The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
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
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
Autodesk; Lowland Investment Company; NNIT; Oxx; Panasonic; Police Mutual Insurance; STAR Capital Partnership
‘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 trainee, Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP
Departments to date: Corporate, capital markets, finance and business restructuring and insolvency, finance and equity derivatives
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: £100,000
Apply to:Rebecca Nasskau, senior attorney recruitment coordinator, via www.mofocareers.com
When to apply:By 6 January 2019
What's involved:Two-stage interview process including a presentation and a case study.
Summer:17-28 June 2019 and 1-12 July 2019.