MoFo bets on litigation as firms compete for Boston market share

Morrison & Foerster LLP office in Washington, D.C. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

  • Boston office focused on transactions and finance so far
  • New Boston litigation leader Fiotto spent 30 years at Goodwin Procter

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July 20 (Reuters) – As more and more firms crowd into Boston’s hot legal market, Morrison & Foerster is looking to upgrade the practice mix in its nearly three-year-old outpost there, adding a senior partner from a top rival to jumpstart its litigation offerings.

The Bay Area-founded firm has brought on Anthony Fiotto, a former chair of Goodwin Procter’s securities litigation, white collar defense and business litigation practices.

Fiotto, who spent 30 years at Goodwin, will lead MoFo’s still-to-be-assembled Boston litigation team.

Bradley Wine, MoFo’s global litigation department co-chair, said Monday that Fiotto was chosen for the position not only for his prominent litigation experience and clientele in Boston, Delaware Chancery Court and elsewhere, but for his experience building practices.

“We’ve been quite intent on building a litigation offering in Boston since we opened up the office three years ago, and we see Tony as the ideal leader to head that growth effort for us,” said Wine. With Fiotto in place, the firm is ready to recruit more lateral litigation partners and associates in the area, Wine said.

MoFo landed in Boston in February 2019, launching with about two dozen lawyers from local boutique Riemer & Braunstein, focused on commercial lending for life sciences and technology clients, and Proskauer Rose corporate partner Ori Solomon, who joined as a co-chair of MoFo’s emerging companies and venture capital practice. The firm now has close to 40 Boston-based lawyers, virtually all focused on financing and transactions.

Given Boston’s position as a tech and life sciences hub with an increasingly global business base, Wine said the firm is ready to offer a fuller suite of services there. It has also been expanding its litigation offerings more broadly on the East Coast, including with five new partners in Washington, D.C., this year.

Fiotto cited those ambitions as one of the reasons he decided to make the move.

“What I’m really excited about is the momentum that I see at MoFo, not only towards East Coast litigation,” said Fiotto. “But a commitment to Boston and this area that I just find very impressive given the growth of the office they started only three years ago.

”A representative from Goodwin said the firm wished Fiotto well in his new role.

Several firms have been beefed up or opened offices in Boston recently. Last week, Barnes & Thornburg launched in the city after poaching an IP team from Nutter McClennen & Fish. On Monday, Husch Blackwell opened New England offices in Boston and Providence, Rhode Island.

In May, Cooley added lawyers from Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough to expand in Boston.

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Chinekwu Osakwe

Chinekwu Osakwe covers legal industry news with a focus on midsize law firms. Reach her at Chinekwu.osakwe@thomsonreuters.com.

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Chinekwu Osakwe