NEW YORK (April 29, 2014) – Morrison & Foerster has been shortlisted for two 2014 Chambers USA Awards: Antitrust Firm of the Year and, for the third year in a row, M&A Firm of the Year. The awards, which will be given in May, honor the United States' best law firms and lawyers for their work during the previous year.
The firm's work for SoftBank in its high-profile acquisition of Sprint, serves as an exemplar for the types of complex matters clients entrust to Morrison & Forester. The firm acted as SoftBank's lead M&A, antitrust, and litigation counsel for the company's $21.6 billion acquisition of a 78 percent stake in Sprint Nextel that closed July 10; Morrison & Foerster also represented SoftBank in Sprint Nextel's Clearwire acquisition that closed July 9. The deal 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.
In 2013 Morrison & Foerster's global M&A and antitrust practices advised on 131 transactions with a total disclosed value of more than $112 billion, including 20 transactions each worth more than $1 billion. The practices' recent notable deals so far in 2014 include representing VMware in its $1.54 billion acquisition of AirWatch, Edison Pharma in a $4.29 billion strategic alliance with Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Intel in its $740 million investment in Cloudera, and Global Logistic Properties in its $1.4 billion portfolio acquisition of 34 assets in Brazil and in its landmark $2.5 billion agreement with a group of strategic partners to develop GLP's logistics network in China. For the past two years the firm has been named "M&A Group of the Year" by Law360 and "International M&A Law Firm of the Year" by M&A Advisor, and has continued to be top-ranked as an "elite" firm in Corporate/M&A Nationwide by Chambers USA.
"TMT deal volume has significantly increased in the first quarter, and the market is on a steady path to recovery," Robert Townsend, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster's Global M+A Practice Group, said. "Our experience and geographic reach expertly position the firm to respond to the market's current surge in tech, media and telecom deal making."
According to Bloomberg's Global M&A Advisory League Table, global M&A deal volume totaled $638 billion in Q1, a 27 percent increase from the same time in 2013. Morrison & Foerster ranked 15th as counsel to principals for U.S. announced deals, 13th for deals in Germany. The Asia-Pacific region saw the greatest increase, $185 billion, up 39 percent from the prior year, Bloomberg reported. Morrison & Foerster had an active quarter in Asia, and was ranked 7th for deals in Japan and 5th for deals in South East Asia.
Named Antitrust "Law Firm of the Year" by U.S. News/Best Lawyers in 2011-2012, Morrison & Foerster's global antitrust group continued to build on its record of achievements in 2013. On the M&A front, the firm advised on a number of high profile transactions including representing Arbitron, an international media and marketing research firm, before the Federal Trade Commission in its $1.3 billion acquisition by Nielsen Holdings; Pinnacle Entertainment before the Federal Trade Commission in its $2.8 billion acquisition of Ameristar Casinos; and Sourcefire before the Department of Justice in its $2.7 billion acquisition by Cisco Systems. The group's litigation practice defended its Ninth Circuit victory for JPMorgan Chase in a case involving the lawfulness of ATM interchange fees by successfully opposing a petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court. On behalf of Bank of America, the firm settled allegations of price-fixing and tying brought by a class of merchants who accepted Visa and MasterCard payment cards, in what many have termed the largest antitrust case in history. The group also successfully represented several major international companies in cartel and related civil litigation matters.