California Lawyer magazine announced that Morrison & Foerster partners Sean P. Gates and Robert S. Townsend have been named among 45 attorneys to receive the 15th annual California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Awards. The CLAY Awards are given to California attorneys whose achievements had a significant impact over the past year, or whose work is expected to have such an effect in the coming years.
Mr. Gates, resident in the Los Angeles office, is being honored in the Pro Bono category for his work on behalf of inner-city students in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Working closely with Public Counsel and the ACLU of Southern California, Mr. Gates and his team of MoFo attorneys won an innovative class action that ensures LAUSD considers equal protection implications as well as teacher seniority in making layoff decisions. In October 2010, LAUSD broadened the settlement class to protect up to 45 schools that the district determines would be disproportionately harmed by teacher layoffs.
Mr. Townsend, resident in the San Francisco office, is being honored in the Transactional Law category for leading his team of lawyers in representing Intel in two of the biggest U.S. technology deals of 2010. Mr. Townsend was the chief negotiator in Intel's acquisition of Internet security company McAfee Inc. for $7.7 billion and Infineon Technologies' wireless chip unit for $1.4 billion. The McAfee deal was Intel's largest acquisition ever and the Infineon deal is part of Intel's strategy to grow its revenues and its business in mobile computing, smartphones, tablets, and so-called embedded computing in the software industry.
Mr. Gates and Mr. Townsend, along with the other honorees, will be presented with the award on March 8 in San Francisco, and profiles of the recipients will be published in California Lawyer's March 2011 issue.