Morrison & Foerster Significantly Expands Bay Area Private Equity and Corporate Practices

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Firm hires four new partners in San Francisco and Palo Alto

Morrison & Foerster, a leading global law firm, is pleased to announce the hiring of four new partners in the San Francisco Bay Area. Three partners – Darío Avram, Patrick D. Huard and Alex S. Kaufman – join Morrison & Foerster’s Private Equity Investments & Buyouts Group, and the fourth partner, Sara L. Terheggen – joins the firm’s Corporate Department.

Messrs. Avram, Huard and Kaufman all come to the firm from Kirkland & Ellis with significant expertise and relationships in the private equity space. Dr. Terheggen joins Morrison & Foerster from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, combining a public company practice, advising on numerous corporate finance transactions, initial public offerings and corporate governance matters, with a fund practice, working with private equity and other funds on fund formation and other transactions.

“Darío, Patrick and Alex bring impressive private equity experience and will play leading roles in the firm’s efforts to build a prominent private equity practice in the Bay Area,” Eric McCrath, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Private Equity Investment & Buyouts and Mergers & Acquisitions Groups, said. “These hires signal our intent to further invest and strengthen our leadership position in the San Francisco Bay Area market, traditionally the firm’s cornerstone.”
Brandon Parris, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s 390-lawyer Global Corporate Department, added: “Sara is a highly accomplished lawyer who will help us continue to expand our public company, corporate finance, and fund formation practices across the firm. We are committed to growing our bench of talented, next generation partners in the Bay Area who will play key roles in the firm.”

This latest addition to the firm’s partnership is another example of the momentum that Morrison & Foerster is enjoying so far this year with lateral hires. Recently, Morrison & Foerster welcomed a group of eight government contracts partners to its Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia offices, including David Churchill whom Chambers has referred to as a “dean of the government contracts bar.” Beyond this, 10 other partners have joined the firm in 2016, including three more in the United States, four in Asia, and three in Europe.

Here is some further information on Morrison & Foerster’s newest partners.

  •     Darío Avram, a partner in Morrison & Foerster’s Financial Transactions Group and Private Equity Investments & Buyouts Group in San Francisco, works on financings for M&A deals and other leveraged finance transactions. Mr. Avram regularly represents private equity sponsors, their portfolio companies, and public companies in a variety of U.S. and cross-border transactions in connection with acquisitions, secured loans, and revolving facilities, trade and receivables financings, and restructurings, ranging in value from $5 million to more than $1.5 billion. Mr. Avram earned his J.D. from the George Washington University Law School and his B.A. from the University of California, San Diego.
  •     Patrick D. Huard, a partner in Morrison & Foerster’s Private Equity Investments & Buyouts Group in San Francisco, has more than a decade of experience representing private equity funds in M&A and other investment activities, including acquisitions of both public and private targets, divestitures, recapitalizations, and portfolio company management. He regularly represents private equity funds and their portfolio companies in structuring and negotiating strategic and leveraged acquisitions and divestitures, joint ventures, equity financings, venture and growth equity investments, executive compensation matters, corporate governance, and other general corporate matters. Mr. Huard earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.S. from Santa Clara University.
  •     Alex S. Kaufman, a partner in Morrison & Foerster’s Private Equity Investments & Buyouts Group in Palo Alto, advises industry-leading private equity funds and their portfolio companies on a broad range of M&A and other corporate transactions, including leveraged buyouts, growth equity investments, dividend recapitalizations and divestitures. He has significant experience advising investors and issuers in a range of industries, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions in the software and technology sectors. Mr. Kaufman also counsels venture capital funds and investor-backed companies with respect to growth equity investments, executive compensation, and corporate governance matters. He earned his J.D. (with honors) from Emory University School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.
  •     Sara L. Terheggen, a partner in Morrison & Foerster’s Corporate Group in Palo Alto, has advised on numerous corporate and private equity fund transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $90 billion. She has extensive experience advising companies and private equity and other funds in a variety of industries, including technology (semiconductors, software, and Internet), health care, life sciences, consumer products, financial, media, and retail. Her capital markets practice includes leading transactions for both companies and underwriters in connection with public and private offerings of equity and debt securities with particular expertise in initial public offerings. Her private equity experience focuses on advising sponsors in the structuring, formation, and offering of private investment funds, including private equity funds, real estate funds, hedge funds, venture capital funds, co-investment vehicles, and other alternative investment products. Sara has been recognized on numerous occasions for leadership in her profession and community by the University of Oregon, The Recorder, Super Lawyers, Public Counsel, and Silicon Valley Business Journal. She earned her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, her Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University, her M.Ed. from the Pennsylvania State University, and her B.S. from the University of Oregon.

Morrison & Foerster continues to be top-ranked as an “elite” firm in Corporate/M&A Nationwide by Chambers USA 2015. The firm advised on 138 M&A transactions in 2015, with a total value of approximately $195 billion, including 19 transactions of greater than $1 billion. Morrison & Foerster is also ranked as one of the most active law firms by Private Equity Analyst based on the number of private equity and venture capital deals the firm negotiates and closes, as well as for GP and LP fund formations.


We are Morrison & Foerster — a global firm of exceptional credentials. Our clients include some of the largest financial institutions, investment banks, Fortune 100, and technology and life sciences companies. The Financial Times has named the firm to its lists of most innovative law firms in North America and Asia every year that it has published its Innovative Lawyers Reports in those regions. In the past few years, Chambers USA has honored MoFo’s Bankruptcy and IP teams with Firm of the Year awards, the Corporate/M&A team with a client service award, and the firm as a whole as Global USA Firm of the Year. Our lawyers are committed to achieving innovative and business-minded results for our clients, while preserving the differences that make us stronger.

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Amy Merriweather
Morrison & Foerster
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