Mofo fortifies New York office in response to increased IP demand

Los Angeles firm Morrison & Foerster (Mofo) is ramping up its New York presence with the appointment of three new partners.

Peter Dopsch is joining the finance and infrastructure group from the New York office of Graham & James, which is seeking a home after the rest of its firm merged with Squire Sanders & Dempsey.

And the business practice is gaining two new partners, Priscilla Hughes and Colleen McIntosh from Shearman & Sterling and Battle Fowler respectively.

Dopsch represents banks and other institutional lenders in both secured and unsecured financing transactions, as well as lenders in complex loan workouts.

Hughes, who was counsel in the M&A practice at Shearman & Sterling, represents public and private companies in mergers, acquisitions, public offerings, financings, restructurings and regulatory compliance. McIntosh represents corporate clients in both the structuring and funding of executive compensation programmes.

New York managing partner Frederick Lodge says: “The New York office has now grown to about 150 lawyers from the 60 it had four years ago. We have a focus on technology and new media, particularly in the intellectual property (IP) and corporate areas, and in those areas we’ve grown substantially.

“As the office has been growing and becoming one with a full service capability, there are some aspects of the office that we’d formerly served out of other offices, such as executive compensation. There is, though, such a demand on the ground in New York, that we needed to have that capability here.”

The New York office has around 40 partners and is one of the biggest practices in the firm, which has 900 lawyers in 17 offices worldwide.

Mofo does high-tech work for clients including Toshiba, Fujitsu, Vodafone Airtouch, Softbank, NTT and GE Capital.

In New York the firm represents both companies and investment banks, as well as venture capital funds.

Lodge says: “I wouldn’t be surprised in 18 months to two years to see us reach between 180 and 200 lawyers. Our focus and strategy continues to be to take advantage of our strength in the technology and IP areas. We want to make sure we have every speciality offered, and then make sure we have all the services and depth to support the transactions we’re doing.”

He says the office will carry on expanding its corporate, IP, tax, litigation and finance practices.