Compliance Group of the Year: Morrison Foerster
John Smith and Brandon Van Grack were profiled by Law360, discussing some of the matters Morrison Foerster’s national security and global risk and crisis management teams have handled – including providing sanctions counsel to the Ukrainian government following Russia’s invasion and advising on the first quantum computing transaction reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) – to earn a spot as one of Law360’s 2022 Compliance Groups of the Year.
John said the depth of government experience at the firm gives MoFo practitioners an understanding of how the government thinks and what agencies' intentions are with their rules, allowing them to structure submissions to governments that focus on the national security and foreign policy objectives of the programs, he said.
“We generally know how OFAC [the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control] thinks, we generally know what the U.S. government is intending, and we can provide that insider knowledge to our clients,” John said.
Brandon highlighted how the firm advised on national security matters before the CFIUS for a business combination that created the largest and most advanced integrated quantum computing company in the world in November 2021, when MoFo advised British quantum software company Cambridge Quantum Computing in its combination with Honeywell Quantum Solutions. He said it took time to make sure CFIUS had a full appreciation and understanding of what it was blessing, and that the transaction also called for creating a level of comfort about how the deal was structured and how it furthered national security, rather than harming it.
“Part of this is just truly demystifying it so that they understand not the parade of horribles that could happen, but truly understand what the intent is and what the capabilities are,” Brandon said.
Read the full article.