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Dentons’ Howard Morris to join Morrison & Foerster as head of business restructuring

One of Dentons best-known long term senior managers and a solid restructuring partner, Howard Morris has joined Morrison & Foerster to head its business restructuring & insolvency group in London, nearly three months after the banking lawyer resigned from the firm after 22 years as a partner.

Morris (pictured) joined legacy Denton Hall in 1991 and served in a number of senior positions as the firm grew and changed names under successive mergers, including the shared role of chief executive alongside current CEO Elliot Portnoy at SNR Denton, created out of the 2010 merger with US-based Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal.

He went on to act as chief integration officer for Dentons’ tripartite union with French firm Salans and Canadian firm Fraser Milner Casgrain that went live this year, before tendering his resignation in September.

At Morrison, Morris will now focus on cross-border and pan-European transactions and insolvency proceedings, and the firm said today (18 November) that his arrival ‘comes at a time of accelerated growth for [the firm] in Europe.’

Chair of the top 30 Global 100 firm’s business restructuring & insolvency group Gary Lee, said the growth of its business restructuring & insolvency group is a ‘key component of MoFo’s strategic development.

‘The addition of Howard comes at a crucial time with significant levels of corporate debt still to be restructured across the UK and more widely in Europe. His experience and track record make him the ideal individual to head this group in London. Distressed investors are increasingly looking for opportunities in Europe and this appointment demonstrates our continued commitment to our clients in this area,’ Lee added.

Morris said: ‘Morrison & Foerster’s terrific global reputation, coupled with the global scale of its market leading restructuring and insolvency practice, make the firm the obvious choice for me. The firm has a collegial culture, first-class lawyers and a fabulous global client base.’

Meanwhile, Dentons latest merger talks with US firm McKenna Long & Aldridge have gone quiet. A decision on the proposed tie-up, that would give the firm a 3,100-lawyer headcount and push revenues through the £1bn mark, was due to take place no later than last Thursday (14 November) by way of a partner vote, however there has so far been no word from either firm.