Spotlight on Diversity

Morrison & Foerster’s diverse, LGBTQ+, and women lawyers hold key leadership positions throughout the firm. They serve on committees that define the firm’s strategy, run our global offices, and lead our best-in-class practices, including commercial litigation, intellectual property, corporate finance, private equity investments and buyouts, consumer products, retail, financial services, employment and labor, life sciences, outsourcing, and mergers and acquisitions.

Our lawyers are united in their passion for what they do and their dedication to our clients and communities. Each month we will feature one of our diverse, LGBTQ+, or women lawyers who calls MoFo home.

Partner Spotlight: Janet Xiao

Janet Xiao

Janet Xiao is a corporate partner in MoFo’s Palo Alto office. Her practice focuses on worldwide patent procurement, patent portfolio management, and strategic planning for life sciences companies. She is the head of firm’s China Life Sciences Group and is among the very few IP attorneys in the world equipped with solid skills in both global strategic IP management and IP issues unique to China and Chinese clients.

Janet has been the go-to counsel for IP issues in U.S./China cross-border transactions and operations in China. She has also been actively involved in the leadership team of the Chinese-American Biopharmaceutical Society (CABS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to bridging the life sciences communities in the U.S. and China, and is a member of BayHelix, a nonprofit organization of Chinese heritage leaders in the global life sciences and healthcare fields.

In two to three sentences, describe your practice.
I help life sciences companies build robust patent portfolios to protect their technologies and products. I work with companies and investors in performing IP due diligence reviews in the contexts of VC investments, technology transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and marketing and manufacturing clearance for biopharmaceutical and medical device products. As one of the few IP attorneys in the world who is both equipped with solid skills in global strategic IP management and knowledgeable about IP issues unique to China and Chinese clients, I frequently advise clients on IP issues relating to U.S./China cross-border transactions and operations in China.

Why did you choose to make MoFo your professional home?
I started at MoFo due to its renowned patent prosecution practice. I am fortunate to have grown in such a nurturing environment, which has allowed me to develop solid legal skills and gain valuable experience in complex business settings. MoFo’s emphasis on collaborative culture and diversity strongly resonates with my own personal values, and its effects have been instrumental to my career growth. Work at MoFo has been tremendously enjoyable to me over the years because of colleagues who are both passionate about providing excellent service to clients and collaborative in all aspects. Colleagues who understand and welcome diverse points of view have served as sounding boards for me and helped me broaden my perspectives, making me a better, well-rounded attorney. In addition, MoFo’s fully integrated cross-practice life sciences group enables me to present the firm as a one-stop shop for life sciences clients facing a broad spectrum of legal issues and challenges.

How do clients benefit from having diverse teams of lawyers working for them?
Diverse legal teams consist of professionals from different backgrounds, technical skills, and ways of thinking who can bring a variety of perspectives to the table. As patent attorneys, we frequently work with clients to think through their innovations and business strategies. As such, having a wide variety of voices at the table enables us to provide the best support to our clients. I believe that diversity and inclusion are highly important to our team, as they provide our clients with access to professionals who can add differentiated value.

Read more Diverse Partner Spotlights on our MoFo+ blog:

Video Spotlight: Leading the Way

We know our differences make us stronger. At Morrison & Foerster, we not only celebrate our differences, but call upon them to better serve our clients, communities, and teams.

Whether tackling complex disputes, winning high-stakes litigation for our clients, or leading the charge on landmark pro bono cases, our global team of litigators use their strengths to make a difference where it counts.

We are MoFo lawyers, leading the way.

Meet Jina Choi, Litigation Partner

Meet Arturo González, Commercial Litigation + Trial Group Co-Chair

Meet Kristen Mathews, Privacy Partner

Meet Lisa Phelan, Antitrust Partner

Meet Penny Preovolos, Litigation Partner

Meet Colette Reiner Mayer, IP Litigation Partner

Meet Julia Schwalm, Litigation Partner

Meet Stacey Sprenkel, Litigation Partner

Meet John E. Smith, National Security Partner

Meet Louise Stoupe, Commercial Litigation and Trial Group Co-Chair

Meet Christine Wong, Litigation Partner

Meet Chie Yakura, IP Litigation Partner



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