SAN FRANCISCO (September 4, 2013) – Morrison & Foerster today announced that it has named Philip Besirof, a partner in the firm’s Securities Litigation, Enforcement & White-Collar Defense Group, managing partner of its San Francisco office. He succeeds Michael Agoglia, who has led the office since January 2007.
Mr. Besirof has 17 years of experience representing clients in complex civil litigation, with an emphasis on securities litigation. He is among a handful of lawyers in the United States who has defended a securities class action at trial. He was part of the team that obtained a complete defense verdict for JDSU and its former executives in a jury trial seeking $20 billion in damages for alleged securities fraud and insider trading.
“In addition to being an outstanding lawyer, Philip possesses the unique qualities needed to lead our largest office, which is also the largest office of any law firm in San Francisco,” said Larren Nashelsky, chair of Morrison & Foerster. “His commitment to excellence and his dedication to delivering unrivaled service to our clients are exemplary. He has sharp strategic vision and strong leadership skills, and his devotion to the community is in keeping with MoFo’s tradition of giving back in every way we can. He will do an outstanding job in this important role.”
During Mr. Agoglia’s tenure, the firm solidified and enhanced its reputation as a market leader across many areas: litigation, intellectual property, M&A and others. As the firm expanded nationally and globally, it continued to build its reputation as the dominant firm in Northern California, including being recognized repeatedly in the annual “Best Law Firm” report issued by U.S. News and Best Lawyers as the leading firm in the region based on the number of practices with top-tier rankings. During Mr. Agoglia’s tenure, the firm built innovative, market-leading practices in areas such as cleantech and alternative energy, and he led the renovation effort that created one of the most environmentally friendly law offices in the country.
“Michael has been an exemplary leader,” Mr. Nashelsky said. “Even as he maintained his busy litigation practice, he worked tirelessly to recruit, develop and retain top talent, and he oversaw our recent top-to-bottom office renovation — a massive and potentially disruptive project that came off without a hitch. We are indebted to Michael for everything he’s done for MoFo, and we are confident that Philip will build on his success.”
“I am honored by the trust and confidence the firm’s partners have put in me to lead this strategically important office,” said Mr. Besirof. “The San Francisco office has thrived under Michael’s leadership, and I welcome the opportunity to build on the solid foundation he and the many other lawyers and staff who have worked so hard to assure the continuation of MoFo’s reputation as the leading firm in San Francisco.”
Mr. Besirof represents companies and their directors and officers in securities class actions, shareholder derivative suits and regulatory inquiries and investigations. He serves on the board of directors and the audit committee of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. He received his J.D. from the UC Hastings College of the Law and his B.A. from UC San Diego.