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Morrison & Foerster Names New Leaders for Corporate and Finance Departments

04/30/2013
Press Release

NEW YORK (April 30, 2013) – Morrison & Foerster has appointed new co-chairs to lead the firm’s Corporate and Finance Departments. The Corporate Department co-chairs are San Francisco partner Brandon Parris and Tokyo partner Randy Laxer. The Finance Department co-chairs are New York partner Gary Lee and Tokyo partner Dale Caldwell. Pamela Reed, former Morrison & Foerster firmwide managing partner, has been named vice chair for both departments.

The new leaders take over from San Francisco partner Susan Mac Cormac and Singapore partner Eric Piesner, who led the departments from 2010 to 2013. Mr. Piesner recently became MoFo’s managing partner for Asia and head of its new Singapore office, which opened in January. Ms. Mac Cormac, who founded the firm’s highly-regarded renewable energy and cleantech practice, will serve as co-chair of MoFo’s emerging and growth companies practice.

“Suz and Eric did a tremendous job leading our corporate and finance practices. We’re fortunate to be able to capitalize on their experience and dedication in their new assignments,” said Morrison & Foerster chair Larren M. Nashelsky. “All four of our new co-chairs bring tremendous experience to the task of leading these critical practice areas. Like their predecessors, Brandon, Randy, Gary and Dale are accomplished dealmakers, regularly in the middle of headline-making transactions.”

Morrison & Foerster’s corporate and finance practices are widely recognized as among the best in the world, and were a key reason Chambers recently named the firm its 2013 USA Law Firm of the Year and, for the second time in the last three years, Japan International Firm of the Year.

“It’s no accident that both departments are co-led by partners in Asia given how vitally important the region is to our clients and to our firm’s strategic growth,” said Mr. Nashelsky. “Our recent opening of the Singapore office, our fifth in Asia, signals our commitment to advancing the interests of our many global clients doing significant business in the region.”

Morrison & Foerster’s Corporate Department lawyers are nationally and internationally ranked in M&A, securities, public company representation, private equity, energy, technology transactions, patents and other areas vital to clients from the Fortune 100 to emerging technology leaders.

The firm’s Finance Department lawyers are nationally and internationally ranked in a broad range of services for financial institutions, investment banks, investors and other clients in financial transactions, restructuring and insolvency, capital markets, investment management, financial services regulation, project finance and real estate.

Following is background on each of the new co-chairs:

Brandon Parris: Mr. Parris represents public companies in mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, joint ventures and other transactions, as well as in corporate governance matters. Most recently, Mr. Parris was part of the M&A teams representing Japanese wireless carrier SoftBank in its agreement to acquire a 70% stake in wireless operator Sprint Nextel for an enterprise value of $43.5 billion; Novellus Systems in its $3.3 billion stock-for-stock merger with Lam Research; and Boyd Gaming Corporation in its $1.55 billion acquisition of Peninsula Gaming, LLC. Mr. Parris was named “2012 Legal Advisor of the Year” by M&A Advisor for his work on transformative M&A transactions and was selected by BTI Consulting Group as a Client Service All-Star for 2013.

Randy Laxer: Mr. Laxer focuses on complex cross-border mergers and acquisitions, private equity, strategic alliances and joint ventures. Most recently, he represented ON Semiconductor in its acquisition of Sanyo Semiconductor, which was cited as "M&A Deal of the Year" by The M&A Advisor's International M&A Awards, and Taisho Pharmaceutical in its acquisition of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Indonesia manufacturing and distribution subsidiary. Mr. Laxer has been highly recommended by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific and IFLR for his M&A and corporate law expertise and was the only foreign lawyer in Japan endorsed in the 2012 edition of Practical Law Company’s Venture Capital multi-jurisdictional guide.

Gary Lee: As firmwide chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Business Restructuring & Insolvency Group, Mr. Lee advises stakeholders on domestic and international restructurings and insolvencies in the U.S., UK and Europe. He is a recognized authority on foreign restructurings and insolvency proceedings and issues arising under Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Mr. Lee represented two of the largest Icelandic banks in their historic restructurings following the financial crisis, and he currently leads Morrison & Foerster’s representation of mortgage lender Residential Capital, which was the largest Chapter 11 filing in the U.S. in 2012. He also advises several hedge funds in restructuring and liquidation proceedings, including matters in the Bernard Madoff SIPA proceedings. Turnarounds & Workouts named Mr. Lee one of its Outstanding Restructuring Lawyers of 2012.

Dale Caldwell: Mr. Caldwell has a sophisticated finance practice, with a particular focus on representing lenders, sponsors and contractors in the development, financing and acquisition of large infrastructure projects globally, such as acting for the sponsors in developing and financing the Caserones Mining Project in Chile, which was named Latin American Mining Deal of the Year by Project Finance Magazine. Mr. Caldwell also represents lenders and strategic buyers in leveraged and other acquisition financing transactions, and led the MoFo finance team in advising Japanese wireless carrier SoftBank in its agreement to acquire a 70% stake in wireless operator Sprint Nextel for an enterprise value of $43.5 billion. Mr. Caldwell is recognized as a leading lawyer in Japan for project finance and banking by major publications, including Chambers Global and Chambers Asia Pacific (in which he is a Band 1 ranked attorney for project finance), IFLR and The Legal 500 Asia Pacific.