Daily News: July 23, 2012

Morrison & Foerster Elects Nashelsky to Chair of the Firm

Law firm Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) announced that Larren M. Nashelsky has been elected by the partners as chair of the firm. The current co-chair of the firm’s Bankruptcy and Restructuring practice and member of the firm’s Executive Committee, Nashelsky previously served as a firmwide managing partner. As chair, he will play a leading role in providing strategic direction and setting policy for the firm. He succeeds Keith Wetmore, whose fourth three-year term as chair ends in October. Wetmore will continue with the firm as chair emeritus.

“I am grateful to the Chair Selection Committee, the Board of Directors, and my partners for the confidence they have exhibited in me,” said Nashelsky. “I am incredibly fortunate to assume my new role at a time when Morrison & Foerster is strong in all respects, thanks to the exemplary leadership and extraordinary contributions of Keith Wetmore, our executive leadership team, and many others. I am honored by this opportunity and will work tirelessly to build on their work and make the firm an even more valued and trusted advisor to our clients around the world.”

“It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve the firm as Chair for the past 12 years,” said Wetmore. “The firm has never been stronger and will continue to thrive under Larren’s leadership. I will do everything I can to assure a smooth transition and to contribute to the ongoing success of MoFo.”

According to San Diego partner Don Rushing, who led the Chair Selection Committee, “We had the privilege of speaking with every partner about who the next Chair should be. We are in an outstanding position for a transition to a new generation of leadership. Our practices are strong, with headline-grabbing matters across the globe, and financially we are having our best years ever. While a number of candidates could have served the firm well as the chair, we felt that Larren’s many personal attributes, combined with his singular success in building a world-class Bankruptcy and Restructuring practice from scratch in one of the world’s most competitive legal markets, made him an especially attractive choice to continue MoFo’s growth in today’s hyper-competitive environment.”

Nashelsky joined Morrison & Foerster as a partner in 1999 from Weil Gotshal & Manges. He earned his B.S. from the University at Albany, State University of New York, and his J.D., with distinction, from Hofstra University School of Law. He has been highly ranked by Chambers USA and Legal 500 US and is regularly listed in The Deal as one of the top 35 individuals in bankruptcy. He regularly lectures and publishes on U.S. and international insolvency matters.

As co-chair of the firm’s Bankruptcy and Restructuring Group, with New York partner Gary Lee, Nashelsky has led the practice through a period of rapid growth. The Group’s recent work includes an array of high-profile representations: lead bankruptcy counsel in the Chapter 11 of Residential Capital LLC and its subsidiaries, the largest case of 2012 and one of the largest and most complex bankruptcies in U.S. history; lead counsel to Louis Freeh, Chapter 11 trustee for MF Global, the largest bankruptcy filing in 2011 and the eighth largest in U.S. history; and counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in a wide range of major Chapter 11 cases, including Ambac Financial Group, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pinnacle Airlines, Mesa Air Group, Innkeepers USA Trust, and Caribbean Petroleum. In addition, the Bankruptcy and Restructuring Group assisted the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court Group in obtaining a unanimous victory for secured lenders before the United States Supreme Court in Amalgamated v. RadLax in May 2012.

MoFo’s Bankruptcy and Restructuring Group recently earned National and New York rankings in Chambers USA, along with recognition by Chambers on its shortlist for Firm of the Year in Bankruptcy and Restructuring. The Group was also featured in a cover story in The American Lawyer highlighting the innovative strategy used to save the country of Iceland from financial calamity.