New York (January 12, 2004) -- Morrison & Foerster LLP has named Karen L. Hagberg Managing Partner of the firm's New York office. Ms. Hagberg takes over from Howard E. Heiss, who completed a three-year term as head of the office at year end. The New York office has 138 attorneys.
"This office has a strong foundation in several areas of business transactions and litigation that are growing in importance for the entire firm," said Ms. Hagberg, a litigation partner who first joined the New York office 17 years ago. "I intend to continue pressing for growth in those practice areas and expect to see the New York office play an increasingly key role in the firm's future," she said.
Ms. Hagberg also expects to continue developing the Japan practice, which links Japanese and American lawyers in Morrison & Foerster's Tokyo office with a group of Japan-savvy stateside attorneys, many of whom are in New York. Ms. Hagberg spent five years in the Tokyo office and headed its litigation practice. She returned to New York in August 2002. In November, American Lawyer magazine called Morrison & Foerster's Japan practice "a model for the future."
Ms. Hagberg's own practice focuses on litigation and arbitration of complex commercial cases, in particular intellectual property and antitrust matters. She advises both domestic and international companies on IP-related issues, including patent litigation and licensing, trademark and copyright. She supervised a multinational patent litigation which involved suits in 11 venues around the world on behalf of Fujitsu Limited against Samsung, and she is currently representing Fujitsu in patent litigation relating to plasma display technology. Ms. Hagberg has also overseen a number of internal investigations involving price fixing and other matters.
Through the last three years as the economy struggled, the New York office nonetheless diversified and thrived under Mr. Heiss. The office's litigators have had continued success, with significant recent growth in the IP litigation and counseling practice, along with victories and favorable settlements in several consumer class action and tax cases. The white collar defense practice has become one of the more visible practices nationally. And the office is serving as liaison counsel in one of the largest securities class actions ever.
Lawyers from the office's technology transactions and M&A groups have participated in some of the largest IT outsourcing deals undertaken by U.S. and foreign companies. The real estate group has been involved in financing, development and acquisition of some of the most well-known properties in the U.S. and abroad. The bankruptcy group advised creditors and debtors involved in several of the largest Chapter 11 filings and corporate restructurings in history.
In 2003 alone, the New York office made several notable practice expansions and lateral hires, including the addition of several prominent partners who create innovative structured products and derivative securities; and the initiation of a wealth-management practice counseling high-net-worth individuals on protecting their assets. Additionally, the office carved out a larger space in its building at 51st Street and Sixth Avenue, in anticipation of robust growth in 2004.
"The New York office has more than held its own in the last several years, growing in some key areas during a difficult economic period," said Keith C. Wetmore, Chair of the Firm. "When business sectors that drove the economy in the late '90s slowed down, Howard moved the office forward through expansion in other areas. In addition, he continued to build what has become a preeminent white collar practice. We congratulate Karen on her new role and expect continued success in New York under her stewardship."