Highly regarded German team brings broad practice with focus on mergers, acquisitions and other transactions in the TMT sector.
BERLIN (November 4, 2013) – Morrison & Foerster today officially opened its 17th office, located in central Berlin at One Potsdamer Platz. It is the firm's first office in Germany and third in Europe.
The Berlin team, comprised of approximately 30 German lawyers and a like number of staff, was formerly the Berlin office of a leading international firm. The group, which includes eight partners, has top-ranked practices with a special focus on mergers, acquisitions and other transactions in the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector. The Berlin team is also highly regarded for its work with clients in the transportation, real estate, private equity and financial services sectors. The group serves multinational clients on a wide array of matters, including cross-border Germany-bound transactions as well as transactions within Germany. The team has advised on highly visible transactions including the acquisition and sale of ProSiebenSat.1 Media, the acquisition of Sky Deutschland, the takeover of Schmolz and Bickenbach and the acquisition of the rights to the German Soccer League.
Beyond M&A, Morrison & Foerster's Berlin team focuses on a wide range of corporate and commercial transactions, along with tax, employment, competition and data protection work. The team also has extensive experience with corporate (board and shareholder) litigation.
Larren Nashelsky, chair of Morrison & Foerster, said the Berlin group is a perfect fit for MoFo's practice.
"We see tremendous benefits in this combination for our clients in the United States, particularly in Silicon Valley, in London and across Europe, and in Asia, especially Tokyo," Mr. Nashelsky said. "This talented team augments our reputation as a world leader in technology and telecommunications transactions and gives us immediate top-tier recognition in Germany and throughout Europe. We are delighted to welcome them to MoFo."
The partners joining the firm, all from the former Berlin office of Hogan Lovells, are: Karin Arnold (corporate), Dirk Besse (corporate M&A), Andreas Grünwald (TMT regulatory, antitrust), Jens-Uwe Hinder (tax, real estate), Thomas Keul (litigation), Jörg Meissner (corporate M&A), Hanno Timner (employment, data privacy) and Christoph Wagner, who is widely regarded as one of Europe's leading deal advisers on behalf of players in the rapidly converging TMT sector. The co-managing partners of the new office are Jens-Uwe Hinder and Hanno Timner.
Their practices have consistently drawn high rankings from leading legal directories such as JUVE and Chambers in key areas, including corporate/M&A, TMT, tax, corporate litigation, competition/European law and employment law.
Morrison & Foerster opened its first European office in London more than 30 years ago, and has developed extensive corporate, litigation and capital markets experience in the UK, along with strong transactional capabilities. The firm has a significant presence in Brussels, providing regulatory support for global transactions. The Berlin addition complements those capabilities and will help fuel growth in Europe and globally.
MoFo continues to be at the forefront of global technology, media and telecom transactions. The firm advised leading Japanese telecommunications and Internet company SoftBank in its $21.6 billion acquisition of Sprint Nextel earlier this year, a deal that was named Global M&A Deal of the Year by The American Lawyer. MoFo also represented SoftBank in a $1.5 billion joint venture investment in leading Finnish-based mobile game developer Supercell Oy. The firm also represented U.S.-based radio consumer research company Arbitron in its $1.3 billion acquisition by Netherlands-based Nielsen Holdings N.V. A. In addition, MoFo represents global semiconductor chip maker corporation Intel in several strategic TMT transactions in Europe, including its $4.1 billion investment in Dutch chip manufacturer ASML; and its $1.4 billion acquisition of Germany-based Infineon Technologies AG's Wireless Solutions business. We also advised Intel's subsidiary McAfee in its acquisition of Stonesoft Corporation, a publicly traded Finnish company that is a global innovator in next-generation firewall and network security solutions.
"We are very excited to launch Morrison & Foerster's Berlin office and to join such an accomplished global firm," Mr. Hinder said. "The combination of our team and Morrison & Foerster's international capabilities will benefit the firm's TMT clients across Europe, North America and Asia. We are especially looking forward to offering our longstanding clients a high-speed connection between Berlin, Asia and Silicon Valley."
Robert Townsend, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster's Global M&A Group, said the move to Berlin aligns with the firm's long-term strategy of building its M&A practice in key technology and finance centers globally and bolstering its historic position as a leader in representing the world's most innovative and successful technology and telecom companies.
"We plan to build the leading TMT transactional practice in Germany," Mr. Townsend said. "This is the perfect team to make that happen."
Morrison & Foerster was named Information Technology Law Firm of the Year by U.S. News/Best Lawyers and the No. 1 Technology Law Firm for 2014 by the Vault Guide. The firm regularly receives top-tier rankings in Chambers Global, Chambers USA, Chambers Asia Pacific and Chambers UK for its corporate transactional, IP, litigation, technology, outsourcing and data protection practices in the United States, Europe and Asia. Legal 500 ranks MoFo as the only firm in Band 1 for Technology across China, Hong Kong and the United States.