Mayer Brown's Government Relations practice has earned international recognition for using sophisticated political experience and leading-edge legal knowledge to help shape policy, legislation and regulations in the United States, Europe and key countries and regions around the world. The lawyers, lobbyists and other professionals in our group are strategic thinkers who help clients to build and leverage sound positions that advance their domestic and global public policy goals.
Although our team enjoys access to every level of government, we understand that access is not a strategy. Rather, access is opportunity: an opportunity to change the entire regulatory and legislative landscape in a rapidly changing global marketplace. Our group has extensive experience in the following areas:
Our Government Relations practice draws upon the extraordinary resources of the firm's lawyers located in key business centers throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe. Where needed, we also rely on the talents and insights of other professionals, both inside and outside the firm, with experience in media relations, economics, public opinion polling, grassroots consultations and other disciplines. We know government, the law and political realities, and we effectively use that knowledge to advance our clients' interests.
Communications and the Internet
Mayer Brown is helping to shape technology and communications policy through our representation of clients before the US Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the US Trade Representative and various state public utility commissions. Internet, wireline and wireless service providers, manufacturers and trade associations rely on us to protect their interests with regard to Internet regulation, spectrum policy, the digital television transition, wireline competition, communications-related homeland security and privacy. Our professionals:
In Europe, where telecommunications policy authority is divided between the European Union and its Member States, our team helps clients navigate the complex interplay between EU and national regulation. We have long worked to reform the EU telecom and Internet regulatory framework by preparing policy statements, public consultation papers, EU review submissions and legislative amendment language.
Energy and Climate Change
While lawmakers and regulators worldwide wrestle with climate-change-related political and technological issues, we give clients a voice in the policy-making process and help them navigate the existing maze of legal requirements. Energy and climate-change issues have both global and local dimensions. Mayer Brown's government relations lawyers understand this and they bring this understanding to bear on a variety of matters, including renewable energy, technical solutions for zero-emissions carbon markets, energy-efficient technologies and practices, and "cap-and-trade" legislation. We also give clients practical help with project planning, permit approvals and compliance strategies.
Examples of the kind of practical, multidisciplinary service we offer to clients include:
In Europe, we work with the European "cap-and-trade" rules by, for example, assisting a major European utility in its efforts before the EU DGs for transport/energy and environment to develop the legal and policy framework for Carbon Capture and Storage as part of Europe's emerging energy and climate package. Our Brussels office has also provided advice to large foreign energy companies, including major gas producers, on access to the EU gas and electricity markets. We help these clients to assess such issues as unbundling, interoperability, and foreign ownership as well as the interplay between EU rules and international liberalization initiatives of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Energy Charter Treaty.
In conjunction with the firm's Financial Service Regulatory and Enforcement (FSRE) Group, we advise clients on emerging legal trends, regulatory compliance, potential enforcement proceedings, legislative initiatives and other areas of strategic risk. We help large, globally active financial service firms as well as smaller, domestically focused companies, to anticipate and manage the ways that changing legal and regulatory standards affect their business opportunities, operational costs and risk exposure.
Because our lawyers regularly interact with the leading supervisory agencies in the United States, Europe and Asia, we have a global perspective on the shape and potential impact of legislative or regulatory initiatives. Indeed, many of our lawyers are former officials and employees of key regulatory agencies or have worked in the US Congress, thus affording us particular insight into the regulatory and legislative process.
Mayer Brown has been at the center of the most significant financial service governance initiatives in recent years. We have been involved in the development and implementation of the Basel Committee capital standards, the USA PATRIOT Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and sanctions/embargo legislation. More recently, we have helped shape initiatives targeted to the regulation of private equity and hedge funds, the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the regulation of such international transactions as "cover" payments.
Our Government Relations practice is enhanced by Mayer Brown's well-regarded Global Trade Group, which offers strategic advice and representation to companies seeking to gain and maintain an advantage in the global marketplace. Using business and legal insight together with access to policymakers in capitals around the world, we help multinational companies to identify promising foreign markets and develop entry strategies that overcome market obstacles. We work closely with bilateral, regional and multilateral institutions to address unfair or illegal trade barriers, build international business coalitions and promote business-friendly trade practices.
With Mayer Brown's global network of offices and affiliated law firms, the lawyers and professionals in our group can help clients understand and apply trade policies to best capitalize on opportunities, and overcome market barriers, in practically every country.
Members of our practice have led or participated in the negotiation of many of the world's major trade agreements. We develop extensive knowledge of our clients' industries, products and trading patterns, and employ this knowledge to help them secure broader market access under such global trade pacts as:
As medical technology innovations continue to advance, there is, inevitably, tension between the pressure to make quickly available cutting-edge health care diagnostics and treatments and the responsibility of regulators to assure safety, effectiveness and cost efficiency. We help our clients develop winning approaches, using public demand, scientific support and political strategy to shape the legal and regulatory landscape throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. In conjunction with Mayer Brown's Government Health Care Policy lawyers, the lawyers and professionals in our Government Relations practice have played an integral part in the debate on health care policy and have provided legal advice and legislative counsel on legislative, regulatory and policy initiatives. Our services include:
In Europe, our team includes a strong multidisciplinary group of lawyers, scientists and other professionals based in Brussels and with strong links to the different EU institutions and Member States' governing bodies. We advise our clients on the formation, application and enforcement of EU and Member States health care policy. Our Government Relations practice stays current on the latest regulatory developments, while our Regulatory practice interprets and applies both EU and international law for current and future business advantage.
Mayer Brown has led successful legal reform movements involving securities litigation, Y2K liability relief and class action reform, and has pursued reform efforts in areas such as transportation, communications, labor, tax, international trade, natural resources and regulated industries. Our firm has the access to decision-makers needed for meaningful reform, thanks to team members who have past experience in such positions as former Chief Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee, member of the House of Representatives and former Chief Counsel to the senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. But our real strength is coordinating the joint efforts of companies and associations. We are skilled at working with these partners to mobilize public information campaigns, coalition building, grassroots campaigns and political action committees. Through such efforts, as well as through the preparation of statutes and reports, the crafting of position papers and the development of testimony, we can have a major impact on legislative and executive branch policymakers and their staffs.
Oversight and Investigations
Our group has extensive experience representing clients facing US Congressional oversight and investigation, including in such high-profile areas as pharmaceutical pricing and energy policy. Our services in this regard include preparing witnesses, negotiating with Oversight Committee members and staff, coordinating responses to investigations, and working with leadership in both political parties to ensure that our clients' positions are fairly represented before Congress. We work aggressively to protect our clients' reputations and to minimize financial and litigation risks. In doing so, several of our partners draw upon their prior experiences as members of, and senior staff for, various Congressional Oversight Committees.
Product Standards and Regulation
Members of our team have been recognized for their knowledge of EU industry regulations and their ability to creatively blend scientific and regulatory insight. Members of our Brussels office have vast experience in the EU's main chemical regulation (REACH) and advise clients on compliance strategies and legal requirements for EU and Member States legislation affecting a whole range of regulated products:
In addition to general compliance counseling, we also handle product safety and liability issues. We have extensive experience with EU legislation, such as the Directives on General Product Safety and Product Liability, and their implementation at the national level, and their interaction with existing product regulations and standards. Through the firm's offices in the United States, Asia and Europe, our group is able to handle simultaneous product recalls, a key requirement to mitigate liabilities.
We have an active public finance practice and assist state and local governmental issuers in developing and implementing creative financing solutions to complex legal and public policy problems. In recent years, we have served as bond counsel, underwriter's counsel or issuer's counsel on bond financings with an average annual aggregate principal amount in excess of $5 billion. For example, we represented the State of Illinois as bond counsel in a $10 billion taxable pension obligation bond issue—the largest long-term municipal bond transaction ever undertaken and cited as The Bond Buyer's "Regional Deal of the Year." In addition, we serve as counsel on the proposed issuance of approximately $1.5 billion of "private activity bonds" for surface transportation inter-modal facilities authorized under the 2005 SAFETEA-LU surface transportation legislation. We are actively advising clients on issuance of Build America Bonds and other municipal finance incentives authorized under the recently enacted federal stimulus legislation. As an example, in April 2010, we acted as bond counsel to the State of Illinois in the issuance of $1 billion in Build America Bonds. We regularly represent banks as underwriters, tender agents and remarketing agents of municipal bonds and as providers of credit support, such as letters of credit and stand-by bond purchase agreements.
We are involved in secondary market offerings of portfolios of tax-exempt bonds, and have regularly represented both municipal issuers and financial institutions in connection with a variety of municipal "synthetic" and derivative transactions, including bond warrant and forward purchase agreements, forward-starting investment agreements and interest rate swaps having an aggregate notional amount of more than $2 billion, and we have counseled municipal issuers in connection with the development of swap policies and other related matters.
State and Local – United States
Many of our team members have held high-ranking elected, appointed and legal counsel positions in state and local government. This experience provides an insider's view to understanding the intricacies of state and local legislation and how these laws and regulations affect our clients' business activities and transactions. The range of matters that we advise on is comprehensive:
For these and other issues, the firm's Regulated Industries practice helps us to plan overall governmental compliance and advocacy strategies for our clients. We keep current on all new legislation and regulations, and our access to policymakers is invaluable at making our clients' needs heard in these developments. Clients with interests in multiple states and localities rely on our nationwide presence to create coordinated multistate compliance and advocacy strategies.
Many of the lawyers in Mayer Brown"s internationally lauded tax practice have substantial government experience, including several who held senior positions at the US Treasury Department, the IRS and the US Department of Justice. In addition, members of this group include a former International Tax Counsel at the Treasury Department, a former Deputy Associate Chief Counsel (International) and Special Assistant to the IRS Chief Counsel, and a former IRS Associate Chief Counsel (Technical) in charge of all domestic IRS regulations, rulings and other published guidance.
Working together with this group, our government relations lawyers help companies and coalitions to develop comprehensive strategies to achieve their tax policy goals. We advise on the potential impact of proposed tax law changes and how to mitigate their effects. We also participate at the drafting and commenting stages with the members and staffs of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, the Joint Committee on Taxation and others legislative taxing authorities.
Transportation and Infrastructure
Mayer Brown"s environmental and government relations professionals can help clients deal with the complex interaction of environmental, maritime, military and transportation regulators on port, maritime and intermodal transport projects.
We help secure the necessary federal, state and local permits and approvals for projects, ensuring their compatibility with local land use and historic preservation laws as well as the National Environmental Policy Act. If needed in controversial projects, we can develop effective government and public relations strategies and advocate for changes in state or federal law.
Excellent lawyer whom I have known for many years.
Paul would be my first choice in a merger or corporate acquisition transaction.Read more
Paul would be my first choice in a merger or corporate acquisition transaction.
Bob is an excellent tax attorney, with many years of experience in the field. He is committed to his clients and provides excellent service.Read more
Bob is an excellent tax attorney, with many years of experience in the field. He is committed to his clients and provides excellent service.
SHE IS GREAT. SHE HAS BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY FOR OVER 20 YEARS. SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE'S TALKING ABOUT.Read more
SHE IS GREAT. SHE HAS BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY FOR OVER 20 YEARS. SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE'S TALKING ABOUT.Read less
5.0/5.0 on 03/24/10 on 03/24/10
They are a fine firm. They do good work. They are a good partner to work with.Read more
4.3/5.0 on 02/05/10 on 02/05/10
3.8/5.0 on 12/25/10 on 12/25/10
Mayer Brown is committed to diversity because it is the right thing to do and because it makes sound business sense. Diversity broadens our knowledge and skills, heightens our awareness of and sensitivity to cultural issues and equips us to respond to the challenges of serving a clientele that spans the globe. Diversity is a hallmark of Mayer Brown heritage and will be a key driver of our future success.
|At Mayer Brown, we view the attainment of diversity at all levels of our organization as crucial to, and a natural result of, building a cohesive, successful law firm. We recruit, develop and promote the highest caliber lawyers and are committed to providing our lawyers with opportunities to realize their potential regardless of race, religious beliefs, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.|
Inclusion begins with opportunity. We continue to seek innovative and effective ways to increase the number of diverse students interested in law school and to recruit diverse law students and lateral candidates. By engaging law schools and colleges directly, Mayer Brown builds programs for students at all levels of higher education to increase the pool of lawyers from diverse backgrounds. We also ensure that all our associates are provided challenging work experiences and the guidance necessary for success. We strive to keep all of our lawyers active, engaged and on the road to partnership in the firm and encourage them to make a meaningful contribution to the profession. By investing in the skills and abilities of all our lawyers, we create a wide variety of role models for the generations to follow.
Mayer Brown handles many of the most important cases and transactions for the largest companies in the world, and we consider our diversity efforts critical to the level of service we provide to our clients. Clients recognize diversity and inclusion as business imperatives critical for success in our multicultural world. To remain a world-class law practice, we must continue our push forward in these vital areas.
Our commitment to the professional development and advancement of our diverse attorneys is central to our diversity and inclusion programs. We strive to create a culture in which all our attorneys can thrive and advance. The Firm sponsors attendance at numerous external networking and educational conferences, such as:
The retreats have provided our lawyers from all of our U.S. offices with the opportunity to interact over the course of a weekend. The retreats have been a great success. The lawyers networked with one another while gaining valuable career advice from minority partners and senior associates. The retreats also give our associates the opportunity to meet with the leaders of the Firm, as well as allowing each to give suggestions and guidance as to how the Firm's recruitment, retention and promotion of diverse lawyers could be improved. The Firm uses the wealth of knowledge and insight gathered and shared at the retreats to inform our diversity efforts.
Members of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion host, in each office, periodic sessions with lawyers to share information about our diversity efforts and solicit ideas and comments regarding ongoing events and future initiatives. In addition, minority lawyers meet informally to provide ongoing opportunities for building relationships within the firm.
Women's Symposiums are hosted every other year for all female lawyers. These include workshops, panel discussions, networking receptions and presentations led by our female partners and leaders from the legal and business community. We are actively focused on opportunities to raise the visibility of our female lawyers, supporting their development through leadership conference participation, skill development programs and mentoring. We provide business development programs focused on issues unique to women attorneys and have held numerous networking events for our female attorneys and clients. In the past year, for example, our women attorneys have hosted women clients at a luncheon and private museum tour, a chamber music concert performed by female musicians (who discussed the career challenges they faced as women in their field), wine tastings and theater performances. We have partnered with the women’s groups of several clients for networking events and educational workshops. These programs have facilitated building relationships between our women lawyers and our clients, providing focused opportunities for our women lawyers not only to learn about our clients’ needs, but also to showcase their own talents. Each office hosts programs focusing on women’s professional development issues and periodic informal lunches for female lawyers to cultivate and strengthen relationships.
Family-friendly programs offered to Mayer Brown’s US lawyers include: part-time work opportunities; back-up child care service; paid leave of absences for new and adoptive parents, including up to 18 weeks for new mothers, and a coaching program to provide support to new parents returning to work from leave. The firm also offers up to 6 weeks paid leave for lawyers who need time to serve as a primary caregiver for elderly family members. In addition, Mayer Brown is a founding member and sponsor of the Project for Attorney Retention, which works to stem lawyer attrition at large firms by promoting work/life balance and the advancement of women in the legal profession.
Mayer Brown is committed to providing a thriving workplace for LGBT lawyers. We have provisions for same gender relationships in our domestic partner benefits program. We provide pro bono legal service for a number of LGBT-focused organizations as well as support for their organizational events. We participate annually in the Lavender Law Career Fair in order to increase the number of LGBT law student applicants to our summer associate program. The Committee on Diversity and Inclusion includes LGBT partners who monitor and push for progress in this important area.
Highlights and Achievements regarding LGBT rights issues at Mayer Brown include:
Mayer Brown is an equal opportunity employer and partnership. It is our policy to hire, train and promote lawyers without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, disability, national origin, or veteran's status. The Firm seeks to hire, develop and advance lawyers on the basis of their professional ability and strives to build a team of lawyers that reflects the diversity of our world.
Mayer Brown is signatory to several statements of goals for increasing the recruitment and retention of minority lawyers and women, including The Association of the Bar of the City of New York's "Statement of Goals of New York Law Firms and Corporate Legal Departments for the Retention and Promotion of Women" and its "Statement of Diversity Principles," The Chicago Bar Association’s “Call to Action”, the Houston Bar Association's "Gender Initiative Commitment Statement" and the New York County Lawyers' Association "Statement In Support of Diversity In The Legal Profession.” By proudly signing these statements, Mayer Brown publicly affirms its commitment to a culture of inclusion.
Our London office is a signatory to the UK Law Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter and supports the legal sectors PRIME initiative which provides quality work experience to young people from socially deprived and under privileged backgrounds.
Building for the Future
Diversity and inclusion are important keys to securing the future success of the Firm. Legal cultures that welcome and accept differences are the most successful in creating an environment where diverse attorneys thrive. The Firm's inclusion initiatives not only appeal to partners and the clients they interact with, they also attract bright young associates and college and high school-level interns who are encouraged by the dynamic, welcoming environment we provide. Through our various workshops, panel discussions, conferences, and events, and partnership with the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), as well as through our diversity-related sponsorships and giving, we are building a bridge to an exciting, diverse future.
Law Schools, Colleges & High Schools
Through conferences, job fairs, panel discussions, and workshops, we make the legal profession less abstract and more familiar and accessible to students of all backgrounds. Providing the "nuts-and-bolts" of what lawyering is about helps students make informed career decisions and puts them on the path to professional success.
The scope and range of events that we are involved with demonstrate our desire to build diversity in as many ways as possible. Participating in special events that target specific groups is an effective way to build interest in our firm and to expand our culture of inclusion.
Through the sponsorship of law-related groups and events, we provide vital support to those who have made diversifying the legal world their central goal. These partnerships enable us to build lasting relationships with minority and female students and student groups while also sharing our own expertise during sponsored events and discussions.
Some examples of the organizations and events to which the Firm has donated are as follows:
Our outreach program is not restricted to young lawyers and students interested in the law. We are directly involved in the communities where our offices are located. We use our resources to strengthen educational and cultural institutions and to assist groups, associations and agencies that are already working for the good of our local communities.
Chicago Government & Global Trade partner Mary Richardson-Lowry has been named one of 50 “Women of Excellence” by the Chicago Defender, the leading daily newspaper serving Chicago’s African-American community. The award acknowledges and celebrates African-American women who personify the exemplary qualities of respect, responsibility, passion, sisterhood and leadership. Mary also was named president of the Chicago Board of Education earlier this year.
Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Mary Richardson-Lowry as a member of the Chicago Board of Education and recommended to the Board that she be named President, which she was. See http://www.cps.edu/News/Press_releases/Pages/01_28_2010_PR1.aspx
LAW360 described Britt Miller as someone “With a reputation as a creative and thoughtful strategist” in designating her one of LAW360’s Ten Competition Lawyers under 40. See http://competition.law360.com/articles/157892
Steve Sanders, a Supreme Court & Appellate associate in the Chicago office, argued his first case before the Supreme Court this week. In Pottawattamie County v. McGhee, Sanders went up against former Solicitor General Paul Clement, who has argued in front of the Court 51 times. Sanders represented Pottawattamie County and two of its former prosecutors who were sued for falsifying evidence after two men were deemed wrongly convicted in the murder of a retired Iowa police officer. In his argument, Sanders claimed the Constitution only guarantees the plaintiffs the right to a fair trial, not a fair investigation, and that the prosecutors are immune from any suit claiming they knowingly introduced false testimony in trial. To read news coverage about the case and Sanders’ first argument, click here.
Donna Morgan was named to the Top 10 Women List of Leading Women Consumer Lawyers in Illinois by Leading Lawyers Network. Additional lawyers listed in either the Top 100 Women of Leading Lawyers and/or the Top 100 Business Lawyers in Illinois by the Leading Lawyers Network are Fern Bomchill, Debora de Hoyos, Rebecca Eisner, Sheila Finnegan, Michele Odorizzi and Mary Richardson-Lowry.
Mayer Brown LLP, a leading global law firm, announced today that 123 of its attorneys are ranked in the 2009 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, including 32 who achieved top-band ranking or higher in 26 national and/or state categories.
The 2009 edition of the Chamber USA ranks 14 women partners from Mayer Brown. The partners, their areas and band ranking are:
Washington, DC partner Marcia Madsen has been named one of the “Attorneys Who Matter” in the field of corporate compliance by The Ethisphere Institute, an international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability. Honorees were chosen for their work in advancing the cause of ethics and corporate compliance.
Chicago partner Mary Richardson-Lowry, chairman of Mayer Brown's Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, will be a speaker on the opening panel at the 2009 conference for The Leadership Institute for Women of Color Attorneys in Law & Business on March 4th in Atlanta. The panel will discuss the value of understanding the intricacies and politics of a law office, navigating diversity issues, the power of networking and the importance of law firm economics. The two-day event helps women of color attorneys develop critical skills necessary to become leaders in their field and provides networking and mentoring opportunities with other successful professionals.