GCR 100 - 8th Edition

Mayer Brown LLP

30 December 2007

Mayer Brown ranks 19th in the inaugural GCR 20, thanks in part to its size and also the contingent of Who’s Who nominees. The US firm has five nominees, including Robert Bloch, one of the global practice heads, and Richard Favretto in Washington, DC; Lee Abrams and Andrew Marovitz in Chicago; and Richard Steuer in New York.


Mayer Brown LLP
GCR 20

Global heads: Robert Bloch, Frances Murphy and Kiran Desai
Home jurisdiction: USA
Total size of firm: 1500
No. of competition lawyers: 55
% of firm specialised: 4
Who's Who nominees: 5
Equity partners: 37
Associates: 16
Other: 2
No. of lateral partner hires: 0
No. of partner departures: 2
No. of internal promotions: 1

Since our review of the year ended, Mayer Brown pulled off one of the lateral moves of the year – poaching Who’s Who nominee Donald Klawiter from Morgan Lewis & Bockius. It remains to be seen what effect Klawiter’s strong international reputation will have on Mayer Brown’s profile. It also promoted Jonathan Lewis to partner in Chicago, after our review period.

However, the firm saw two antitrust specialists leave this year. Partners Thomas Mueller and Stefan Engelhardt moved to Morrison & Foerster LLP in New York. The pair had helped to defend members of the vitamins cartel in the Empagran litigation, which became one of the US’s most important price-fixing cases.

Indeed, one of Mayer Brown’s strengths is its experience in antitrust litigation, and it boosted its reputation this year by handling a wide cross-section of cases. It persuaded the US Supreme Court to reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Credit Suisse v Billing. The Supreme Court dismissed actions against the country’s largest investment banks and mutual funds, which were accused of entering into illegal contracts with purchasers of securities in over 900 IPOs during the dot-com market bubble. The court ruled that regulation of IPOs by the Securities and Exchange Commission meant the conduct was immune from antitrust suits.

Mayer Brown defended Weyerhauser Company against allegations of predatory buying in the Pacific Northwest market for alder sawlogs. A lower court had awarded US$78 million in damages to the plaintiff. But the Supreme Court reversed the judgment, holding that it would otherwise impede pro-competitive conduct.

The firm also advised United Airlines in the In Re Air Cargo Shipping Antitrust Litigation – a nationwide class action alleging illegal surcharges among leading global air-cargo carriers. United Airlines, which was not named in the consolidated amended complaint, reached a settlement with the plaintiffs without issuing a cash payment.

Mayer Brown scored a landmark victory for Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Corporation, which had been ordered to unwind its merger with Highland Park Hospital. On appeal, the FTC rejected the divestment remedy in a bid to preserve the healthcare improvements, despite having found that the deal violated section 7 of the Sherman Act.

On the deal front, the firm’s highest-profile clients included the Chicago Board of Trade, whose merger with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange won unconditional antitrust clearance this year, and AstraZeneca, which acquired Med Immune for US$15.8 billion.

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