Morrison & Foerster is ushering in a younger generation of leaders – and a few minorities are getting a seat at the table.
San Francisco litigator Arturo González and New York partner Grant Esposito took over as co-chairs of the firm’s 500-lawyer global litigation department from Steven Kaufmann at the start of April. Kaufmann, who works out of Denver, had been the sole litigation chief at Mofo since 2007.
“Grant and I would both like to continue to practice; we don’t want to do administration full time,” González said. He’s served as chairman of the trial practice group for about five years and has been a member of the firm’s board of directors. “I might be the first Latino to chair a large litigation group,” noted González, 49.
Changes are also afoot in the business department, where San Francisco partner Susan Mac Cormac, who is now the co-chair of the venture capital/emerging companies group and the cleantech group for the firm worldwide, is moving into the newly created role of firm-wide business department co-chair. Mac Cormac, who is on maternity leave, will split the title with Tokyo partner Eric Piesner.
Mac Cormac said she and Piesner will be training to take over fully from the firm’s current business chief, Denver-based Fred Lodge, in a year.
Mac Cormac, who is 43, said she was surprised when the firm approached her about the position around the end of last year. She was about nine-and-a-half months pregnant with her third child. “I had to think about it because it’s a lot of work and I need to balance the management role with my practice,” she said. “The one thing that became clear to me a number of years ago is I really enjoy my own clients, I bring them in and work on them, as opposed to working for a male senior partner -- which is what 99 percent of corporate women, even partners, do.” Not having to shoulder all the responsibility by herself helps.