Mayer Brown

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Mayer Brown LLP
Headquarters 71 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois, United States [1]
No. of offices 27 total
No. of lawyers 1,507 (2015) [2]
Major practice areas General practice
Key people Paul W. Theiss (Chairman)
Revenue $1.26 billion (2016)[3]
Date founded 1881
Founder Adolf Kraus
Levy Mayer
Company type Limited liability partnership

Mayer Brown is a global law firm founded in Chicago and the 15th largest law firm in the United States. It has offices in 26 cities across the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, with its largest offices being in Chicago, Washington DC, New York City, Hong Kong and London. Mayer Brown has approximately 1,500 lawyers and by revenue is the 17th largest law firm in the world.[4]


The three firms that now form the core of Mayer Brown were all founded in the 19th century. The US portion of the firm was founded in 1881 in Chicago, by Adolf Kraus and Levy Mayer, and was shortly thereafter known as Kraus, Mayer & Brackett. After several changes in name to reflect its changing membership the firm eventually became known in the US as Mayer, Brown & Platt. The English portion of the firm, Rowe & Maw, was established in 1895 in London and operated under that name until joining with Mayer, Brown & Platt in 2002 to form Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw. In 2007 the amalgamated firm shortened its name to Mayer Brown. Johnson Stokes & Master was formed in 1863 in Hong Kong and is today known as Mayer Brown (formerly Mayer Brown JSM) after merging with Mayer Brown in 2008.


The firm has offices in Bangkok, Beijing, Brussels, Charlotte, Chicago, Düsseldorf, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York City, Palo Alto, Paris, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington DC; and, in association with Tauil & Chequer Advogados, offices in Brasília, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Vitória.

Practice Areas[edit]

Banking & Finance[edit]

Advises bank holding companies, commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, asset-based lenders, leasing companies, institutional real estate companies, finance companies, funds and investors and borrowers in various industries.

Capital Markets[edit]

Represents both issuers and underwriters in a wide variety of debt and equity offerings as well as working at the forefront of the market for securitized products.

Corporate & Securities[edit]

Provides legal services on transactions including cross-border deals and industry-specific issues. Sub-practices include capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and business and technology sourcing.

Cybersecurity & Data Privacy[edit]

Advises on a full range of domestic, international and cross-border cybersecurity and privacy issues.

Employment & Benefits[edit]

Advises on issues of employment, employee benefits, executive compensation, ERISA litigation and pensions.

Financial Services Regulatory & Enforcement[edit]

Provides financial services organizations with representation on strategic, regulatory, compliance and enforcement issues. Advises on traditional banking, broker-dealer, investment management, cross-border investigation and enforcement and insurance regulation issues.

Global Mobility & Migration[edit]

Advises on the full gamut of global mobility issues that businesses face on a daily basis including visa and work permit authorizations.

Government (Relations and Contracts)[edit]

Represents clients in areas of domestic and global public policy and provides advice on the government contracting process at the federal, state and local levels.

International Trade[edit]

Advises on international trade and investment issues, including market access and trade policy, trade remedies, trade compliance, international litigation and dispute settlement, ITC Section 337 investigations and the WTO.

Intellectual Property[edit]

Assesses IP portfolios; performs due diligence for acquisitions; secures patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights; and uses litigation to resolve business disputes over infringement or misappropriation.

Joint Ventures & Strategic Alliances[edit]

Helps clients create a wide variety of durable and effective joint venture and alliance structures both within a particular jurisdiction and across borders.

Litigation & Dispute Resolution[edit]

Provides legal services on matters of antitrust and competition, commercial litigation, consumer litigation and class actions, electronic discovery and records management, employment and ERISA, environmental, international arbitration, product liability and mass torts, securities enforcement and litigation and white-collar defense and compliance. In the US, argues before the Supreme Court and federal and state appellate courts.

Middle East[edit]

Advises clients inbound to and outbound from the Middle East and North Africa on a range of legal issues. Mayer Brown's Dubai office serves as a hub for its growing Middle East practice.

National Security[edit]

Advises clients on a wide spectrum of matters that involve sensitive national security issues with experience working with the Department of Defense (DOD), as well as the Departments of State, the Treasury, Justice (DOJ), and Homeland Security (DHS); with federal law enforcement, intelligence, and military agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and National Security Agency (NSA); and with the increasing number of government entities that play a growing role in US national security today on issues ranging from energy to technology to trade.

Private Equity, Funds & Investment Management[edit]

Provides a full-service offering to clients engaged in the funds and alternative investments industry. The practice spans the entire life cycle of a fund, its sponsor/manager as well as all underlying investments.

Real Estate[edit]

Provides representation in acquisition, disposition, construction, leasing, financing, zoning and environmental matters for commercial banks, real estate investment trusts, institutional investors, pension funds and pension fund advisers, private equity funds and sponsors, opportunity funds, governments, statutory bodies, investment banks, industrial banks, insurance companies, real estate holding companies, developers and corporations.

Restructuring, Bankruptcy & Insolvency[edit]

Advises on restructuring, bankruptcy and insolvency matters, representing liquidators, receivers, administrators, bondholders, lenders, liquidity providers, trustees, debtor-in-possession providers, company directors, insurers, pension fund trustees and corporate debtors and creditors.

Tax (Tax Controversy, Tax Transactions & Consulting)[edit]

Provides representation in matters of corporate, partnership and individual taxation, including taxation of cross-border transactions. Includes sub-practices in transactions, consulting and planning, audits, administrative appeals, litigation and international transfer pricing.

Technology Transactions[edit]

Offers in-depth understanding of technology transactions to secure high-value contracts, improve operations, build digital platforms and ensure compliance.

Wealth Management[edit]

Advises high-net-worth individuals on matters related to their business and investment interests, including minimizing taxes and accommodating family situations.

Pro Bono[edit]

Mayer Brown is a signatory to the Pro Bono Institute's Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge which commits the firm to devote 3 percent of total billable time to pro bono work[5] and a member of the UK Joint Protocol on Pro Bono Work, which stipulates that pro bono legal work must be carried out to the same standard as chargeable work. [6]


  • Received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index 2017.[7]
  • Law360 Firm of the Year 2016[8] and Practices of the Year for: Appellate,[9] Banking,[10] Class Action,[11] Food & Beverage,[12] Life Sciences, Technology[13] and Transportation.[14]
  • On Law360's "Global 20" 2013 list of law firms doing the most substantial, complex and diverse global work[15]
  • 42 top-tier national and 90 top-tier metropolitan U.S. News Best Law Firms 2013 rankings[16]
  • 362 lawyers ranked across the Chambers 2013 directories, with 74 ranked in top band or higher.[17]
  • Ranked #2 for client service among 650 global law firms in the BTI Client Service A-Team 2013 survey.[18]
  • Named "International Firm of the Year 2013 – International Trade" by China Law & Practice.[19]
  • Ranked in 48 categories, including seven top-tier ranking, by IFLR1000, a guide to the world's leading financial law firms.[20]
  • 65 Leading Lawyer rankings and 175 practice category rankings, 23 of which are top-tier, across the most current Legal 500 directories.[21]
  • Received a perfect score in the 2014 Human Rights Campaign Foundation's annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI) and earned the "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality" distinction. The CEI rates American businesses on their treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees and their families as well as their demonstration of corporate commitment to LGBT equality.[22]

Role in Refco Inc. Collapse[edit]

Refco was a New York-based broker of commodities and futures contracts. It filed for one of the biggest bankruptcies in the USA history in 2005, after the evidence for major accounting fraud surfaced [23]. In the wake of collapse, lawsuit was filed against Mayer Brown for aiding Refco executives' theft of more than $2 billion [24]. In November 2012 Joseph Collins, a former partner at the Mayer Brown, was found guilty on multiple charges of conspiracy and fraud for his role in preparing Refco's IPO [25] [26]. The law company itself agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to settle the legal claims against it [27].


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Mayer Brown | The American Lawyer". Retrieved 2016-05-17.
  5. ^ "", retrieved September 27, 2013.
  6. ^ "" Archived 2013-10-02 at the Wayback Machine., retrieved September 27, 2013.
  7. ^ "Corporate Equality Index 2017". Human Rights Campaign. 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  8. ^ "The Firms That Dominated In 2016 - Law360". Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  9. ^ "Appellate Group Of The Year: Mayer Brown" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-17 – via
  10. ^ "Banking Group Of The Year: Mayer Brown" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-17 – via
  11. ^ "Class Action Group Of The Year: Mayer Brown" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-17 – via
  12. ^ "Food & Beverage Group Of The Year: Mayer Brown" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-17 – via
  13. ^ "Technology Group Of The Year: Mayer Brown" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-17 – via
  14. ^ "Transportation Group Of The Year: Mayer Brown" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-17 – via
  15. ^ "", retrieved October 9, 2013.
  16. ^ "", retrieved October 9, 2013.
  17. ^ "Chambers and Partners", retrieved October 9, 2013.
  18. ^ "" Archived 2013-09-21 at the Wayback Machine., retrieved October 25, 2013.
  19. ^ "", retrieved October 25, 2013.
  20. ^ "", retrieved October 25, 2013.
  21. ^ "", retrieved October 25, 2013.
  22. ^ "", retrieved December 10, 2013.
  23. ^ "Refco Files 4th-Largest Bankruptcy in U.S. History". Archived from the original on 2013-10-11.
  24. ^ "Refco Trustee Seeks $2 Billion from Mayer Brown, Others". Archived from the original on 2013-10-11.
  25. ^ "Lawyer sentenced to prison for role in $2.4 billion fraud at Refco". Archived from the original on 2013-10-11.
  26. ^ "Refco Lawyer, A&O, Mayer Brown, Skadden: Business of Law". Archived from the original on 2013-10-11.
  27. ^ "Settlement Reached in Billion-dollar Fraud Scheme". Archived from the original on 2013-10-11.

Further reading[edit]

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