NEW YORK, N.Y. – October 17, 2012 – Morrison & Foerster today announced that Larren M. Nashelsky begins his term as Chair of the firm. The co-chair of the firm's Bankruptcy and Restructuring practice, Mr. Nashelsky previously served as a firmwide Managing Partner. As Chair, he plays a leading role in providing strategic direction and setting policy for the firm. He succeeds Keith Wetmore, who spent 12 years as firm Chair and will continue with the firm as Chair Emeritus.
"I am grateful to the Chair Selection Committee, the Board of Directors, and my partners for the confidence they have exhibited in me," said Mr. Nashelsky. "I am incredibly fortunate to assume my new role at a time when Morrison & Foerster is strong in all respects, thanks to the exemplary leadership and extraordinary contributions of Keith Wetmore, our executive leadership team, and many others. I am honored by this opportunity and will work tirelessly to build on their work and make the firm an even more valued and trusted advisor to our clients around the world."
"It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve the firm as Chair for the past 12 years," said Mr. Wetmore. "The firm has never been stronger and will continue to thrive under Larren's leadership. I will do everything I can to assure a smooth transition and to contribute to the ongoing success of MoFo."
According to San Diego Partner Don Rushing, who led the Chair Selection Committee, "We had the privilege of speaking with every partner about who the next Chair should be. We are in an outstanding position for a transition to a new generation of leadership. Our practices are strong, with headline-grabbing matters across the globe, and financially we are having our best years ever. While a number of candidates could have served the Firm well as the Chair, we felt that Larren's many personal attributes, combined with his singular success in building a world-class Bankruptcy and Restructuring practice from scratch in one of the world's most competitive legal markets, made him an especially attractive choice to continue MoFo's growth in today's hyper-competitive environment."
Mr. Nashelsky joined Morrison & Foerster as a partner in 1999 from Weil Gotshal & Manges. He earned his B.S. from the University at Albany, State University of New York, and his J.D., with distinction, from Hofstra University School of Law. He has been highly ranked by Chambers USA and Legal 500 US and is regularly listed in The Deal as one of the top 35 individuals in bankruptcy. He regularly lectures and publishes on U.S. and international insolvency matters.
As co-chair of the firm's Bankruptcy and Restructuring Group, with New York partner Gary Lee, Mr. Nashelsky has led the practice through a period of rapid growth. The Group's recent work includes an array of high-profile representations: lead bankruptcy counsel in the Chapter 11 of Residential Capital LLC and its subsidiaries, the largest case of 2012 and one of the largest and most complex bankruptcies in U.S. history; lead counsel to Louis Freeh, Chapter 11 trustee for MF Global, the largest bankruptcy filing in 2011 and the eighth largest in U.S. history; and counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in a wide range of major Chapter 11 cases, including Ambac Financial Group, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pinnacle Airlines, Mesa Air Group, Innkeepers USA Trust, and Caribbean Petroleum. In addition, the Bankruptcy and Restructuring Group assisted the firm's Appellate and Supreme Court Group in obtaining a unanimous victory for secured lenders before the United States Supreme Court in Amalgamated v. RadLax in May 2012.
MoFo's Bankruptcy and Restructuring Group recently earned National and New York rankings in Chambers USA, along with recognition by Chambers on its shortlist for Firm of the Year in Bankruptcy and Restructuring. The Group was also featured in a cover story in The American Lawyer highlighting the innovative strategy used to save the country of Iceland from financial calamity.
MoFo has thrived under the leadership of Mr. Wetmore, and maintained its legendary core values, the hallmarks of which are legal excellence, a culture of collegiality, and respect for the law, the institution and each other. MoFo has continued its renowned tradition of pro bono excellence and giving back to the community. Reflecting these values, the firm has been on the American Lawyer A-List for nine straight years, a list that "looks beyond pure dollars to quantify the qualities that define the 20 most successful law firms in America" and emphasizes values such as diversity and pro bono service that are central to MoFo's culture. The firm strengthened its global platform, particularly in Asia, where it is the leading international firm in Tokyo and has a robust China practice, and in London. The firm has also deepened its litigation, transactional and regulatory capabilities in key sectors such as financial institutions, intellectual property and technology, life sciences, cleantech, real estate, and consumer/retail. MoFo continues to be one of the top firms in California, and during Mr. Wetmore's tenure the New York office grew substantially. Among other accomplishments under Mr. Wetmore's leadership, the firm has:
- more than doubled revenue and tripled net income. As noted by The American Lawyer in its 25th anniversary edition of the Am Law 100, MoFo is one of only eight firms from the original Am Law 100 with at least 1,000 percent growth in gross revenue and 500 percent growth in profits per partner;
- dramatically improved its rankings across a range of global markets, practices and industry sectors in respected, client-based surveys including Chambers, Legal 500, Corporate Board Member magazine, US News/Best Lawyers, BTI, and many others.
Morrison & Foerster is an international firm with over 1000 lawyers in key finance and technology centers in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Our lawyers are committed to achieving innovative and business-minded results for our clients, while preserving the differences that make us stronger. Our dedication to serving client needs has resulted in enduring relationships and a record of high achievement. Some of our recent matters and cases include:
- Representing Intel in a string of high-profile deals, including strategically crucial acquisitions such as its $7.7 billion acquisition of McAfee.
- Representing Hitachi in the $5 billion sale of its hard disk drive and data storage business, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, a wholly-owned subsidiary, to Western Digital in one of the biggest tech deals announced in 2011. As a result of the transaction, Hitachi is now Western Digital's largest shareholder and has two seats on Western Digital's board.
- Representing DaVita in its $4.42 billion acquisition of HealthCare Partners Holdings, LLC – one of the biggest healthcare deals of the year and a deal that is helping transform U.S. healthcare.
- Representing Amalgamated Bank before the U.S. Supreme Court in one of the most important and closely watched bankruptcy cases in more than a decade.
- Representing Nikon in its successful defense against patent infringement claims that could have crippled U.S. imports of LCD display panels used in a gamut of tech devices from smartphones to 80-inch televisions.
- Representing Sandoz in a complete defense verdict in a patent dispute with Allergan in the District of Delaware regarding an extended-release treatment for bladder conditions. All six of the patents-in-suit were ruled invalid due to obviousness following the trial.
- Representing Novell in its epic copyright battle with SCO Group over SCO's controversial efforts to extract licensing fees from open-source Linux users, including its multibillion-dollar claim against Novell's partner, IBM. The decision in Novell's favor, following a three-week trial in the District of Utah, was of the utmost importance for Linux users and the open-source software community.
- Representing Ernst & Young in an accounting malpractice case in which the plaintiff, a hedge fund, had sought $48 million in damages. After 10 trial days, the jury took less than two hours to conclude there was no negligence.