, and in M&A-related real estate matters. Its recent highlights include representing Amalgamated Bank as agent for lenders of loans totaling nearly $300 million secured by the Radisson at Los Angeles International and by the Intercontinental Hotel at O'Hare Airport in Chicago.

Sources say: "The service has been excellent, the attorneys are very knowledgeable of the industry, and they're very responsive."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Department chair Mark Edelstein is described by interviewees as "thoughtful, smart and responsive," and is also praised as "very creative in problem solving." He represented JPMorgan Chase in the restructuring and enforcement of a $580 million loan for a planned community project in Nevada.

Tax - New York

THE FIRM The tax group here has a burgeoning reputation for its federal tax and state and local tax practice. In the former area it advises clients on dispositions, M&A, reorganizations, joint ventures, restructurings and financings, among other matters. Its impressive clients include BNP Paribas and the Bank of Montreal. The group also recently represented Merrill Lynch in a matter relating to the development of notes connected to the Investable Volatility Index.

Sources say: "There is always someone available to address any problems or issues that might arise. The firm has always been very responsive."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Craig Fields is admired for his capabilities in state tax litigation and planning. Clients praise his ability to "balance what the state is trying to do and what the taxpayer is trying to accomplish," and regard him as a "very effective litigator: highly competent, and very good at articulating his points."

Paul Frankel practices in the area of federal tax controversy and state and local tax. Sources laud him as "a nationally renowned state tax attorney and litigator."  

Technology - New York

THE FIRM Morrison & Foerster maintains its position at the top of the rankings. Its technology transactions and global sourcing group is recognized for the breadth of expertise it offers. Market commentators note the legal and commercial acumen displayed by members of the practice in a range of transactions, such as outsourcing, acquisitions, licensing and life sciences. Clients benefit from the group's ability to harness the firm's international presence for cross-border deals. Lawyers from the group continue to be retained by Warner Music Group, Moody's Investors Service and Intel, the latter of which the team recently advised on IP issues relating to a series of strategic transactions.

Sources say: "It is a top-quality firm and brings a great depth of knowledge and skill." "Their client service is unparalleled."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Vivian Hanson "is super bright, multilingual and a tough negotiator without seeming so, and has great depth in numerous commercial areas as well as all aspects of IT transactions." She is well known for her skill in the field of large-scale outsourcing, particularly matters with an international element. She is also commended for her knowledge and understanding of the Japanese market. Recent work highlights include representing Toshiba in an $850 million buyout of IBM's retail services division.

Interviewees draw attention to John Delaney's established reputation in the field, noting an impressive strength of practice. He is best known for the caliber of his work in the technology and outsourcing sector, but also advises on matters involving privacy and data security. His highlights include representing a multinational consumer goods company in privacy and data security matters spanning more than 90 countries.

Rising star Rufus Pichler "knows his stuff really well," say sources; "in terms of being able to solve problems, he is very practical and quick, and understands all arguments." Pichler is recognized for his prowess in matters concerning patent portfolios, software and licensing. He recently acted for Hitachi on the sale of its hard disk drive and data storage business.

Corporate/M&A - Northern Virginia

THE FIRM This firm had a busy year in the corporate/M&A market in Northern Virginia. The team has broad expertise, including in representing both public and private companies in securities and financing transactions. Notably, 2012 saw the firm expand its government contracts group with a number of significant lateral hires. Representative work highlights include acting for software company Sonatype on its $25 million Series C venture capital financing, and advising Salient Federal Solutions on its acquisition of ATS.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Thomas Knox is the cochair of the firm's East Coast/Europe corporate practice. He is highly rated for his professional approach and involvement in technology and life sciences transactions. He recently advised ManTech International on its acquisition of HBGary.

Lawrence Yanowitch is praised for his "zealous advocacy." Peers describe him as a "very skilled, very thorough and very determined" attorney. He cochairs the firm's global M&A group and was involved in the ManTech/HBGary deal alongside Knox.

Gregory Giammittorio is an "experienced, poised and very effective negotiator," say interviewees. He acted for ITT Exelis on its acquisition of Space Computer Corporation.

Charles Katz advises on M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions, divestitures and strategic investments. Work highlights include advising Novak Biddle on the sale of its portfolio company Copiun to Good Technology.