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Morrison & Foerster Opens In Singapore - Firm's Fifth Office In Asia

SINGAPORE, Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of the firm's Asian strategy, Morrison & Foerster has opened an office in Singapore, its fifth in the region. Located in one of Asia's most vibrant financial centers, the firm's Singapore office supports our clients' deepening commitments throughout Southeast Asia and South Asia. Eric Piesner, Firmwide Managing Partner for Asia and head of the firm's Asia real estate practice, will lead the office.

"Many of our clients are looking to Southeast Asia and South Asia as significant growth markets. As they expand their businesses in those regions, we want to be positioned to assist them," said Mr. Piesner. " Singapore is the ideal location from which to do that. We already have a substantial base of business with a Singapore nexus, including clients with M&A, real estate, project finance, dispute resolution, TMT, private equity and tax needs. We see our presence in Singapore as an opportunity to further help clients in these and other areas."

Morrison & Foerster now has 16 offices worldwide, including five in Asia: Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo. Morrison & Foerster has been among the first U.S. law firms to establish an office or become locally qualified to practice in each of China's major business centers: Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, and the firm now has the sixth most lawyers of all U.S. firms in the region, according to a recent survey by The Asian Lawyer. Over more than 25 years in Asia, Morrison & Foerster has developed an unmatched reputation for depth of experience in facilitating Asian regional, inbound, and outbound transactions.

According to Larren M. Nashelsky, Chair of Morrison & Foerster, the Singapore office will enhance the firm's already significant capabilities in the region.

" Singapore is a highly attractive commercial environment and a magnet for global brands doing business across Asia," said Mr. Nashelsky. "We are excited to establish an on-the-ground presence to facilitate our efforts to help clients pursue the many opportunities the city-state presents to them in Singapore and throughout Southeast Asia and South Asia."

Mr. Piesner and Tokyo corporate and tax partner Eric Roose are initially staffing the office, along with several associates. Mr. Piesner has done extensive work with Singapore-based clients and local law firms for years. His practice focuses on cross-border real estate transactions throughout Asia, including joint- and multi-party ventures, fund formation and restructuring, real estate finance, and strategic M&A and private equity deals focused on real estate. Mr. Roose has more than 25 years of experience advising multinational and domestic businesses, international investment funds, venture capital funds, private equity funds, hedge funds, high-technology companies, financial institutions, and global real estate investment funds with respect to all tax aspects of their business in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Morrison & Foerster's Singapore clients, and global clients doing business in the Southeast Asia and South Asia regions, will benefit from the firm's interdisciplinary and cross-border experience in the region. The firm's recent transactions throughout Asia include:

  • SoftBank's $20.1 billion acquisition of a 70% stake in Sprint Nextel – a deal with an enterprise value of some $43 billion. It's 2012's largest announced deal in the U.S. and the biggest outbound investment ever from Asia.
  • Walmart's Global e-Commerce division's increased investment in China's Yihoadian.
  • Hitachi's $4.8 billion sale of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies to Western Digital.
  • Elpida Memory's $2.5 billion acquisition by Micron Technologies.
  • Toshiba Tec's $850 million purchase of IBM's Retail Store Solutions business, boosting Toshiba Tec's presence in the global retail market.
  • GREE Inc.'s $210 million acquisition of Funzio Inc., a social media gaming developer.
  • Golden Wheel Tiandi's HK$756 million IPO, the first major Hong Kong IPO in 2013.
  • CCB International Capital Limited's HK$187 million Hong Kong IPO and Regulation S offering of China Silver Group Limited, one of the largest silver producers in China.
  • Fosun International's $3.7 billion acquisition of Focus Media Holding Ltd., a NASDAQ-listed company, in a going-private transaction.
  • Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co., Ltd.'s $512 million initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the third largest Hong Kong IPO in 2012.
  • Global Logistic Properties' $1.6 billion 2011 joint venture to acquire a group of warehouse facilities in Japan, and its $1.4 billion 2012 joint ventures to acquire 40 logistics properties in Brazil.

Morrison & Foerster is recognized by Chambers Asia-Pacific as a leading firm in Asia-wide Capital Markets, M&A, Private Equity, Energy & Natural Resources, and Intellectual Property. The firm was named Litigation Law Firm of the Year at the Asian Legal Business (ALB) Japan Law Awards 2012 and honored as the 2011 Asian-Counsel Firm of the Year for Capital Markets & Intellectual Property. Global Finance magazine has selected Morrison & Foerster as the "Best Legal Adviser in Asia" every year since 2006, and Morrison & Foerster is the only firm Legal 500 ranks Tier 1 for Technology across China, Hong Kong, and the United States.

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