IN-DEPTH RESEARCH REPORT
on Morrison & Foerster LLP
- - Financial Information
- - Compensation
- - Billing Rates
- - Lateral Partner Moves
- - Pro bono
- - Key Contacts
Morrison & Foerster
- Designation: San Francisco
- Head Count: 1,010
- Gross Revenues: $1,000,000,000
- Revenue Per Lawyer: $990,000
- Profits Per Partner: $1,470,000
- Year Over Year Change: no change
Founded in San Francisco in 1883, Morrison & Foerster may have arrived a bit too late for the gold rush, but it has managed to strike pay dirt all the same. Along the way, for a corporate law firm, it has managed to carry itself with some insouciance, taking pride in its street name MoFo. A regular on The American Lawyer’s A–List—which homes in on the most elite firms by looking at both economic and noneconomic metrics—MoFo also boasts a top–rated litigation group. It earned honorable mentions in our 2010, 2008, and 2004 Litigation Department of the Year competitions (the contest is held every two years), and was a finalist as IP Litigation Department of the Year in 2008.
Indeed, technology–focused clients—from Internet start–ups to established life science companies—provide a large portion of MoFo’s workload. The firm was one of the first to plant stakes in Silicon Valley (opening an office in Palo Alto in 1985), and it has followed with offices in other major technology centers, including San Diego and Northern Virginia. Other core areas of practice include financial services, corporate, capital markets, and real estate.
Typical of many large firms, MoFo has 16 offices, with six abroad. Its most important overseas outpost is in Tokyo. At about 120 lawyers, the office is the largest foreign law office in Japan, one with a client list that produces work on both sides of the Pacific.
MoFo has never been one of the ber–profitable firms that can be found among The Am Law 100. Instead, its PPP figures ($1 million plus) have generally fallen in the bottom half of The Am Law 100. Those numbers took a hit, too, during the economic crisis—as did the firm’s head count: MoFo laid off 53 lawyers and 148 staff in January 2009. Morale didn’t stay down for long, though. A fifty–sixth place ranking on The American Lawyer’s 2010 Midlevel Associates Survey turned into a thirty–fourth place finish in 2011.
In other noneconomic measures, MoFo scores even higher. Its pro bono program has been one of the industry’s most successful; with attorneys averaging 106 hours of volunteer legal work, MoFo placed sixteenth of 200 firms on The American Lawyer’s 2010 Pro Bono Report. And with minorities composing nearly a quarter of its U.S. lawyers, and 11 percent of its partnership, the firm ranked eighth (of 194 firms) on our 2011 Diversity Scorecard.
—Updated as of 1/1/12
|Survey||Rank||Year Over Year Change||Description|
|Am Law 100||20||no change||Gross revenue|
|Am Law 200||20||no change||Gross revenue|
|NLJ 250||22||4||Lawyer head count|
|The A-List||11||2||Overall excellence|
|Pro Bono Scorecard||16||5||Pro-bono commitment|
|Diversity Scorecard||9||1||Minority head count|
|Midlevel Associates Survey||34||22||Job satisfaction|
|Summer Associates Survey||11||65||Summer programs|
In the News
Joshua Sisco : The Recorder : May 2, 2013
San Francisco's Yelp Inc. has so far been a typical Silicon Valley success story. But General Counsel Laurence Wilson hasn't taken the typical path to the top of the legal department.
Vanessa Blum : The Recorder : May 1, 2013
With fingers crossed, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh tells Apple and Samsung lawyers to retrace steps on damages testimony, though they'll have to do so without Apple's expert.
Vanessa Blum : The Recorder : May 1, 2013
Both Netflix and a deaf college student who sued on discrimination grounds claimed a technical victory that entitles them to fees. U.S. District Judge Edward Davila saw it differently.
Tom Brennan : The Asian Lawyer : April 30, 2013
Morrison & Foerster has added Marcia Ellis as a private equity partner to its Hong Kong office. Ellis rejoins MoFo after working as a partner in the Hong Kong office of Ropes & Gray, where she was part of a team that advised Bain Capital Partners on its $1 billion investment in Indian business process management company Genpact Ltd.
Diane Jeantet : The Am Law Daily : April 30, 2013
Katten Muchin Rosenman hires eight attorneys in its new Houston office; Husch Blackwell brings aboard a business litigation partner in Chicago; and Morrison & Foerster welcomes back a partner in Hong Kong. The Churn is constant. Please send all announcements to email@example.com.
Brian Baxter : The Am Law Daily : April 30, 2013
Consumer electronics giant Apple, which was unburdened by debt until this week, is relying on Hogan Lovells as the company undertakes its first bond sale in more than two decades to help finance a $100 billion capital return program to shareholders.
: The National Law Journal : April 29, 2013
John Cherundolo joins Hiscock & Barclay's torts and products liability practice as of counsel. Plus more law firm movers in this week's column.
Vanessa Blum : The Recorder : April 29, 2013
With fingers crossed, the judge tells lawyers to retrace steps on damages testimony, though they'll have to do so without Apple's expert.
: The Recorder : April 26, 2013
Nosal nailed ... State Bar sunshine ... Big Law's youth movement
Catherine Dunn : Corporate Counsel : April 26, 2013
While companies involved in mergers and acquisitions have experienced a surge in litigation in recent years, court decisions in Delaware and Texas have taken aim at plaintiffs' attorney fees.
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