Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP

Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP

Address: CityPoint, One Ropemaker Street, London, EC2Y 9AW




Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 '‘The smaller intake of trainees meant a greater opportunity to take on more responsibility as a trainee’; ‘the friendly atmosphere’; ‘the impression the firm made during the vacation scheme’; ‘the quality of work trainees get exposed to is really high’; ‘great culture and people’; ‘I wanted to work for a US firm’; ‘friendly atmosphere due to office size’
Best thing about the firm? 
 '‘The culture – everyone is approachable’; ‘the friendliness and expertise of the partners’; ‘the firm’s openness to new ideas and its agility due to its size’; ‘the London office has a great feel about it, teams are growing and we just had a record year’; ‘consistently doing interesting and challenging work’; ‘working across borders with international colleagues on a daily basis’
Worst thing about the firm? 
 '‘The secondment process lacks transparency’; ‘lateral hires who don’t adopt the firm’s non-hierarchical ethos’; ‘there have recently been cuts to social spending’; ‘lack of international secondments’; ‘the technology – systems could definitely run a bit faster’; ‘lack of transparency in the seat allocation process’
Best moment? 
 '‘Being given responsibility for negotiating based on some research I had completed’; ‘when my supervisor gave me back a piece of work I had found challenging and said he had no comments’; ‘calling a pro bono client to tell her we won the case she had been pursuing for six years, which involved recovering most of her family’s life savings’
Worst moment?
 '‘An all-nighter followed by consistent late finishes for the rest of the week’; ‘late nights doing non-essential tasks’; ‘sometimes not being able to make plans during the week due to unpredictable hours’; ‘having to deal with an issue in the office when everyone else had left!’; ‘working two all-nighters in a week to meet an unusually tight deadline’'

If the firm were a fictional character it would be...

Willy Wonka (Roald Dahl) – very successful but also fun (and just a little bit eccentric)

The verdict

The firm

Morrison & Foerster advises clients across the United States, Asia and Europe. The London office was established in 1980. MoFo regularly advises technology and life sciences companies, financial institutions and consumer products companies, among other clients, on cross-border transactions and disputes with a multi-jurisdictional element. 

The star performers

Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans; Banking litigation: investment and retail; Commercial contracts; Commercial litigation; Debt capital markets; Derivatives and structured products; Fraud: white-collar crime; IT and telecoms; M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+; Private funds; Regulatory investigations and corporate crime

The deals

Handled Toshiba’s disposal of smart meter leader Landis+Gyr in a $2.4bn IPO; acting for Grant Thornton, the trustees in the bankruptcy of Muhamad Al-Ansari who was convicted of money laundering, the case is valued at £25m; represented Just Eat plc on all aspects of the amendment and restatement of its revolving credit facility in order to support its proposed acquisitions of Hungry House and Skip the Dishes Canada; advised Landsbanki on a successful £30m asset recovery against Kevin Stanford and a £50m asset recovery against Karen Millen; acted for the insolvency practitioners in connection with the highly complex $9.2bn liquidation of Saad Investments Company

The clients

Autodesk; Lowland Investment Company; NNIT; Oxx; Panasonic; Police Mutual Insurance; STAR Capital Partnership

The verdict

‘Proactivity is rewarded’ at Morrison & Foerster, a firm where there is a ‘greater emphasis on learning by doing’. The firm has a ‘big global reputation in key commercial geographies’ but maintains an ‘intimate (yet well-resourced) London office’. Trainees were initially drawn to the ‘excellent international reputation’ which pervades the firm; there is a ‘lot of collaboration with other offices’ within the US firm’s network. The firm is a Lex 100 Winner for its impressive salary. Recruits love being part of a small intake where they feel ‘more visible within the firm’ and are exposed to a ‘wider range of work within a department as there are fewer trainees’. Moreover, the training is ‘less formal’ and there is more ‘agility due to the firm’s size’. ‘MoFo is at the cutting edge of technology work’ and boasts a host of ‘very prestigious and cool clients, from a wide variety of sectors and industries’. Despite this, trainees perceive a ‘lack of visibility in the London market considering the quality of work we do’. ‘Everyone is so friendly and motivated’ though, and although hard work is at the top of the agenda, we hear that ‘there is always time for a laugh’. Such a large volume of high-quality work means that all-nighters are not unheard of, but the buzz of ‘closing three deals in two days with another associate’ keeps the adrenaline pumping. If a firm with ‘high-calibre clients’ where ‘associates and partners take an active interest in your learning and wellbeing’ appeals to you, apply to Morrison & Foerster.

 A day in the life of...

hannah brellisford

Hannah Brellisford trainee, Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP 

Departments to date:  Corporate, capital markets, finance and business restructuring and insolvency, finance and equity derivatives

University:Leeds University 
Degree:Psychology BSc 2(1) 

7.30am:  I start the day with a spin class at a studio close to the office with my supervisor and a couple of clients. My supervisor and I will often arrange workouts with clients for business development meetings as an alternative to a typical meeting. It’s a good way to catch up and find out over a post-class smoothie what clients are working on and how we can help.

9.15am:  I arrive at my desk and check through the emails that have come in overnight from various clients and opposing counsel from across the globe. We work closely with our counterparts in the US and Asia; I really enjoy being part of a truly global team.

9.30am:  We are currently advising a FTSE 100 company on establishing a £350m credit facility. The lender is taking security in a number of jurisdictions and today we are collating all documents ready for signing this afternoon. It’s my responsibility to respond to a number of queries and set about preparing for the signing meeting.

11.00am:  With all documents ready to go, I turn my attention to a pro bono matter I have been working on. Our client is looking to merge with another charity so I have been assisting with the negotiations and drafting the transfer agreement. It has been a great opportunity for client contact and to take on extra responsibility.

12.30pm:  At MoFo, we are expected to be ambassadors of the firm from day one, so the firm provides training through the MoFo Academy on a mixture of legal topics and soft skills. Today we have a lunchtime session on negotiation skills and have the chance to negotiate a mock contract dispute on behalf of a client.

1.30pm:  My mentee has arrived at the office for our one-to-one mentoring session. MoFo partners with the Tower Hamlets Business Partnership to provide business mentoring to year 12 students and advice about a career in the City, university applications and general career advice. Today our session is focused on developing a personal statement ahead of making university applications.

2.45pm:  My supervisor and I head over to our client’s offices to sign the transaction documents. I am able to take the lead in ensuring we have everything signed by each of the directors present and we chat through the various documents and the purpose of each. The meeting goes well and the client is happy to proceed towards closing.

4.00pm:  Once back at the office, we collate original documents and send these to the other side ahead of closing.

4.30pm:  The finance team is currently working with the MoFo funds department on establishing a subscription line credit facility for a private equity and venture capital firm. I liaise with the funds department to draft a set of resolutions authorising entry into the transaction. The size of the London office means that it has been easy to build a close working relationship with the other associates and trainees.

6.30pm:  With my work for the day done and my to-do list for tomorrow prepared, I head to meet some of my colleagues at the fortnightly cheese and wine event held in the office games room. It’s a nice way to finish after a busy day!

About the firm

Address:CityPoint, One Ropemaker Street, London, EC2Y 9AW

Telephone: 020 7920 4000


Managing partners:  London: Alistair Maughan and Jonathan Wheeler; Europe: Paul Friedman

Other offices: Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Denver, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York, Northern Virginia, Palo Alto, San Diego, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Washington DC. 

Who we are: Morrison & Foerster is a leading global firm with over 1,000 lawyers in key technology and finance centres in the US, Europe and Asia. In Europe we have a team of 120 lawyers in our strategic hubs of London, Berlin and Brussels. We are serious about the work we do for our clients, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

What we do: We handle some of the world’s largest cross-border transactions and resolve some of the biggest disputes across multiple jurisdictions.

What we are looking for: People with a strong interest in technology and finance and who are excited by the significant responsibility that we offer trainees.

What you'll do:A focused trainee induction programme; significant responsibility on complex global matters and ongoing training through the MoFo Academy.

Perks: 25 days’ holiday; pension; medical insurance; dental insurance; group life assurance; group income protection; employee assistance programme; Best Doctors; subsidised gym membership; childcare vouchers; season ticket loan; cycle scheme

Sponsorship:Available to those who require it.


Facts and figures

Total partners: 19

Other fee-earners: 42

Total trainees: 9

Trainee places available for 2021: 5-6

Applications received pa: 400 

Percentage interviewed: 16% 


First year: £46,000

Second year: £50,000

Newly qualified: £115,000

 Application process

Apply to:Rebecca Nasskau, senior attorney recruitment coordinator, via

How: Online application form for a vacation placement. MoFo accepts candidates into the London trainee programme on the basis of a successful performance during one of our vacation schemes.

When to apply:By 3rd February 2019

What's involved:Two-stage interview process including a presentation and a case study.

 Vacation schemes

Summer:17-28 June 2019 and 1-12 July 2019.