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PARTNER MOVES - Former 21st Century Fox deputy general counsel and assistant United States attorney Brian R. Michael joins Morrison Foerster in Los Angeles

22 Sep 2022

Morrison Foerster, a leading global law firm, is pleased to announce the arrival of Brian R. Michael as a partner in the firm’s Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White Collar Defense Group, based in Los Angeles. Michael brings more than two decades of high-profile experience in-house, in private practice, and as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York and in Los Angeles to Morrison Foerster. His addition underscores the continued expansion of Morrison Foerster’s market-leading litigation capabilities following the addition of 15 partners since the start of 2021, including seven since the start of this year alone.

Before returning to private practice in 2017, Michael spent nearly five years as Deputy General Counsel and Group Chief Compliance Officer at global media and entertainment company 21st Century Fox, and eight years as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) in both the Southern District of New York and the Central District of California. At 21st Century Fox, Michael played a critical role in the company’s response to multiple cross-border investigations, including the “UK phone hacking” crisis and the wide-ranging FIFA corruption matter, and oversaw global compliance for Fox broadcast, cable, digital, and sports media businesses, including National Geographic Partners and more than 300 channels in over 180 countries. As an AUSA, Michael tried numerous cases and briefed and argued multiple appeals. He led criminal investigations and prosecutions involving complex financial, securities, and healthcare fraud, cybercrime, organized crime and racketeering, money laundering, and asset forfeiture, for which he received many commendations and awards.

Michael was most recently a partner at another leading law firm’s white-collar criminal defense and investigations practice, where he represented entities and individuals in high-stakes white-collar criminal cases, securities and regulatory enforcement matters, and complex litigation. Michael’s global practice also focuses on providing crisis management and compliance counseling, including on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and anti-corruption; cybersecurity and data privacy; FinTech, blockchain technology, and digital currency; trade sanctions; and workplace conduct matters. He leads global risk assessments and helps to design and implement multi-jurisdictional compliance programs.

“Brian is a seasoned trial lawyer with a uniquely valuable combination of extensive government, in-house, and criminal and civil litigation private practice experience. The cross-border and national scope of Brian’s West Coast-based practice and his work with clients in industries spanning media and entertainment, financial services, life sciences, tech, and emerging businesses are highly synergistic with our global platform and sector focus,” said Morrison Foerster’s Litigation Department Co-chair Christine Wong. “Brian’s presence further enhances our investigations, white-collar defense, regulatory enforcement, and private civil matter capabilities on the ground in Southern California, while further deepening our global litigation bench.”

Morrison Foerster has added 15 partners to its global Litigation Department since the start of 2021, including seven since the start of 2022. Further, the firm has significantly deepened its securities litigation, enforcement, and investigations and white-collar defense bench in the same period, including with the additions of former senior government officials Nathaniel Mendell, Edward Imperatore, William Frentzen, Adam Braverman, Brian Kidd, Brandon Van Grack, Katherine Driscoll, and Nathan Reilly. Michael’s presence also highlights Morrison Foerster’s continued growth on the West Coast. Since the start of 2022 alone, the firm has added six partners to its Los Angeles, Palo Alto, and San Francisco offices.

“I am thrilled to join Morrison Foerster, a perennial market-leading firm that aligns so well with my practice professionally, geographically, and culturally. Since returning to private practice nearly five years ago, I am proud of my proven track record drawing on my in-house and government experience to help clients navigate their most sensitive and complex matters, and my success building and growing a West Coast-based practice that is both national and global in scope. I am excited to collaborate with my new colleagues as we continue to expand Morrison Foerster’s white-collar defense, investigations, regulatory enforcement, and crisis and compliance counseling practices in California, across the U.S. and worldwide.”

Earlier in his career, Michael clerked for former Chief Judge Gilbert S. Merritt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Regional Subcommittee of the ABA’s White Collar Crime Committee and participates in professional and non-profit organizations, including the IBA and on the Executive Committee of the Constitutional Rights Foundation. Michael earned his B.A., with distinction in general scholarship, from the University of California at Berkeley and his J.D., Order of the Coif, from Vanderbilt University School of Law. He is admitted to practice in California and New York.

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