WASHINGTON, D.C., June 26, 2014: Morgan Lewis today announced that M&A and shareholder activism defense lawyer Keith E. Gottfried has joined the firm as a partner in its Business & Finance Practice, resident in Washington, D.C. Mr. Gottfried’s arrival enhances Morgan Lewis’s ability to provide high-level services to public company clients and their boards of directors, particularly in the growing area of shareholder activism defense.
Mr. Gottfried has an extensive background advising public companies, as well as their boards of directors and special committees, in connection with preparing for and responding to activist shareholder campaigns, unsolicited takeover bids, proxy contests, consent solicitations and other contests for corporate control. He also advises clients regarding mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, securities regulation, and NYSE and NASDAQ compliance. Over the course of a legal career that spans more than two decades, Mr. Gottfried has been involved in numerous proxy contest and other activist campaign defenses. He is also frequently quoted by the national business media on issues relating to shareholder activism and is the author of numerous articles discussing strategies that public companies and their boards of directors can take to make themselves less vulnerable to shareholder activists.
While most of Mr. Gottfried’s legal career has been spent in private practice at nationally-known law firms, he has also held senior in-house legal positions in the public and private sectors. In the second term of the administration of President George W. Bush, Mr. Gottfried served as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a sub-cabinet position to which he was nominated by President Bush and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Earlier, Mr. Gottfried served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Borland Software Corporation, then a publicly-traded, NASDAQ-listed company in California’s Silicon Valley.
“The addition of Keith expands the breadth of our representation of public companies and boards of directors” Firm Chair Francis M. Milone said. “His background and skills deepen our bench in Washington, D.C. and complement our corporate capabilities firmwide.”
“We are very enthusiastic to welcome Keith into our established Business and Finance Practice,” said Charles Engros, leader of Morgan Lewis’s Business and Finance Practice. “Keith’s significant experience in shareholder activism, as well as in M&A, corporate governance and securities regulation matters, reflects our continued efforts to seek out talented corporate lawyers who enable us to draw upon a deep and diverse well of knowledge and experience to best serve our clients.”
“Our Washington, D.C. office has a long-term plan for building out its legal services offering,” said Grace Speights, Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C. office. “The addition of Keith will help us advance our goals for the corporate and other practices here and firmwide.”