Premier Corporate/ Technology Group Joins Morrison & Foerster


Technology Transactions

Press Release

TYSON’S CORNER, VA, March 10, 2005 – Morrison & Foerster LLP announced today that one of the leading corporate law practices in the Mid-Atlantic region has agreed to join the firm. A team of six corporate, technology, and tax partners from the Shaw Pittman law firm will join Morrison’s Northern Virginia office. The addition of this established corporate group will create one of the largest full-service law offices in Northern Virginia serving the entire Mid-Atlantic business community.

Heading the firm’s corporate practice in the Mid-Atlantic region will be Lawrence T. Yanowitch and Thomas J. Knox, two of the most respected full life-cycle corporate lawyers in the region. Jack L. Lewis, who founded the group over 25 years ago and is a legendary figure in the corporate/technology community, will join Morrison & Foerster as well. The group also includes Charles W. Katz, Gregory M. Giammittorio, and John S. Harper, all highly regarded lawyers with wide-ranging corporate and technology backgrounds. Collectively, their counseling and transactional capability has made this group the go-to lawyers for hundreds of public and private companies in Northern Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic states.

The group specializes in full life-cycle representations, from formation to initial public offerings to mergers and acquisitions. The group is particularly well known for its capital formation practice (including venture capital and mezzanine financings and public offerings), its mergers & acquisitions practice (particularly in the very active Federal contractor market), and its sophisticated technology transactions practice. The group’s technology expertise covers a broad cross-section of the technology and information economy, including internet infrastructure, physical and logical security, software, new media, satellite and telecommunications, data storage and transfer, and industry exchanges.

Keith C. Wetmore, Chair of Morrison & Foerster, said, "We are delighted to welcome this extraordinary group to Morrison. The team further strengthens our presence in Northern Virginia and extends the reach of our global corporate practice to this important region."

Nicholas J. Spiliotes, Chair of Morrison & Foerster’s firm-wide Business Department, said, "This move presents a tremendous opportunity to rapidly extend the firm's presence in the Mid-Atlantic States. This region has emerged as one of the nation's premier centers for information technology, telecommunications and life sciences companies. The firm will now be able to provide complete life-cycle representation to a broad new range of clients."

With over 200 corporate attorneys in offices in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, Morrison & Foerster represents public and private companies in a wide range of matters, including corporate finance and capital markets transactions; mergers and acquisitions; joint ventures and strategic alliances; public company representation including corporate governance and compliance; and private equity investment and fund formation. The firm’s presence in key financial and technology markets on the East and West Coasts of the United States, in Asia, and in Europe offers a distinct service advantage to clients. Today’s additions to the firm’s corporate practice enhance the firm’s global strength in the world’s major business and financial centers.

About Morrison & Foerster

Morrison & Foerster is a full service law firm with over one thousand lawyers in nineteen offices around the world. The firm is distinguished by its unsurpassed expertise in finance and financial services, life sciences, and technology; its legendary litigation skills; and an unrivaled presence in Asia.  Recent accomplishments for the firm include

  • Issuer’s counsel in three of Red Herring’s 10 Best Performing IPOs in 2004 and ranked among the Top Ten IPO law firms by IPO Vital Signs
  • Top 15 legal advisors on U.S. M&A deals for 2004  - Mergerstat
  • One of the top litigation practices in the country - The American Lawyer 2004 survey
  • Leading law firm in the U.S. for Intellectual Property/Life Sciences
    Global Counsel 2004 survey
  • #1 for diversity among all U.S. law firms for the last three years - 
  • One of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" - FORTUNE’s 2005 list
    On The American Lawyer "A" list 2004

Partner Backgrounds

Lawrence T. Yanowitch has completed well over 100 M&A transactions in his career with purchase prices ranging from $5 million to over $5 billion.  Mr. Yanowitch predominantly represents emerging companies (both public and private), investment banks, and institutional investors.  His M&A experience includes tax-free reorganizations, asset transactions, negotiated and unsolicited tender offers, proxy fights, leveraged buyouts, and joint ventures.  He also has extensive corporate finance and securities law expertise including registered public offerings of debt and equity (including initial public offerings), PIPES, venture capital financings, international offerings, exchange offers, and corporate restructurings.  A significant portion of Mr. Yanowitch’s practice involves counseling for ongoing clients on matters such as SEC compliance, securities and disclosure issues, and corporate governance matters.  He received his J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center in 1987.

Thomas J. Knox advises technology companies of all sizes on corporate and finance matters and on strategic technology transactions.  Mr. Knox serves as outside general counsel and corporate counsel to a number of companies.  In that capacity he advises management teams and boards of directors on a wide range of issues, including corporate governance issues, capital-raising, and other finance matters, mergers and acquisitions, purchases and sales of assets and lines of business, and other strategic transactions.  Mr. Knox also advises clients on technology development, licensing and protection issues, electronic commerce and privacy matters; outsourcing and complex systems procurement; strategic alliance and teaming arrangements; ASP consulting and other services agreements; reseller, distributor and dealer arrangements; and telecommunications services agreements.  He received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1987.

Jack L. Lewis has more than 30 years’ experience helping businesses and entrepreneurs develop effective business strategies, from start-up stage to operation as successful public companies.  Mr. Lewis is one of the pioneers in developing the venture capital/emerging companies practice for technology companies in the Mid-Atlantic region.  His experience includes capital raising, employee arrangements, international expansion, buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, and public offerings.  In addition, Mr. Lewis regularly counsels clients in the areas of the internet, e-commerce, enterprise and other software, and information technology.  Mr. Lewis received his J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1969.

Charles W. Katz works on transactions across a variety of industries, including among others technology, government contracts, education, manufacturing, communications and other regulated businesses.  His practice focuses on representing emerging growth and technology companies. Mr. Katz concentrates on transactional work, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital transactions, divestitures, recapitalizations and restructurings, debt and equity financings and securities offerings, leveraged and management buyouts, joint ventures, and strategic investments. In these transactions, he has represented the full range of parties, including bidders, targets, private equity groups, management teams, public companies, private companies, private investors, investment banks, and financing sources. He is involved in all phases of these transactions, including initial planning, structuring, negotiation, implementation, and advice. He is experienced in both domestic and international transactions, including the representation of parties in cross-border transactions and with multinational investors.  Mr. Katz received his LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1993, and his J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1992.

Gregory M. Giammittorio has over 17 years of experience representing private and publicly held companies in all stages of growth on a range of issues involving venture capital, public and private securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic alliances.  Mr. Giammittorio has built particular expertise in representing clients in the semiconductor, telecommunications, satellite, and information technology industries. He is a member of the board of directors and the general counsel of the International Association of Space Entrepreneurs.  He also serves on the board of directors of the Washington Space Business Roundtable.  Mr. Giammittorio has recently worked on mergers and acquisitions for semiconductor, software, information technology, medical device, media, bioinformatics, and government contracting companies.  In addition, Mr. Giammittorio works on a variety of strategic commercial relationships involving matters such as satellite procurement agreements, launch services agreements, joint ventures, teaming agreements, joint development agreements, licensing arrangements, and OEM, reseller, service provider, and distribution agreements.  He received his J.D. from the University of Virginia in 1988.

John S. Harper is expert in corporate tax planning for mergers, acquisitions, restructurings, and corporate joint ventures.  He has more than 25 years of experience advising on a broad range of tax issues relevant to business transactions, for both closely held business entities and public corporations.  He also has extensive experience with pass-through entities and equity structuring.  Mr. Harper routinely assists clients in connection with audit controversies and other administrative tax matters before federal and state taxing authorities. Mr. Harper received his L.L.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center in 1982, and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1978.

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