London, June 20, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Morrison & Foerster has named Julian Thurston Managing Partner of the firm’s London office. Mr. Thurston takes over from Kristian Wiggert, who held the position for over four years.
“The London office offers a strong transactional practice, with a particular focus on representations in the life sciences, technology, IT/Internet, media and telecommunications sectors and sourcing,” said Mr. Thurston, a life sciences partner who joined the London office in April 2004. “In recent months, under the leadership of Kristian Wiggert, we have greatly expanded the office and added strength to our practice areas. We continue to grow rapidly and I expect to see the London office play an increasingly key role within our network of our 19 global offices to match our location in a major financial centre,” he said.
Keith Wetmore, Chair of Morrison & Foerster, said, “We are very pleased to have Julian part of the management team during this significant period of the firm’s growth in the European market. We are deeply indebted to Kristian for his superb leadership, which over the past four years has positioned the firm extremely well for continued growth and success.”
The London office has also created a position of Director of Administration and appointed Margaret Mannell to this role. Mrs. Mannell has many years of experience in office administration, most recently as Partnership Director of Taylor Wessing, in which position she was responsible for partner support and firm administration as the firm grew to 180 partners and over 1,000 staff.
The London office of Morrison & Foerster has more than doubled in size in the last twelve months and has made several notable practice expansions and lateral hires, including Alistair Maughan, David Skinner and Andrew Smith, sourcing and technology partners; Ed Lukins, a private equity specialist; and Paul Claydon and James Gubbins, corporate partners with particular focus on the life sciences sector. Additionally, the office has moved to new and larger premises in the CityPoint building.
Lawyers from the office have participated in several significant recent transactions including representing Vernalis plc in a $400 million North American license and co-promotion rights agreement with Endo Pharmaceuticals; representing Ardana, an emerging pharmaceutical company, on its successful initial public offering on the Official List and related £21million fundraising; representing Cambridge Antibody Technology in connection with a major strategic alliance with AstraZeneca; serving Ask Jeeves as lead outside European counsel; advising Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs on the integration of two of the largest IT outsourcings in the public sector; and representing the Electricity Supply Board (Ireland) on a cross-border private placement of over $1 billion.