Eversheds Sutherland secures Morgan Lewis transactions partner for San Francisco launch
Baird Fogel comes aboard to lead new office with Eversheds’ West Coast tech lead Brandi Taylor to relocate from San Diego
Eversheds Sutherland has added a partner from US rival Morgan Lewis & Bockius to launch an office in San Francisco.
Transactions attorney Baird Fogel has joined the top 10 UK firm as partner in charge of the new office after five years at Morgan Lewis, where he was a partner.
Eversheds’ West Coast technology lead, Brandi Taylor, is also relocating to San Francisco from San Diego later this year. The firm said the duo will expand its Bay Area corporate and data privacy capabilities, including M&A, contract negotiations, stock sales and advising on product development for gaming and emerging technologies, including blockchain and Web 3.0, AI and virtual and augmented reality.
“I’ve always been impressed with Eversheds Sutherland’s strength in the Bay Area. That they already work with most of the big tech companies – even without a physical location here – speaks volumes to the firm’s global reach and skillsets,” said Fogel.
The new office will also be supported by a trio of international partners with significant client relationships in Northern California, namely M&A specialist Antony Walsh and international AI practice and technology sector head Charlotte Walker-Osborn, both from the UK, and global TMT sector head Nasser Ali Khasawneh from the firm’s Middle East practice.
Eversheds said establishing a base in San Francisco, which follows the firm setting up shop in San Diego in 2019, ‘aligns with its focus to expand its US footprint to further support the business needs of an expanding international client base.’
“San Francisco is the natural evolution of our strategic growth and Baird’s transactional roots in the Bay Area provide an excellent foundation for growth in the market,” said Mark Wasserman, co-CEO of Eversheds Sutherland, adding that the new office will enable the firm to “add support for many of our existing US and international clients and introduce the firm’s global capabilities to additional clients in the region.”
Fogel, who prior to joining Morgan Lewis in 2017 was a partner in the San Francisco offices of Crowell & Moring and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, focuses his corporate practice on matters including M&A, contract negotiations, project finance, commercial law and compliance. He counsels a number of clients in the sports industry including the NFL and NBA on regulatory and transactional matters.
Fogel also works extensively in the renewable energy industry, with Eversheds’ co-head of global corporate, Robert Pile, saying the combination of Fogel’s corporate and renewable energy work “brings a dynamic element to the team that complements our existing practices and provides an entryway into service areas and geographies that will be of great benefit to our clients.”
Taylor, meanwhile, is a partner in Eversheds’ cybersecurity and privacy group, which is ranked Band 1 in the US by Chambers. She joined the firm as a partner two years ago from Duane Morris and counsels tech companies in product development, with an emphasis on data privacy compliance. She also works with companies to implement multi-jurisdictional privacy compliance programs.
Last June Eversheds also expanded its footprint in three new markets by combining with Portuguese firm FCB and its associated offices in Angola and Mozambique, with the deal taking the London-based firm’s geographic reach to 74 offices spread across 35 jurisdictions.
Eversheds is not the only UK firm to look to San Francisco recently. Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy hired a seven-partner tech-focused team from White & Case last August to launch offices in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, having added six-partner project finance and renewables team from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld to set up shop in Los Angeles in March.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer opened a seven-partner Silicon Valley office in 2020 after hiring five partners from four US rivals.