PALO ALTO, CA, July 10, 2007 ─ Morrison & Foerster LLP announced that Michael T. Frank, a leading tax practitioner, has joined the firm as a partner in its Palo Alto office. Mr. Frank has advised on the executive compensation and related aspects of more than 150 domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, and spin-offs.
Mr. Frank’s addition is in direct response to Morrison & Foerster’s expanding client demands. “With the latest SEC, IRS, and other regulations such as Section 409A dramatically changing the terrain of executive compensation and employee benefit plans and their value in a corporate transaction, we need to add more top-caliber talent to respond to our clients’ needs,” explained Robert Townsend, Chair of the firm’s international Corporate Group. “We are responding to our clients’ needs by creating a holistic team that fully merges our tax, employee benefit, labor and corporate expertise. Mike will play a leading role in ensuring we are recognized as a premier firm in executive and equity compensation.”
Thomas A. Humphreys, Co-Chair of the firm’s Tax Department added: “We are delighted to welcome Mike to the firm. He brings invaluable expertise in areas of law that are a high priority for all businesses. Mike will enhance our ability to provide advice in tax, corporate, accounting, securities, and ERISA matters relating to all types of compensation practices.”
Mr. Frank made the move specifically to be a part of this new direction: “Morrison & Foerster is at the vanguard of creatively responding to constantly changing regulations and markets affecting the most sophisticated clients and transactions. I wanted to be on their leading-edge team.” He added: “Morrison & Foerster has the proven capability to navigate the most complex corporate issues that touch my practice, including the tax aspects of stock options in major M&A transactions. With such preeminent attorneys by my side, I can confidently offer the comprehensive, forward-looking advice my clients need and expect.”
Mr. Frank brings more than 12 years of experience representing companies in all aspects of their equity and cash-based incentive programs, as well as in the design and implementation of non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements and tax-qualified retirement plans.
Mr. Frank joins the firm from DLA Piper, where he was a partner in that firm’s Palo Alto office. He received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan in 1995.
About Morrison & Foerster’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice
Morrison & Foerster regularly counsels clients regarding qualified employee benefit plans, including plan design and administration, analysis of the income tax consequences of plan funding and distributions, and application of ERISA fiduciary standards.
The firm is actively involved in counseling clients regarding the employee benefits and executive compensation aspects of acquisitions, mergers and reorganizations; providing advice relating to the structuring of transactions in order to avoid or minimize employee-related liabilities; and structuring and implementing benefit plans to satisfy legal requirements as well as human resources objectives.
Morrison & Foerster represents both employers and individual executives in connection with a variety of stock-based compensation arrangements, deferred compensation agreements, and golden-parachute contracts.