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
Law360 Global 20
For the fourth year in a row, Mayer Brown was named to
Law360's "Global 20' list, which recognizes those law
firms that handled the most substantial, complex and diverse global
work, and which had the greatest worldwide presence during the
previous year. Law360 noted that after a decade of
"aggressive growth," nearly half of the firm's lawyers are based
outside the U.S., putting the firm in a strong position to handle
"game-changing deals and projects" such as the $5.4 billion Panama
Promotions to Partner in 2015
In 2015, 22 Mayer Brown lawyers in six practices and 10 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
Financial Times "Innovative
For the fifth consecutive year, Mayer Brown was ranked among the
most innovative U.S. law firms by the Financial Times. In
the 2014 edition of its annual report, Mayer Brown earned a
"Standout" recognition in the Finance category. Mayer Brown also
was "Commended" in the Finance category for representing the Texas
Department of Transportation in the Texas SH 183 managed lanes
public-private partnership project.
Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality
Once again, Mayer Brown received a perfect 100 score in the 2015
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.
U.S. News/Best Law Firms Ranking
Mayer Brown was one of the top-performing law firms in the 2015
ranking of "Best Law Firms" by U.S. News/Best Lawyers. The
firm achieved first-tier rankings in 112 national and metropolitan
categories, including 30 national first-tier rankings. Overall, the
firm was ranked in 186 national and metropolitan categories. In
addition, Mayer Brown was named "Firm of the Year" in the Patent
Law category. These outstanding rankings demonstrate high client
satisfaction with the legal services Mayer Brown lawyers deliver
across a broad range of practice areas and geographies.
BTI "Brand Elite"
Mayer Brown was ranked in the top 20 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.