Paul Friedman is Morrison & Foerster’s Managing Partner for Europe. He is an antitrust, white collar and securities litigator with a global practice and heads the Firm’s compliance practice. Mr. Friedman has over 35 years of experience with cross-border disputes, investigations and compliance. He specializes in government and internal investigations. Businesses across a wide range of industries also regularly seek his advice for the strategic resolution of their most complex legal challenges and to mitigate business risk, perform transactional due diligence and conduct risk assessments across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Americas and Asia.
Mr. Friedman specializes in disputes and conducting investigations focused on corruption issues, alleged price-fixing by cartels, and other significant compliance issues. He frequently represents clients in government enforcement proceedings and investigations, and has deep expertise in issues involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other international anti-corruption laws. He is a frequent speaker on the FCPA, cross-border litigation, and internal investigations.
Mr. Friedman has conducted cross-border investigations across the globe, including in some of the most challenging markets in EMEA, Asia, and Latin America. His experience spans a broad range of industries, including technology, consumer products, energy, entertainment/media, financial services, and transportation. He has represented a wide range of companies, including many Japanese companies, some of the largest global companies, audit and special committees, individual directors and officers, venture capital firms, investment banks, and law firms.
BTI Consulting Group’s 2006 and 2010 Client Service All-Star Team surveys recognized Mr. Friedman for delivering consistently superior client service. He has also been recommended in the 2007-2017 Best Lawyers in America directories for Commercial Litigation, Securities Litigation and Antitrust Litigation. Mr. Friedman was also recognized by Best Lawyers in America as “Lawyer of the Year” 2017 (London/San Francisco) for Commercial Litigation: Antitrust, Civil Litigation, Class Actions, Commercial Disputes, Complex Litigation, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, SEC Enforcement, Securities, Litigation: Antitrust, and Litigation: Securities.
A partner at Morrison & Foerster since 1986, Mr. Friedman is a past chair of the Firm’s Litigation Department. He is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, Compensation Committee, and board of directors and former chair of The Morrison & Foerster Foundation from 1997-2014. Mr. Friedman also serves as a board member for the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society.
In 2014, Mr Friedman was named Morrison & Foerster’s inaugural Managing Partner for Europe, which led him to relocate to London. In this role, he is responsible for developing and implementing a growth strategy for the region and enhancing coordination among the firm’s London, Brussels, and Berlin offices with the firm’s other offices throughout the United States and Asia.
Mr. Friedman is a former chair of the Ninth Circuit Advisory Board, a group of senior lawyers appointed from throughout the Ninth Circuit by the chief judge. He was chair of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and also chair of the Lawyer Representatives Coordinating Committee of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. He served as program chair of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and chair of the lawyer representatives of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference from the Northern District of California. The bench and bar of the Northern District of California honored him with the Public Service Award in recognition of his service to the court. Mr. Friedman is a past recipient of Morrison & Foerster’s Raven Award, an award presented to partners of the Firm who, among other qualities, maintain the highest level of ethics and integrity, exemplify a strong commitment to diversify the legal profession and to pro bono work, and demonstrate leadership and vision within the Firm.
Mr. Friedman was a member of Phi Beta Kappa at the University of California, Berkeley, from which he received his A.B. He was also awarded the University Medal, the highest undergraduate honor at the university, presented to the most distinguished student in the graduating class. Mr. Friedman received his J.D. from Yale Law School.
International Compliance Reviews
Global Cartel Investigation.Representing a U.S.-based multinational Fortune 50 company in global cartel investigations and all related civil and criminal proceedings in several countries, including class action litigation.
Global Cartel Investigation.Representing publicly traded Japan-based companies in global cartel investigations.
Global Investigation.Represented a global Japanese chemical company in conducting an investigation related to potential misconduct tied to revenue recognition and other topics.
Global Investigation.Represented a global investment firm with anti-corruption due diligence of a U.S. target with operations in Japan, China, Thailand and Mexico. Based on the results of the due diligence, advised the company regarding implementation of a post-acquisition compliance program.
Asia-Pacific FCPA Investigation.Represented a global technology company in an internal investigation of potential FCPA violations in Asia-Pacific countries.
Asia-Pacific FCPA Investigation.Represented a U.S.-based multinational Fortune 50 company in an internal investigation of alleged violations of the FCPA and self-dealing in seven Asia-Pacific countries. Following the conclusion of our investigation and self-reporting, neither the SEC nor the DOJ took any action against our client.
Global FCPA Investigation.Represented a leading global consumer products company in an internal investigation of potential FCPA violations in Latin American and Asia-Pacific countries.
Global Investigation.Represented a Fortune 500 company with anti-corruption due diligence in connection with the acquisition of a foreign telecom company with substantial operations in Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
Post-Acquisition FCPA/Compliance Review.Represented a Fortune 100 company with a post-acquisition anti-corruption compliance review of a newly acquired business with operations and significant government touch points in Russia, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
Pre-Investment Anti-Corruption Due Diligence.Represented Japan-based global company in pre-investment anti-corruption review of target based in Africa.
Post-Acquisition Compliance Review.Represented a Fortune 100 health care services and information technology company with a post-acquisition anti-corruption compliance review of a newly acquired business with German headquarters and global operations.
International Compliance Review.Review of potential payment issues in India and other Asia-Pacific countries for a leading technology company.
International Compliance Review.Anti-corruption compliance review in Mexico for a leading international energy corporation.
International Compliance Review.Anti-corruption compliance review for the Audit Committee of a global company regarding its operations in India.
In re Crocs, Inc. Securities Litigation; Wheeler v. Snyder et al.(D. Colo. & Colo. Dist. Ct.). Represented Crocs, Inc., and certain of its current and former officers and directors in shareholder class actions (claiming violations of the Exchange Act) and derivative lawsuits filed in Colorado. In February 2009, won dismissal of all derivative claims, with prejudice, on first motion to dismiss. No appeal was filed. In February 2011, won dismissal of all claims in the federal class actions on first motion to dismiss. In re Crocs, Inc. Sec. Litig., (D. Colo.). Class action settled on appeal.
California Resale Royalty Act Litigation.(C.D. Cal.; 9th Cir.). Representing New York auction house in a class action seeking to enforce the California Resale Royalty Act. District Court granted our motion to dismiss and invalidated the 35-year-old statute as unconstitutional. Affirmed in part by Ninth Circuit en banc. Dismissed again by District Court.
MDL Class Actions(C.D. Cal.). Representing a Fortune 50 company in an MDL composed of seven class actions challenging a range of billing and other business practices. Dismissed by District Court on appeal.
Precision Associates v. Panalpina, et al.(E.D.N.Y.). Served as lead defense counsel in a 65-defendant class action alleging a global price-fixing cartel in the freight-forwarding industry, and successfully argued a motion to dismiss on behalf of all defendants, resulting in dismissal for lack of standing and failure to satisfy Twombly v. Bell Atlantic standard for key claims. Settlement approved; no appeal.
Wonder Auto Securities Class Actions and Derivative Litigation.(S.D.N.Y. and Nevada state and federal courts). Represented Wonder Auto, a Chinese company, in securities class actions filed in the Southern District of New York. Managed the cases to an early and favorable resolution; settled. Several derivative cases were filed in Nevada courts, and were settled.
Antitrust Multidistrict Litigation.Won dismissal with prejudice in 51 separate nationwide class actions, which were combined into one MDL proceeding in the Northern District of Georgia. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants conspired to set fuel surcharge levels on “Less Than Truckload” shipments. On behalf of our Fortune 50 client, we obtained a stay of discovery and moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that plaintiffs had not alleged facts to establish a conspiracy under the standards set forth by the Supreme Court in Twombly v. Bell Atlantic. The court granted the motion to dismiss and set a very high standard for any subsequent amendment. The plaintiffs concluded that they could not meet that standard and the case was dismissed with prejudice.
Late-Payment Fees Class Action.With hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, won dismissal with prejudice of nationwide class action complaint on the first motion to dismiss in case involving cutting-edge preemption issues arising from the collection of late-payment fees that allegedly exceeded the amounts allowable under state law. No appeal was filed.
Nationwide Antitrust Class Action for Fortune 50 Company.Won motion to dismiss without leave to amend for Fortune 50 company in nationwide antitrust class action, which alleged that client unlawfully tied the sale of loss/damage protection to the sale of ground transportation services. No appeal was filed.
Billing Adjustment Class Action.Won dismissal with prejudice of putative nationwide class action for our Fortune 50 client alleging unfair business practices for requiring customers to seek billing adjustments for packages that they processed for shipment but decided not to ship. No appeal was filed.
BayStar Capital Management, LLC v. Core Pacific-Yamaichi International (H.K.) Limited(C.D. Cal.). Successfully defended China’s largest investment bank in a securities fraud action alleging $100 million in damages. After two years of hard-fought litigation, the case was dismissed, with prejudice, with no payment from our client.
In re Excess Value Insurance Coverage Litigation(S.D.N.Y. MDL-1139). Served as lead defense counsel in 26 state and federal class actions alleging contract, tort, deceptive trade practices, RICO, and antitrust claims challenging the collection of insurance premiums in connection with shipments. Successfully implemented a strategy of removing all state cases to federal court, and obtained consolidation of the cases in multidistrict litigation proceedings. After motions to dismiss disposed of most claims, the cases settled.
Stock Option Investigations.Conducted internal investigations regarding stock option issues on behalf of several audit committees/special committees.
Mr. Friedman was recognized in BTI Consulting Group's Client Service All-Star Team 2006 and 2010 surveys for consistently delivering superior client service. Best Lawyers in America has also recommended him in its 2007–2017 directories for Commercial Litigation, Securities Litigation, and Antitrust, and as “Lawyer of the Year” 2017 (London/San Francisco) for Commercial Litigation: Antitrust, Civil Litigation, Class Actions, Commercial Disputes, Complex Litigation, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, SEC Enforcement, Securities, Litigation: Antitrust, and Litigation: Securities. Mr. Friedman is also recommended by The Legal 500 US 2016 in the area of Civil Litigation and Class Actions.
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