NEW YORK, Aug. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Lawyer has named Morrison & Foerster chair emeritus Keith Wetmore to its inaugural list of the top 50 innovators in the legal profession. The new feature identifies the "ideas and initiatives that have changed the world of big law over the past 50 years, and the people behind them."
Mr. Wetmore was selected as one of nine innovators who have contributed to the advancement of law firm values. He was the first openly gay managing partner of a major law firm, and throughout his career led initiatives that helped set new standards for gay rights within the legal profession, including the expansion of benefits coverage to include same-sex partners and offering health care tax offsets to employees and lawyers in same-sex domestic partnerships.
During Mr. Wetmore's 13 years as chair at Morrison & Foerster, the firm expanded in key international financial and technology centers, adding a Shanghai office to complement its Beijing and Hong Kong offices. In Tokyo, the firm continued its tremendous growth in the number of both United States and Japanese lawyers, making the Tokyo office the largest Japanese office of any U.S. law firm.
In the United States, under Mr. Wetmore's leadership, the firm opened a Northern Virginia office, which has become one of the largest full-service law offices serving the entire Mid-Atlantic business community. In addition, the firm opened a San Diego office, making Morrison & Foerster one of the fastest growing law firms in the region.
"Keith's leadership helped transform MoFo into a leading international firm. He made an indelible mark on MoFo during his time at the firm by reinforcing longstanding principles and strengthening our foundation as a best-in-class firm that is as much a community as it is a provider of high-end legal service," said Larren M. Nashelsky, chair of Morrison & Foerster and successor to Mr. Wetmore. "We are grateful for Keith's many contributions, one of which was establishing MoFo as a perennial on The American Lawyer's A-List – Am Law's best overall measure of top Am Law firms based on pro bono, diversity and associate satisfaction."
Mr. Wetmore graduated, magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School, where he served as Articles Editor for the Michigan Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He then clerked for Judge J. Edward Lumbard on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York.
The American Lawyer's inaugural Top 50 Innovators list was published on July 29.
We are Morrison & Foerster — a global firm of exceptional credentials. Our clients include some of the largest financial institutions, investment banks, Fortune 100, technology and life science companies. We've been included on The American Lawyer's A-List for 10 straight years, Chambers Global named MoFo its 2013 USA Law Firm of the Year, and Chambers USA named the firm both its 2013 Intellectual Property and Bankruptcy Firm of the Year. Our lawyers are committed to achieving innovative and business-minded results for our clients, while preserving the differences that make us stronger.
Stefanie Marrone, Director of Communications
(212) 336-4179, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Morrison & Foerster