Morrison & Foerster announced that Steven M. Kaufmann, a former chair of the firm’s global litigation practice, has rejoined the firm as a litigation partner in its Washington, D.C. and Denver offices after nearly four years with the Obama Administration. Mr. Kaufmann has extensive commercial litigation and trial experience, handling disputes in a range of industries including financial services, telecommunications, energy, real estate, logistics and pharmaceuticals. He also has a strong background in class action defense in the financial services, securities and antitrust areas.
After more than 25 years with Morrison & Foerster, Mr. Kaufmann was appointed by President Obama to serve as chief of staff at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in 2010. MCC is an independent U.S. government development agency created by Congress in 2004 to reduce poverty through long-term investments in impoverished countries. With an annual operating budget of approximately $900 million, MCC makes significant investments in African, Asian and Latin American nations designed to eliminate obstacles to economic growth, including transportation and energy solutions.
“We are thrilled to welcome Steven back to MoFo,” firm chair Larren M. Nashelsky said. “As a leading commercial litigator with a successful track record in resolving complex disputes facing global businesses, Steven adds depth to our premier litigation platform. His experience working in the Obama Administration will bolster the firm’s existing capabilities in a number of areas – including international arbitration, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, cross-border finance, project finance and M&A.”
Brad Lui, managing partner of Morrison & Foerster’s D.C. office added, “Steven is highly respected nationally for his hands-on approach, sound judgment and strategic thinking. His return, coupled with the arrival of DOJ’s lead FCPA lawyer Chuck Duross, illustrates the firm’s commitment to further enhancing our litigation and enforcement capabilities. Both bring tremendous value to our clients as they navigate today’s global business and regulatory climate.”
Prior to his departure from the firm in 2010, Mr. Kaufmann was the chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Litigation Department. He is also a former managing partner and head of litigation in its Denver office, and a former chair of the firm’s Consumer Litigation and Class Action Practice Group. He also maintained an active pro bono practice and won the Colorado Lawyers Committee’s Individual of the Year and Outstanding Sustained Contribution awards.
“I couldn’t be more pleased to return to MoFo, and to work with my former colleagues again,” Mr. Kaufmann said. “My recent government work with MCC makes the D.C. office the perfect fit for my practice. I look forward to enhancing the firm’s financial services litigation and commercial litigation practices, and contributing to the growth and success of the firm.”
MCC CEO, Daniel Yohannes, congratulated Mr. Kaufmann on his new position, noting that “Steven provided great leadership, insight, creativity and judgment to his role as MCC’s Chief of Staff. He made a critical contribution to MCC’s work and results during the past four years.”
Mr. Kaufmann earned his J.D. from the University of Michigan and his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University. He was named Colorado’s Top Lawyer in the area of management and litigation by Law Week Colorado, and Best Lawyers in America listed him as a leader in the fields of antitrust and commercial litigation.
Morrison & Foerster is consistently ranked as one of the top litigation practices in the country by The American Lawyer, the Chambers guides, The National Law Journal, and Benchmark Litigation. In addition, the U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers’ “Best Law Firms” ranks the firm in the top tier nationally in 12 separate litigation practices.