Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown International LLP
No. of offices 24
No. of lawyers more than 1,500
Major practice areas General practice
Key people Paul W. Theiss (Chairman)
Kenneth S. Geller (Managing Partner)
Revenue $1.257 billion (2015)[1]
Date founded 1881

Mayer Brown (Mayer Brown International LLP) is an international law firm. With offices in 24 cities across the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, Mayer Brown has approximately 1,500 lawyers and by revenue is the 17th largest law firm in the world.[2]

The firm advises many Fortune 100, FTSE 100,[3] DAX and Hang Seng Index companies and more than half of the world’s largest banks.[4]


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


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

Practice Areas

Banking & Finance

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

Corporate & Securities

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

Employment & Benefits

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

Financial Services Regulatory & Enforcement

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

Global Trade

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

Government (Relations and Contracts)

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

Intellectual Property

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

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

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

Real Estate

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

Restructuring, Bankruptcy & Insolvency

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

Tax (Tax Controversy, Tax Transactions & Consulting)

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

Wealth Management (Trusts, Estates & Foundations)

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

Pro Bono

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


Role in Refco Inc. Collapse

Refco was a New York-based broker of commodities and futures contracts. It filed for one of the biggest bankruptcies in the USA history in 2005, after the evidence for major accounting fraud surfaced.[15] In the wake of collapse, lawsuit was filed against Mayer Brown for aiding Refco executives' theft of more than $2 billion.[16] In November 2012 Joseph Collins, a former partner at the Mayer Brown, was found guilty on multiple charges of conspiracy and fraud for his role in preparing Refco's IPO.[17][18] The law company itself agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to settle the legal claims against it.[19]


  2. "Mayer Brown | The American Lawyer". Retrieved 2016-05-17.
  3. "", retrieved August 16, 2013.
  4. "", retrieved August 16, 2013.
  5. "", retrieved September 27, 2013.
  6. "" , retrieved September 27, 2013.
  7. "", retrieved October 9, 2013.
  8. "", retrieved October 9, 2013.
  9. "Chambers and Partners", retrieved October 9, 2013.
  10. "", retrieved October 25, 2013.
  11. "", retrieved October 25, 2013.
  12. "", retrieved October 25, 2013.
  13. "", retrieved October 25, 2013.
  14. "", retrieved December 10, 2013.
  15. "Refco Files 4th-Largest Bankruptcy in U.S. History". Archived from the original on 2013-10-11.
  16. "Refco Trustee Seeks $2 Billion from Mayer Brown, Others". Archived from the original on 2013-10-11.
  17. "Lawyer sentenced to prison for role in $2.4 billion fraud at Refco". Archived from the original on 2013-10-11.
  18. "Refco Lawyer, A&O, Mayer Brown, Skadden: Business of Law". Archived from the original on 2013-10-11.
  19. "Settlement Reached in Billion-dollar Fraud Scheme". Archived from the original on 2013-10-11.

Further reading

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