03 Feb 2022

MoFo boosts Bay Area emerging companies and venture capital team with double hire from Perkins Coie

Partner duo includes heavy hitter Michael Glaser, former co-chair of Seattle firm's ECVC practice

Michael Glaser (left) and Mike LaPlante

Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) has significantly boosted its emerging companies and venture capital (ECVC) capabilities in the Bay Area with the arrival of a pair of partners from West Coast rival Perkins Coie. 

Michael Glaser and Mike LaPlante join the firm’s corporate department in San Francisco, where Glaser recently served as co-chair of Perkins Coie's ECVC practice. The duo bring more than three decades of combined experience working with emerging companies in California. 

MoFo said the hires underscore its commitment to building its global ECVC offering. They also serve to beef up the Bay Area ECVC team amid increasing demand from startups, emerging growth companies and VC firms working in the tech and life sciences industries. 

Eric McCrath, co-chair of MoFo’s global corporate department, said Glaser and LaPlante’s practices “offer great synergies” with the firm’s core strengths, including venture capital financings, M&A, technology transactions and privacy, among others. 

“Their presence expands and augments our capabilities in these areas, which continue to be highly sought after by our clients around the globe when VC dry powder is at an all-time high,” he said. 

Glaser spent more than two decades at Perkins Coie, having joined from Wilson Sonsini in 1999. He specialises in handling venture capital transactions on behalf of clients in the consumer products, e-commerce, interactive entertainment, digital media, cloud services and AI spaces. 

He served in a number of leadership roles during his time at Perkins Coie, including two terms on the firm’s executive committee and as firmwide co-chair of its corporate practice. 

“Morrison & Foerster is a global technology leader with tremendous ECVC, technology transactions and corporate capabilities, which are highly complementary to my practice and clients’ focus,"  Glaser said. "I am excited to join a firm with such a strong ECVC footprint in Silicon Valley and globally,”

LaPlante, meanwhile, joined Perkins Coie in 2014 from Paul Hastings. He focuses his practice on providing legal advice to entrepreneurs and startups at all stages of the company life cycle across a number of sectors, including AI, enterprise software, digital media, virtual healthcare and social media. The firm said LaPlante has also led numerous startup financings with an aggregate deal value in the tens of billions of dollars. 

“MoFo has all of the resources that our innovative tech startups need to pursue perishable market opportunities in a complex and competitive business environment,” he said.

The ongoing global M&A boom, much of it driven by the West Coast tech sector, has fuelled a series of office openings in the Bay Area as leading out of town US firms including Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Jenner & Block – along with UK firms Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Allen & Overy – seek to increase their footholds in the market. 

 

 

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