IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
Morrison & Foerster

International firm Morrison & Foerster was founded in San Francisco in 1883. Over 135 years later, the firm has expanded to 17 offices across the US, Europe and Asia. In the United States, the firm has offices in Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Northern Virginia, Palo Alto, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington DC. 


Focusses / specialisms

The firm is active across all financial and corporate practice areas as well as project development, but is best known for its outstanding work in restructuring and insolvency. 

In financial services regulatory the firm acts for companies on compliance matters related to investments and acquisitions. It also is active in fintech and payment related matters.

In derivatives the team advises banks and other companies in financial services on margin loans, options, swaps, futures, forwards and cryptocurrency related transactions. Many of these transactions had a related regulatory component.

The investment funds team represents investment and private equity firms in fund formations. The restructuring and insolvency practice advises creditors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring proceedings. 

The firm has taken great strides in diversity. In addition to being Mansfield Plus certified, it has won numerous awards for their diversity initiatives.


Key clients

Key clients for the firm include the Puerto Rico Public Buildings Authority Funds, official committee of unsecure creditors of The NORDAM Group, ad hoc group of holders of debt issued or guaranteed by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Visa, Walmart, Cathay Bank, Oxygen, Adara, GoldPoint Partners, GSSG Solar Partners and CGI Merchant Group.


Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Within the research period the financial services regulatory team advised clients on compliance issues stemming from acquisitions and financial investments. It was also very active in matters relating to payment agreements and fintech matters.

The derivatives practice advised clients in the banking and financial services industry on OTC products as well as cryptocurrency matters.

The investment funds group continued to act for private equity and investment management clients in fund formations, investing in different industries.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented groups of creditors across numerous ongoing Chapter 11 proceedings. Energy, especially oil, gas and coal, was a heavily hit industry. Additionally, the team did a lot of work across many of the separate and related proceedings associated with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy.

The corporate finance and capital markets brought over New York based partner Ann Becchina, who specializes in derivatives, from Davis Polk. The Boston office brought over private funds partner Todd Boudreau from Foley & Lardner. In the restructuring and insolvency department, partner Jonathan Levine left for Arnold & Porter.

The year 2019 marked the opening of Morrison & Foerster’s Boston office.


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Title III restructuring

Windstream Holdings Chapter 11 restructuring

Whiteford Taylor Preston

Founded in 1933, Whiteford Taylor & Preston is a highly recognized firm in the mid-Atlantic. Despite being most recognized in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware, the firm also has offices in Michigan Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC. In total it has 16 offices east of the Mississippi River. 


Focusses / specialisms

The firm is best known in the mid-Atlantic, especially in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. It is highly regarded for its work in restructuring and insolvency and M&A. The Maryland restructuring teams are market leaders in the region.

In M&A the firm acts largely in the mid-market space, representing firms on the buy and sell side in strategic acquisitions and joint ventures. The acquisitions are largely private, but the firm does handle public acquisitions as well.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm acts for debtors, trustees and creditors in out of court restructurings and Chapter 11 proceedings. Also of note is the Maryland team’s real estate practice. 

The Maryland corporate team acts for a plethora of firms in the real estate industry, necessitating its own practice. It advises real estate developers and owners regarding real estate acquisitions, financing, leases and development matters.


Key clients

Key clients for the firm include CloudControlMedia, City of Baltimore Water and Wastewater Systems, Accumark, Meridian Waste Services, Ethos Veterinary Services, NXL Construction Services, J.M. Smucker, Curtiss-Wright, Mar-Bow Value Partners, Cambrian Holding Company, CITGO Petroleum, New England Motor Freight, Far Hydrant, Credit Suisse, VFP Investments, Essex Construction, Fujifilm and MCSG Wind Down. 


Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Throughout the research period the M&A team advised firms in strategic acquisitions. The firm acted on both the buy and sell side for the transactions. 

The restructuring and insolvency team represented mostly debtors and creditors in out of court restructurings. It was also a part of some Chapter 11 proceedings, especially in the retail industry. 

Regarding lateral moves, the Virginia corporate team added partners Katja Hill, John Selbach and David Shane Smith. All three joined from LeClairRyan and specialize in real estate. In Maryland, real estate partner Deborah Diehl and restructuring and insolvency partner John Carlton retired. The restructuring and insolvency team in Pennsylvania brought partner Scott Hare and of counsel Kenneth Lund from private practices. In Delaware, restructuring and insolvency partner Abrams joined from Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Meanwhile, partners Chris Samis and Katie Good left for Potter Anderson & Corroon. 


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Claire’s Stores Chapter 11 restructuring

HSW Pro-Pipe $55 million acquisition of Accumark


Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)


“Attentive, attention to detail.”

“Experience, highly skilled.”


Restructuring and insolvency

“The firm has one of the finest bankruptcy practices in the US. Mr. Kevin Hroblak was the principle attorney on the case. His advice was always spot on. I initially thought his insistence that we be uber responsive to an overly expansive document request by the claimants was excessive. Hroblak was correct on this and all other issues. All four courts concluded that these claims were frivolous.”

“The firm is replete with consummate professionals who are not only tacticians but strategists, taking a long view and planning for any contingency. They are strong advocates and excel at implementation.”

“Responsiveness, value, outstanding advice.”

“The firm (Stephen Gerald and David Gaffey) are amazing to work with.  Not only are the professional, but they are also responsive.  They address issues fully without providing a treatise.  They provide advice that is practical for a business.  They are also always willing to provide training to our employees on important customer finance issues as well as speak to our employees in a way that they can understand; in other words, without the legalese.”