Morrison Foerster Adds Finance and Private Equity Partner in San Francisco

Law firm Morrison Foerster hired Michael Vernace as a partner in the firm’s finance and private equity groups in the transactions department, based in the firm’s San Francisco office.

Vernace has 15 years of experience representing private equity funds and their portfolio companies in complex U.S. and cross-border financings, including acquisition financings and refinancings, along with other public and private companies in varying stages of their lifecycles.

Vernace is the second partner to join Morrison Foerster’s finance practice this year, following the arrival of Tammy Davies last month, and is the seventh partner to join the firm’s private equity practice within the last three years.

Vernace joined Morrison Foerster from another international firm, where he was a partner in the banking and credit department. Vernace’s practice focuses on supporting sponsor-borrowers along with additional lender-side representations and borrower-side bankruptcy remote financings. He regularly advises clients through syndicated finance and other commercial lending transactions, including acquisition, leveraged, investment-grade, asset-based, corporate, receivables, net asset value, and hybrid financings. Vernace also represents leveraged buyout sponsors and their portfolio companies in connection with a variety of recapitalizations and refinancings.

“The continued investment in, and growth of, our global finance and private equity capabilities remains a strategic priority for the firm,” Darío Avram, co-chair of Morrison Foerster’s finance group, said. “Michael’s practice and strategic approach to business development offer an excellent complement to our finance and private equity teams’ strategies on the ground in the Bay Area while further accelerating the growth of our market-leading global finance and private equity capabilities.”

“Michael’s extensive experience advising sophisticated private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies also expands and further deepens our borrower/company bench strength, enabling us to better serve our public company and technology clients while expanding our dominant presence in the San Francisco market and beyond,” Yemi Tépé, co-chair of Morrison Foerster’s finance group, said.

Some of Vernace’s representative matters include advising a pharmaceuticals company in its committed debt financing related to a multibillion-dollar acquisition; a TV broadcasting company in its committed debt financing related to a multibillion-dollar acquisition; an energy-transition focused sponsor in multiple acquisition financings, refinancings and distressed situations; and several banks in connection with various sustainability linked loans.

“I am thrilled to join Morrison Foerster’s thriving San Francisco finance and private equity groups,” Vernace said. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues in the Bay Area and across firm’s global offices to expand the firm’s offerings in these in-demand areas.”

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