Mayer Brown is a leading international law firm with offices in
key business centers across the Americas, Europe and Asia. Serving
a majority of the Fortune 100, the firm is renowned for top-flight
corporate, finance and appellate work.
It was the summer of 1879, and a Chicago court was hearing
arguments about the sale of a lame horse. The defendant was David
Mayer, a wealthy local merchant. His attorney was his younger
brother Levy, who had just graduated from Yale Law School. The
Mayers lost. They appealed to a higher court, as did their
adversary: a 30-year-old, self-taught Czech lawyer named Adolf
Kraus. The Mayers felt they should have prevailed; Kraus believed
he was entitled to $200, not the $25 he'd been awarded.
The appeal ended in a settlement two years later, under most
unusual circumstances: the younger Mayer had impressed Kraus in the
courtroom, so Kraus asked him to form a partnership. Each man
contributed $100 to satisfy the pending claim and erase any
conflict of interest. They quickly discovered that they worked well
During the early decades of the twentieth century Mayer and
Kraus' Chicago-based firm grew, adding attorneys and partners, and
became known for its work in some of the era's most notable cases.
The firm represented owners of the Iroquois Theater in Chicago when
a 1903 fire killed 600 people (many exits were blocked because the
doors only opened inward). The theater owners were exonerated, but
the outcome of the case resulted in tougher fire codes that were
adopted in municipalities across the nation. By 1970, the firm was
called Mayer, Brown & Platt, and in the ensuing decades it
doubled in size, opening offices throughout the United States and
A Transatlantic Merger
In 2002, Mayer, Brown & Platt merged with U.K.-based Rowe
& Maw. The latter firm dated back to 1895, and at the time of
the combination, it boasted 250 attorneys and locations in London,
Paris and Frankfurt. A streamlined moniker was introduced in 2007
as the firm became known as Mayer Brown, and the following year it
merged again, joining forces with JSM, one of the largest firms in
Asia. This brought the Mayer Brown brand to major hubs in the
region, including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City,
Hanoi and Guangzhou (in Asia, it's officially known as Mayer Brown
Although Mayer Brown's practices cover everything from banking
to real estate, it's particularly well-known for its appellate
work. In fact, it was one of the first firms to establish a
dedicated Supreme Court practice, which it formed in the early
1980s with recruits from the solicitor general's office.
Mayer Brown's attorneys and practices have been recognized by
Chambers, the Financial Times, BTI Consulting's Client Service
Performance Survey and IFLR for their work around the globe. Its
clients hail from nearly two dozen sectors, including aviation,
business and technology sourcing, energy, health care,
infrastructure, mining, rail, real estate, shipping, sports and
entertainment, telecommunications, construction, e-commerce,
hospitality, information technology, chemicals, private investment
IN THE NEWS
In the 2013 edition of the BTI "Client Service A-Team," Mayer Brown
ranked #2 for client service among 650 global law firms. Rankings
are based on feedback from corporate counsel at global and Fortune
1000 companies. "Mayer Brown improved in all 17 categories the
survey examined, an across-the-board feat no other firm achieved,"
said BTI president Michael Rynowecer. "In five of those categories
- client focus, innovation, value, quality and unprompted
communication - Mayer Brown earned the highest possible marks. The
firm has really made a firmwide effort to try to develop a deeper
and more institutionalized understanding of their clients and what
they want, and also what excellent client service is."
Home to "Innovative Lawyers"
For the third consecutive year, Mayer Brown ranked among the most
innovative law firms in the Financial Times' 2012 "US Innovative
Lawyers" report. The firm received "Standout" and "Commended"
rankings in the Corporate category and a "Highly Commended" ranking
in the Litigation category. Business & Technology Sourcing
partner Brad Peterson (Chicago) was named one of 10 Innovative
Moving on Up
In 2013, 22 Mayer Brown lawyers in nine practices and eight offices
joined the rank of partner through internal promotions earned by
superior legal work and client service, which long have been
hallmarks of the firm's partners. Mayer Brown takes great pride in
each class of newly promoted partners because they represent the
firm's ability to grow from within and bring new vitality and
enthusiasm to the partnership.
Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality
Mayer Brown received a perfect 100 rating as a "Best Place to Work
for LGBT Equality" in the Corporate Equality Index sponsored by the
Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The index surveys major
businesses to benchmark employer benefits and protections for
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and their
Best in the U.S.
Mayer Brown achieved excellent results in the 2012-13 ranking of
"Best Law Firms" by US News/Best Lawyers, earning 42 national tier
one rankings, 86 metropolitan tier one rankings and 176 total
rankings. These outstanding rankings demonstrate high client
satisfaction with the legal services Mayer Brown lawyers deliver
across a broad range of practice areas and geographies.
Litigation Department of the Year
Mayer Brown was named one of the top six litigation departments
among the 200 largest U.S. law firms by American Lawyer magazine,
which chose the firm as a finalist for its prestigious 2012
"Litigation Department of the Year" report. Mayer Brown's
recognition was achieved by producing extraordinary success for its
clients through the experience, innovativeness and dedication of
its Litigation & Dispute Resolution team.