Meet MoFo Women
Meet MoFo Women
Morrison Foerster counts among its partner ranks some of the most talented and respected women attorneys in the legal profession. These are the women of MoFo — unparalleled leaders and innovators at the vanguard of emerging and vital practice areas.
From impact investing, fintech, and privacy and data security, to intellectual property, consumer class actions, and investigations and white - collar defense, they are delivering the best possible results for every engagement they take on, championing their clients’ business interests around the world.
Sophie Allen is a Partner based in the London office of Morrison Foerster and is a member of the Tax Group. Her practice focuses on UK and international tax aspects of Private Equity and M&A transactions.
Sophie has been in the Private Equity industry for over 20 years and advises on all tax aspects of investments and divestments. She advises Private Equity houses and corporates on all aspects of the transaction cycle and works closely with principals, management and their advisers. Her advice includes restructuring, debt finance and capital markets transactions as well as fund, carry, management incentive and co-investment arrangements.
Alexis is a skilled class action and commercial litigator, and practices in a variety of high-profile areas, including:
Stacy Cline Amin leads the FDA + Healthcare Regulatory and Compliance practice within the firm’s Global Life Sciences + Healthcare Group and provides strategic regulatory and business advice to companies in the life sciences, healthcare, and technology industries. Stacy previously served as Chief Counsel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Deputy General Counsel of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and held senior positions within the White House Counsel’s Office and health committees in both the House and Senate. With her depth of experience across government agencies, she provides clients with an insider’s perspective on regulatory and compliance issues, enforcement actions, and litigation challenges.
As chief counsel of the FDA, Stacy led an office of approximately 170 counselors and litigators and navigated difficult regulatory issues and litigation challenges across the agency’s entire portfolio. During her last year of service, Stacy played a critical role in nearly every aspect of FDA’s COVID-19 pandemic response effort, including record numbers of emergency use authorizations, guidances, and compliance actions. Most notably, she served as a key leader of the team responsible for issuing the first two COVID-19 vaccine authorizations.
Galia Amram is a partner in Morrison Foerster’s Securities Litigation, Enforcement, White Collar Defense practice group and the Global Risk + Crisis Management group.
Galia is an experienced trial lawyer and advisor whose clients—startups, AmLaw 100 law firms, prominent politicians, large educational institutions, and high-net-worth individuals—call when they are in trouble or want to avoid trouble. Her practice ranges from trade secrets disputes, white collar prosecutions, government investigations, and enforcement actions, to legal malpractice, breach of contract and employment claims.
Gemma Anderson is a partner based in the London office. She is a commercial litigator specializing in complex cross-border disputes, with a focus on technology, contractual, and privacy and data protection matters. She advises clients around the world on pre-litigation strategy and international commercial litigation and arbitration matters with an English law nexus.
For over a decade Gemma has helped clients navigate claims through the full range of dispute resolution mechanisms. She has represented clients in relation to large-scale commercial litigation in the English Commercial Court, Chancery Division, and Court of Appeal. She also has extensive experience of international arbitration, under both institutional and ad hoc rules. Her experience spans a broad range of industries, with a particular focus on the technology sector.
Lauren Bellerjeau is a corporate partner in the Austin office of Morrison Foerster.
Lauren has served as a trusted advisor to boards of directors and executive management teams in the negotiation of their companies’ most significant combination, commercial and corporate governance transactions. Her extensive private practice experience includes representing both buy-side and sell-side clients on complex and transformative U.S. and cross-border combination and commercial transactions in a variety of industries, with a particular focus on technology, real estate investment trusts, government contracting and defense, life sciences, and manufacturing. She has also regularly counseled REITs and other companies with significant real estate holdings or real estate management businesses on complex restructuring and roll-up transactions, particularly in contemplation of initial public offerings, large equity investments, or strategic transactions.
Allyson Bennett represents companies, large and small, in all stages of litigation—from pre-suit counseling and investigation, through trial and appeal.
Allyson has litigated a wide range of complex copyright and trademark cases, including cases involving ecommerce platforms, social networks, and television studios. She regularly helps companies navigate business challenges arising from copyright and trademark issues in an increasingly digital world. Most recently, Allyson secured a complete defense verdict for Redbubble in a trademark and copyright case, which was one of the first post-COVID jury trials in the Northern District of California. In addition to intellectual property disputes, Allyson has experience in complex civil litigation ranging from legal malpractice to antitrust to entertainment law.
Caitlin Sinclaire Blythe is the Managing Partner of the San Francisco office. Caitlin is a member of the firm’s Litigation, Trials + Appeals Department where her practice focuses on investigations, white-collar defense, and commercial and consumer litigation. She represents companies, audit committees, and individuals in SEC and DOJ enforcement matters as well as internal corporate investigations involving accounting and disclosure issues.
Caitlin also represents corporations and individuals in class actions and other commercial and consumer litigation matters, and has experience litigating cases in federal and state courts, and before arbitration tribunals, throughout the country
Brigid is a food, drug, and medical device lawyer who counsels life sciences companies on a wide range of U.S. Food & Drug Administration pre- and post-market regulatory issues.
As a member of our FDA + Healthcare Regulatory and Compliance Group, Brigid practices across the spectrum of FDA-regulated products, including medical devices, drugs, biologics, cell and gene therapies, food, cosmetics, dietary supplements, tobacco, laboratory-developed tests, in vitro diagnostics, radiation-emitting electronic products, combination products, and products that may not fit neatly into any of these categories. Accordingly, she counsels established and start-up companies in life sciences, healthcare, and consumer products on a wide range of FDA pre- and post-market regulatory issues. Brigid also frequently advises innovative product developers on threshold FDA jurisdictional questions and develops strategies for approval and marketing, while identifying and mitigating regulatory risks.
Erin Bosman is co-chair of MoFo’s Class Actions and Mass Torts Practice Group and is a founder and co-head of the Artificial Intelligence Group. Clients value her business strategy, seeking her comprehensive counsel throughout the product life cycle, especially in high-stakes litigation and product recalls.
Erin's clients value her litigation acumen, retaining her as national coordinating and trial counsel in class action cases and multijurisdictional and multidistrict proceedings. She navigates complex business relationships and serves as a defense liaison counsel in cases where multiple defendants have conflicting defenses. A skilled negotiator, Erin has a long track record of securing dismissals and favorable settlements for her clients. When trial is needed, her compelling courtroom skills have delivered successful jury verdicts and appellate victories.
Clients seek out Tiffany for her successful track record in defending class action claims on behalf of clients in a broad range of industries, including technology, healthcare, and consumer product companies. She represents numerous Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation involving privacy and marketing claims in courts throughout the United States. Tiffany’s practice includes leading class actions at the cutting edge of privacy law, including claims involving data security and biometric information. She also has advised extensively on Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) matters, as well as cases involving unfair business practice claims and consumer advertising issues. Tiffany is a former co-chair of MoFo’s global Litigation Department and the firm’s Class Actions & Mass Torts Practice Group.
The Daily Journal recently named Tiffany on its 2023 list of Top Women Lawyers and as a 2023 Leading Commercial Litigator in California. Chambers USA 2023 again ranked her in commercial litigation, while The Legal 500 2023 again recommended her in product liability and marketing and advertising. BTI Consulting Group has recognized Tiffany as one of a small group of attorneys nationwide who represent the “absolute best of the best” in the area of client service. Her clients include leaders in the technology, healthcare, financial services, and retail sectors.
Anita Choi’s practice focuses on patent prosecution, portfolio management, IP due diligence, and IP litigation support. Her clients range from early-stage start-up enterprises to established domestic and international companies. She is well-versed in building and managing worldwide patent portfolios across many sectors and technologies, including small-molecule pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, industrial chemicals and advanced materials, food and agtech.
In 2013, Euromoney named Anita an intellectual property rising star at its American Women in Business Law Awards. Anita received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she graduated magna cum laude and was named to the Order of the Coif. During law school, Anita also completed her M.B.A. at the Wharton School of Business.
With her one-of-a-kind skillset, Jina Choi represents public and pre-IPO companies, financial institutions, asset management firms, boards of directors, audit and special committees, and individuals in internal investigations, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other government investigations, enforcement-related litigation, as well as compliance-related issues. Jina joined the firm after over 16 years with the SEC, where she ultimately served as Director of the San Francisco Regional Office, helping to enforce many of the laws that govern the public and pre-IPO companies she now represents.
Jina is recognized for her work in private practice by leading legal rankings publications including Chambers & Partners USA, where fellow practitioners and clients describe her as “exceptional,” “a very good communicator” who “has a very strong understanding of the more subtle aspects of securities laws - which is not surprising given her background.” She has been described as “a very incisive lawyer” who “handles very complex situations very deftly” and “She can look at a complex situation and understand it and navigate through it to the right answers quickly and effectively.”
Carrie H. Cohen is global co-chair of the Investigations + White Collar Defense practice group as well as co-chair of the firm’s State + Local Government Enforcement team and Workplace Misconduct Investigations Task Force. Prior to joining the firm, Carrie served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and as Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office.
As a former federal and state prosecutor, Carrie routinely advises and represents corporations, boards, and c-suite executives in government-facing investigative and regulatory matters with a particular focus on state and local government matters. Carrie’s extensive trial experience and distinguished record of success in high‑stakes, white collar defense and securities matters cement her position as a leading lawyer in these practice areas, and she is often called upon as trial counsel for particularly sensitive matters. Carrie’s trial and white collar expertise have been recognized by a variety of organizations including Chambers USA, which describes her as “. . . a terrific trial lawyer with great judgment and timing, [who] knows how to present complex cases in a digestible way.” Carrie also routinely prepares clients who are called to testify before Congress and state and city legislatures and works on matters that involve multijurisdictional investigations and significant media attention.
Alice Connaughton is a partner in Morrison Foerster’s REIT and Corporate Finance | Capital Markets practice. Ali’s practice focuses on representing public and private companies, including real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other direct participation programs, in a variety of corporate and securities matters, including, among other things, public and private securities offerings and tender offers.
Ali regularly advises boards of directors, audit committees, and management with respect to strategic matters and corporate governance issues. Ali also routinely counsels public company clients with respect to complex regulatory matters, compliance with federal and state securities laws, corporate governance and general corporate matters.
Deborah L. Connor, former chief of the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS) of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), is a partner in MoFo’s Investigations + White Collar Defense Group. With more than 25 years of service at DOJ, most recently leading its anti-money laundering (AML)/Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) enforcement, Deborah is a leading authority in criminal AML/BSA matters. Drawing upon her unmatched experience in criminal investigations, litigation, and enforcement, Deborah focuses on guiding financial institutions, multinational companies, and individuals through cross-border internal investigations, regulatory enforcement defense, white collar criminal defense, and compliance counseling involving legal issues pertaining to sanctions, anti-corruption, AML/BSA, and cryptocurrency, among others.
As chief and principal deputy chief of MLARS, Deborah supervised investigations and prosecutions of numerous high-profile cases involving allegations of corporate and financial misconduct and resolutions involving deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements in relation to financial institutions and emerging technologies in the financial services markets, as well as blockchain-based digital assets. As chief, she exercised supervisory authority over the DOJ’s AML program, specifically any charges involving violations of BSA statutes. Deborah has worked with domestic regulators, including the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control, as well as enforcement officials throughout the federal government, including the Departments of State, Commerce, and Treasury. She was also responsible for helping to oversee the Department’s Asset Forfeiture Program. Deborah also served as senior counsel to the assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division.
Melissa Crespo helps clients navigate a wide range of challenging privacy compliance and data security matters with a focus on the health information and the health care sector. She regularly helps clients develop and implement privacy compliance programs and advises companies on managing risk in connection with cutting-edge technologies and data initiatives.
Melissa has particular experience in advising clients on compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other laws governing the collection and use of medical and health information.
Kira Davis is an experienced courtroom lawyer who represents pharmaceutical, medical device, and other biotechnology companies—from early‑stage start-ups to the some of the world’s leading life sciences companies—in all stages of patent litigation.
Kira has served as senior litigation counsel in a variety of complex patent disputes, including cases involving foundational antibody technology, cancer therapies, other small-molecule therapeutics, transcatheter heart valve repair and replacement devices, and genetic testing and genomics technology. She has been recognized by a number of regional and national publications, including as a Litigator of the Week by the American Lawyer.
Shaelyn Dawson is an attorney in the litigation department, with a focus on intellectual property. Shaelyn represents clients in technical and high-stakes litigation, focusing primarily on patent, copyright, and trade secret cases in the electronics, semiconductor, and pharmaceutical industries. She has experience in all phases of litigation. She has coordinated large-scale fact and expert discovery, taken and defended dozens of fact and expert depositions, drafted and argued motions in multiparty litigation in federal courts across the country, and been a key member of six trial teams, where she questioned fact and expert witnesses.
In addition to her intellectual property work, Shaelyn also maintains an active pro bono practice, and has been awarded the Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for Pro Bono Legal Services by the State Bar of California for the last two years. She has worked on several Section 1983 civil rights trials.
Demme Doufekias is a trial attorney whose practice focuses on matters involving complex government and internal investigations. As a member of the firm’s Investigations + White-Collar Defense practice, individuals and corporations seek Demme’s counsel through all phases of investigations and litigation, from proactive compliance counseling and due diligence through the simultaneous defense of criminal investigations, administrative proceedings, and civil litigation. She successfully defends clients in civil and criminal matters in federal and state trials.
Demme’s global investigations practice encompasses a number of substantive areas, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other anticorruption regimes, anti-money laundering, and criminal antitrust and securities violations. She has represented clients in cross-border investigations, including FCPA investigations and the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigations of price-fixing in the auto parts and generic drug industries. She also counsels clients in creating global anti-corruption compliance programs and in due diligence matters related to healthcare and anti-corruption laws.
Daralyn Durie is one of the nation’s preeminent trial lawyers with significant experience litigating high-stakes disputes on behalf of leading innovators in the technology and life sciences sectors.
Daralyn draws on decades of experience serving as lead counsel in complex matters and securing successful outcomes in major litigation. Her recent notable wins include securing a defense verdict for Aptiv in a hotly contested patent case and scoring three back-to-back wins in the first post-COVID in-person jury trials.
Maria B. Earley is a financial services regulatory and enforcement partner in the Washington D.C. office of Morrison & Foerster.
Maria is a former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) enforcement attorney with significant experience advising on issues related to consumer protection laws and emerging technology. She advises financial services and fintech companies with respect to product development, regulatory compliance, state and U.S. federal enforcement and examination, state licensing, and transactional matters.
Aya Eguchi is a partner in the Technology Transactions Group. Her practice focuses on transactions and counseling involving intellectual property and technology, with an emphasis on licensing and distribution arrangements, technology development and strategic alliance activities and technology transfers.
Ms. Eguchi advises clients on transactional matters involving the acquisition, development, licensing and transfer of intellectual property, including the structuring and negotiating of joint ventures and strategic alliances; development and distribution agreements; software and technology licenses; and intellectual property components of mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions.
Kristina has more than 20 years of experience advising clients across many industries, including the software, internet, mobility, media, and consumer electronics industries, with a particular focus on technology-driven and IP-heavy transactions. Her legal practice focuses on matters relating to the development, licensing, and use of software; cloud platforms and digital services (such as software as a service, product-embedded software, IPTV, music and film streaming services, apps, and podcasts); intellectual property law (in particular, copyright and trade-secrets issues); and consumer and commercial law. She also advises clients in the digital transformation of their business structures and processes, including implementing new technologies such as cloud services, machine learning applications, new mobility/automotive solutions, distributed-ledger technology, and the use of open source software.
Kristina regularly drafts and negotiates a wide variety of complex transactions, including:
Polly Ehrman is a partner in the Corporate Finance Group, based in the London office.
Polly advises clients on derivatives across all asset classes, with a focus on equity derivatives. Her primary areas of focus include transactional and regulatory advice with respect to:
Marcia’s practice focuses on private equity transactions and complex mergers and acquisitions involving companies, real estate, and other assets located in Asia. Having practiced in Asia for more than a quarter of a century, Marcia is one of the most experienced M&A lawyers active in the Asian market. In the past three years, she has advised clients on deals with a total aggregate value well in excess of US$265 billion.
Marcia regularly advises leading investors on M&A transactions, including SoftBank Vision Fund, Alibaba, GLP, Bain Capital Credit, BlackRock, Farallon Capital, Ascendent Capital Partners, Silver Crest Acquisition Corp., Macquarie Asset Management, Hillhouse, Hony Capital, and Celadon Partners. In addition, she is experienced in representing U.S., UK and Asia based institutional investors in the acquisition, financing and disposition of real estate in China, Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia, including numerous logistics and internet data center projects, and investment in and acquisition of real estate developers.
Katherine Erbeznik is a Tax Partner in the New York office. Katherine has experience with a wide range of transactional matters, including cross-border mergers and acquisitions with a particular focus on Latin America. Katherine also advises on the tax consequences of digital asset transactions and transactions involving distressed companies, including both out of court restructurings and bankruptcy.
Katherine has extensive experience advising private fund managers on the tax aspects of fund formation, both as an external advisor and while serving as in-house counsel with a global asset manager.
Jill’s practice focuses on international and domestic commercial finance transactions, with a special emphasis on domestic and international, bilateral, and syndicated commercial lending and FinTech and impact investing credit transactions.
Her diverse client mix includes:
Natalie Fleming Nolen is a partner and head of the Litigation Department in Morrison Foerster’s Washington, D.C. office. She is a trial lawyer and advocate who focuses on complex civil litigation and regulatory proceedings, with a particular emphasis on resolving antitrust issues and class actions that arise in the financial services industry. She has represented clients in trials in state and federal court, as well as administrative proceedings and arbitration forums. Natalie's recent matters include representing a financial institution in a large multidistrict antitrust class action litigation and related litigation by individual companies that opted out of the class action; a leading telecommunications company in merger litigation and related regulatory proceedings; clients in consumer class actions and complex commercial litigation alleging breaches of contract; clients in complex antitrust arbitrations; clients before federal agencies, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission; and large companies being investigated by state regulatory authorities. Natalie also advises clients on a variety of commercial real estate issues, including complex contractual matters, foreclosures, and disputes regarding commercial leases.
Natalie also has an active pro bono practice. She led a trial team in a challenge to Title IX rules related to sexual harassment and assault in schools; represented several clients in Immigration Court and successfully obtained asylum and withholding of removal; and helped young clients obtain Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. She also successfully obtained humanitarian parole for Haitian women and children impacted by the devastating earthquake in 2010, and represented clients in housing matters including defending against a foreclosure action in two separate trials in New York State Supreme Court. In acknowledgment of her dedication to providing quality pro bono representation, Natalie was awarded the 2012 New York State Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award in the young lawyer category, and was also awarded the Kathi Pugh Award for Pro Bono Service in 2015.
Theresa Foudy serves as co-chair of the firm’s Distressed Real Estate Group and has over 25 years of experience representing clients in a wide range of complex commercial litigation, including class-action securities fraud, accounting fraud, white-collar criminal matters, and general commercial disputes. Theresa also has a particular focus in bankruptcy litigation and she has represented Chapter 11 debtors, creditors’ committees, indenture trustees, secured and unsecured creditors, private equity sponsors, independent directors, and distressed investors in all stages of bankruptcy.
Throughout her career, Theresa has worked on many of the United States’ largest and most complex bankruptcy cases, including serving as lead trial counsel in several of the most prominent bankruptcy matters of the last decade. She has advised clients on all types of bankruptcy-related disputes, including suits by or against bankrupt companies, investigations into what led to bankruptcy filings, avoidance actions, and litigation of reorganization plans.
Megan Gerking is a partner in Morrison Foerster’s Global Antitrust Law practice, specializing in government-facing antitrust matters. Megan represents companies in criminal and civil conduct investigations before the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and state enforcers in all phases of the merger review process before U.S. and foreign competition authorities.
Megan, a former trial attorney with the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, is an experienced antitrust attorney focused on complex antitrust law matters, including government investigations, strategic transactions, and civil litigation. She regularly counsels clients on antitrust issues arising from industry consortiums, trade association activities, and other collaborations. While serving in the Antitrust Division, Megan investigated and prosecuted federal antitrust violations and international cartel cases. She leverages her DOJ experience when reviewing, developing, and implementing clients’ antitrust compliance programs and routinely delivers antitrust compliance training for employees.
Annabel is a partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP and co-Managing Partner of the London office. As a member of our renowned global data privacy team, Annabel specializes in employee data protection and data crisis management. She works across a variety of sectors, including technology, retail, and financial services, and frequently manages multi-jurisdictional advice for international clients. Her practice includes advice on:
Vivian is chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Sourcing practice. Vivian has concentrated her practice on domestic and multijurisdictional transactions involving technology and intellectual property (IP) for clients in the media and entertainment, information services, information technologies (IT), financial services, and life sciences industries. Clients rely on her extensive experience with:
Daphne Higgs is a partner in the Palo Alto office of Morrison Foerster and a member of the firm’s Technology Transactions Group.
Daphne advises clients on complex technology transactions with an emphasis on artificial intelligence, machine learning, open source, consumer products, eXtended reality, entertainment, cloud offerings, drones, and transfers of technologies from universities.
Christin Hill is a partner in Morrison & Foerster’s San Francisco office and a member of the Securities Litigation, Securities Enforcement, and Investigations + White Collar Defense practice groups. Christin has extensive experience representing clients in securities class actions, derivative actions and other complex civil litigation in both federal and state courts, as well as in government and internal investigations.
With over a decade of experience in private practice, Christin has successfully represented public companies and their boards of directors and officers in securities fraud actions, derivative actions, SEC enforcement actions, internal investigations, and general corporate counseling. She also has experience working with pre-IPO companies in complex civil litigation in both federal and state court, internal investigations, responding to government inquiries, and advising on general compliance matters.
Danielle Hirsch is a partner based in the London office. She advises on all aspects of global real estate and private equity transactions.
Ms. Hirsch has acted for a full range of real estate clients, including sellers, purchasers, lenders, institutions, investors and servicers. She has also worked closely with finance teams in dealing with the real estate aspects on finance transactions, including direct/indirect investment in property, loan origination, loan purchases, CMBS transactions and restructurings.
Maureen is a partner whose practice focuses on advising private equity and real estate funds, and financial and corporate investors in all aspects of their investment cycle, including private and public mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buy-outs, infrastructure investments, joint ventures, as well as pre-IPO investments, bolt-on acquisitions and corporate restructurings. Maureen also has experience advising clients in corporate carve-outs, management buy-outs and general corporate matters. She has been recently named ‘Rising Star’ in Private Equity category in Asia-Pacific region by International Financial Law Review (IFLR).
Prior to joining Morrison & Foerster, Maureen worked in a leading international law firm’s Hong Kong and London offices, during which she was a secondee at The Carlyle Group for seven months advising its Asia team in their investments and disposals. She is registered as a Senior Consultant with the Law Society of Hong Kong.
Kelley Howes is a Partner in the firm's Denver office and Co-Chair of the Investment Management Group.
Kelley has experience with a wide range of legal, regulatory, compliance, corporate governance, insurance, and other matters relating primarily to the representation of U.S. registered and unregistered investment companies, offshore funds, registered investment advisers, transfer agents, and broker-dealers.
Hayley Ichilcik is a partner in the London office of Morrison Foerster. She specializes in representing financial institutions, corporate clients and senior individuals in highly sensitive litigation, regulatory enforcement matters and internal investigations. She is Head of Morrison Foerster’s European Compliance Practice and regularly advises clients in relation to their compliance program and diligence of third parties.
Hayley has advised clients facing parallel enforcement actions in multiple jurisdictions and those facing parallel criminal, regulatory and civil litigation. Hayley has advised clients on diverse matters across Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa in the banking/financial services, energy, chemicals, construction/engineering, manufacturing and technology industries. She is also a member of our global Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) steering committee.
Mary Kaiser is a partner in Morrison Foerster’s Global Antitrust Law Practice. Mary represents domestic and multinational companies as both plaintiffs and defendants in antitrust and competition-related matters, including federal and state court proceedings, arbitrations, and government antitrust investigations and enforcement proceedings.
Mary has defended companies in antitrust and related complex litigation involving claims of price-fixing, monopolization, group boycotts, and refusals to deal; she has also prosecuted and defended against antitrust counterclaims in patent and IP infringement matters. Mary has experience counseling clients on antitrust issues related to pricing strategies, MAP policies, and Robinson-Patman Act compliance. Her clients span various sectors, from media to computer software to consumer products.
Crystal N. Kaldjob is co-lead of our Fintech practice and a partner in the Financial Services Group of Morrison & Foerster’s Washington, D.C. office.
Crystal’s practice focuses on advising financial services clients on a wide range of issues in regulatory and transactional contexts. Crystal provides practical, solution-oriented regulatory and transactional assistance to merchants, emerging companies, fintech companies, banks and other financial institutions on strategic partnerships, including structuring and negotiating private label, co-brand credit card and point-of-sale financing partnerships, marketplace lending arrangements, asset purchases, and loan portfolio sales and acquisitions. Her regulatory experience involves advising financial institutions, fintech companies and merchants on compliance with consumer and retail banking laws, including laws related to the offering and operation of consumer credit, payments and financial products and services.
Jessica Kaufman is a partner in the Litigation Department of Morrison Foerster's New York office, specializing in complex class actions and commercial litigation. Her trial practice includes representing clients on both sides of a wide variety of business disputes in arbitral fora and federal and state courts. She has deep expertise in class actions and mass tort litigation spanning consumer, environmental, RICO, and data privacy matters. Clients regularly seek Jessica out for creative, strategic thinking as lead and coordinating counsel in nationwide "bet the company" matters.
Ms. Kaufman represents financial institutions and other clients facing claims under the federal and state contract and antitrust laws, RICO Act, Right to Financial Privacy Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and state unfair and deceptive practices statutes. She also regularly advises and represents clients in complex commercial disputes. Recent representative matters include the defense of a leading marketplace lender in a putative nationwide class action under state usury laws; a major consumer products company in multi-district antitrust litigation; a major shipping company defending against contract and UDAAP claims in connection with fee disclosures; and a lingerie company facing consumer protection claims, including claims of false advertising. Ms. Kaufman routinely represents emerging and established financial institutions in actions involving overdraft fees and other deposit, loan, and credit card product fees, disclosures, and practices.
As a former professional tennis player, Angela is determined to win for her clients. She advises in banking and finance law working on mergers and acquisitions, corporate and venture finance, and restructurings. Providing counsel on deals for SoundCloud, PlanA.Earth, Renolit, Funke, Pamplona, leading banks for HeidelbergCement, Nokia HERE and Schaeffler, Angela excels at strategically advising clients throughout their growth curve, as well as on major projects and ventures.
Prior to joining Morrison Foerster, Angela worked at a major international law firm in Frankfurt and spent time in London at the Global Restructuring Group (CRU) of The Royal Bank of Scotland. Her unmatched ability to master a wide range of financial products and sectors throughout her career makes her a preeminent advisor in the world of finance law.
Bonnie Lau helps clients navigate internal and government antitrust investigations, enforcement proceedings, and class action litigation. Clients commend Bonnie as “absolutely outstanding; a practical, responsive and adept adviser” and “a fantastic lawyer, detail-oriented and able to handle complex matters with ease and good humor.” (Chambers USA, 2022.)
Bonnie is the co-head of Morrison Foerster’s San Francisco litigation department. A dynamic trial lawyer, Bonnie has significant experience defending class actions, multidistrict litigations, and enforcement actions, and deftly handles international competition investigations and enforcement issues. She advises clients across a range of industries that face government scrutiny or allegations of anticompetitive conduct, including technology, manufacturing, media, telecommunications, healthcare, and financial services.
Lily Li is a partner in the firm’s Litigation Group. She has represented companies in high-stakes patent litigation, competitor cases, non-practicing entity assertions, trade secret matters, and licensing disputes. She frequently advises international clients in complex cross-border disputes.
Leveraging her in-house experience and technical expertise, Lily collaborates with clients to create and execute effective legal strategies that achieve their business objectives. Lily has litigated before state and federal courts, the International Trade Commission, international arbitration tribunals, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Her matters have spanned a wide range of technologies, including computer hardware and software, semiconductors, automotive, aviation, consumer electronics, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals. Lily has been recognized as one of the “Ones to Watch” by Best Lawyers, a “Rising Star” by Managing IP, and a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers.
Ann Lilienthal is a partner of Morrison Foerster in the Agency Finance and Finance Groups, based in Washington, D.C. Ann focuses on international financing transactions and represents lenders (including development finance institutions, export credit agencies, multilateral institutions, and commercial banks) in connection with the development and financing of projects in a variety of sectors, including energy and infrastructure.
Ann’s practice focuses on complex international and cross-border project financing transactions in emerging markets worldwide, with a particular focus on Latin America, Central and South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
Joyce Liou co-chairs the Trademark Group and is a partner in the firm’s Intellectual Property Group. She engages in a broad intellectual property practice, with an emphasis on both IP counseling and litigation for a diverse roster of clients. Joyce has litigated numerous district court disputes involving trademark, copyright, false advertising, right of publicity, and unfair competition claims, and has secured preliminary injunctions, summary judgment rulings, and trial verdicts for her clients. In addition to federal litigation, she routinely handles proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and has extensive experience with trademark clearance, prosecution, licensing, and due diligence. Joyce manages IP portfolios and provides global strategies for industry giants and startups alike, from a broad spectrum of fields, including technology, consumer goods, entertainment, pharmaceuticals, food, and agriculture.
Joyce’s successes have built her reputation as a recognized leader in trademark law. In 2022 and 2023, she was shortlisted for Trademark Lawyer of the Year by Euromoney Legal Media. Joyce serves on the Legislation and Regulation Committee for the International Trademark Association. Outside of her practice, Joyce is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion in the greater community. She serves on the Development Committee for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and participates in clinics to help individuals seeking U.S. naturalization or asylum on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Jackie engages in a general corporate and transactional practice, with special emphasis on corporate counseling of public companies, mergers and acquisitions, and the China practice.
She has more than 20 years of experience in advising public companies on corporate governance matters, including director and officer fiduciary duties, board “best practices,” disagreements between board and management, succession planning, investor relations, and advises boards and special committees in connection with conflicts of interest matters, proxy contests and other corporate control efforts. Jackie is outside general counsel to a number of public companies with whom she has worked for over 20 years and provides big‑picture, critical value-adding strategic advice. She also counsels public companies on disclosure matters and associated liability considerations. Jackie has lectured at seminars and conferences and written articles on various corporate governance and securities law matters.
Susan (“Suz”) co-chairs the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and Social Enterprise + Impact Investing practices. Her practice focuses on late-stage financings, secondaries, and other corporate transactions for investors, such as SoftBank and Temasek, and on investments for some of the top investors dedicated to impact, from “impact first” foundations to family offices to private equity funds. She co-led the drafting group for the first of the new corporate forms (the Social Purpose Corporation in California), has created hybrid/tandem corporate structures and crafted debt and equity instruments that blend impact with traditional financial terms, and has used corporate law to develop creative capital market solutions to pressing environmental problems. She also advises the boards of public and private companies on corporate governance and fiduciary duties as applied to sustainability and climate change.
She was named a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) in 2012 and 2016 by Daily Journal and the Most Innovative Lawyer in North America in 2015 by the Financial Times.
Jennifer Marines serves as vice chair of Morrison Foerster and co-chair of the firm’s global Business Restructuring & Insolvency Group. She has extensive experience in representing chapter 11 debtors, creditors, investors, and other parties in interest in all aspects of complex corporate restructurings, including chapter 11 cases, out-of-court restructurings, and distressed acquisitions.
Jennifer has built a highly successful and peer-recognized practice in the restructuring and work-outs space, routinely representing companies and their boards navigate complex distressed situations. Jennifer also has extensive experience advising official committees of creditors, negotiating and structuring financings and other commercial transactions, and representing clients seeking to purchase businesses and related assets out of chapter 11 proceedings.
Haima Marlier is co-chair of Morrison Foerster’s Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White Collar Defense Group. Drawing on her experience as a former Securities and Exchange Commission Senior Trial Counsel, Haima represents public and private companies, financial services providers, and individuals in SEC and other government investigations, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) investigations, and internal investigations, as well as in related litigation. She has extensive experience litigating in federal, state, and administrative courts, leading complex negotiations, and representing her clients in mediation. She also routinely counsels clients regarding, and is a speaker on, SEC enforcement developments, trends, and enforcement risk mitigation.
Haima joined the firm after nine years at the SEC’s New York office, which bears responsibility for regulating the largest concentration of SEC-registered financial institutions in the nation. While at the SEC, Haima served as lead counsel on a number of prominent enforcement litigations and investigations involving public companies, registered investment advisers, broker-dealers, banks, and individuals in matters arising under the federal securities laws. She has also worked closely with foreign securities regulators, numerous U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and FINRA.
Kristen is a partner in Morrison Foerster’s Global Privacy + Data Security Group. For more than 20 years, Kristen’s practice has focused on advising clients on the full spectrum of the most complex privacy and cybersecurity issues, including compliance with U.S. federal and state privacy laws and European data protection laws, contracts, cybersecurity preparedness, and data breach incident response. Most recently, Kristen has developed an expertise in privacy issues with the development and use of artificial intelligence, and in the ethical ramifications of the use of AI and other new technologies. An early leader in the privacy sphere, Kristen has developed comprehensive knowledge and long-term perspective, cultivated a client base across a broad range of industries, and established herself as one of the top lawyers in her field.
The Legal 500 has recognized Kristen for her singular work, inducting her into its Hall of Fame in the category of Cyber Law. In the words of her clients, “[Kristen is] by far the most knowledgeable data privacy and data protection lawyer one can work with,” and they cite her for demonstrating “leading ‘expertise’ in the full spectrum of privacy, data protection, and cybersecurity law,” (The Legal 500 2022). Clients also note her global reach and high caliber work: “[Kristen] helps clients to adapt their policies to different jurisdictions with widely varying data protection laws”; they also regard her for “offering tailored solutions based on client needs,” (The Legal 500 2022) and conclude “Kristen Mathews stands out as one of the most skilled and competent lawyers we have ever worked with. She is unmatched among any cyber law lawyer and collaborates deftly across teams” (The Legal 500 2023). Since 2010, Chambers and Partners has consistently ranked Kristen for her outstanding client service and extensive knowledge of the data privacy and cybersecurity space. She has been accredited by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) as a certified information privacy professional (CIPP) since 2005.
Deanne Maynard, co-chair of Morrison Foerster’s Appellate and Supreme Court practice, is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading appellate advocates. She has argued 14 cases before the United States Supreme Court and 70 cases in appellate courts across the country.
In ranking Deanne in Band 1, Chambers USA reports that she is described as a “magnificent and top-notch lawyer” who is “wicked smart.” She is “extremely thoughtful, even-keeled and has a wonderful presence in the courtroom.” Legal 500 calls Deanne “one of the finest advocates in the Supreme Court bar,” remarking that “if she is on your team, great. If she’s on the other side, be ready.”
Barbara Mendelson’s practice involves advising foreign and U.S. banks in a variety of complex regulatory matters, including sales and acquisitions of U.S. banking and nonbanking firms, Dodd-Frank Act issues, applications to federal and state bank regulators for expansion of activities and new products, Bank Secrecy Act and OFAC matters, and over-the-counter and exchange-based trading of various instruments and derivatives. She has represented foreign banks in their U.S. operations for more than 30 years. Barbara has also been instrumental in forming a number of commercial banks and other subsidiaries of foreign banks. In addition to her bank regulatory practice, Barbara works with sovereign entities and multilateral organizations with respect to the investment of their foreign currency reserves and other assets.
Barbara has been recognized in the industry for her exceptional legal work, including being named by Crain’s New York Business as one of the Notable Women in Law in both its 2021 and 2019 editions, and in 2020 she was named “Compliance Lawyer of the Year” by C5’s Women in Compliance Awards. She has also been selected as Euromoney Legal Media Group's 2020 Banking and Finance Attorney of the Year, and was awarded “Best in Financial Services” in 2019 and 2017. Barbara was also awarded the "Lawyer of the Year" designation by Best Lawyers in America (2019 and 2013) in the category of Financial Services Regulation Law (New York City). In addition, she has been recommended by Chambers USA, Chambers Global, Legal 500 US, IFLR1000, Best Lawyers in America, and Who’s Who Legal: Banking. In their 2023 guide, Who’s Who Legal listed Barbara as a “Thought Leader” in their Global Banking Regulation Review, which features the world’s foremost banking regulatory lawyers who have obtained the largest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel, and other market sources.
Tritia Murata co-chairs Morrison Foerster’s Global Employment & Labor Group and co-leads the firm’s wage-and-hour class action practice. She defends businesses against complex employment lawsuits, including putative class actions, Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) actions, and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective actions.
Tritia is a skilled litigator known for her ability to develop innovative strategies to win cases. In particular, clients turn to Tritia for her extensive class action expertise and impressive track record of defeating class certification and otherwise shutting down high-exposure class and PAGA actions. Tritia’s litigation experience also includes representing employers in actions alleging discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, trade secrets misappropriation, employee and customer raiding, unfair competition, and other employment-related claims.
Lauren Navarro is a partner in the firm’s Investigations + White-Collar Defense, FCPA + Global Anti-Corruption, and Global Ethics + Compliance practices.
Lauren’s practice focuses on complex white-collar criminal matters, including defending clients facing U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement proceedings and conducting internal investigations. Lauren also regularly advises clients on compliance issues, including anti-corruption policies and procedures, global risk assessments, training, third-party due diligence, and compliance program benchmarking exercises resulting in the development of effective, risk-based compliance programs. Lauren also has experience in-house after being seconded as an investigator in the Global Ethics & Integrity group at Salesforce.
Nozomi Oda is a partner of Morrison Foerster Law Offices. Nozomi’s practice focuses on cross-border public and private M&A, joint ventures, strategic investments, and capital markets transactions. She has a particular emphasis on advising private equity and life sciences clients. Nozomi serves as co-head of Morrison Foerster’s Asia Private Equity practice.
Nozomi also regularly advises on a wide range of Japanese regulations, including securities, financial, and fund regulations, merger review, and healthcare and life sciences regulations. In addition to her work in private practice, Nozomi previously spent two years with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) as a deputy director of the corporate disclosure department, where she participated in the drafting of the FSA’s regulations on disclosures regarding private placement offerings and director compensation.
Whitney O’Byrne is a trial lawyer with a wide range of experience litigating complex civil, regulatory, and criminal matters. She represents clients, large and small, in disputes involving intellectual property, legal malpractice, antitrust, consumer class actions, privacy class actions, and other commercial litigation in state and federal court. Whitney has also represented individual and institutional clients in investigations conducted by the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Whitney’s substantial trial experience includes a multi-district antitrust case in the Southern District of New York, a patent trial in the Northern District of California, criminal trials in California and New York, and multiple JAMS and AAA arbitrations. Whitney is also a NITA trial skills instructor and has taught trial advocacy at multiple levels for over 10 years.
Clients seek out Julie because of her practical advice on cutting-edge issues at the intersection of privacy and consumer protection laws. She provides clients with practical solutions to compliance challenges around a wide variety of both online and offline privacy issues, including tracking, interest-based advertising, geo-targeting and other mobile tracking, personalization, and cross-device tracking. Recognized in The Legal 500 US 2014, 2016, 2019, and 2020 and Chambers USA 2021 for her exceptional legal work, her clients praise her saying, “She is really good at giving practical, targeted advice and taking stock of what the risk profile of the client is, so that the advice is holistic.” (Chambers USA 2021).
Julie protects her clients’ products throughout the product life cycle. Drawing on her deep technical and legal experience, she counsels clients on consumer product safety regulation and pharmaceutical and medical device preemption. She manages complex and multijurisdictional litigation both in state and federal court and also guides clients through product recalls.
Clients appreciate Julie’s ability to assess both the practical business implications and legal impact of a matter. They also value the way she recommends solutions that meet their objectives.
Purvi G. Patel is the Managing Partner of the Los Angeles Office.
Purvi represents retail, e-commerce, and other consumer-oriented businesses in significant advertising, unfair competition, consumer fraud, and privacy matters. She has built a robust practice advising household names on various compliance issues and defending them in complex and class action litigation in federal and state courts across the country, winning motions to dismiss, defeating class certification, and securing summary disposition in several multi-million dollar lawsuits. Purvi is a strategic and practical thinker who is in tune with her clients’ priorities, which leads to successful outcomes both inside and outside the courthouse.
Lisa Phelan, former Chief of the National Criminal Enforcement and Washington Criminal I Sections of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), is a partner and co-chair of Morrison Foerster’s Global Antitrust Law Practice Group and a member of the Investigations + White Collar Group. With more than 25 years of service at the DOJ as one of the leading authorities in criminal antitrust matters, Lisa draws upon her unmatched criminal investigations, litigation, and enforcement experience to guide clients through sensitive issues pertaining to domestic and international cartel actions and white-collar investigations and to rapidly assess and address their risk and total exposure to potential claims of unlawful collusion.
Clients turn to Lisa for her knowledge and understanding when subpoenaed or when enforcement agencies execute a search warrant or stage a dawn raid. Few have the breadth of her experience to counsel and represent clients through each step of a cartel investigation, leniency application, plea negotiation, or criminal jury trial. Additionally, Lisa is an expert in the components of effective compliance programs and is an asset to clients in preventing antitrust problems before they arise. She has worked on complex antitrust matters across numerous major industries, including financial services, technology, aviation, automotive, shipping, paper, petroleum, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals, among others.
Clients seek Alja for her no-nonsense approach to resolving complex local legal issues efficiently while providing strong representation for their most important privacy, whistleblowing, and investigatory matters.
Alja is the go-to counsel for EU whistleblowing laws and leads strategy for the firms’ advisory efforts for compliance with whistleblowing rules and procedures globally. She founded and is one of the main contributors to MoFo's Whistleblowing Resource Center, which is relied upon by many organizations to support their compliance efforts, and is also leveraged by Thomson Reuters Practical Law to provide updates to its subscribers. She regularly assists clients with internal investigations and their dealings with regulators and provides practical solutions that enable organizations’ overall compliance while achieving cost-efficient and business-friendly results.
Alja advises European-, Asian-, Latin American-, U.S.- and Canadian-based B2B and B2C organizations from a broad range of industry sectors including technology, telecommunications, insurance, advertising, retail, consumer products, entertainment, pharmaceuticals, and financial services. She works regularly with the firm’s trusted local counsel worldwide, enabling her clients to receive high-quality advice in any jurisdiction.
Intellectual versatility combined with incisive, pragmatic counseling and business acumen is the hallmark of Catherine’s practice.
Catherine helps emerging and established companies through the challenging process of obtaining patents, and provides strategic, effective portfolio counseling and management, as well as strategic advice surrounding freedom of operation and other forms of IP assessment. She develops valuable, strategic portfolios around breakthrough therapies in a variety of areas including cancer, cancer immunotherapy, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases, infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Karen Potter is a partner in Morrison & Foerster’s Life Sciences Patent group. Her practice focuses on patent preparation, prosecution, and strategic counseling for start‑up, emerging, and established life sciences and biotechnology companies. She advises clients in the development and management of comprehensive patent portfolios that match their scientific and business objectives. Karen also helps identify and evaluate patentability, ensure freedom to operate, and perform due diligence review of patent portfolios for clients, including investor-side and target-side due diligence.
Building on her technical expertise in cellular and molecular biology and immunology, Karen has experience managing and developing patent portfolios in the areas of immunotherapies and cellular therapies, including T-cell therapies, Natural Killer cell-based therapies, and stem cell therapies; protein therapeutics, including antibody and protein-based therapies; gene-based therapies; virus therapies; companion diagnostics; and diagnostic assays and bioassays.
Mary is a trial lawyer with extensive experience litigating patent and trade secrets cases in district courts across the country and at the International Trade Commission. She frequently oversees the day-to-day strategy and management of complex litigation from pre-suit investigation through trial and appeal.
Mary represents clients in a wide variety of industries, including semiconductors, software, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and telecommunications. She has substantial experience with Hatch-Waxman litigation, as well as representation of technology companies before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).
Penelope has served as lead counsel in major consumer class actions and antitrust cases for more than 35 years, successfully representing high-profile defendants in antitrust, consumer fraud, and product defect matters. Her clients span a range of industries, including consumer electronics, technology, retail, publishing, food and beverage, cosmetics, and household products. According to Chambers USA, Penelope has a “great reputation for antitrust and product liability work” and is a “superb all-around antitrust lawyer.”
Penelope was named the 2019 Antitrust Lawyer of the Year by the Antitrust, UCL, and Privacy Section of the California Lawyers Association. She was co-chair of MoFo’s antitrust practice for 14 years. She has served as chair of the Antitrust and Trade Regulation Section of the State Bar of California and as a member of the Ninth Circuit Advisory Committee on Local Rules and Operations. She is an editor of and frequent contributor to Morrison & Foerster’s Class Dismissed blog, as well as a frequent speaker about class action and antitrust issues.
Bita Rahebi is the co-chair of the firm’s global IP Litigation Group and the cross-disciplinary Intellectual Property Group. The world’s largest and most innovative technology companies turn to Bita for her trial skills and her strategic direction leading complex, high-stakes litigation matters. She litigates before state and federal trial courts, the Federal Circuit, and the International Trade Commission on a wide range of matters involving semiconductors, software, consumer electronics, and medical devices.
As a trial lawyer, Bita is known for zealously representing her clients’ interests. She brings an ability to explain complicated issues to juries and judges, a skill honed through years of experience working with cutting-edge technologies. She has obtained a complete defense victory as lead trial lawyer, invalidated numerous patents, and also obtained winning results for plaintiffs.
Shannon is head of the firm’s Chemistry Patent Practice Sub-Group. She counsels start-up, mid-size, and large companies in the life sciences, agricultural, and materials science industries, with a particular technical emphasis on small-molecule pharmaceuticals, polymers, formulations, and agricultural products.
Drawing on over 20 years of experience in the patent field and a deep understanding of her clients’ technologies and business models, Shannon works closely with her clients to develop and manage patent portfolios that align with the company’s business needs and projections. She assists early-stage clients with securing foundational intellectual property and strategic positioning for investment or partnering opportunities. She also has extensive experience with strategies to protect late-stage and approved products, including Patent Term Extension due to U.S. FDA regulatory review.
Tina is Co-chair of Morrison Foerster’s Government Contracts & Public Procurement practice. She represents a wide variety of government contractors including information technology, defense, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical companies, with a focus on general contract counseling and compliance, particularly concerning intellectual property, and cybersecurity matters.
Tina counsels contractors on compliance with federal acquisition and ethics regulations and with the evolving myriad of state and federal regulations pertaining to data security and cybersecurity. She has been involved with numerous internal investigations and compliance reviews, and with voluntary disclosures to agency Inspectors General.
Julia represents clients in the resolution of large-scale commercial (often cross-border) disputes before state courts and in arbitration, with a focus on technology-based and corporate disputes. She is proficient in commercial resolutions and has represented clients in all aspects of litigation, from pre-litigation strategy, trial, and settlement negotiations to the enforcement of judgments.
Julia has handled matters in a variety of industries, ranging from automotive, aviation, and consumer goods to telecommunications, heavy machinery, banking, and data privacy. She also regularly advises clients on commercial law and all aspects of distribution law – including dealer and agency agreements and compliance – as well as on product liability matters and crisis management.
Tessa Schwartz has an active practice counseling companies on intellectual property issues, and negotiating complex intellectual property and commercial agreements. She advises on a range of strategic transactions, including key patent licenses and acquisitions, technology procurement agreements, and complex development, collaboration, joint-venture and distribution deals. Tessa also regularly advises companies on the IP aspects of their M&A transactions.
In addition to maintaining an active practice and working with clients on a daily basis, Tessa currently serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s Transactions Department.
Nicole Serfoss is a partner in Morrison Foerster’s Securities Litigation, Securities Enforcement, and Investigations + White Collar Defense Group.
Nicole has more than 15 years of experience representing clients in SEC enforcement matters, corporate internal investigations, securities class actions, and shareholder derivative suits. She represents companies, officers, and directors in a wide range of matters involving alleged accounting and disclosure issues. She also frequently assists audit and special committees with investigations following allegations of corporate misconduct.
Stephanie assists companies with technology and life sciences transactions, representing both private and public companies, from emerging growth through the Fortune 50. In particular, Stephanie focuses on helping companies that leverage data through technology in structuring their business and commercial transactions.
Stephanie has over two decades of experience working with clients on the complex technology, intellectual property, and data rights issues across technology and business sectors, including, among others: artificial intelligence (including machine learning and other data analytics approaches), cloud services, life sciences and healthcare, the Internet of Things (IoT), fintech, digital transactions, autonomous systems, cybersecurity solutions, semiconductors, edtech and cleantech. Additionally, Stephanie advises on the commercial technology and intellectual property aspects of mergers, acquisitions, asset spin-off transactions, and private equity investments. Stephanie serves on the Responsible AI Venture Council, part of the recently launched Lucas Institute for Venture Ethics at Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. Stephanie is also a member of the firm’s global Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) steering committee.
Shannon Sibold is a partner in the Corporate Group of the Austin and Palo Alto offices of Morrison Foerster. Her practice focuses on corporate finance and securities matters, including private and public financings, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, corporate governance and advising emerging-growth companies through their entire lifecycle.
Shannon earned her B.C.L. & JD from McGill University Faculty of Law. She earned her B.A. with Distinction in Political Science and Economics from the University of Calgary.
Lisa N. Silverman focuses on patent portfolio management and strategic patent counseling in the areas of chemistry and life sciences. She has extensive experience in securing U.S. and foreign patent protection for pharmaceutical products and a deep understanding of patent lifecycle management and strategies for maximizing patent term. In addition to pharmaceuticals, Dr. Silverman also works with clients in the areas of clean technology, bioassays, and medical devices.
Dr. Silverman routinely represents clients in both investor- and target-side due diligence, including patentability and freedom-to-operate assessments. She has a keen interest in the intersection of patent and regulatory considerations for pharmaceutical products and medical devices, and she has prepared numerous applications for patent term extension.
Ruti Smithline is co-chair of the firm’s Investigations + White Collar Criminal Defense group and co-chair of the firm’s Latin America Desk. Her practice focuses on complex litigation, with an emphasis on white collar criminal defense, SEC enforcement, and corporate internal investigations.
Ruti is a member of the firm’s global FCPA + Anti-Corruption Task Force. She regularly advises clients on cross-border investigations, global compliance programs and anti-corruption due diligence for acquisitions, joint ventures, and private equity transactions. Ruti has represented individual and corporate defendants in cross-border criminal investigations, SEC enforcement matters, and other regulatory proceedings, including matters related to trade sanctions and anti-money laundering. She has experience conducting corporate internal investigations both domestically and internationally, often advising clients on remedial measures responsive to the issues investigated.
Stacey is co-chair of Morrison Foerster’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practice. She also leads the firm’s Global Ethics and Compliance practice, and is a member of the firm’s global anti-corruption team. She regularly assists clients with assessing compliance risks across a broad range of issues and developing strategies to mitigate risks. She conducts anti-corruption, human rights, and compliance-focused due diligence in connection with acquisitions and other transactions, and provides day‑to‑day counseling on a broad range of compliance issues.
Stacey’s practice is focused on pro-active compliance risk mitigation and counseling. She works with legal and compliance teams, executive leadership, and boards of directors to assess compliance risks across organizations, and to assess whether existing compliance programs and controls are sufficient to address identified risks. She assists with ESG risk mapping exercises and human rights impact/saliency analyses, as well as compliance program benchmarking exercises. She helps companies from start-ups to large global companies develop and enhance compliance programs, and assists with the development of strategies to stay ahead evolving legal regimes and enforcement environments. Stacey leverages her master’s degree in human rights to advise companies in connection with not only avoiding corruption, human rights, and other ethics and compliance risks and issues, but also in developing effective mechanisms to remediate such issues if they arise.
Louise Stoupe is co-head of the Tokyo Litigation department. Her practice focuses on high-tech disputes in international arbitration and litigation. She is an experienced trial lawyer, known for representing some of the largest technology companies in the world, in their multijurisdictional and complex commercial litigation cases.
Louise has been recognized for her cutting-edge work for Japanese clients and was recognized as the Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year and the Woman Lawyer of the Year by Asian Legal Business in 2018. Louise is ranked in the current editions of Chambers Global (2023) and Chambers Asia Pacific (2023) for Dispute Resolution. She is also ranked as a Leading Individual in Dispute Resolution by the 2023 edition of The Legal 500 Asia Pacific. Louise has been recognized by the Japan edition of Best Lawyers for Intellectual Property since the 2010 edition, for Litigation since the 2014 edition, and for International Arbitration since the 2020 edition. She was also recognized by the 2017 Client Choice Awards in the litigation category. Louise has long been identified as a leader in her field, exhibited by the fact that in 2008 she was the second youngest person on the “Top 50 Under 45” list published by IP Law & Business.
Drawing on over 15 years of experience, Marie-Claire is an antitrust specialist advising on merger control and foreign investment aspects of complex global transactions, as well as broader antitrust issues including investigations, abuse of dominance and complex vertical agreements.
She has advised corporate clients and financial investors across a range of sectors including technology, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, energy, retail, healthcare, sports rights and industrials.
Ms. Strickland is a partner in the firm’s Finance Department and a member of the Finance & Projects Practice Group.
Ms. Strickland’s practice is focused on representing banks and other financial institutions in single-lender and syndicated financing transactions with foreign and domestic private equity and venture capital funds, their general partners, management companies, and portfolio companies. Ms. Strickland has extensive experience advising clients on complex documentation, structuring and cross-border issues in connection with subscription facilities, capital call facilities, NAV-based facilities, GP and management facilities, fund guarantees and intercreditor agreements.
Christiane Stuetzle is a partner of Morrison Foerster (International) LLP and Co-Chair of the Global Film & Entertainment Practice of Morrison Foerster. She is a Certified Specialist for Copyright and Media Law & Arbitrator on the International Arbitration Panel of the IFTA (Independent Film & Television Alliance, Los Angeles).
Her practice focuses on all matters in the field of film, music & entertainment as well as legal and strategic advice and lobbying support at all stages of the development, financing, production, and distribution of audiovisual products and at the intersection of content and technology.
Serena represents global and regional fund managers and institutional investors in the formation of private equity, private credit and real estate funds. Her practice focuses on both offshore funds (including the Cayman Islands, BVI, Delaware, Luxembourg, Singapore, and Hong Kong) and RMB funds (including QFLP and QDLP funds). She is the Deputy Chair of the firm’s Global Private Funds Group and Chair of Greater China Private Funds practice.
Serena advises fund managers on the formation of an array of private equity funds (including buyout, growth capital, venture capital, and co-investment funds) and private credit funds across a wide range of sectors, including consumer, financial services, healthcare, technologies, TMT, and travel/leisure. Serena’s representative private equity fund manager clients include Affirma Capital, Ascendent Capital Partners, Ally Bridge Group, CBC Group, Fosun, GLP, Hony Capital, Junson Capital, KHL Capital, Kowloon Nights, Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia, Makers, ORIX Asia Capital, Ping An Overseas Holdings, Sailing Capital, SoftBank Ventures Asia, and Taiwania Capital.
Shirin Tang has over 21 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions across Asia and the U.S. She handles complex and innovative transactions, including capital raising platforms, joint ventures and club deals, portfolio restructuring, and exits. Her practice spans the institutional real estate (including data centers), technology/e-commerce, life sciences, and consumer sectors. Over the past year, Shirin has advised clients on complex and innovative transactions worth over US$30 billion in aggregate, spanning South and Southeast Asia, Japan, China, and Latin America.
Shirin is highly praised by clients as “a stand out attorney”, ”a highly skilled and accomplished M&A specialist” and “our go-to lawyer for high value, high impact transactions.” She is described as “proactive, experienced and efficient”, “very connected to the market”, and someone who “is able to balance legal analysis against the commercial realities of our transactions and shows incredible judgment in determining the appropriate balance.” Clients have commented that she “has a well-deserved reputation for her deft handling of complex and innovative transactions.”
Teresa Tate is a partner in the San Francisco office of Morrison Foerster and a member of the firm’s Mergers + Acquisitions and Emerging Companies + Venture Capital Groups.
Teresa advises private and public companies on complex acquisitions, dispositions, and other business transactions.
Jennifer Lee Taylor is the chair of the firm’s Trademark Group. She is engaged in a broad intellectual property practice, with an emphasis on litigation and counseling. Jennifer has litigated a variety of intellectual property cases, with a focus on trademark, design patent, and copyright infringement actions, as well as unfair competition and false advertising actions. She has trial and appellate experience, and extensive experience litigating opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Jennifer’s cases have included litigation of trademarks and trade dress relating to mobile phones, medical devices, apparel, motorcycles, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, computer software and hardware, and consumer products and a variety of service sectors, including hospitality and restaurant services, research services, online gaming services, payment services, medical services, retail and distributorship services, and software as a service in a variety of fields. She has also litigated patents directed to integrated circuits, processes used in the semiconductor industry, and medical devices, and design patents related to consumer electronics. Jennifer also regularly litigates cases involving competitor claims of false advertising and unfair competition, representing both clients who have asserted such claims under the Lanham Act and state law and defending clients from such claims.
Yemi Tépé is Global Co-Chair of the Finance Group and a member of the Private Equity Investments and Buyouts Group, and our global Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) steering committee. With more than 23 years advising clients on the full spectrum of event-driven financings and private equity buyouts, she has extensive experience in domestic and cross-border acquisition and leveraged finance, public to private takeovers, real estate finance, debt structuring and restructuring, margin loans, syndicated lending and subscription line financing.
Her clients include leading international banks and financial institutions, private equity sponsors, multinational corporations, alternative financiers such as credit funds, hedge funds and asset managers and emerging growth, mid-cap, and large public and privately held companies.
Yuka is Co-Head of the Tokyo Litigation Department and focuses her practice on representing technology clients in IP and commercial disputes. She has experience representing clients in U.S. federal courts, the International Trade Commission, and Japanese courts, and manages global strategy in cases spanning multiple jurisdictions. Also, she regularly counsels clients on various legal challenges they face during product development, manufacturing, and distribution. Her matters have involved a wide range of technologies, including computer hardware and software, communications networks, automotive components, semiconductor devices, and medical devices.
Yuka is an active member of the Licensing Executives Society. She also regularly lectures and moderates panels at patent-related conferences.
Stephanie, Chair of the firm’s global Private Funds Group, has over 20 years of experience advising on private fund formation and operations, as well as on regulatory compliance matters. She represents U.S. domestic and global fund sponsors and institutional investors in connection with the formation of, and investments in, buyout funds, venture capital funds, secondary funds, debt funds, infrastructure funds, fund–of–funds, social impact funds and other private funds with a broad range of investment strategies. She has been described by a client as “extremely knowledgeable in the fund formation space, very good to work with and thoughtful about the needs of her clients.”
Private Fund Sponsors. Stephanie represents fund sponsors and the management teams of private funds in the formation of their private funds, as well as in ongoing fund operations, including upper–tier planning, parallel and feeder fund structures, alternative and offshore vehicles, securities law matters, ERISA compliance, transfers or sales of partnership interests, including secondary transactions, and other tax and regulatory matters.
Beth guides lenders on a broad range of financings across a variety of different structures. She represents banks and other financial institutions on all aspects of secured lending, including venture debt, asset-based financing, second lien financing, mezzanine financing, acquisition finance, and international financing transactions.
A substantial part of Beth’s practice involves representing commercial lenders in both single lender and multi-lender transactions with regional, national, and international companies engaged in the areas of life sciences and technology. Beth is also an active member of the Greater Boston chapter of Women in Bio and a member of the board of Women in Law Empowerment Forum.
Claudia focuses her practice on the defense of consumer class actions and on complex commercial litigation, including unfair business competition, false advertising, product liability, and privacy matters. She is currently representing numerous consumer goods manufacturers and retailers in false advertising and mislabeling class action lawsuits. Claudia also regularly counsels clients in the food, cosmetics, retail, and technology industries. She represents companies in false advertising disputes before the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.
Claudia is active in MoFo’s pro bono efforts, and recently traveled to El Paso, Texas, to work with families separated and detained at the border. She is also supervising a pro bono collaboration with Equal Rights Advocates, a nonprofit fighting for gender justice in work places and schools across the country. The initiative will help students who have been victims of sexual assault, attempted assault, or harassment find support and seek justice. Claudia is also a board member of Equal Rights Advocates.
Katie Viggiani is a partner in the Litigation Department in Morrison Foerster’s New York office.
Her practice focuses on investigations, white collar defense, and commercial litigation. As part of her commercial litigation practice, Katie regularly represents U.S. and international clients in actions involving federal securities laws, escrow disputes, and class actions across a variety of industries, including consumer goods, technology, healthcare, and financial services. Katie advises clients from pre-litigation strategy through trial and settlement negotiations.
Marian Waldmann Agarwal has a unique blend of business and legal skills she leverages when counseling clients on various privacy and data security matters. With a background in information systems and business management, and in-house experience as a secondee to two different companies, she has firsthand knowledge of the internal business needs required for company initiatives to succeed.
Marian works with companies on designing and building various aspects of their privacy programs, including drafting internal policies, procedures, and guidelines for legal and non-legal audiences that incorporate privacy best practices and legal requirements in daily operations.
Joan has been recognized as a leading lawyer in the financial services industry for over three decades. Her practice focuses, primarily, on retail financial services, with a special emphasis on advising on and negotiating a wide range of transactions:
Anna has almost 30 years of experience in securities and other complex, high-stakes civil litigation. She has represented companies, as well as their officers and directors, in securities class actions, derivative suits, merger and acquisition litigation, and general commercial disputes. She also regularly advises boards and management on disclosure and high-profile governance issues. Her clients span a range of industries including technology, life sciences, renewable energy, gaming, and financial services.
In recognition of her ability to add real value to clients’ businesses, Anna was named a Client Choice Award winner. She is also recommended by Chambers USA and Legal500 US for securities litigation defense and most recently was honored with Euromoney LMG’s “Outstanding Achievement” award, which is given to a lawyer with an illustrious career and considerable achievements who has earned unanimous market recognition and praise. She was also recently named a “Top Woman Lawyer” in California by Daily Journal and was previously named a “Woman Worth Watching” by Profiles in Diversity Journal in 2014.
Christine Wong, Global Co-Chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Litigation Department, focuses her practice on investigations, white collar criminal defense, and cross-border compliance matters. Christine draws on her unique background as an internal advisor and as a federal prosecutor in advising companies, boards and executives in a variety of matters that present significant legal and reputational risk – including white collar criminal and regulatory enforcement, internal investigations and related civil litigation. She also provides ongoing compliance advice (for example, antitrust, anti-bribery and corruption, conflicts of interest, etc.) to corporate clients.
Christine served as a federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York and the Northern District of California, where she investigated a wide range of matters including public corruption, fraud, and organized crime, and served as lead counsel in over a dozen jury trials. She briefed criminal appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Few lawyers in the world have Miriam Wugmeister’s breadth and understanding of privacy and data security laws, obligations, and practices. As co-chair of Morrison Foerster’s preeminent Global Privacy and Data Security Group, Miriam is regularly called upon by some of the world’s largest and most complex multinational organizations to confront their most difficult U.S. and international privacy and cybersecurity challenges. Ranked among the top in the profession by all major directories, her clients say: “Miriam is the best privacy counsel in the country that I have ever worked with. Her advice is always spot-on, practical, and helpful, and her judgment is impeccable.” “Miriam is a true leader in her field. I appreciate her brilliance and expertise.” “She keeps up with a rapidly evolving area and is quick to answer the most challenging questions with practical guidance a business can use.” (Chambers USA).
Having helped hundreds of clients respond to cybersecurity incidents, Miriam works with companies to develop comprehensive customized incident response plans, training staff, conducting extensive tabletop exercises, and addressing key issues with boards of directors and executive management. Miriam advises organizations on the planning and execution of complex global compliance efforts and defends regulatory and litigation matters relating to privacy and cybersecurity in the United States and internationally. She serves as an arbitrator for the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework Binding Arbitration Program. Miriam regularly advises on the global collection, use, and sharing of employee, customer, vendor, and consumer personal information. She also counsels clients on cutting-edge issues surrounding emerging technologies such as the ethical tech, generative AI, telematics, and Big Data.
Janet focuses her practice on worldwide patent procurement, patent portfolio management, and strategic planning for life sciences companies. Janet’s clients range from large multinational biopharmaceutical companies, such as Celgene and Genentech, to emerging startup companies around the world. She advises her clients on patent matters relating to various technologies, including antibody therapeutics, cell therapeutics, nanomedicine, gene therapy, drug delivery systems, diagnostics, and nutraceuticals.
Recognized by Chambers as being highly sought after for patent prosecution and strategy mandates by innovators from around the world, Janet develops and strengthens her clients’ complex patent portfolios to maximize their commercial value. She is instrumental in developing strategies for multibillion-dollar patent portfolios for pharmaceutical clients. As impressed clients noted to Chambers, “Janet’s work is thorough, polished and always of the highest caliber. She is well equipped to advise international clients on patent prosecution and strategy in the biotech industry, drawing on substantial technical knowledge.”
Chie Yakura is a partner of the Litigation Department of Morrison Foerster Law Offices. She represents both non-Japanese and Japanese corporations in a wide range of complex litigation matters with an emphasis on intellectual property, technology transactions and trade secrets, antitrust/competition law, as well as cross-border contractual and commercial disputes and product liability matters. Chie also focuses on anti-corruption and compliance matters and conducts internal investigations. She has handled cases in a variety of industries, including software, hardware, consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, transportation, real estate and manufacturing.
Chie received her LL.B. from Kyoto University in 1999 and graduated from the Legal Training and Research Institute of the Supreme Court of Japan in 2000. Chie also received an LL.M. from Columbia Law School in 2005 and an LL.M. in international business law from the University of London, London School of Economics and Political Science in 2006.
Keiko Yamazaki is a partner in Morrison Foerster’s Finance Department. She has extensive experience in a wide variety of corporate and commercial transactions, with a particular focus on M&A and real estate finance transactions.
Keiko regularly represents major Japanese banks and mezzanine financing companies on LBO financing and corporate financing in acquisitions of Japanese and foreign companies. She also advises the borrower side of PE funds for LBO financing. Keiko also has a wide range of experience with transactions including real estate financing, project financing, and equity investment by Japanese banks.
Vivian has more than 20 years of experience advising on a broad range of corporate transactions, including primary and secondary equity offerings in Hong Kong, pre-IPO investments, PIPEs, public and private M&A transactions and formation of joint ventures. She regularly advises Hong Kong listed issuers, private equity funds, international conglomerates and Chinese enterprises on their corporate transactions.
Vivian has been appointed as a member of the inaugural editorial board of FinanceAsia to offer guidance and expertise to shape content coverage over the course of 2023, and to provide general outlook for the Asia capital markets.
Dr. Jie Zhou is a partner in Morrison & Foerster’s Life Sciences Group. Her practice focuses on patent prosecution and counseling clients in the areas of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. She has significant experience developing worldwide patent portfolios for companies of all sizes, from start-ups to multinational companies. She also advises clients on IP management and strategic portfolio planning.
Because of her extensive experience in patent prosecution and counseling, as well as her deep knowledge and hands-on experience in bioscience and other technologies, companies often rely on Dr. Zhou for their most difficult and challenging patent work, which involves: developing overall patent strategy to support their business objectives; patent application drafting; and prosecution of high value patent portfolios. Dr. Zhou has successfully obtained patent coverage for many therapeutic candidates that are in early development or in various phases of FDA approval. She has been recognized by the Daily Journal as one of the Top Intellectual Property Attorneys in California in 2016. Her clients include Genentech, Sanofi, Genzyme, Alector, Allakos, Adverum, Foundation Medicine, and Adagene.