Morrison & Foerster has won two American Lawyer Global Legal Awards: Global M&A Deal of the Year, U.S. for Softbank’s Acquisition of Sprint and Global Finance Deal of the Year, Private Restructuring for MF Global’s global bankruptcy. The inaugural awards “honor the deals or disputes of 2012 that best exemplify the challenges of transnational legal practice,” according to The American Lawyer. The magazine spotlighted 30 matters across four categories - Disputes, Finance, M&A and Citizenship - that represented key cross-border work hailing from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America.
MoFo acted as SoftBank's lead M&A, litigation and antitrust counsel for the company’s $21.6 billion acquisition of a 78 percent stake in Sprint Nextel that closed July 10. MoFo also represented SoftBank in Sprint Nextel’s Clearwire acquisition that closed July 9. Throughout the merger process, MoFo helped SoftBank prevail over DISH Network, which had actively bid for both Sprint and Clearwire. Ken Siegel, Tokyo managing partner, and Rob Townsend, co-chair of MoFo's Global M&A Group, led the cross-border deal team for what is the largest announced U.S. transaction of 2012 (with a $44.8 billion enterprise value) and the largest outbound investment in Japan's history.
The American Lawyer wrote, “When Softbank of Japan bought a controlling share in Sprint Nextel in July, it marked the largest foreign investment ever—$21.6 billion—by a Japanese company and the end of a high-stakes competition for the prized telecom company…This was a complex, high-octane play, exactly the kind of drama for which top deal firms are built.”
MoFo also acted as lead counsel to former FBI director and former federal judge Louis J. Freeh who was appointed as chapter 11 trustee for MF Global, which filed for bankruptcy in 2011. With $41 billion in assets at the time of filing, it was the largest bankruptcy filing of 2011 and the eighth-largest in U.S. history. New York partners Brett Miller and Lorenzo Marinuzzi have advised on the wind-down of MF Global’s operations, the liquidation of its assets, and have led the investigation into the events that culminated in its 2011 bankruptcy filing.
The American Lawyer wrote, “MoFo assembled a multidisciplinary, transatlantic team, which as part of its efforts filed over 100 claims seeking more than $3 billion from MF Global affiliates and subsidiaries…This was a logistical and equity nightmare—more than 1.6 open futures and options positions had to be closed spread over 100 exchanges.”
Four grand prizes will be announced at a ceremony in New York on September 23. A complete list of winners will appear inThe American Lawyer's October issue alongside the Global 100.