The Legal 500

Mayer Brown

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United States

Top-tier recommendations


  • United States: Real estate and construction > Construction
  • United States: Real estate and construction > Real estate

Latin America: International firms

Top-tier recommendations


United States: Antitrust

Within Cartel, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown’s stable antitrust practice comprises 22 partners and is spread across offices in Washington DC, Chicago, New York, Palo Alto and Los Angeles. The group is involved in most of the major cartel litigations, including chocolate, automotive parts, online travel, and rail surcharges. Chicago-based Andrew Marovitz and Britt Miller, who serve as practice group leaders with Adam Hudes in Washington DC, are defending Temple-Inland in several individual class actions with regard to an alleged conspiracy to fix the prices and restrict capacity of containerboard, linerboard and corrugated products. Another important client is Mosaic Company, which it represented in putative class actions concerning alleged price-fixing of potash before class settlements with all defendants were approved. Other key clients include United Airlines and Google. Robert Bloch is highly regarded, as are Hudes and Carmine Zarlenga.

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Within Civil litigation/class actions, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

With offices across the country in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto and Washington DC, Mayer Brown’s stable antitrust group focuses on litigation, particularly private class actions. The firm is representing The Big Ten Conference in various putative class actions alleging that the NCAA conspired to cap the value of grant-in-aid awards to student athletes. The practice, which is headed by Adam Hudes in Washington DC and Chicago-based Andrew Marovitz and Britt Miller, recently acted for Starwood Hotels in a number of class actions against major hotel chains and online travel agents in connection with alleged resale price maintenance agreements. Marovitz and Miller are representing HSBC with regard to the alleged restraint of competition in the trading of credit default swaps. Other key clients include Nestlé, Google, BASF and ArcelorMittal.

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United States: Finance

Within Asset finance and leasing, tier 4

New York partner George Miller heads a quality five-partner team at Mayer Brown that has plenty of expertise advising on aircraft and railcar financings. The firm is particularly known for advising lenders on related transactions, including EETCs, lease warehouse, and lease securitization structures. Recent highlights include advising Aviation Finance Corporation, Apple Bank and MetLife on the $160m financing of the pre-delivery payments for four Global 6000 aircraft being acquired by the VistaJet Group. The firm also advised Apple Bank on the $111.7m financing of pre-delivery payments for 12 Boeing 787 firm aircraft and four 787 option aircraft being acquired by Virgin Atlantic Airways. On the railcar side, a team led by Chicago’s Julie Gillespie represented Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse Securities as underwriters on a $500m offering of pass through certificates by Union Pacific Railroad Company to finance the acquisition of 245 locomotives. The firm also advised Credit Suisse Securities on Element Rail Leasing’s first railcar ABS for $340m.

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Within Bank lending (including other sources of financing) , tier 4

Mayer Brown is praised for its ‘disciplined, accurate, timely, responsive and totally professional’ service and advice. Global co-head Doug Doetsch leads the team from Chicago, and his reputation for advice on Latin America-related financings has impacted on the wider team – it is particularly noted for its expertise in this area. The ‘very knowledgeable and professional’ New York-based David Duffee is also well regarded and considered to be ‘outstanding at handling negotiations with clients and bank participants’. The firm acts for an impressive array of major lenders, including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Credit Suisse and Bank of America, and has also developed strong niches in fund financings and energy finance. The borrower side of the practice is also strong, and the firm advised Packaging Corporation of America on a $1.65bn credit facility to finance the acquisition of Boise Inc. The practice continues to grow, recently recruiting Gabriela Sakamoto from Chadbourne & Parke LLP in Washington DC, and Henry Liu from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP in New York.

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Within Capital markets: debt offerings , Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown has a strong track record advising financial institutions as underwriters and issuers in debt capital markets deals. Automotive finance is a particular strength; practice co-head Edward Best, based in Chicago along with the majority of the practice’s lawyers, advised Hyundai Capital America on two senior notes issuances comprising $900m and $600m. On the underwriter side, which is where the practice particularly stands out, Houston-based partners Harry Beaudry and Robert Gray acted for Barclays Capital, Wells Fargo Securities and Citigroup Global Markets on two $400m senior notes issuances by global offshore drilling contract services provider Rowan Companies. James Barry in Chicago and Jennifer Carlson (who relocated to Palo Alto) are also recommended.

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Within Capital markets: equity offerings , tier 4

Mayer Brown is recommended for its expertise in advising financial institutions, both as issuers and underwriters. Chicago-based Edward Best represented Citigroup Global Markets as lead underwriter in Heritage Insurance’s $66m IPO, and in Houston, William Moss and Andrew Stanger acted for Wells Fargo Securities as underwriter in the $170m secondary offering by Exterran Partners. Jennifer Carlson relocated from Chicago to Palo Alto to strengthen the firm’s Silicon Valley presence.

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Within Capital markets: global offerings , tier 4

Mayer Brown acted in several high-value Canadian deals in 2014 including Caisse Centrale Desjardins’ $1bn issue of 1.55% senior notes due 2017 (Edward Best leading) and TransCanada PipeLines’ $1.25bn offering of senior notes due 2034 (Michael Hermsen leading). Other clients of the practice, which has developed strong relationships with several financial institutions, include HSBC Securities, Merrill Lynch and Turkiye Vakiflar Bankasi. Best and Hermsen are based in Chicago, and David Bakst in New York and Bernd Bohr in London are also recommended.

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Within Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings , tier 4

Mayer Brown’s Houston office is recommended for its energy sector expertise, and Harry Beaudry represented Bonanza Creek Energy in two issuances of senior notes totaling $500m and also acted for New Gulf Resources in its $135m offering of 10%/12% senior subordinated PIK toggle notes due 2019. In New York, John Berkery advised, alongside Jennifer Carlson who recently relocated to Palo Alto, Ocwen Financial Corporation in a $350m offering of 6.625% senior notes due 2019 and also represented Wells Fargo Securities as underwriters in the $350m issue of 6% senior notes by Exterran Partners. In Chicago, the highly regarded Edward Best acted for JP Morgan Securities as underwriter in the issuance by Oshkosh Corporation of $250m worth of 5.375% senior notes due 2022.

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Within Corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy), tier 4

Mayer Brown’s ‘fully involved and accessible lawyers’ and ‘comprehensive geographical footprint’ draws glowing praise – ‘this firm adds value on a deal’. The team is split between New York and Chicago and specializes in advising lenders and creditors in bankruptcy proceedings, although it does occasionally win roles for debtors. As a case in point, the ‘extraordinarily knowledgeable, talented and effectiveHoward Beltzer acted with Frederick Hyman to represent ATP Oil & Gas in its $3bn Chapter 11 proceedings, which culminated in the sale of its assets through a section 363 sale; both partners are based in New York. That said, work for financial institutions continues to predominate and the practice has strong experience in arranging DIP financings. New York-based Brian Trust heads the group and advised Barclays Bank and UBS as arrangers for a $1.35bn secured exit financing to Overseas Shipholding Group. Also in New York, Joel Moss is lauded as ‘one of the most technically savvy and commercially aware bankruptcy lawyers around’.

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Within Financial services: litigation, tier 4

Led out of New York by Mark Hanchet and Matthew Ingber, and also aided by significant resources in Chicago, New York, Washington DC and the West Coast, Mayer Brown has the capacity to handle a wide array of litigation impacting clients in the industry irrespective of geography. The firm has a good reputation among international banks, including Société Générale, which it is representing in a number of high-profile cases regarding its alleged involvement in LIBOR manipulation. It is also acting for HSBC in disputes relating to its RMBS issuance, where the ‘excellent’ Michael Ware has played a pivotal role. Leveraging its global footprint when necessary, the team is also recommended for representing clients engaged in cross-border mandates including the extraterritorial application of United States law to global financial institutions.

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Within Financial services: regulatory, tier 4

Concentrated out of its Washington DC and New York offices, Mayer Brown’s seven-partner team provides ‘exemplary advice in the financial services field’ to banks, broker-dealers and asset management companies across the spectrum of regulatory issues affecting their businesses. Able to tap into the expertise of lawyers across its global network, the team is regularly engaged in mandates which require knowledge of the extra-territorial reach of Dodd-Frank. David Sahr, Jerome Roche and Marc Cohen show ‘excellent attention to detail’ and are representing a number of international banks on the ramifications of the Volcker rule on their businesses, both inside and outside the US. Other highlights include advising a number of foreign banks on resolution planning issues and international banking clients on derivatives regulatory issues, particularly as they relate to Title VII swap provisions. Other recommended partners include team head Scott Anenberg, in particular for his global perspective, the ‘impressiveThomas Delaney, for his expertise on Dodd-Frank compliance, and Jeffrey Taft, ‘who is able to advise on any and all US regulations that affect securitization’.

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Within Project finance, Mayer Brown is a second tier firm,

Mayer Brown has within its practice ‘a range of subject-area experts, equipping it with both breadth and depth of experience and knowledge when advising on project- and investment-related issues’. Clients also commend the ‘quick turnaround and availability’ of attorneys. The firm has an established track record for handling PPP work, and has been steadily growing in prominence when it comes to project bond financings. Recent highlights include acting for Goldman Sachs, BBVA and Credicorp Capital as underwriters and loan arrangers on the approximately $520m senior secured bond and an approximately $200m senior secured loan for Rutas de Lima, a PPP toll road project in Lima, Peru. It advised BNP Paribas Securities Corp and HSBC as underwriters on the $432m issuance of a senior secured project bond by Abengoa Transmisión Sur (ATS) for a project to build an 885km transmission line in Peru as part of the country’s plan to increase the reliability of the national electric grid. It also has a role in one of the largest infrastructure projects currently in Chile, representing Interchile as borrower on a proposed senior secured loan to be arranged by a club of international banks and a prospective VAT facility to be arranged by Chilean banks. Split between the Chicago, New York, Houston and Washington DC offices, the group has a strong presence across the US and Latin America. Houston-based Rob Goldberg ‘balances the ability to advise on granular and nuanced issues with pragmatism and a commercial approach to negotiating and closing a deal’. Practice head Barry Machlin, and Christopher Erckert and George Miller are also recommended, along with Thomas Moore, who recently joined from Baker Botts L.L.P..

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Within Structured finance , Mayer Brown is a first tier firm,

Based out of Chicago but also benefiting from a strong offering in New York and Charlotte, as well as globally, Mayer Brown’s ‘very diversified and balanced practice’ has ensured that it has remained well insulated against dips in particular asset classes post-credit crisis. Its ‘breadth and depth of securitization industry knowledge is second to none’, and clients also appreciate the team’s ability to provide ‘clear, succinct and commercial advice’. Another factor in ensuring the group receives a significant volume of top-quality work is its track record and involvement in many of the market’s first-of-kind transactions: for example, it helped to create Trade MAPS, the first-ever securitization of global trade finance assets that allowed Citibank and Banco Santander to jointly remove from their balance sheets trade finance assets owed by obligors in 25 different countries. Co-head Stuart Litwin is ‘very accomplished’ at handling auto and student loan securitizations and along with Angela Ulum, recently represented Volkswagon Credit as servicer, sponsor, and originator, Volkswagen Auto Lease Trust 2014-A as issuer, and Volkswagen Auto Lease/Loan Underwritten Funding as depositor, in a $1.49bn public sale of fixed and floating-rate auto lease asset-backed notes. Jon Van Gorp is well regarded in the market for his innovative approach to deals in the real estate market, and recently represented TPG Opportunities Partners as sponsor in the issuance of $200m notes secured by performing and non-performing commercial mortgage loans. Stephen Rooney excels in transactions at the nexus between the insurance and structured finance market, and has represented clients in a raft of catastrophe bond offerings; notably, Rooney recently advised MetroCat as issuer in the first-of-its-kind $200m catastrophe bond offering that funded insurance for New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority covering the peril of storm surge. Seen as a thought leader in the industry, the firm has advised trade bodies responding to proposed regulatory changes including the implications of risk retention, the Volcker rule and the Basel Committee’s revised securitisation framework for the regulatory capital treatment of securitization investments. ‘Securitization guruCarol Hitselbergercan advise on any major ABS asset class’, and provides ‘serious credibility’ to a team which also includes experienced practitioners Jason Kravitt and Paul Forrester. Other recommended partners include Keith Oberkfell, who is praised for his ‘particularly strong knowledge of CLOs and student loans’, Christopher Brady, ‘an expert on all aspects of warehouse financings and RMBS/CMBS’, Eric Reilly, who has ‘an excellent knowledge of the warehouse finance space for both commercial and residential mortgages’, Amanda Baker, ‘who has an excellent knowledge of auto ABS’ and Joshua Cohn, who is ‘very strong on derivatives work’.

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United States: Government

Within Government contracts, tier 4

Mayer Brown’s practice leader Marcia Madsen has built an excellent reputation around her government contracts expertise, acting for contractors in every stage of the awarding process and during contract performance. Her team defended Consolidated Nuclear Security against bid protests for a $22.8bn contract awarded by the National Nuclear Security Administration for the consolidation and management of two facilities in the Y-12 National Security Complex and the Pantex Plant. In other work, it defended Lockheed Martin in bid protests regarding the contract award for the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile program, and regarding a task order for infrastructure hosting and centralized connectivity services from the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services. Other names to note are Cameron Hamrick and David Dowd, all based in Washington DC.

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Within Government relations, tier 4

Much of Mayer Brown’s work pertains to ongoing legal and strategic advice on legislative and regulatory initiatives across a variety of sectors including energy, telecoms and financial services. It supported Google on obtaining driverless car testing legislation in California, Florida and Nevada, and carried out an advocacy project on behalf of cable advertising representation firm Viamedia. Senior adviser Toby Moffett and his consulting firm team joined in May 2014, adding a strong Africa focus to the Washington DC-based team. Real estate and land use expert Edgar Khalatian joined the team in Los Angeles in March 2014.

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United States: Industry focus

Within Environment: litigation, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

The team at Mayer Brown is spread across offices in Chicago, New York and Washington DC, and covers all environmental litigation matters. It has represented Arkema in a case against the EPA concerning the cap-and-trade system for HCFC production in 2010 and is continuously representing the client and others on the same matter, while the allowance system is refined. In another case, it is defending CSX as part-owner of Conrail against numerous class and individual claims alleging personal injury and property damage through a train derailment and the release of vinyl chloride from a breached tank car. The team also represented Dow Chemical in public nuisance claims brought by Mississippi property owners harmed by Hurricane Katrina, alleging that greenhouse gas emissions caused ocean warming, which in turn reinforced the hurricane. After the district court dismissed the suit, the plaintiffs filed a petition for mandamus in the Supreme Court and re-filed the action in the district court, but both were dismissed. Other recent cases involved CWA, CAA and CERCLA litigation. The group is co-led by Rich Bulger and Mark Ter Molen, who are both based in Chicago.

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Within Insurance: non-contentious, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown’s transaction practice provides ‘a high-quality service as well as exceptional knowledge’ and represents insurers, reinsurers, banks, private equity firms and other investors in a range of matters with particular focus on M&A, insurance-linked securities, capital markets and corporate finance. The team is led from New York by James Woods and Stephen Rooney, with Rooney recently representing Everglades Re in a $1.5bn hurricane catastrophe bond offering to Citizens Property Insurance Company. Top clients include Hellman & Friedman, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America, which the firm recently represented in its $800m syndicated credit facility. Chicago-based Edward Best recently represented Certas Home & Auto Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, in its acquisition of State Farm’s Canadian businesses. David Alberts of New York and Chicago-based tax expert George Craven are names to note.

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United States: Intellectual property

Within Patent litigation: full coverage, tier 5

Mayer Brown’s ‘outstanding’ team includes a number of technical experts, experienced litigators and appellate lawyers, and the IP litigation practice is strengthened by the expertise of the firm’s dedicated e-discovery group. In a recent highlight, it successfully represented the defendant Google in buySAFE Inc v Google, invalidating a key patent covering a guaranty service for online transactions. It also prevailed for five defendants including American Airlines, when the plaintiff’s patents covering methods of currency conversion were declared invalid due to lack of patentable subject matter. Other noteworthy clients include General Motors, Bristol-Myers Squibb and ViiV Healthcare; New York-based Lisa Ferri and Brian Nolan represented the latter in a Hatch-Waxman case against Mylan concerning Lexiva, a HIV treatment. Alan Grimaldi and John Mancini head the practice group from Washington DC and New York respectively.

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Within Patent litigation: International Trade Commission, tier 4

Mayer Brown’s group is co-chaired by Alan Grimaldi and Jamie Beaber, the latter of whom joined from Steptoe & Johnson LLP in May 2014. The firm successfully affirmed a non-violation verdict given by the ITC on behalf of LG in a federal appeal, and also defended LG against complaints filed by Tela Innovations and Black Hills Media regarding the importation of certain integrated circuits and digital media devices. Gary Hnath and John Mancini are the other key figures in the team, acting for clients including Ninestar Image Tech, Seine Tech and BMC Medical Company. The group is based in Washington DC.

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Within Trademarks: litigation, tier 5

The ‘extremely capable’ team at Mayer Brown is led by John Mancini in New York. Further notable trademark litigators include Richard Assmus in Chicago and newly promoted partner Allison Levine Stillman in New York. It has been handling several trademark disputes for Nestlé, including a recent suit against HiLine Coffee Company regarding trademark and trade dress infringement of the plaintiff’s Nespresso capsules for espresso machines. It also continues to represent the lifestyle magazine publisher DM Luxury in a suit against Celebrity Cruises regarding the defendant’s use of the Modern Luxury mark and its application to register the mark ‘That’s Modern Luxury’.

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Within Private equity funds, tier 4

Although Mayer Brown handles a wide range of funds, it primarily focuses on real estate funds, leveraging the particularly strong reputation of its real estate practice. Aside from its real estate fund capabilities, a notable recent highlight for the primarily Chicago-based team was when James Carlson led the team’s advice to The Jordan Company on the formation of The Resolute Fund III, a leveraged buyout fund targeting middle-market companies across various industries, which closed in April 2014 on $3.2bn, beating its original $3bn target. Although the group primarily advises sponsors, it also represents investor clients, including public and private pension plans, as well as endowments. Co-led by John Noell and Lennine Occhino, the ‘very responsive’ team provides ‘a fantastic level service’ and ‘provides the requested work products within required time frames’. Jeffrey Legault joined the New York office from Reed Smith LLP in August 2014.

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United States: Labor and employment

Within Employee benefits and executive compensation, tier 4

Maureen Gorman in New York leads the Mayer Brown team that increasingly focuses on pension plan de-risking and M&A-related EBEC matters as well as qualified and welfare plan work. Overall, EBEC issues remain a staple for the group. Gorman is assisting UBS Global Asset Management with obtaining regulatory guidance on lifetime income products for 401(k) plans. Debra Hoffman in Chicago represented a private investment fund in several acquisitions and dispositions of portfolio companies and advised on benefits-related follow-up work. Nancy Ross joined the team in Chicago, focusing on employee benefits class action litigation and ERISA counseling.

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Within ERISA litigation , tier 4

Mayer Brown significantly strengthened its ERISA offering with the recruitment of ‘impressive litigator’ Nancy Ross, who joins the Chicago office from McDermott Will & Emery LLP. Ross is representing FreightCar America in litigation arising from the termination of retiree medical benefits. Ross also represents GEICO in a claim brought by a medical association involving out-of-network medical services provided to the client’s employee. Washington DC-based Brian Netter is leading for Lockheed Martin in a putative class action alleging its 401(k) plans were subject to unreasonable fees and imprudent investment fund offerings. Other clients include AXA Rosenberg and Liberty Mutual.

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Within Immigration, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown features in the ranking for the first time having recruited Elizabeth Stern, Paul Virtue and Grace Shie in April 2014 from Baker & McKenzie LLP to build an immigration practice. Areas of expertise include non-immigrant, residency and training visas, immigration planning for acquisitions and restructurings, compliance support and risk analysis and audit for global business visitor travel. It recently represented Nasscom before US Congress regarding immigration legislation reform, and is now working with the client to develop legislative strategy. The team also has experience of worksite investigations and of formulating crisis management and prevention strategies for clients from the agricultural and restaurant sectors. Other names on its client roster include American Express, CTIS and Advansys. All individuals mentioned are based in the firm’s Washington DC office.

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United States: Litigation

Within Commercial litigation, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown has a ‘strong appellate practice that excels in e-discovery’, as well as ‘very deep substantive expertise in financial litigation’. Reginald Goeke in Washington DC has an enviable track record of representing banks in commercial disputes. Lori Lightfoot in Chicago embodies the firm’s ‘strong trial capability’. Bronwyn Pollock in Los Angeles is also recommended. Washington DC-based Carmine Zarlenga secured a summary judgment victory for Nestlé USA in an MDL consisting of more than 90 federal lawsuits. Other major clients include Google and AT&T Mobility.

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Within International trade, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Among the best for customs law’, Mayer Brown provides ‘service of the highest level in all aspects’. From Washington DC, Duane Layton heads a broad practice that also spans export controls, WTO disputes, trade remedies and trade policy matters and benefits from global platforms in China, Belgium, Singapore and Vietnam. Among the team’s recent highlights, Layton acted alongside the ‘knowledgeable and client-focusedSydney Mintzer to represent the Government of Indonesia in its WTO challenge against Australian measures requiring plain packaging on tobacco products. On the FCPA side, Simeon Kriesberg is leading the firm’s ongoing advice to Dow Chemical on anti-corruption and trade compliance risks. Timothy Keeler, Michael Kantor and Matthew McConkey are also key names.

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Within Product liability and mass tort defense: toxic tort, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Michael Olsen heads the Chicago-based team at Mayer Brown, which works closely with the firm’s substantial environmental practice to advise on major claims – involving both products and facilities – nationwide. Craig Woods has represented clients in cases involving asbestos, silica and diacetyl; he represents a Fortune 500 company in a 1,300-plaintiff consolidated case arising out of sales of isocyanates for use in coal mine roof and ventilation control polyurethane products. Mark Ter Molen has represented an impressive array of clients – including Dow Chemical Company, Union Carbide and Cargill – in high-profile mass torts and class actions. Counsel Jaimy Hamburg has experience defending clients in various claims, including those arising from petroleum refineries, mining sites, dioxins and solvents.

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Within Securities: shareholder litigation, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

The New York office of Mayer Brown is busy with financial crisis-related matters. Co-chair of the global securities litigation and enforcement group Joseph De Simone, and Richard Spehr, are representing a leading insurer in huge securities and derivative actions. Matthew Ingber and Christopher Houpt advised BNY Mellon in litigation arising from its role as trustee of $8.5bn in RMBS deals. Steven Wolowitz is defending Société Générale against allegations of financial benchmark manipulation. The practice’s other co-chairs Matthew Rossi, who joined from the SEC, and Richard Rosenfeld work from Washington DC, where Laurence Urgenson and Audrey Harris joined from Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Michele Odorizzi in Chicago is also recommended. The firm advises major financial institutions including CIBC, Morgan Stanley and UBS.

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Within Supreme Court and appellate, Mayer Brown is a first tier firm,

Mayer Brown is ‘a go-to firm for high-stakes appellate work’. The ‘very strongStephen Shapiro, Andrew Pincus, Evan Tager, Archis Parasharami, Kevin Ranlett and Donald Falk (who ‘should be on every shortlist for high-stakes appellate work and US Supreme Court work’) form ‘an impressive team of big-hitting partners’. The firm recently represented Ray Haluch Gravel in Ray Haluch Gravel v Central Pension Fund of the International Union of Operating Engineers and participating employers, in which the firm successfully reversed a First Circuit decision; the widely esteemed Dan Himmelfarb argued the case. The firm also had a banner year in the appeals courts: for instance, Falk won a victory in the California Supreme Court on behalf of Target in Verdugo v Target, where the plaintiffs brought a wrongful-death action against the client for failing to make an automated external defibrillator available to a customer who died from cardiac arrest while shopping. One client enthuses: ‘no firm is better’.

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Within Trade secrets, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Alan Grimaldi and John Mancini are the significant names at Mayer Brown in a team notable for its global reach into Europe and Asia and also for its trial lawyer and appellate-level expertise. The firm is active across a range of industries including biotechnology, food products, and pharmaceuticals. In a highlight, Mancini is currently assisting Cricket Wireless in M Seven System Limited v Leap Wireless International et al, a federal district court case involving claims of trade secret misappropriation, copyright infringement and violation of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, in which it is alleged that a former employee of the client worked with a group of subcontractors in Korea to steal a source code. The firm’s eclectic client roster also includes Faiveley Transport and Avago Technologies.

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Within White-collar criminal defense , tier 5

At Mayer Brown the white-collar team has seen some expansion in its Washington DC office with the arrival of FCPA specialist Laurence Urgenson and Audrey Harris from Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Also based in Washington DC is department co-chair Kelly Kramer who wins praise for his ‘tenacity and high-level of skill in courtroom litigation’. Kramer is currently handling the appeal of former Congressman Richard Renzi who was indicted on public corruption, fraud, and money laundering charges. Chicago-based William Michael co-leads the practice and has been conducting an investigation on behalf of Sweett Group in both a DOJ and UK SFO investigation into allegations of bribery connected to a $100m hospital construction project in Morocco. Other highlights for the team include representing 14 Swiss banks in connection with tax evasion issues and conducting an independent investigation for the audit committee of SandRidge Energy into allegations raised against the CEO and chairman pertaining to self-dealing and front-running of various business opportunities.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

Within M&A: large deals ($1bn+), tier 6

Mayer Brown’s convincing global platform brings it a healthy flow of cross-border transactions. With genuine credibility in the US, Europe, Asia and South America, it has the network and resources to work efficiently on multi-jurisdictional deals. The firm has a particularly strong record in the financial institutions (including insurance) space, and in chemicals, life sciences and energy. Key clients include ACE, Capital One Financial Corporation, Caterpillar, ConocoPhillips, The Dow Chemical Company, Mitsui & Co, Wells Fargo & Company and Yum! Brands. The core of the M&A practice sits in Chicago and New York, while it has growing reputation in the energy sector thanks to the efforts of the sizeable Houston office. In addition, the Palo Alto office continues to expand, as does the Los Angeles branch. A large proportion of the team’s deals are in the $500m to $1bn range, although it does frequently work on transactions valued in excess of $1bn. On the cross-border front it advised The Jordan Company II, The Resolute Fund II SIE, and Milestone Aviation Group on the $1.78bn sale of Ireland-based aviation finance company Milestone to GE Capital Aviation Funding. In addition, the firm advised Desjardins Group, the largest cooperative financial group in Canada, on the US and international aspects of its $1.5bn acquisition of State Farm’s Canadian property, casualty and life insurance businesses; the deal also involved the purchase of its mutual fund, loan and living benefit companies and was led by Chicago partner Edward Best, a recognized expert in insurance-sector M&A. Best is also co-leader of the capital markets team. Fellow Chicago partner Marc Sperber is a leader in the chemicals sector and heads the firm’s relationship with Dow Chemicals. New York’s Philip Brandes is ‘awesome’ and led on the aforementioned Jordan Company transaction. Chicago partners William Kucera and Jodi Simala are co-chairs of the M&A practice in the Americas. The team is ‘extremely capable’, ‘professional’, and has ‘sound judgment’.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Within Technology: data protection and privacy, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown’s data protection and privacy practice regularly advises major corporations worldwide on complying with data protection and privacy regulations and developing safe data transfer methods – particular experience includes developing data breach notification policies and other security compliance enterprise management systems. A recent work highlight was representing Spokeo in the Supreme Court with regard to cybersecurity matters on its website. The key contacts for this practice area are Rebecca Eisner in Chicago, John Mancini in New York and Jeffrey Taft in Washington DC; also in Washington DC is recent addition to the team Marcus Christian, who was previously an executive assistant attorney at the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Florida.

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Within Technology: outsourcing, Mayer Brown is a first tier firm,

Rebecca Eisner and Brad Peterson, both based in Chicago, are the key contacts of Mayer Brown’s business and technology outsourcing practice, which has built a strong reputation for advanced knowledge in ITO and BPO transactions, including multi-sourcing, next generation strategic sourcing, renegotiations, disputes and terminations as well as issues regarding offshore providers and divestitures. For Wolters Kluwer, the team negotiated with Microsoft in relation to an office 365 cloud solution. Other mandates include advising an international chain of hotels on the outsourcing of equipment to an office software solution company. Thomson Reuters, Cargill, CAN Financial Corporation, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Target are also key clients. Paul Roy in Chicago and Daniel Masur in Washington DC are further names to note.

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Within Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown’s telecoms team is mainly noted for its legislative and regulatory expertise but also handles nationwide litigation in the telecoms space. The department is led by Howard Waltzman, who is recognized for his legislative drafting expertise, and Angela Giancarlo, who served as chief of staff and senior legal adviser to Commissioner Robert McDowell. Giancarlo, who focuses predominantly on the domestic and international wireless, satellite, and broadband sectors, is advising Wells Fargo Securities analysts on legislative and regulatory matters that have the potential to effect investment recommendations. The team also handled legal and strategic work for CTIA-The Wireless Association; Waltzman and Giancarlo are, among other things, advising it on the FCC’s implementation and application of the Communications Act of 1934, the Telecoms Act of 1996, and the new spectrum and public policy-related provisions in the Middle Class Tax Relief Act and Job Creation Act of 2012. Other key clients for the department include AT&T, Verizon, and ARRIS. Theodore Livingston is another name to note.

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United States: Real estate and construction

Within Construction, tier 4

Mayer Brown in Chicago has a ‘terrific’ group of ‘responsive counsel who are especially good on complex construction initiatives’. The group has ‘extraordinary industry knowledge’ of energy infrastructure and transportation projects, is strong with EPC contracts for various commercial buildings, and particularly adept in planning and design work. The 11-attorney group is chaired by Joanna Horsnail. It is providing ongoing advice to the Texas Department of Transportation to implement projects for PPPs throughout Texas. Significant work from 2014 includes a $400m project for the University of Notre Dame’s campus crossroads project, which will expand the football stadium and connect three new buildings to it. Associate Sara Hess is ‘very responsive and detail oriented’.

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Within Real estate, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown delivers a ‘terrific and responsive’ service; attorneys are ‘both business and legal partners who create value for clients’. Recent work includes Washington DC-based Frank Henneburg leading advice to Clarion Partners during the $800m sale of 47 limited service hotels to Blackstone. Other highlights included advising a real estate development company on the purchase of a development site owned by the Collegiate Church in New York and the acquisition and financing of a 150,000sq ft indoor sports and recreation facility in Waldwick, New Jersey. Key individuals in the ‘deal-friendly’ team include: the ‘highly regardedKeith Willner in Washington DC, the ‘brilliant’ Jeffrey Usow in Chicago, as well as Leonard Rosenberg and the ‘outstandingScott Buser in Palo Alto. Charlotte-based David Saye has ‘an in-depth knowledge of the issues and relationships with regulatory agencies to move projects along’. Marc Shapiro and Jill Block joined the New York office from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP.

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United States: Tax

Within Domestic tax, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown’s practice is spread across New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Houston and Palo Alto. It ‘consistently delivers a high-quality product on budget and on time’. The firm has a diverse practice, with transactional advice on planning, M&A, divestitures and leveraged and structured financings. George Craven in Chicago regularly advises insurance companies on tax matters, and represented MetroCat as the issuer in the structuring of a $200m catastrophe bond offering that funded insurance for New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Another client is Morgan Stanley, which the firm represented as the underwriters in the issuance by Trade MAPS 1 of $1bn of floating rate notes. Key figures in New York include Jason Bazar, who displays ‘exceptional client commitment and strong technical skills’, and Mark Leeds, who has ‘unparalleled expertise and an agile mind’. ‘Font of practical adviceKenneth Klein is based in Washington DC and litigation expert Joel Williamson is based in Chicago.

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Within Financial products, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown is a new entrant to the ranking, in part owing to the expertise of Mark Leeds in the New York office, who has a strong track record in advising on capital markets, structured finance, derivatives, financial products and insurance transactions. Recent work highlights for the firm included developing a strategy to hold assets for a sovereign wealth fund to help mitigate the effects of unwanted US tax reporting on its investments. The firm counts among its clients Bank of America, HSBC, Société Générale and Barclays.

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Within International tax, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Although Mayer Brown’s tax team is best known for controversy work, it has invested significantly in expanding its international capabilities. The practice covers the structuring, planning and litigation and counts an array of corporations, financial services institutions, funds and other international players among its client base. Recent work includes acting for Vidara Therapeutics in its acquisition (through a reverse merger) by Horizon Pharma for approximately $660m, and advising Novartis as issuer on an SEC-registered offering of $1.25bn notes due 2024 and $1.85bn notes due 2044. Kenneth Klein in Washington DC, Edward Osterberg in Houston, Larry Langdon in Palo Alto and Joel Williamson in Chicago, are all recommended for contentious work.

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Within Tax controversy, Mayer Brown is a first tier firm,

Mayer Brown is ‘excellent at tax controversy’ work – its large team (including 18 partners) ‘is among the best’. The team is led by the ‘skillfulJoel Williamson and includes former IRS commissioner Larry Langdon, who has a great reputation in the market. It is particularly noted for its ability to handle large and high-profile US transfer pricing cases, and is representing Eaton Corporation in litigation challenging tax deficiencies for 2005/06 claimed by the IRS relating to its transfer pricing products manufactured in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republican and sold to its US subsidiaries. The group is also acting for Tyco (and associated corporations) with respect to the deductibility of interest paid by Tyco entities in the US to a related finance company in Switzerland. Thomas Durham and Charles Triplett in Washington DC are also noted.

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Latin America: International firms

Within Banking and finance, Mayer Brown is a second tier firm,

Mayer Brown remains one of the major international players in Latin America. For years it has successfully targeted the key Latin America markets, although in recent times it has also gained a reputation for transactions emanating from less developed markets such as several Central American states. It is prominent in Colombia and Peru, and has ‘good banking relationships’ with clients such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC and Citibank. Structured finance is a key strength of the firm globally, and it has applied this expertise to the Latin America market with considerable success. Other areas of expertise include project finance, particularly mining sector financings and wind farm projects. New York and Washington DC partner Christopher Erckert, a fluent Spanish and Portuguese speaker, has worked on a series of project bonds, most notably in Peru. In April 2014, he and New York partner David Bakst advised BNP Paribas and HSBC as underwriters on a $432m project bond issuance by Abengoa Transmisión Sur, the project relating to the design, construction, development, ownership and operation of a transmission line which will deliver power connectivity from Lima to south-western Peru. Chicago partner Douglas Doetsch heads the Latin America practice and co-heads the global banking and finance practice, and is a prominent name in Latin America related structured finance transactions and securitisations. In November 2013 he advised Citigroup and Bank of America Merrill Lynch as underwriters on the $450m Rule 144A/Reg. S bond offering of airline ticket receivables by the Chile-based LATAM Airlines Group. New York partner David Duffee is recommended for syndicated bank lending, acquisition financing and restructurings in Latin America, along with Chicago partner James Patti for general lending and structured finance.

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Within Capital markets, tier 4

Mayer Brown has a longstanding connection to Latin America, and in the capital markets arena this is most evident in its structured finance and securitisation track record. It has also leveraged its infrastructure and project finance expertise into a flourishing project bonds practice, particularly in Mexico and Peru, and is leading the way in the developing covered bond market in Latin America. The firm benefits from solid links to many influential banks which frequently act as underwriters in the Latin America region, such as HSBC, Citibank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse, and it also represents a number of Latin American financial institutions as issuers. In 2013 it acted for Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley as the underwriters on a $300m secured amortising bond offering by Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, Argentina’s national airport operator, to finance new construction works at the country’s main international airport. Chicago-based head of the Latin America practice and co-head of the global banking and finance practice Douglas Doetsch is a key figure on structured finance transactions in the region, and in 2013 advised the underwriters in relation to Chile-based LATAM Airlines Group’s $450m Rule 144A/Reg. S bond offering of airline ticket receivables, marking the first securitisation of airline ticket receivables in Latin America since 2002. Chicago partner James Patti is another pivotal member of the practice, as are New York partners David Bakst and John Berkery. Chicago-based Christopher Erckert is a prominent figure on the project bonds side, leading the team on several recent deals including acting for the underwriters on Abengoa Transmisión Sur’s $432m senior secured project bond to finance the design, construction, development, ownership and operation of a transmission line to deliver power connectivity from Lima to south-western Peru. Relations with Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown LLP gives the firm additional credibility in Latin America’s largest economy.

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Within Corporate and M&A, tier 4

Mayer Brown is well connected in Latin America, not just via Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown LLP in Brazil, but also through its focus on the region from key offices such as New York, Chicago and Houston. It has a particularly prolific record in the energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors. In early 2014 it advised Helix Energy Solutions on agreements with Siem Offshore and Petrobras to provide two new-build monohull intervention vessels to be employed offshore Brazil. The firm also has a strong focus on Mexico, and has demonstrated a keen interest in the impact of the energy reforms there and what they may lead to in terms of cross-border investment; Houston partners Dallas Parker and Jose Valera both carry some authority on this subject. Fellow Houston partner Pablo Ferrante is another prominent figure on Latin America transactions, particularly in the oil and gas sector, and Chicago partner Matthew Posthuma is well regarded for private equity and real estate investment transactions.

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Within Projects and energy, Mayer Brown is a first tier firm,

Mayer Brown has an illustrious record in Latin America, particularly in relation to project finance and latterly in the project bonds segment. The firm is equally respected amongst sponsors and lenders and is known for its expertise in the mining, power and infrastructure sectors. Many recognise the firm’s reputation amongst ECAs and MLAs. Wind farm projects are also a growing area of activity for the Latin America team. In 2013, the firm represented the lenders on the $130m 50MW Orosi wind power project in Costa Rica. Chicago partner and co-chair of the global projects group Barry Machlin was the lead partner on the project and heads the team that is representing the Panama Canal Authority in connection with its $5.25bn expansion programme. New York and Washington DC partner Christopher Erckert, who speaks Spanish and Portuguese fluently, has an excellent reputation in the projects environment and has taken a series of advisory roles in headline infrastructure and project bond transactions. In April 2014, he and New York partner David Bakst led the team that advised BNP Paribas and HSBC as underwriters on the $432bn project bond issuance by Abengoa Transmisión Sur. The project bond is connected to the design, construction, development, ownership and operation of a transmission line that will deliver power connectivity from Lima to south-western Peru.

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Further information on Mayer Brown

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Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong


Latin America: International firms


Offices in London


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United States

Offices in Washington DC, New York, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Charlotte, and Palo Alto


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