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In a deal the firm describes as one of its biggest ever, Morrison & Foerster helped Japanese electronics giant Hitachi Ltd. acquire IBM Corp.’s hard disk drive operations for $2.05 billion. Attorneys in the Tokyo, San Francisco and Palo Alto offices of the firm represented Hitachi in the deal, which closed on Dec. 31. IBM’s in-house attorneys handled the deal for the company. “This is the most lawyer-intensive transaction the firm has ever handled,” said Keith Wetmore, chairman of Mofo. “It took us the better part of a year and has had an unusual amount of post-closing issues to deal with.” The Daily Deal (affiliated with American Lawyer Media) listed this transaction as the 22nd largest target M&A deal of last year. It will bring together more than 20,000 employees at the companies’ research, manufacturing and sales divisions in North America, Asia and Europe. The new company created by this acquisition will be called Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Inc. Ownership of the new company will initially be split 70-30 with Hitachi buying the final 30 percent over the next three years. “Morrison & Foerster was uniquely positioned to advise on the multinational transaction because of our extensive office network and long experience in handling large-scale strategic alliances and acquisitions involving cutting-edge technologies,” said Tokyo-based Ken Siegel, the lead partner on the deal, in a press release. “As Japanese companies have consolidated their operations and focused their business models, we have seen a dramatic increase in substantial cross-border matters,” he said. Attorneys at IBM could not be reached for comment. In addition to Siegel, Tokyo-based partners Stephen DeCosse and Wayne Pittaway led the deal team. The San Francisco-based attorneys were: corporate partner Michael O’Bryan and associates Thomas O’Toole and Jeffrey Schrepfer; tax partner Stuart Offer; intellectual property partner Paul Jahn and associate Masato Hayakawa; real estate partner Peter Aitelli and associate Kyla Chin; environmental partner Nancy Hayes and associate Brian Hayle. Employment partner David Murphy, IP of counsel John Hou and employment associate Christine Lyon worked out of the firm’s Palo Alto office. CISCO/OKENA San Jose-based Cisco Systems Inc. has acquired Waltham, Mass.-based startup Okena Inc., a maker of network security software, for $154 million in stock. Attorneys in the East Palo Alto office of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison represented Cisco on the transaction. Boston-based lawyers at McDermott, Will & Emery represented Okena. Okena is the second network security company Cisco has acquired in the past two months. Okena’s software products protect servers and desktop computers from viruses and worms by identifying the problems before they can attack the network. Okena’s 52 employees will join Cisco’s virtual private network and security business unit. Attorneys at Brobeck and Cisco refused comment on the transaction. Brobeck partner William Myers led the deal for Cisco. Business and technology partner William Chuang, employment associate Tracy Parola, and business associates Matthew Miller and Stephen Sonne also worked on the deal. In Boston, McDermott partners John Egan III and David Powers led the deal for Okena. Cisco Associate General Counsel Scott Lester worked out of Cisco’s San Jose offices.

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