Keith Gottfried* concentrates his practice primarily on mergers and acquisitions, cross-border transactions, corporate governance, securities regulation, NYSE and Nasdaq compliance and general corporate matters.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Gottfried has worked on a number of high-profile mergers and acquisition transactions, representing private and public companies across a broad range of industries and sectors, including computer software, semiconductors, telecommunications, energy, retail, insurance and financial services, paper and packaging, equipment leasing, lodging and hospitality, healthcare and manufacturing. In addition to representing acquirers and targets, he has represented some of the leading investment banks in their role as financial advisor to the acquirer or target in connection with an M&A transaction. Mr. Gottfried has extensive experience in structuring, negotiating and advising clients on various types of M&A transactions, including stock acquisitions, asset acquisitions, stock-for-stock mergers, cash-election mergers, tender offers, divestitures, auctions and cross-border transactions. He also has experience representing clients in connection with proxy contests and other contests for corporate control as well as the implementation of stockholder rights plans and other types of defensive strategies. In addition to advising clients with respect to mergers and acquisitions, Mr. Gottfried has extensive experience counseling clients with respect to corporate governance issues, securities law compliance, SEC reporting issues and New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq compliance.
Mr. Gottfried has extensive experience operating in overseas markets, having advised clients on, among other things, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, the establishment of branch offices and wholly-owned subsidiaries in new foreign markets and strategies and alternatives for entering new foreign markets. In addition to his cross-border transactional experience, Mr. Gottfried has participated in numerous U.S. Government-sponsored trade missions led by either the U.S. Secretary of Commerce or a member of his senior staff, including trade missions to China, Mexico, Ghana, South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. From 2001 through 2003, Mr. Gottfried was a delegate to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summits in Shanghai, China (October 2001), Los Cabos, Mexico (October 2002) and Bangkok, Thailand (October 2003). He has also been a frequent speaker on the benefits on international trade and free trade at forums held in the United States, Singapore and India and, in 2003, testified before the U.S. Congress ion the benefits to be obtained for the U.S. from the implementation of bilateral free trade agreements with Chile and Singapore.
Mr. Gottfried also has significant experience navigating within the Federal Government. From October 2005 to November 2006, Mr. Gottfried served as the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He was nominated to this position by President George W. Bush on July 29, 2005 and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 7, 2005. At HUD, Mr. Gottfried led a nationwide organization of approximately 400 attorneys and 300 non-attorneys headquartered in Washington, D.C., along with ten regional offices and close to forty field offices throughout the country. Mr. Gottfried served as the senior legal advisor to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary and other agency Principal Staff, providing advice on all aspects of federal laws, regulations and policies applicable to public and Indian housing, community development programs, mortgage insurance programs, complex mixed financing transactions for residential development and health care facilities, fair housing enforcement and urban development programs. During his tenure at HUD, Mr. Gottfried navigated the agency through the significant legal issues involved in providing desperately needed disaster assistance in response to the devastation caused to the Gulf Coast by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, finalized the largest monetary settlement of an enforcement action against an FHA lender in HUDís 40-year history and established a framework for enhancing regulatory transparency and compliance assistance. In addition to his experience serving as General Counsel of HUD, Mr. Gottfried previously served on a U.S. Department of Commerce Industry Trade Advisory Committee focused on issues of concern to the high technology sector and was jointly appointed to such committee by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Donald L. Evans and former U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick.
From 2000 to 2004, Mr. Gottfried served in senior executive positions at Borland Software Corporation, a publicly-held global provider of software development solutions located in Cupertino, California. After having represented Borland as its outside counsel, Mr. Gottfried joined the companyís executive management team in June 2000 as Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary and was responsible for all aspects of the companyís worldwide legal function. As General Counsel, he also served as the companyís Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Corporate Governance Officer. In his last position at Borland prior to departing the company, Mr. Gottfried served as the Senior Vice President-Corporate Affairs and Special Advisor to the CEO and was responsible for enhancing the companyís relationships, domestically and overseas, with industry leaders, potential strategic partners, certain focal sales accounts and domestic and foreign governments. During his tenure at Borland, Mr. Gottfried represented the company as a member of the Board of Directors of the Business Software Alliance, a leading trade association of commercial software industry and its hardware partners.
Prior to joining Borland Software, Mr. Gottfried was a corporate attorney in the New York office of the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP for nearly seven years. While at Skadden Arps, Mr. Gottfried was a member of the firmís mergers & acquisitions group. Earlier in his career, Mr. Gottfried was a corporate attorney with the Philadelphia office of Blank Rome where he concentrated his practiced on general corporate law, mergers and acquisitions and securities regulation. Mr. Gottfried is also a former accountant and practiced public accounting with the accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP prior to attending law school.
Mr. Gottfried holds a law degree, cum laude, from Boston University's School of Law where he was a named an Edward F. Hennessey Distinguished Scholar of Law and a G. Joseph Tauro Scholar of Law. Mr. Gottfried also holds an M.B.A., high honors, from Boston University's Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Science in Economics, concentrated in accounting, from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.
*Practicing under the supervision of principals of the firm admitted to practice in DC. Admitted to practice in NY, NJ and CA only.