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Morrison & Foerster Adds Another NYC Freshfields Partner (1)

May 28, 2020, 4:00 PMUpdated: May 28, 2020, 7:52 PM

Morrison & Foerster has hired Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer private equity and M&A lawyer Omar Pringle in New York, on the heels of former Freshfields U.S. deal leader Mitchell Presser’s arrival at the firm earlier this year.

Presser, the former U.S. head of Freshfield’s M&A and global transactions practice joined MoFo in April. He now serves as co-chair of the firm’s global corporate department alongside Eric McCrath and Jackie Liu.

Pringle joins MoFo as a partner in its mergers and acquisitions and private equity investments and buyouts practice. His work focuses on domestic and cross-border public and private M&A, joint ventures and venture capital transactions for both strategics and private equity firms, and general corporate governance.

The recent growth of the MoFo’s New York office provided an ideal platform for Pringle to leverage his experience, he said. Pringle also cited the firm’s focus in the areas of technology, life sciences, agriculture and sustainability.

“Those are many of the same areas that I focused on over the last decade and, I think, industries that frankly are poised for significant growth in the future,” Pringle said.

Pringle, who joined Freshfields in 2008, has worked with Paine Schwartz Partners on several transactions. He also represented Dubai Aerospace Enterprise in its 2017 acquisition of AWAS as well as global healthcare giants like Novartis and AstraZeneca.

Plans to Grow

MoFo plans to continue to expand its M&A and private equity practice as well as grow its New York office and Pringle is a “critical piece” of the puzzle, McCrath said.

MoFo has added 10 partners globally to its private equity practice since 2019. Last month, the firm added private funds lawyer Leonora Shalet as partner from Schulte Roth & Zabel in New York. The firm also added a nine-lawyer team, including four corporate partners, from Greenberg Traurig to launch its Miami office in June.

The firm has seen some departures over the same period. In March, the former global co-head of MoFo’s M&A and London head of corporate, Graeme Sloan, left the firm to join biopharmaceutical company Izana Bioscience.

Though he declined to name any future additions to the firm’s New York office, McCrath noted that MoFo isn’t “satiated by this growth” and will look to continue to build up and expand in New York and its M&A practice even as the legal industry faces challenges stemming from the global pandemic.

“We build the firm for long-term strategic needs of our clients and I think those are measured on a decade by decade basis, not a quarter by quarter basis, and so we continue to be pretty aggressive in how we want to see growth in this time,” McCrath said.

Freshfields did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the move by Pringle.

The firm scored a coup of its own last fall when it picked up a group of attorneys from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton led by M&A heavyweight Ethan Klingsberg.

(Updated with comments from Pringle and McCrath throughout)

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Tom P. Taylor at ttaylor@bloomberglaw.com

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