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, Guangzhou and Singapore (in Asia, it's officially known as
Mayer Brown JSM).
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
Mayer Brown was named Tax Controversy Team of the Year in
the Legal 500 United States Awards 2014. "Mayer Brown is
'among the best' and fields a large team…dedicated exclusively to
tax controversy and transfer pricing," said Legal 500 and
its sources in the 2014 U.S. edition. "The firm's extensive
experience spans the full gamut of controversy work, from
administrative appeals to litigation in the trial court and at
appellate court level."
BTI "Brand Elite"
Mayer Brown was ranked sixth among 26 law firms with a
substantially better brand than all other law firms in the BTI
Brand Elite 2014: Client Perceptions of the Best-Branded Law Firms.
Published by The BTI Consulting Group, the report is based on
feedback from more than 300 interviews with in-house counsel at the
world's largest organizations that measured "top of mind
recognition" of nearly 450 law firms. The report also ranked Mayer
Brown as a "Best Brand Builder," one of only 19 firms with
outstanding upward trajectory in brand out of the 650 law firms
serving large clients.
Moving on Up
In 2014, 22 Mayer Brown lawyers in five practices and 11 offices in
the Americas, Europe and Asia 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
Mayer Brown received a perfect 100 score in the 2014 Human Rights
Campaign Foundation's annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI) and
earned the "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality" distinction. The
CEI serves as a tool to rate American businesses on their treatment
of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees and
their families, and on their demonstration of corporate commitment
to LGBT equality.
For the fourth consecutive year, Mayer Brown was ranked among the
most innovative U.S. law firms by the Financial Times. In
the 2013 edition of its annual special report, "US Innovative
Lawyers," the publication awarded Mayer Brown "Standout" and
"Commended" rankings in the Finance category and a "Commended"
ranking in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution category.
The Best, 187 Times
Mayer Brown was once again one of the top-performing law firms in
the annual ranking of "Best Law Firms" by US News/Best
Lawyers. The firm received 36 national tier one rankings and 89
metropolitan tier one rankings in the 2014 edition. Overall, the
firm was ranked in 187 national and metropolitan categories. In
addition, US News/Best Lawyers named Mayer Brown the "Firm
of the Year" in the Appellate Law category for the second
consecutive year. These outstanding rankings demonstrate high
client satisfaction with the legal services Mayer Brown lawyers
deliver across a broad range of practice areas and geographies.
They've Got the World on a String
For the third year in a row, Mayer Brown was named to
Law360's "Global 20' list that recognizes the law firms
that did the most substantial, complex and diverse global work and
had the greatest worldwide presence during the previous year.
Law360 said Mayer Brown continued to "flex its
international muscle" and cited the firm's handling of transactions
in the billions of dollars in the US, Europe, Asia, Africa and the
Middle East, many of them involving cross-border teams of Mayer