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United States: Antitrust
Mayer Brown’s strong antitrust practice is active in investigations into LIBOR as well as the autoparts and capacitors industries. The group, which is spread across the firm’s offices in Washington DC, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Palo Alto, also defends a variety of clients in cartel-related litigation. The department was boosted by the return of ‘fabulous lawyer’ Mark Ryan, who rejoined the firm’s Washington DC office as global chair of the antitrust and competition practice, following a tenure as director of litigation at the DOJ’s Antitrust Division. William Stallings also joined the team after holding several key positions in the Antitrust Division. In a recent highlight, Chicago-based Andrew Marovitz and Thomas Panoff acted as co-counsel to steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal. Other key clients include Nestlé, Cargill and HSBC. Britt Miller in Chicago, Robert Bloch and Adam Hudes are noted. All lawyers work in Washington DC except where stated otherwise.
Civil litigation/class actions
Mayer Brown is noted for its ‘excellent value for money’ as well as for the ‘knowledge and understanding’ of its lawyers. A cross-office team of New York and Paris attorneys, including Richard Steuer, is representing Société Générale in the civil litigation that followed the LIBOR manipulation scandal, which involved several international banks. In Washington DC, Carmine Zarlenga and Adam Hudes are leading advice to Nestlé USA in a sizeable MDL consisting of over 90 federal lawsuits alleging that the multinational food company conspired with Mars, Hershey and Cadbury to fix the price of chocolate products sold in the US. Chicago-based Britt Miller, who is ‘very efficient and has excellent client interaction skills’, and Palo Alto-based Edward Johnson, who recently acted for Google, are additional key contacts.
United States: Dispute resolution
Mayer Brown’s team is ‘among the top appellate practices’ and ‘works on high-quality appellate cases in an extremely efficient manner’. The team is undertaking advocacy in some of most notable cases of the year, including the closely watched Supreme Court case of Spokeo v Robins, which relates to the publication of incorrect material online and will determine the question of whether individuals who have not suffered an injury have sufficient standing to bring a claim; Andrew Pincus is leading the team representing Spokeo, an online information aggregator. Recently promoted partner Michael Kimberly is acting for the plaintiff in Shapiro v McManus, which pertains to redistricting. Other clients include Medtronic, which the firm is defending in medical devices litigation, and BNY Mellon, where the team is handling high-profile financial disputes. Practice head and founder of the Supreme Court and appellate litigation group Stephen Shapiro is another name to note.
Andrew Pincus - Mayer Brown
Stephen Shapiro - Mayer Brown
Financial services: litigation
Led out of New York by Mark Hanchet and Matthew Ingber, Mayer Brown’s 30-partner global group provides ‘value for money and a client-oriented service’ to a compelling mix of financial institutions during domestic issues, as well as cross-border matters, where the firm is particularly strong at providing guidance on the extra-territorial effect of US regulations. The firm’s recent work for cornerstone client HSBC is illustrative of the diversity of mandates handled by the group, including as it does representation of the bank in numerous cases brought against it in the US for its RMBS exposures and also as one of a number of banks that are being sued under the Anti-Terrorism Act. Ingber has been particularly active representing The Bank of New York Mellon in various disputes arising out of its role as trustee of RMBS. Other highlights included the firm’s continued representation of Société Générale as a defendant in LIBOR-fixing cases. Hanchet is praised for his ‘ability to navigate complex financial services matters’, and is recommended alongside the ‘responsive and practical’ Matthew Wargin and ‘the articulate and knowledgeable’ Christopher Houpt.
General commercial disputes
Mayer Brown added several significant partners to its ranks in 2015; among others, arbitration specialist B Ted Howes joined in New York from McDermott Will & Emery LLP, and cybersecurity expert Rajesh De re-joined the Washington DC office after serving as general counsel to the National Security Agency. Its appellate practice is particularly strong; a cross-office team recently acted for Spokeo in a Fair Credit Reporting Act case in the Supreme Court. Leading figures in the team include Lori Lightfoot in Chicago, Reginald Goeke in Washington DC and Los Angeles-based Bronwyn Pollock.
Headed out of Washington DC by Duane Layton and aided by a significant Asian presence, in particular, Mayer Brown provides a broad-ranging international trade service to governments, multinational corporates and trade associations. With a number of former government lawyers in its ranks, the team is well placed to provide high-level trade policy advice on WTO and international free trade agreements. On the trade remedies side, although it is traditionally best known for representing respondents, the firm recently secured a major mandate from US Steel as a petitioner in an anti-dumping case targeting US imports of certain hot-rolled steel from Japan. Sydney Mintzer has a strong reputation in the market and is providing global trade compliance advice to Federal Mogul Motorparts. Simeon Kriesberg is recommended for FCPA and CFIUS matters.
Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense
Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense - ranked: tier 3
Mayer Brown’s department co-head Henninger Bullock, who is based in New York, has been representing UCB and its subsidiary Schwarz Pharma in innovator liability litigation arising from use of generic versions of the drug Reglan; the Iowa Supreme Court, Missouri Court of Appeals and Florida First District Court of Appeal affirmed dismissals of claims against Schwarz Pharma. Fellow practice co-head Daniel Ring in Chicago, along with Andrew Tauber in Washington DC, have been leading the practice in its role as national counsel to Medtronic in numerous matters. In 2015, the team won a significant number of dismissals and appeals in litigation concerning Medtronic’s Infuse bone grafting device. Practice co-head Michael Olsen in Chicago is also recommended.
Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense
At Mayer Brown, Chicago-based practice co-heads Michael Olsen and Daniel Ring are representing Union Carbide and its former subsidiary Amchem Products (now operating as Bayer CropScience) in asbestos litigation comprising thousands of cases across the country. Evan Tager and Miriam Nemetz in Washington DC, along with Chicago-based Mark Molen are defending CSX Transportation in more than 25 lawsuits involving over 1,200 individuals alleging personal injury and property damage arising from a train derailment in 2012, which resulted in the release of vinyl chloride from a breached tanker car. New York-based practice co-head Henninger Bullock is also recommended.
Securities litigation - defense
The New York office of Mayer Brown is home to two co-heads of the firm’s securities litigation and corporate governance action group in the form of Joseph De Simone and Richard Rosenfeld, with Washington DC-based Matthew Rossi the third. De Simone and Richard Spehr are currently engaged in massive securities and derivative actions for a major financial institution concerning complex financial instruments and mortgage-backed securities. A strong team in New York that includes Matthew Ingber and Christopher Houpt is engaged in multibillion-dollar matters for Bank of New York Mellon that relate to its role as trustee in RMBS transactions. Steven Wolowitz is also central to the practice and he is acting for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in a $200m dispute. Michele Odorizzi in Chicago is also recommended.
White-collar criminal defense
Mayer Brown has an ‘outstanding’ white-collar practice headed by the ‘meticulous, charismatic and strategic’ Kelly Kramer, who works in Washington DC, and the Chicago-based William Michael. Kramer is acting for former US congressman Richard Renzi in a case that involves claims of public corruption, fraud and money laundering. Another client is the Federative Republic of Brazil, which he is assisting with its quest to secure the repatriation of the $400m ‘Bahia Emerald’. Michael is leading the firm’s representation of construction company Sweett Group, which involves conducting an internal investigation and representing the client before the DOJ. He also represented a former hedge fund manager accused of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Laurence Urgenson in Washington DC is representing Las Vegas Sands in an FCPA investigation involving the client’s operations in Macau.
United States: Finance
Asset finance and leasing
Mayer Brown has longstanding experience in assisting with railcar and aircraft financings, with particular expertise acting for lenders. The group, led by New York-based George Miller, recently represented Credit Suisse as an agent for a $1bn syndicated railcar warehouse facility, advised Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Global Markets as initial purchasers on a Rule 144A $500m offering by BNSF Railway, and assisted Bank of America Merrill Lynch with a proposed $270m interim financing of the acquisition of rolling stock for the All Aboard Florida passenger rail project. Other recent work includes advising on EETCs and lease securitization structures. Julie Gillespie in Chicago is another name to note.
Capital markets: debt offerings
Mayer Brown has capital markets practitioners based in its New York, Chicago, Houston and Palo Alto offices as well as in offices outside the US, giving it a good range in terms of geography and client base. Chicago-based Edward Best leads the group; he recently worked alongside David Bakst and Jennifer Carlson in advising the dealers, including Citigroup Global Markets, on the setting up of Agricultural Bank of China’s $10bn senior MTN program. They also acted for Citi as the representative of several underwriters in Agricultural Bank of China’s subsequent $1.25bn notes offering. Out of Houston, Harry Beaudry, Bill Hart and William Heller handled a $1.5bn notes offering for Noble Energy while Chicago’s David Schuette assisted biopharma company Baxalta with its issuance of notes worth $5bn.
Capital markets: equity offerings
Mayer Brown is noted for its strength in the financial services sector, handling equity transactions on both the issuer and manager side. Michael Hermsen handled Prologis’ $750m at-the-market equity offering program; Edward Best acted for BMO Capital Markets group as book-running manager in Fenix Parts’ IPO of 14 million shares; and Palo Alto-based Jennifer Carlson advised Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse on Workiva’s $101m IPO. Other key figures include Lawrence Hamilton, who represented Duff & Phelps Global Utility Income Fund in its $100m issuance of preferred shares, and Houston-based Dallas Parker, who acted for Bonanza Creek Energy in its $203m shares. Emerald Oil and Jefferies are also key clients.
Capital markets: global offerings
In 2015, Mayer Brown continued to handle a steady stream of capital market work from Canadian, European and Asian clients. Notable work for underwriters included advising JPMorgan Securities on the issuance of €500m worth of floating-rate notes due 2019 and €600m worth of notes due 2023 by Archer-Daniels-Midland. On the issuer side, Chicago-based practice head Edward Best assisted ACE Limited with its $5.3bn issuance of four tranches of senior notes, respectively due in 2020, 2022, 2026 and 2045, as well as on the issuance of $800m worth of 3.15% senior notes due 2025. Key clients also include TransCanada PipeLines, La Caisse centrale Desjardins du Québec, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
Mayer Brown continues to act on high-yield deals for issuers and, to a lesser extent, underwriters. Highlights from 2015 included Paul Theiss and John Berkery advising Isle of Capri Casinos on its offer to exchange $150m of notes issued in a private offering with $150m of registered notes, and Harry Beaudry, Bill Hart and William Heller handling Halcón Resources’ $700m high-yield notes. On the underwriter side, Douglas Doetsch and Gabriela Sakamoto advised the underwriters, including Nomura Securities International, on ACI Airport SudAmerica’s $200m high-yield notes offering, and Berkery and practice head Edward Best acted for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Oshkosh Corporation’s $250m notes offering. Best, Theiss, Beaudry and Doetsch are based in Chicago, Berkery is located in New York, and Heller works out of Houston.
Mayer Brown primarily operates in the middle-market space, but will on occasion handle multibillion-dollar financings for borrowers and lenders. For example, it advised Whirlpool in late 2014 on two syndicated revolving credit facilities: a $2bn facility under a long-term credit agreement and a $1bn facility under a 364-day credit agreement; New York partners David Duffee and Adam Wolk led the advice. The pair subsequently advised Whirlpool and its subsidiaries on a $500m 364-day senior revolving credit facility. The team routinely handles work in the energy space, and individuals from the Houston team assisted the Royal Bank of Canada, as administrative and collateral agent, on refinancing Sanchez Production Partners’ $500m secured syndicated credit facility. Douglas Doetsch, who is based across the firm’s Chicago and New York offices, leads the team, which has grown laterally through the hires of Frederick Fisher in Chicago and Washington DC-based Andrew Young, who joined from Greenberg Traurig, LLP and K&L Gates respectively. It is a key name for Latin America financing and it bolstered this practice further in 2015 by opening a satellite office in Mexico City.
Financial services: regulatory
Headed out of Washington DC by the ‘impressive’ Thomas Delaney, Mayer Brown’s seven-partner team provides ‘concise and timely advice’ to banks, broker-dealers and asset management companies across the spectrum of regulatory issues impacting their businesses. Able to tap into the resources of a large international network of offices, the firm is particularly attuned to assisting international banks on issues relating to the extraterritorial reach of Dodd-Frank, as well as on their business in the US. Splitting his time between London and Washington DC, David Sahr is regularly called upon to advise foreign banks on the regulatory impact of expanding their operations to the US and is also seen as a ‘solid choice’ for advice across the gamut of Dodd-Frank provisions. Jeffrey Taft’s broad regulatory expertise sees him advising on discrete regulatory issues, as well as providing regulatory input on financial services M&A; in this context, he acted (alongside the corporate group) for Wells Fargo during its acquisition of GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance and Vendor Finance platforms, as well as a portion of its Corporate Finance business. The ‘responsive’ Scott Anenberg, provides ‘very practical advice’ to clients engaged in AML matters, as well as assisting with other regulatory concerns. Jerome Roche is well regarded for his broker-dealer regulatory expertise.
Mayer Brown’s ‘excellent’ project finance department, headed up by Barry Machlin, is composed of 16 lawyers based in Chicago, Houston and Washington DC, and is praised for its ‘knowledge of Latin American business’. Robert Goldberg and Jeffrey Davis advised the lenders, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and ING Capital, on a $500m credit facility for SolarCity Corporation - the largest of its kind for a distributed generation solar project. The loan will finance over 500MW of solar power systems for individuals and corporations. Goldberg and Davis also acted for a syndicate of structured equity investors (comprising GE Financial Services, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Google and Citibank) on the financing of Balko Wind, a 140-turbine, 300MW wind farm in Beaver County, Oklahoma, expected to produce enough energy to power over 100,000 homes. Also on the lender side, the team assisted BNP Paribas with a $4bn credit facility to finance Sasol’s $8.1bn petrochemicals facility in Louisiana, and acted for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the state of Florida’s $1.75bn issuance of private activity bonds to help finance the All Aboard Florida passenger rail project (this was the largest issuance of such bonds in American history). In the PPP space, Joseph Seliga advised the Texas Department of Transportation on the development agreement for the State Highway 288 toll lanes project in Houston, with Blueridge Transportation Group agreeing to expand the scope of the project such that the total investment value reached $850m.
Barry Machlin - Mayer Brown
Joseph Seliga - Mayer Brown
Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
Mayer Brown has secured its fair share of mid-market energy mandates, including an impressive debtor-side matter for an upstream oil and gas company, and assisting JPMorgan as first lien agent in the $4.2bn Chapter 11 of Samson Resources. Drawing on the firm’s financial institution client base, the team’s client roster includes HSBC, Bank of Montreal and CIBC. Its eight-partner team, led by Brian Trust, includes fellow key New York contacts Howard Beltzer and Frederick Hyman, with Thomas Kiriakos, Stuart Rozen and Sean Scott based in Chicago.
Mayer Brown’s ‘large and deep team impresses with its diverse and balanced practice’. The ‘vast and comprehensive’ practice covers a wide range of products, from mortgage-backed and insurance-linked securities to credit cards, marketplace loans and other, more esoteric receivables. The group is noted for its innovative approach and work on first-of-kind transactions, which attracts some of the largest securitization issuers, such as Honda and Macquarie. The practice is divided between New York, Chicago, Charlotte and Washington DC. In Chicago, Carol Hitselberger and Stuart Litwin led advice to the underwriters in the first-ever securitization of solar assets already financed in a tax equity partnership structure, and the ‘innovative and well-regarded’ Jon Van Gorp acted for several funds to set up titling trusts to enable the acquisition and financing of seasoned mortgage loans and real estate owned (REO) properties. In New York, Stephen Rooney is noted for his knowledge of the insurance and structured finance market. The ‘very experienced’ Jason Kravitt in New York and Chicago-based Paul Forrester are also part of the ‘distinguished team’, as are the ‘deeply knowledgeable’ Keith Oberkfell, Christopher Brady (‘an expert in RMBS and CMBS’), Eric Reilly, who is also praised for his knowledge of commercial and residential mortgages, Amanda Baker, known for her expertise in auto ABS, and the ‘respected’ Angela Ulum.
Jason Kravitt - Mayer Brown
Jon Van Gorp - Mayer Brown
Paul Forrester - Mayer Brown
United States: Government
Mayer Brown’s Washington DC-based group is particularly strong in the aerospace, defense and IT sectors. Practice head Marcia Madsen led the representation of Lockheed Martin in a bid protest, and, together with Cameron Hamrick, successfully represented General Motors in claiming the recovery of a pension cost adjustment in a long-running dispute. Another success was scored with the representation of FlightSafety International in challenging the Army’s award of flight training contract to a competitor despite the client having excelled in its performance of a previous contract. David Dowd also comes recommended. All mentioned attorneys are based in Washington DC; the Chicago and Los Angeles offices have a great reputation for acting in state and local government contract-related matters.
Marcia Madsen - Mayer Brown
Mayer Brown advised Google on state and federal regulatory issues concerning its driverless car project, helping obtain first-of-its-kind legislation for vehicles to be tested and operated in Nevada, Florida and California, and assisting with presenting the technology to the Department of Transportation. The firm’s global reach enables it to work on international matters, such as assisting the government of Morocco with a range of topics to be presented to members of Congress, the Department of State and other agencies. Areas of particular expertise include the telecoms and transportation, as well as advising Native American tribes on gaming and online gambling regulation. Land use matters are handled by Edgar Khalatian, while Timothy Keeler and Duane Layton are particularly rated for their international trade experience; all three are based in Washington DC. The group is also strong on a state and local level, with Philip Recht and counsel John Van de Kamp in Los Angeles, and John Janicik in Chicago.
United States: Industry focus
Energy transactions: conventional power
Mayer Brown’s practice is headed by Thomas Moore in Houston and advised Starwood Energy Group Global on its purchase of Quail Run Energy Center, an electric power generation facility in Odessa, Texas. Jeff Dobbs and Robert Goldberg assisted the same client with its acquisition of several other power generation facilities. Andrew Young recently joined the team from K&L Gates.
Energy transactions: oil and gas
Thomas Moore leads the practice at Mayer Brown, which is commended for its responsiveness, knowledge, experience and value for money. Clients include Noble Energy, Emerald Oil, Excelerate Energy and Crestwood Midstream Partners. Francisco Mendez and Andrew Young joined the Washington DC office in 2015; Mendez had been in-house counsel at ExxonMobil Corporation, and Young joined from K&L Gates. Pablo Ferrante is also recommended.
The environmental team at Mayer Brown is well regarded mainly for its expertise in CWA and CAA litigation. In a recent matter, a team led from Chicago by Timothy Bishop is representing a dozen major industry groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation and the American Petroleum Institute, in a complaint filed in the Southern District of Texas challenging the legality of the EPA’s new regulation redefining ‘the waters of the US’ under the CWA. In a CAA-related matter, the team is representing longstanding client US Sugar Corporation in challenging EPA regulations on emissions limits for hazardous air pollutants from industrial, commercial and institutional boilers and process heaters, and is defending the client in a multi-front challenge by the Sierra Club to the Florida sugar industry’s practice of burning cane fields prior to harvest. Other clients include Alexander & Baldwin, American Farm Bureau, CSX Transportation and Foster Poultry Farms. Led by Richard Bulger and Mark Ter Molen from the Chicago office, the team also has boots on the ground in New York and Washington DC.
The ‘superb’ practice at Mayer Brown ‘has both excellent industry and regulatory knowledge and skills’, combined with being ‘responsive and sensitive to client needs’. The department advises insurers, reinsurers, banks and brokers across transactional, capital markets, regulatory and alternative risk transfer issues. ‘Wonderful partner’ James Woods and Stephen Rooney co-chair the practice from New York; Rooney recently advised Bristol-Myers Squibb in a pension de-risking transaction, transferring $1.4bn in liabilities to Prudential. Woods has been active on the regulatory side and recently advised the Worldwide Broker Network on FATCA rules and its implications on brokers, and also advised several clients including Blue Shield of California on cybersecurity issues and cyber risk insurance. Chicago-based Edward Best recently assisted ACE with a senior note issuance totaling $800m. The ‘high-performing’ David Alberts in New York is recommended for his transactional expertise, and Chicago-based Larry Hamilton is ‘knowledgeable on the regulatory side’.
United States: Intellectual property
At Mayer Brown, New York-based John Mancini and his team have particular expertise in digital media copyright. The team frequently represents digital distribution companies in disputes with content owners, particularly from the music industry. Highlights included the representation of Google in a putative class action claiming that it and other defendants failed to ensure that the music they make available for download is properly licensed. The team has also been retained by Spotify to defend two class actions regarding mechanical rights protection. In addition, it has been representing United Airlines in a dispute with Sony Music regarding the defendant’s in-flight entertainment system.
Patent litigation: International Trade Commission
Mayer Brown has ‘a deep technical knowledge and mastery of practicing before the ITC’, and provides ‘expert technical analyses of asserted patents in the infringement and validity contexts’. Jamie Beaber is ‘an excellent first-chair litigator’, who is ‘clearly involved in the day-to-day management and decision-making of his cases’. Gary Hnath is also a key figure, and recently represented a group of respondents, including Ninestar Image Tech, Nano Pacific and Zhuhai Seine Technology, in an investigation brought by Canon concerning toner cartridges. The firm is currently acting for BMC Medical, defending it against ResMed’s bid to exclude sleep apnea products, including CPAP units and masks, from entering the US. Alan Grimaldi and New York-based John Mancini are also recommended.
Patent litigation: full coverage
Mayer Brown’s team is ‘an invaluable resource to clients’, providing ‘zealous and successful representation whilst keeping costs reasonable’, and maintaining ‘an excellent track record of efficient case resolution’. Highlights included representing plaintiff Airbus Helicopters in an infringement claim and protracted dispute with Bell Helicopter, obtaining a permanent injunction against the defendant for the remaining life of the plaintiff’s landing gear patent. The firm also secured a favorable settlement for Bristol-Myers Squibb in its suit against Genentech concerning infringement of patents covering melanoma medication, and acted for Marvell Semiconductor in a suit brought by Emulex, significantly reducing damages from $26m to $5m. Alan Grimaldi, Joseph Mahoney and John Mancini lead the practice from Washington DC, Chicago and New York respectively.
Mayer Brown retains a strong reputation in the trade secret space, not least because of the renowned John Mancini in New York, Dale Giali in Los Angeles and Alan Grimaldi in Washington DC. The group, which is known for its trial and appellate courtroom expertise and global reach into Europe and Asia, is active in a broad range of industries, including biotechnology, food products and pharmaceuticals. Clients include Faiveley Transport and Avago Technologies.
Dale Giali - Mayer Brown
John Mancini - Mayer Brown
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 New York-based Allison Levine Stillman. It has been handling several contentious matters for Nestlé, including a dispute with HiLine Coffee regarding trademark and trade dress infringement of the client’s Nespresso capsules. It also continues to represent the lifestyle magazine publisher DM Luxury in a suit against Celebrity Cruises regarding the defendant’s alleged use of the plaintiff’s Modern Luxury trademark and its application to register the mark ‘That’s Modern Luxury’.
United States: Investment fund formation and management
Private equity funds
Lennine Occhino and John Noell jointly lead Mayer Brown’s team, which acts for a variety of fund clients, including large and boutique asset managers, portfolio companies, banks and insurance companies. The group covers the entire fund lifecycle, ranging from structuring and formation through to investments and exit strategies. Its wide-ranging expertise enables it to advise on a variety of fund structures and investment strategies, including pledge funds and captive funds, as well as on vehicles focused on real estate, venture capital and infrastructure. Noell was lead adviser to Terranum Capital in the formation of its $54m Terranum Capital Latin America Real Estate Fund II, which invests in the development of low and middle-income housing and retail projects in Peru, Colombia and Mexico. Other clients of the practice include UBS, Prudential Real Estate Investors and Clarion Partners. Ugo Ude was promoted to partner in 2015.
United States: Labor and employment
Mayer Brown defends insurers, financial institutions and employers in health and welfare disputes. Chicago-based Nancy Ross, who is also active in retirement plan fiduciary duty matters, successfully represented Liberty Mutual, a provider of self-funded health plans, in litigation it brought against Vermont regarding a state law requiring disclosure of medical claims history from health insurers; the Second Circuit found that the legislation was pre-empted by ERISA. Washington DC-based Brian Netter represents businesses in ERISA fiduciary matters. Other clients include GEICO and Amgen.
Employee benefits and executive compensation
Mayer Brown handles a range of non-M&A-related health and welfare plan matters, including ERISA fiduciary issues and executive compensation negotiations. The team is led by Maureen Gorman in Palo Alto, who has expertise in large pension de-riskings, retiree health plans and employee stock ownership programs. Other names to note include George Craven, who handles pension tax and securities issues, and Lennine Occhino and James Williams, who advised a large financial institution on structuring and creating a 401(k) plan. Clients include CIBC World Markets Corporation, Caterpillar and Tenneco. Unless otherwise stated, all named lawyers are located in Chicago, which is also the home of ERISA litigator Nancy Ross.
Mayer Brown’s immigration group has a ‘business-led service in a very data-driven, commercial and pragmatic manner’. Washington DC-based Elizabeth Espín Stern - who is ‘an inspiration, a catalyst for innovation and exciting to work with’ - leads the firm’s global mobility and migration practice group, which also includes Grace Shie and Paul Virtue. The scope of the practice covers visa and residency applications, management and compliance, and includes an early warning system for risks tied to changes in immigration law. Stern is part of a team that continues to manage American Express’ immigration program, including advisory and consultative services, preparation and filing of visa and work permit applications, development of international staffing strategies and expedited solutions for senior executives and management of immigration-related compliance. The same team also manages CoStar’s global mobility needs, including the full range of visa transactions for employees globally. The broad-ranging client roster also includes Bank Leumi Le-Israel, Princeton International School of Mathematics & Science and Research Now.
Elizabeth Stern - Mayer Brown
United States: M&A/corporate and commercial
M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
Mayer Brown’s sizeable US practice, coupled with its international profile and network, ensures that it continues to be sought out for substantial domestic and cross-border transactions. The ‘service and capability is top flight’, it is ‘practical and collaborative’, and it is ‘a true value add for most deals’. Clients say it excels in ‘upper middle-market and thornier deals, where its capabilities are most valued’. The firm has an especially strong reputation in the financial services sector as well as in energy, chemicals and life sciences. In 2015, it advised Wells Fargo on its $32bn acquisition of GE Capital’s commercial distribution finance and vendor finance platforms and part of its corporate finance business. In addition, the US team had a pivotal role when the firm represented Yum! Brands in the spin-off of its China business to create two independent and publicly traded companies, Yum! China and Yum! Brands. The transaction enables Yum! China to focus on its China growth, with Yum! Brands building its KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands worldwide. Real estate is another core strength of the firm and, in 2015, it advised Prologis on its $5.9bn acquisition of the real estate assets and operating platform of KTR Capital Partners, in what was one of the largest real estate deals of the year. Other clients include ACE, Capital One Financial, Caterpillar, ConocoPhillips, Dow, Macquarie, Mitsui & Co., Sumitomo Corporation of America, and Walton Street Capital. Chicago lawyers William Kucera and Jodi Simala are co-chairs of the M&A practice in the Americas. Kucera is ‘smart and incredibly hard working, but without the nonsense, pretense or pomp’. He ‘brings with him an A-team that delivers a top-tier service in a collaborative and practical way’. Other key partners include fellow Chicago lawyer Marc Sperber, who leads the firm’s relationship with Dow. New York’s Philip Brandes also has an excellent reputation.
United States: Media, technology and telecoms
Mayer Brown boosted its cyber offering with the hire of new practice leader Rajesh De in Washington DC, formerly of the National Security Agency. The team advised a client in the food sector on a significant data breach in its Asian offices involving a third-party vendor. Kendall Burman joined as counsel from the Department of Commerce and has expertise in consumer privacy, and Josh Silverstein joined as an associate from the DOJ and has specialist knowledge of national security issues.
Technology: data protection and privacy
Rajesh De is the newly appointed leader of Mayer Brown’s cybersecurity and data privacy practice, having previously held a position as general counsel at the NSA. Recent work highlights include representing Spokeo in the Supreme Court in an FCRA class action in which the client - an internet search engine that finds people through aggregating public information - allegedly published inaccurate information about the plaintiff that qualifies as a ‘consumer report’ under FCRA rules. Kendall Burman joined as counsel from the Department of Commerce.
Mayer Brown ‘fields experts in the area of real estate outsourcing, they are creative thinkers, and the overall level of service is excellent’, according to one source. Rebecca Eisner in Chicago led recent work for Thomson Reuters in relation to an outsourcing agreement for facility management services for facilities in 13 Latin American countries. Clients are impressed by Washington DC-based Kevin Rang’s ability to ‘resolve difficult issues that arise in negotiating major deals’. Chicago-based Daniel Masur ‘has very strong industry knowledge and an understanding of clients’ business goals; he provides exemplary advice’. Linda Rhodes in Washington DC ‘provides a very good balance of legal judgment and business acumen’. Brad Peterson has been assisting Lumileds - a spin-off of Philips - with software licensing, cloud services, managed service providers, and system integration. Cemex, VF Corporation, and Wolters Kluwer are clients. Joe Pennell of the Chicago office was promoted to the partnership in January 2016 and has a range of expertise spanning ITOs, BPOs and facilities management outsourcing. Paul Roy is recommended.
Brad Peterson - Mayer Brown
Daniel Masur - Mayer Brown
Paul Roy - Mayer Brown
Rebecca Eisner - Mayer Brown
Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory
Mayer Brown’s well regarded telecoms, broadcast and satellite practice is led out of Washington DC by Howard Waltzman and former FCC official Angela Giancarlo, who is noted for her experience in domestic and international wireless, satellite and broadband internet regulatory matters. In the wireless sector, the practice provides ongoing legal and strategic advice to CTIA - The Wireless Association on a series of legislative and regulatory initiatives, including the FCC’s implementation and application of the Communications Act of 1934, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and new spectrum and public policy provisions in the Middle Class Tax Relief Act and Job Creation Act of 2012. Other clients include Wells Fargo Securities and ARRIS.
United States: Real estate and construction
Construction (including construction litigation)
The ‘very knowledgeable and easy-to-work-with’ Joanna Horsnail leads the 27-partner practice at Mayer Brown out of Chicago. The ‘client-friendly’ group garners praise for its ‘very good sense of the current market’ and assists mainly public and private owners and developers on large infrastructure projects. The group handles domestic and cross-border transactions, providing expertise on matters from alternative project delivery to procurement. A team led by Horsnail and Joseph Seliga continues to handle bidding, procurement and negotiation matters on behalf of the Texas Department of Transportation in relation to several PPP highway projects in Texas. The group, including James Tancula, has also been retained by Benteler International to assist with the transactional aspects of the construction of a $900m hot rolling steel mill in Louisiana, including EPC agreements and site diligence. Other highlights included managing contractual work and procurement documentation for Bristol-Myers Squib for the construction of a $900m biologics manufacturing facility in Ireland. Clients also include United Airlines, Acciona Energy North America and City Colleges of Chicago. The ‘intelligent and diligent’ Nathan Galer is recommended.
The team at Mayer Brown is led by Los Angeles-based Edgar Khalatian. It is handling the land use aspects of The Reef project, a 10-acre development in downtown Los Angeles. It is also advising Encore Capital Management and Cal Coast Development on land use matters relating to the redevelopment of a 2-acre site in Hollywood.
Mayer Brown’s team, which spans the firm’s offices in Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Palo Alto and Houston, continued to serve its broad client base on a large number of multimillion-dollar transactions. In addition to expertise in financings, transactions and joint ventures, the team leverages the firm’s international reach to handle cross-border matters for foreign investors. Key mandates included assisting HFZ Capital Group with $1bn in debt and equity financing for the purchase of a development site in New York, and advising a leading real estate investment company on a joint venture with CA Student Housing for the acquisition of three portfolios of student housing campuses. In Washington DC, Nathan McMichael was promoted to partner, while in New York, the team was boosted by the arrival of Kwon Lee from Lee International IP & Law Group. Lee and Chicago-based Brian Davis represented a Korean investor in the $314m acquisition of a bank headquarters complex in Chicago. Other key players are Jeffrey Usow, who leads the practice from Chicago, and Washington DC-based Keith Willner.
United States: Tax
Linklaters LLP continues to build its reputation in the financial products arena and provides tax advice to an outstanding roster of financial institutions. New York-based global head of tax Gordon Warnke and Shane Milam advised ACS and ACS’ yieldco, Saeta Yield, on the tax aspects of the latter’s secondary offering of 51% of its shares and on the M&A transaction with Global Infrastructure Management. It also acted for Visa Europe on the sale of its total share capital to Visa Inc.; this included negotiating the structure of the terms of the €5bn of preferred stock being issued by Visa Inc. in relation to the deal. Mayer Brown’s financial products practice is a respected name in the market. One of the factors underpinning this is the work of Mark Leeds, which includes handling capital markets, structured finance, derivatives, financial products and insurance-related transactions. The team acted for Vanbridge Life and Annuity on the issuance of annuity products sold to wealth fund investors; it also advised Amtrak on the issuance of catastrophe bonds to fund reinsurance of Amtrak’s exposure to storm surge, wind storm and earthquake risk. Clients include Santander Consumer and Barclays Capital.
The ‘responsive’ department at Mayer Brown provides ‘thoughtful, accurate advice’ and is particularly noted for its ‘creativity’ and ‘client dedication’. The team ‘excels in complex mandates’, including cross-border M&A, spin-offs, corporate migrations, structured financings and financial products, and benefits from an ‘outstanding’ reputation for tax controversy. The team advised Altice on its acquisition of Cablevision for $17.7bn, as well as its acquisition of a 70% stake in Suddenlink. It also advised Yum! Brands on the proposed spin-off of its China business to create two independent publicly traded companies. In Chicago, Thomas Kittle-Kamp is ‘first rate’, Kenneth Klein in Washington DC is ‘very experienced’, and in New York, Jason Bazar is ‘user friendly’ and Brian Kittle has an ‘excellent manner with clients’.
Kenneth Klein - Mayer Brown
US taxes: contentious
Mayer Brown’s 17-partner practice is led by Joel Williamson and Thomas Kittle-Kamp in Chicago and Brian Kittle in New York. The team is particularly well versed in disputes before the Tax Court; in a follow on to the Xilinx litigation, it is acting as co-counsel to Altera in a challenge to the IRS’s regulations, which demand that amounts attributable to equity compensation have to be included in the pool of costs following a cost-sharing arrangement. A team including Williamson and Kittle-Kamp is representing Boston Scientific and its subsidiaries in the ‘Guidant’ case, a large transfer pricing dispute in the Tax Court. In another case before the Tax Court, a team is advising Tyco International on the deductibility of interest paid by Tyco’s US entities to a related finance company in Switzerland. Tom Durham from the Chicago office retired, while Kristin Mikolaitis and Erin Gladney, both in the New York office, were promoted to partner. Palo Alto-based Larry Langdon is another important member of the team.
Joel Williamson - Mayer Brown
Larry Langdon - Mayer Brown
Thomas Kittle-Kamp - Mayer Brown
US taxes: non-contentious
Mayer Brown’s tax practice provides expertise in relation to the banking, energy, insurance and real estate sectors, with a focus on facilitating capital markets transactions. The ‘expert and user-friendly’ Jason Bazar led the tax team that advised Altice on its agreement to buy Cablevision; this was the second deal the tax team advised on for this client, having also served as special tax counsel in Altice’s purchase of a 70% stake in the regional broadband provider, Suddenlink. Bazar also led the team that advised Citibank Global Markets, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo Securities as underwriters on a $10bn medium-term note program for Agricultural Bank of China. Another highlight was acting for Envestnet in its $650m acquisition of Yodlee, a technology and applications platform; Lee Morlock in Chicago was the lead tax lawyer.
Latin America: International firms
Projects and energy
Mayer Brown has consistently moved with the market, advising a number of MLAs in recent years and now increasingly active on behalf of commercial banks. It has also been at the heart of the project bond segment and is now undoubtedly among the leading firms in the syndicated commercial bank market. In addition, it has a strong focus on energy M&A, especially through its Houston and Mexico City offices and in São Paulo through Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown. Houston partners Pablo Ferrante and Francisco Mendez are key names in energy M&A. The firm is also a market leader in infrastructure, notably airports, toll roads and power transmission. The firm has a fairly even split between project development and project finance work, and has a growing contingent of sponsor instructions. Recent mandates saw the firm represent CAF as the lender to the Marcona and Tres Hermanas wind farm projects in Peru. It also advised SK Innovation on the $251m sale of its 11.19% stake in Peruvian natural gas transporter, Transportadora de Gas del Perú. Head of the Latin America practice Douglas Doetsch is an immensely experienced practitioner with extensive experience in structured finance and project finance work. New York and Washington DC-based Christopher Erckert is a Latin America specialist with a fine record in traditional project finance and project bonds, and an impressive mix of sponsor and lender clients. Co-chair of the global projects group and ‘fantastic lawyer’ Barry Machlin is known for his representation of leading agencies, and New York partner George Miller is recommended for infrastructure projects especially in the Caribbean.
Christopher Erckert - Mayer Brown
Further information on Mayer Brown
Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Mayer Brown in other jurisdictions.
Offices in Brussels
- Banking and finance
- Bankruptcy and restructuring
- Capital markets
- Competition and antitrust
- Corporate and M&A
- Dispute resolution
- Energy and natural resources : Electricity
- Energy and natural resources : Hydrocarbons
- International trade and customs
- Labour and employment
- Projects and infrastructure
- Real estate
- Corporate and M&A : Foreign firms
- Intellectual property : Foreign firms
- Projects and energy : Foreign firms
- Real estate and construction : Foreign firms
Offices in Paris
Offices in Hong Kong
- Antitrust and competition
- Asset finance (including aviation and shipping finance)
- Banking and finance
- Capital markets : Debt
- Capital markets : Equity
- Corporate (including M&A)
- Dispute resolution : Litigation
- Dispute resolution : International arbitration
- Intellectual property
- Private equity
- Real estate
- Restructuring and insolvency
- Structured finance and securitisation
Latin America: International firms
Offices in London
- Corporate and commercial : Commercial contracts
- Corporate and commercial : Corporate tax
- Corporate and commercial : EU and competition
- Corporate and commercial : Equity capital markets
- Corporate and commercial : Financial services
- Corporate and commercial : Flotations: small and mid-cap
- Corporate and commercial : M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+
- Corporate and commercial : VAT and indirect tax
- Crime, fraud and licensing : Corporate crime (including fraud, bribery and corruption)
- Dispute resolution : Banking litigation: investment and retail
- Dispute resolution : Commercial litigation
- Dispute resolution : International arbitration
- Dispute resolution : Professional discipline
- Finance : Acquisition finance
- Finance : Asset based lending
- Finance : Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
- Finance : Corporate restructuring and insolvency
- Finance : Debt capital markets
- Finance : Derivatives and structured products
- Finance : Emerging markets
- Finance : High yield
- Finance : Securitisation
- Human resources : Employee share schemes
- Human resources : Employment: employees/ unions
- Human resources : Employment: employers and senior executives
- Human resources : Pensions
- Insurance : Insurance: corporate and regulatory
- Insurance : Insurance: insolvency and restructuring
- Insurance : Insurance and reinsurance litigation
- Insurance : Product liability: defendant
- Insurance : Professional negligence
- Projects, energy and natural resources : Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP)
- Projects, energy and natural resources : Mining and minerals
- Real estate : Commercial property
- Real estate : Construction
- Real estate : Environment
- Real estate : Property finance
- Real estate : Property litigation
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : IT and telecoms
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Media and entertainment (including media finance)
Offices in Singapore
Offices in Bangkok
- Antitrust : Cartel
- Antitrust : Civil litigation/class actions
- Dispute resolution : Appellate
- Dispute resolution : Financial services: litigation
- Dispute resolution : General commercial disputes
- Dispute resolution : International trade
- Dispute resolution : Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense
- Dispute resolution : Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense
- Dispute resolution : Securities litigation - defense
- Dispute resolution : White-collar criminal defense
- Finance : Asset finance and leasing
- Finance : Capital markets: debt offerings
- Finance : Capital markets: equity offerings
- Finance : Capital markets: global offerings
- Finance : Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
- Finance : Commercial lending
- Finance : Financial services: regulatory
- Finance : Project finance
- Finance : Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
- Finance : Structured finance
- Government : Government contracts
- Government : Government relations
- Industry focus : Energy transactions: conventional power
- Industry focus : Energy transactions: oil and gas
- Industry focus : Environment: litigation
- Industry focus : Insurance: non-contentious
- Intellectual property : Copyright
- Intellectual property : Patent litigation: full coverage
- Intellectual property : Patent litigation: International Trade Commission
- Intellectual property : Trade secrets
- Intellectual property : Trademarks: litigation
- Investment fund formation and management : Private equity funds
- Labor and employment : ERISA litigation
- Labor and employment : Employee benefits and executive compensation
- Labor and employment : Immigration
- M&A/corporate and commercial : M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
- Media, technology and telecoms : Cyber law
- Media, technology and telecoms : Technology: data protection and privacy
- Media, technology and telecoms : Technology: outsourcing
- Media, technology and telecoms : Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory
- Real estate and construction : Construction (including construction litigation)
- Real estate and construction : Land use/zoning
- Real estate and construction : Real estate
- Tax : Financial products
- Tax : International tax
- Tax : US taxes: contentious
- Tax : US taxes: non-contentious