Morrison Foerster secures ECVC partner duo in Denver from Holland & Hart

Chuck Cotter and Finity Jernigan join West Coast firm having co-chaired Holland & Hart’s food, beverage and consumer products industry group

Finity Jernigan (l) and Chuck Cotter Images courtesy of Morrison Foerster

Morrison Foerster has bolstered its emerging companies and venture capital (ECVC) group with the hire of a pair of partners in Denver from Am Law 200 firm Holland & Hart.  

Chuck Cotter and Finity Jernigan have joined the firm after four years at Holland & Hart, where they co-chaired the food, beverage and consumer products industry group.  

Over the past decade the pair have built a full-service emerging company practice focused primarily on consumer products and have represented growing companies, funds and strategic investors from early stages through to exit. They regularly work with early and growth stage companies on capital raises, agreements and exits, and also work with funds and other investors to grow their portfolios. 

MoFo chair Eric McGrath said the growth of the firm’s ECVC team had been a key initiative in recent years, adding: “As well as bringing a well-established ECVC practice to our Denver office, Chuck and Finity’s arrival is a testament to our continued investment in our firmwide ECVC capabilities, which in turn helps us grow other practice areas such as M&A, technology transactions, patent prosecution and litigation.” 

The firm has added 13 partners to its ECVC practice globally in recent years through a combination of internal promotions and lateral hires, including four partners from Perkins Coie who joined the firm in early 2022 in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Among them was Michael Glaser, who co-chairs the practice alongside San Francisco partner Murray Indick, while another – Paul Navarro – has recently rejoined Perkins Coie.  

For his part Cotter brings more than 20 years of legal experience to MoFo and is noted by legal rankings guide Chambers for his expertise in transactional work, including M&A and corporate finance matters, for clients in the food and beverage industry.  

He chaired the consumer products group at Polsinelli for two years before rejoining Holland & Hart in 2020 and earlier in his career practiced at Dewey Ballantine and Seward & Kissel in New York. Alongside his work advising companies and funds on capital raises and exits, Cotter also regularly advises consumer products investment funds in investment rounds.  

Meantime Jernigan became a partner in Polsinelli’s venture capital and emerging growth practice in 2020, shortly before she rejoined Holland & Hart alongside Cotter. Earlier in her career, she served as an assistant attorney general for Colorado and as general counsel at Denver-based company Paleo Meals to Go. She began her legal career at Gibson Dunn and advises emerging growth companies and venture capital and private equity funds in the consumer products industry on capital raises, acquisitions and divestitures and corporate governance matters.  

In Denver the pair will work as part of an ECVC team that also includes of counsel Scott Perlov and a pair of associates, according to MoFo’s website. Globally the firm’s ECVC practice houses around 100 lawyers, including 55 partners, and is notable for its strong investor-side practice as well as its focus on impact investing.  

Recent work for the team includes advising financial services company Foxen Holdings on its $44m Series A financing in 2022 and counselling RA Capital as lead investor in Septerna’s $150m Series B financing last year. It also advised SoftBank group on its $100m Series B financing of video presentation app Mmmhmm in 2021.  

Another US firm that has bolstered its venture capital offering recently is Cooley, which opened an office in Miami late last year to work with clients based in Florida and Latin America on capital raises and accessing global capital markets. The firm relocated five partners for the launch, including office head Derek Colla.  

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