NEW YORK (January 6, 2016) – Morrison & Foerster, a leading global law firm, is pleased to announce the election of 12 lawyers to the firm’s partnership. The class of 2016 includes individuals from 10 practice groups across eight offices in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
“I am proud to congratulate this exceptional group of lawyers on their admission to partnership,” said Morrison & Foerster chair Larren M. Nashelsky. “Our new partners are stellar examples of the values we represent at Morrison & Foerster – a strong commitment to extraordinary client service and legal excellence. We look forward to their continued growth and success at the firm.”
The following lawyers have been elected partners:
Alexis Amezcua, a member of the Commercial Litigation Practice Group, is based in the San Francisco office. Ms. Amezcua has practiced in a variety of substantive areas, including breach of contract, wrongful termination, trade secret theft, unfair competition, product liability, federal banking law, complex consumer class actions, and wrongful death. She has represented both plaintiffs and defendants, and her practice includes substantive arbitration experience, as well as trial experience in state and federal court. Her clients range from major financial institutions, international product manufacturers, and national retailers, to individuals. She has extensive experience representing such clients in mass, complex consumer class actions, including in federal multidistrict litigation proceedings and state court coordinated proceedings. She is a frequent speaker and author on topics related to arbitration, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, consumer class actions, and consumer product safety. Ms. Amezcua earned her J.D. from Stanford Law School.
Scott Ashton, a member of the Capital Markets Practice Group, is based in the London office. Mr. Ashton has a corporate finance practice with emphasis on cross-border securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and restructurings. His capital markets experience includes private placements and public offerings of debt and equity (including Rule 144A, Regulation S, and SEC-registered offerings); his M&A experience encompasses public and private acquisitions, asset sales and tender offers; and his restructuring experience includes debt restructurings, bankruptcy proceedings, and corporate spin-offs. Mr. Ashton has specialized expertise in representing European and other companies who wish to make private placements of debt securities to institutional investors. He also advises companies and investors with respect to corporate governance matters, SEC reporting, and U.S. securities laws. Mr. Ashton is recommended as an up and coming lawyer for debt capital markets by Chambers UK 2016 and is also recommended for debt capital markets by Legal 500 UK 2015. He is included in Financial News’ 2014 list of 40 under 40 Rising Stars in Legal Services. Mr. Ashton earned his J.D. from Stanford Law School.
James J. Beha II, a member of the Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White-Collar Criminal Defense Practice Group, is based in the New York office. Mr. Beha’s practice focuses on securities litigation, defending public companies and their officers and directors in securities class actions, shareholder derivative litigation, M&A litigation, and other complex business disputes. In addition to his securities litigation experience, he frequently represents debtors, creditors, and other interested parties in bankruptcy litigation. He also has extensive commercial litigation experience, including contract, partnership, real estate, and employment disputes. Mr. Beha served as a law clerk to the Hon. Kevin Thomas Duffy in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He earned his J.D. from New York University School of Law.
Noah Carr, a member of the Corporate Department, is based in the Tokyo office. Mr. Carr’s practice focuses on M&A and encompasses a range of cross-border strategic transactions in the technology and telecommunications industries. He earned his J.D. from Columbia Law School.
Matthew Chivvis, a member of the Intellectual Property Litigation Group, is based in the San Francisco office. Mr. Chivvis represents high-tech, Internet, and life sciences companies. Though his practice focuses on intellectual property litigation in federal and state courts, he also regularly consults clients on plant intellectual property matters, including strategic use of plant and utility patents, plant-variety protection certificates, and trademark rights. Mr. Chivvis has litigated patent matters in many of the top patent venues throughout the U.S., including the Northern and Central Districts of California, the Eastern District of Texas, the District of Delaware, the Federal Circuit, and the International Trade Commission. Moreover, he has considerable experience practicing before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, especially in patent reexamination and review proceedings. Mr. Chivvis earned his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law.
Kristina Ehle, a member of the Technology Transactions Practice Group, is based in the Berlin office. Ms. Ehle’s practice focuses on advising German and international clients in the media, information technology, mobile and e-commerce, consumer electronics and products, and clean technology industries on intellectual property issues as well as on Internet, IT, consumer, contract, and commercial law matters. Her clients range from early-stage start-ups to large corporations. She regularly drafts and negotiates a wide variety of transactions including software, website and app development and licensing agreements, digital content (films, music, games, ebooks) and software licensing and distribution agreements (including software/platform as a service contracts), online marketing and advertising agreements, supply, distributor and retailer agreements. Ms. Ehle regularly advises clients on intellectual property and commercial law aspects of their M&A and private equity transactions. Ms. Ehle earned her First State Exam from the University of Würzburg and her Second State Exam from the Appellate Court of Berlin.
Enrico Granata, a member of the Corporate Department, is based in the New York office. Mr. Granata specializes in M&A. His practice focuses on representing private and public corporate clients, private equity funds, and hedge funds in negotiated and contested mergers, acquisitions, tender and exchange offers, proxy contests, takeover defense counseling, and joint ventures. Mr. Granata has advised on a broad range of public and private transactions, frequently with a significant cross-border dimension. He has extensive M&A and private equity experience in a variety of sectors, including energy, infrastructure, financial services, technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, consumer products, defense, and real estate/REIT. Mr. Granata earned his J.D. from Columbia Law School.
Erik Knudsen, a member of the Corporate Department and Private Equity Investments and Buyouts Practice Group, is based in the Denver office. Mr. Knudsen focuses his practice on complex business transactions, including leveraged buyouts, strategic mergers, acquisitions, investments and joint ventures, reorganizations, growth equity and venture capital investments, and divestitures. He has led transactions in a wide variety of industries, including healthcare, Internet, technology, real estate, distribution, and manufacturing. Mr. Knudsen earned his J.D. from the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology.
Diana Kruze, a member of the Intellectual Property Litigation Group, is based in the San Francisco office. Ms. Kruze focuses her practice on patent, trade secret, and copyright litigation. She also has extensive experience with licensing, IP counseling for start-ups, and patent post-grant review procedures. She represents clients in a wide range of technical disciplines including software, medical devices, nanotechnology, life sciences, smartphones, satellite systems, and semiconductor processing and packaging. In 2013, Ms. Kruze received the Barrister of the Year Award from the Bar Association of San Francisco, and has been named as a “Rising Star” for three years in a row by Super Lawyers magazine. Ms. Kruze clerked for former Chief Judge James Ware of the Northern District of California. She earned her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
John Pintarelli, a member of the Business Restructuring and Insolvency Practice Group, is based in the New York office. Mr. Pintarelli represents debtors and creditors in complex domestic and international bankruptcy and insolvency matters, including judicial and out-of-court restructurings. His practice includes the representation of foreign liquidators and administrators in cross-border insolvency proceedings and chapter 15 cases. He also represents banks, investors, and lenders in debtor-in-possession and exit financings, loan restructurings, asset sales, and other aspects of bankruptcy cases. Mr. Pintarelli regularly advises clients on distressed trading and derivatives contracts, including interest rate swaps, credit default swaps, total return swaps, F/X trades, and structured products, and bankruptcy issues related to the termination, valuation, and monetization of such contracts. He earned his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and his M.B.A. from Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business.
Shannon Reaney, a member of the Patent Counseling and Prosecution Practice Group, is based in the Palo Alto office. Dr. Reaney counsels pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients and specializes in patent matters in the areas of organic chemistry and small molecule pharmaceuticals. She develops and manages large patent portfolios for mid-size to large companies and provides strategic advice on lifecycle management and issues relating to regulatory considerations. She also assists smaller clients with securing foundation intellectual property and with strategic positioning for investment or partnering opportunities. Dr. Reaney earned her J.D. from Santa Clara University and her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Elizabeth Sluder, a member of Project Finance Practice Group, is based in the Los Angeles office. Ms. Sluder focuses her practice on project finance, M&A, private equity, and general corporate advice. She has substantial experience representing clients in renewable energy transactions, including construction and term debt financings, tax equity investments, and negotiating supply agreements, construction contracts, and offtake arrangements. She also represents lenders and borrowers in secured lending, as well as private banking and mezzanine and junior capital financing. Her financing experience also includes handling sports franchise financings and large syndicated credit facilities. Ms. Sluder earned her J.D. from Tulane University Law School.