Latin America

As one of the first international law firms to service client interests in Latin America and the Caribbean, Mayer Brown has a deep understanding of the region and of the way that business needs to be conducted if transactions are to reach a successful conclusion. Over the past decade, we have completed hundreds of transactions in Latin America. Examples of our more recent work can found, organized by service and region, by using the menu at the right of this page.

The lawyers in our Latin America Practice Group understand the legal and political challenges within the local landscapes and have the cultural and linguistic skills to work effectively in the region. Our clients include US and European companies and financial institutions with business interests in the region, as well as a wide range of corporations and financial institutions headquartered in Latin America and the Caribbean.

For clients who require advice on local Brazilian law issues, we work closely with our association firm in Brazil, Tauil & Chequer Advogados (T&C), which has offices in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. T&C has an outstanding reputation across a broad range of areas, including corporate, M&A, IP, real estate, tax, project finance and construction. The firm has a particularly strong presence in the energy, oil and gas, and infrastructure markets.

Most members of our Latin America/Caribbean Practice are fluent in Spanish and/or Portuguese.

Experience

The Latin America Practice Group at Mayer Brown has consistently and successfully represented clients with interests in this region because we understand how to approach its diversity. In addition to our legal skills, we understand the legal and political challenges within the local landscapes and have the cultural and linguistic skills to work effectively in this context. To illustrate the breadth of our experience, we provide here representative examples of our work by region.

Andean Region

  • AEI Energy. We advised AEI Energy and The Williams Companies in the sale of their ownership interests in Accroven SRL, a company providing gas liquids extraction services to PDVSA in Venezuela.
  • Banco Davivienda. We advised the arrangers on the $250 million syndicated financing for Banco Davivienda, to finance its acquisition of Granbanco from the Colombian government.
  • Banco Pichincha. We represented Standard Bank as solicitation agent in the Consent Solicitation by Banco Pichincha C.A. for $25 million Floating Rate US Treasury-Collateralized Convertible Bonds due 2012. This transaction was a modification of the first collateralized bond offering ever completed in Ecuador.
  • Camposol. We represented the arranger on the first major credit granted by a foreign bank to the agro-industry in Peru, in a facility to Camposol.
  • Compania Minera Milpo. We represented an international investment bank in connection with its $130 million financing of the acquisition by Compania Minera Milpo—Peru's fourth-largest lead and zinc producer—of a controlling interest in Compania Minera Atacocha, another Peruvian mining company.
  • Government of Peru. We advised the arranger and initial purchaser in a $1.2 billion offering of pass-through notes by a special purpose entity supported by future payments by the Government of Peru under obligations relating to construction concessions issued to concessionaires, and purchased by the issuer.
  • IIRSA Sur. We represented BNP Paribas as arranger of an approximately $254 million 144A/Reg S offering of three series of Pass-Through Notes by a special purpose entity supported by future payments by the Government of Peru under obligations relating to a construction concession relating to the Tramo 5 segment of IIRSA Sur toll-road project.
  • Jorge Chávez International Airport. We advised the underwriter on the $165 million refinancing of the Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima. This transaction involved revising the existing project finance structure to reflect the takeout of the original lenders with the proceeds from the issuance of global notes. This project was awarded Latin American Infrastructure Bond Deal of the Year 2007 by Project Finance.
  • Kappa Energy. We advised Kappa Energy, a leading independent Colombian upstream oil and gas company, in connection with its sale to Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. for $168 million.
  • Peruvian Wastewater Treatment. We advised on the financing of its Huascacocha-Rímac water infrastructure project. This was the first water infrastructure project financing in Peru. This transaction was named Latin American Water Deal of the Year 2010 by Project Finance.
  • Phoenix Packaging. We represented Standard Bank in its $85 million multicurrency, multitranche secured financing for Phoenix Packaging Group, the Latin American plastic packaging and food-service disposable products company, with operations in Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela.
  • Ronair/Credit Suisse. We represented an international investment bank in a $40 million financing for Ronair N.V., a subsidiary of Avianca, the leading Colombian airline. Proceeds of the loans were used in connection with the purchase by Avianca of Tampa Cargo S.A., a Colombian cargo airline. The financing involved complex tax and corporate issues of Colombian, Dutch, Netherlands Antilles and Panamanian law.

Brazil

  • Bahia Specialty Cellulose. We represented the lead arrangers on a $470 million pre-export financing for the Brazilian pulp maker, Bahia Specialty Cellulose S.A. Trade & Forfaiting Review named the transaction Deal of the Year 2010 for its innovative structure which combined both pre-export financing and project financing features. This transaction was also named Latin Finance Trade Finance Deal of the Year 2011.
  • Banco do Brasil S.A. We represented Banco do Brazil S.A. on the first diversified payment rights securitization in Brazil and the first future flow transaction by a Brazilian bank.
  • HSBC Brasil, S.A. We advised HSBC Brasil, S.A. (as originator) and HSBC Securities (as initial purchaser) in a $200 million bond offering secured by Dollar-denominated diversified payment rights sold by HSBC Brasil. The offering, which was enhanced by Financial Guaranty Insurance Company, was the first securitization of remittances by HSBC in Latin America.
  • Independencia. We represented BTIG as the sole arranger in connection with Independencia’s private placement of $165 million of 15 percent senior secured notes due 2015. The issuance of the 15 percent senior secured notes was the company’s exit financing in connection with its judicial reorganization under Brazilian bankruptcy laws which was named Restructuring Deal of the Year by Latin Lawyer 2010.
  • Light S.A. We acted for Light and its selling shareholders on a secondary global offering of 432 million shares. The offering raised R$772 million (US$390 million and was one of the first post-crisis Brazilian equity offerings to close).
  • Multiplus S.A. We represented Multiplus S.A., a leading Brazilian loyalty program, in connection with an offering of its shares pursuant to an initial public offering in Brazil and Rule 144A/Regulation S outside Brazil.
  • Oil Drill Ships. We advised on the construction and $1.5 billion project financing of two dynamically positioned oil drill ships to be purchased by the sponsor and chartered for operation off the coast of Brazil. The debt financing includes commercial and ECA tranches and is one of the highest value project finance transactions in the Latin American market. This transaction was named Americas Deal of the Year 2009 by Project Finance International and Latin American Bond Deal of the Year 2010 by Project Finance.
  • Publicis Groupe. We acted for Publicis Groupe in connection with the acquisition by one of its subsidiaries of a minority stake in Talent Propaganda S.A. and QG Partners Participaçoés S.A. Our association firm in Brazil, Tauil & Chequer Advogados, handled the Brazilian aspects of this transaction.
  • Sabesp. We represented Companhia de Saneamento Basico de Estado de São Paulo (Sabesp) in a two part finance package from the IADB: a $100 million loan from the IADB and a $150 loan from a commercial bank syndicate.
  • Sadia. We acted as underwriter's counsel for ABN AMRO on a $250 million offering of 6.875% Notes due 2017 by Sadia Overseas Ltd.–Sadia's first international debt offering.
  • SK Energy. We represented SK Energy Co., Ltd. in the $2.4 billion sale of its Brazilian upstream oil and gas subsidiary, SK do Brasil Ltda., to Mærsk Olie og Gas A/S. Our association firm, Tauil & Chequer Advogados, handled all Brazilian aspects of the transaction.
  • Telemar. We acted as US counsel for Telemar Norte Leste S.A., as issuer, in connection with a $750 million 144A/Reg S senior note offering. The bond issue was the first post-crisis debt issue by a non-state controlled entity and named Best Corporate Bond 2009 by Latin Finance.
  • Unigel S.A. We represented the creditor group, in the restructuring of several bilateral pre-export loans into a $238 million pre-export facility for Unigel S.A., a Brazilian conglomerate in the chemical, fertilizer, plastics and packaging sectors.
  • ViaQuatro. We acted in connection with the long-term limited recourse financing for the São Paulo Metro Line 4 Project, following the award of a 30-year Public Private Partnership concession by the State of São Paulo. Line 4 will be a principal commuter route that runs southwest to northeast through metropolitan São Paulo, connecting residential neighborhoods to important commercial districts. The Project stands as the first PPP project in Brazil to be financed in the international markets and the financial structure itself is built around an innovative two-phase A/B loan framework from the Inter-American Development Bank.

Central America/Caribbean

  • Advent International. We represented Bank of Nova Scotia, as global coordinator, joint lead arranger and joint bookrunner on a $350 million syndicated credit facility, the proceeds of which were used by an affiliate of Advent International to part finance its acquisition of Aeropuertos Dominicanos Siglo XXI, S.A. (Aerdodom). This was the first leveraged buyout in the Dominican Republic and was named Latin American Private Equity Deal of the Year at the 2009 Project Finance awards.
  • Aliaxis S.A. We represented Aliaxis S.A. in a tender offer for all of the shares of Durman Esquivel, a Costa Rican company with operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Butterfield Bank. We represented the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and The Carlyle Group in the $550 million acquisition of a minority stake in Bermuda-based Butterfield Bank. CIBC and Carlyle each invested $150 million in Butterfield while other institutional investors collectively invested an aggregate of $250 million on similar terms.
  • Cervecería Nacional Dominicana. We represented Standard Bank as dealer manager in a $130 million tender offer by Cervecería Nacional Dominicana, C. por A. to purchase its outstanding Senior Notes due 2013 and we represented Standard Bank in financing part of the tender offer through Standard Bank plc’s credit-linked Program. This transaction is notable as it is the first major bond buyback via a tender offer to have taken place in the Dominican Republic. This project was named Corporate Liability Management Deal of the Year 2008 by Latin Finance.
  • Grupo Colte. We represented Grupo Colte and Pegaso Television in multiple investments by Grupo Colte, Pegaso Television, TeleCapital Associates, LP and TeleCinco Gestévision S.A. into CaribeVision Holding, Inc. and CaribeVision TV Network LLC, owners and operators of a Spanish-language TV network.
  • Hidro Xacbal, S.A. We advised RBTT Merchant Bank, FMO and other lenders in a project financing for Hidro Xacbal, S.A. in its construction of a $227 million 94MW hydroelectric facility in Guatemala. This was the first project financing by RBTT in Central America and the largest hydroelectric project in Guatemala. This project was named Best Power/Energy Deal, 2007 by Latin Finance.
  • National Commercial Bank of Jamaica. We advised the arranger and initial purchaser of $100 million of bonds secured by Dollar-denominated payment obligations relating to SWIFT MT 100 payment orders sold by National Commercial Bank of Jamaica Limited. This offering was the first securitization of remittances by a bank in the Caribbean.
  • Panama Canal. We are acting as procurement counsel to the Panama Canal Authority (Autoridad del Canal de Panamá or “ACP”) for the planned Panama Canal expansion. This engagement consists of advising the ACP on its RFQ/bidding process, financial and legal aspects of bid contract terms, contract negotiation, and all related construction and project development matters for the $5.25 billion Panama Canal Expansion Program.
  • Petroleos Delta SA. We represented Petroleos Delta, an affiliate of Banco General (Panama) that is a leading fuel distributor in Panama, in the acquisition of various gas stations in Panama and Costa Rica owned by Royal Dutch Shell.
  • QBE Del Istmo Reinsurance Company. We represented IFC in its investment in QBE Del Istmo Reinsurance Company, Inc., a reinsurance company based in the Republic of Panama.
  • Trinidad & Tobago. We represented HSBC in the financing of the construction of a 64Mw dual fuel power plant on the Cove Industrial Estate in Tobago, by Wartsila Power Plants, on behalf of the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC), Global Trade Review's Deal of the Year 2008.

Mexico

  • Aeroinvest S.A. de C.V. We represented Aeroinvest S.A. de C.V. in a three-tranche Euro-Peso debt offering of approximately US$200 million. The 10-year debt issuance was primarily used to refinance the acquisition by Aeroinvest of a majority interest in Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte (GACN), which owns and operates 13 airports in Mexico. The offering was essentially a securitization by Aeroinvest of its expected dividend flow from GACN and was structured to match Aeroinvest’s Peso-denominated dividend flows with Peso-denominated debt service obligations.
  • Boleo Mine. We acted for the mandated lead arrangers on the $650 million project financing of a zinc and copper mine in Baja California Sur, Mexico. This transaction was named Latin American Mining Deal of the Year 2010 by Project Finance.
  • Breach of contract. We represented three Mexican companies in their defense before the courts for an alleged breach of contract. The international litigation group successfully revoked the $454 million fine.
  • Cemex, S.A.B. de C.V. We advised Cemex, S.A.B. de C.V. in negotiating and documenting a $3 billion term loan facility to finance in part its $12.8 billion bid to acquire Rinker Group Limited in Australia. This is the largest hostile offer ever made by a Latin American company for a non-Latin American company.
  • Controladora Comercial Mexicana. We represented Barclays Capital in connection with the recent bankruptcy filing in Mexico of Controladora Comercial Mexicana (CCM), arising from CCM's liability under currency exchange derivatives contracts. This transaction was named IFLR Restructuring Deal of the Year 2011 and Latin Finance Restructuring Deal of the Year 2011.
  • Corporación Durango, S.A. de C.V. We represented the unsecured bank creditors of Corporación Durango, S.A. de C.V., Mexico's largest pulp/paper company, in its debt restructuring, which was the first "pre-pack" restructuring under Mexico's concurso mercantile law.
  • Crediamigo. We represented the arranger and senior lender, with respect to a MXP$620 million (US$50 million) syndicated loan facility to Crediamigo, a Mexican financial corporation. The facility was secured by payroll deduction loans granted by Mexican governmental employees.
  • GECC-Mexico. We represented GECC-Mexico and affiliates in the formation of a series of joint ventures, in Juarez, San Luis, Huehuetoca and other cities, with Kimco Realty Trust to own and operate strip malls in Mexico anchored by major grocery/retail chains.
  • Grupo Bimbo. We represented George Weston Limited, a Canadian public company, which through its operating subsidiaries is one of North America's largest food processing and distribution groups, in the sale of the United States fresh bread and baked goods business of its subsidiary Dunedin Holdings S.à r.l. to Grupo Bimbo, S.A.B. de C.V. for approximately $2.5 billion. Grupo Bimbo is one of the world’s largest baking companies and is listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange.
  • Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua, S.A.B. de C.V. We advised the lender in providing $150 million in bank financing to Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua, S.A.B. de C.V. to finance its acquisition of Mid-Continent Concrete Company in Oklahoma. This acquisition by GCC was an important part of its strategic expansion in the United States.
  • Grupo GEO. We advised Prudential Real Estate Investments on a joint venture with Grupo GEO to hold real property to be used for residential development, and on the establishment of a fund, and the sale of interests in the fund, holding the Grupo GEO joint venture interests.
  • Grupo Minero México. We represented the unsecured creditors of Grupo Minero México, Mexico's largest mining company, in the restructuring of over $1 billion of GMM debt.
  • La Paz. We represented The Prudential Insurance Company of America in connection with a joint venture for the acquisition and development of land in La Paz, Baja California, Mexico for the development of a hotel, golf course and for sale housing, with aggregate acquisition and development costs of approximately $1 billion.
  • Mexican retail properties. We advised Equity International Properties, Ltd. in connection with its investment in Mexican Retail Properties, a developer and owner of Mexican retail properties.
  • North Baja Pipeline. We represented TransCanada Corporation in the sale of North Baja Pipeline, LLC, an 80-mile natural gas pipeline that extends from southwestern Arizona to the California/Mexico border, to TC PipeLines, LP. The sale included a combination of cash and common units totaling approximately $395 million.
  • Nuevo Pemex. We represented Banco Santander and Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios Públicos in connection with the plan to finance the $700 million, 300 MW Nuevo Pemex cogeneration facility in Tabasco, Mexico being developed by Spanish infrastructure company Abengoa. This facility is the first of a planned series of nine similar cogeneration projects to be developed to provide electricity to Pemex and add more than 3,000 megawatts of additional power generation capacity in Mexico. This transaction was named Latin American Power Deal of the Year 2010 and overall Latin American Deal of the Year 2010 by Project Finance.
  • Su Casita. We acted as special US Counsel to the initial purchaser in the first cross-border RMBS securitization for a Mexican originator. The $232,532,000 Class A and Peso 226,501,400 Class B securitization of residential mortgage loans was originated by Su Casita.
  • TV Azteca. We successfully defended TV Azteca in an enforcement action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging federal securities fraud and violations of Sarbanes-Oxley. The case was settled, and TV Azteca was not required to pay any damages to the SEC. Also represented TV Azteca in the related internal investigation. Finally, we successfully defended TV Azteca in the parallel securities shareholder class action in the Southern District of New York.

Southern Cone

  • ACS. We represented the lender in connection with a €250 million financing for the acquisition by Sandgate and Infraestructuras Americanas (funds managed by Banco Santander) of part of the interest of Actividades de Construcción y Servicios (ACS) in Rutas del Pacífico and Autopista Central, two Chilean transport companies which have been granted infrastructure concessions by the Chilean government.
  • Aeropuertos Argentina 2000. We represented the underwriters in a $300 million bond offering for Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, which will finance construction works at Argentina’s main international airport. This transaction was named Latin Finance Best Structured Financing 2011.
  • Alumbrera mine. We acted in connection with the refinancing of indebtedness relating to Northern Orion’s acquisition of an interest in the Bajo de la Alumbrera gold/copper mine in Argentina.
  • Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires. We represented the unsecured lenders to Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires, Argentina's largest private bank, in the restructuring of approximately $1.5 billion of debt of Banco Galicia.
  • Caldera power plant. We represented a US developer in the proposed development of a 165MW thermoelectric power plant in northern Chile in a joint venture with a Chilean electricity distribution company.
  • Central Puerto, S.A. We acted in connection with the successful restructuring of the approximately $320 million senior secured debt of Central Puerto, S.A., an Argentine electricity producer. Central Puerto is the largest electricity generating company in Buenos Aires and this transaction was one of the only successful restructurings of electricity generator debt following the Argentine fiscal crisis and subsequent material changes in the regulatory scheme applicable to electrical power generation and distribution in Argentina.
  • Compañía Minera del Pacífico. We acted in connection with the $523 million merger of Compañía Minera Huasco S.A., owner of the Los Colorados Mine, with and into Compañía Minera del Pacífico (CMP), and a follow-on $401 million equity capital contribution to CMP by MCI, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation. CMP is the largest iron miner in Chile.
  • Empresas Iansa, S.A. We represented the underwriter in a $100 million high-yield bond offering by Iansa Overseas Limited, guaranteed by Empresas Iansa, S.A.
  • GPU Empresa Distribuidora Eléctrica Regional, S.A. We advised a group of US and Argentine private equity investors in their sale of GPU Empresa Distribuidora Eléctrica Regional, S.A. (which consists of five electricity distribution companies in the north of Argentina) to a group of investors led by an international investment bank.
  • Minera Escondida. We acted in connection with a joint venture owned by Mitsubishi Corporation, Nippon Mining & Metals Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, in the purchase of International Finance Corporation's 2.5% interest in Minera Escondida Limitada, the largest copper mine in the world. The other shareholders in the Chilean Escondida project are BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.
  • Pan American Energy LLC, Argentine Branch. We represented the arranger, in the establishment of a $1 billion Global Medium Term Note Program for Pan American Energy LLC, Argentine Branch.
  • San Gregorio Project Uruguay. We represented a syndicate of lenders in connection with a $25 million (or the gold equivalent thereof) secured project financing for the development of the San Gregorio gold mine owned by Rea Gold Corporation.

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Diversity

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.

Mission Statement
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.

Initiatives

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 Minority Corporate Counsel Association's Annual Pathways to Diversity Conference and CLE Expo.

     
  • The Texas Minority Counsel Program, "Diversity: A World of Opportunity."

     
  • The Minority Outside Counsel Networking Conference.

     
  • We are a national platinum sponsor of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, which offers regional networking and educational events nationwide.

     
  • In addition, all new entry-level lawyers participate in a workplace diversity training workshop as part of our New Associate Orientation program.

 Diversity Retreat

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.

Roundtables

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 Initiatives

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.

 LGBT Initiatives

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 earned a perfect 100 rating for the second consecutive year and was designated as a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality” in the 2011 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), sponsored by The Human Rights Campaign Foundation.  The CEI surveys major businesses to benchmark important employer benefits and protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and their families.

     
  • We are a national sponsor of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, a leading legal services organization seeking to establish and protect LGBT civil rights.

     
  • Each year we sponsor several LGBT community organizations.

 Non-Discrimination Statement

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.

Signatories

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.

 

  • On Monday, Mayer Brown hosted 20 Higher Achievement middle school legal all-stars for a mock trial competition. To read the article, scroll to the 2nd story, Your Replacements.

     
  • Conducted "Why a Big Firm?," "A Day in the Life..." and "How to Succeed in 1st Year" panel discussions for minority students at Washington, DC and Chicago-area law schools.

     
  • Hosted "First Year Minority Law Student Workshop and Reception," during which New York area law school students were provided with advice on how to succeed in law school and with information on the benefits of working at a large law firm.

     
  • Hosted a panel discussion for members of BLSA, APALSA and LALSA at Houston Law Center.

     
  • Held panel discussions at the University of Chicago Law School, University of Houston Law School, Yale Law School and Georgetown Law School and other law schools for affinity groups such as BLSA, APALSA and LALSA on topics such as resume writing, judicial clerkships, succeeding in law school and as a summer associate.

     
  • Hosted Mayer Brown - Mock Interview Program for students from Fordham Law School, University of Chicago, Northwestern and University of Illinois.

     
  • Participated in Cook County Bar Association Minority Student Job Fair, MidAtlantic Black Law Student Association Job Fair, Northeast BLSA Job Fair, Southeastern BLSA Job Fair, Harvard BLSA Conference, IL Job Fair and Howard University Law School Job Fair.

     
  • Participated in diversity-related conferences, such as the ABA Commission on Racial & Ethnic Diversity in the Profession Annual Conference for the Minority Lawyer, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's (MCCA) Annual Pathways to Diversity Conference and the MCCA CLE Expo.

     
  • Supported the University of Chicago Asian Pacific Law Students Association's (APALSA) mentoring program.

     
  • Hosted visits to Chicago-area firms by University of Illinois Latin American Law Students' Association (LALSA), Northwestern LALSA and University of Illinois BLSA students.

     
  • Participated in Lavender Law Career and Job Fair.

     
  • Sponsored and organized Pre-Law Night for Hampton University undergraduates.

     
  • Participated in the Houston Bar Association's summer associate minority law clerk and mentoring program. 

     
  • Participated in and hosted Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms' forums and gatherings, including "Business Development," "What They Really Talk About When You Are Up for Partnership," "Rules of the Game," "The Senior Associate Rain Dance," "Tips for First & Second Year Associates," "Tips for Summer Associates from Minority Attorneys," "Welcome Reception for Minority First Year Associates" and "Welcome Reception for Minority Summer Associates." 

 Events

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.

  • Roundtable Summit of New York City area Latin American Law School Student Association (LALSA) leaders in conjunction with the Puerto Rican Bar Association.

     
  • AALDEF Summer Associate Cocktail Party and the NY Women's Bar Association Panel on "What it's Really Like to Practice Law in NYC as a Woman?"

     
  • Sponsor of the BLSA Tenth Annual Banquet at the University of Houston.

     
  • Latin American Law School Student Association (LALSA) Dinner at Fordham Law School. 

     
  • Columbia University Law School Paul Robeson Conference (BLSA).

     
  • Northwestern University Law School Latino Heritage Week.

     
  • Platinum Sponsor of the National Association of South Asian Bar Associations Conference. 

     
  • University of Michigan BLSA Alden J. "Butch" Carpenter Memorial Scholarship Banquet.

     
  • Northwestern Law School's Dream Committee King Day Reception.

     
  • Harvard Law School's 8th Annual Latino Law and Public Policy Conference.

     
  • Mayer Brown is a national platinum sponsor of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) and gives support to the organization's diversity roundtables, Employers' Choice Award dinners and CLE Expo.

     
  • ABA Women in Law Leadership Academy, at which Managing Partner Debora de Hoyos delivered Keynote address.

     
  •  "Cultivate Your Career: A Symposium for Mayer Brown Women" for all NY, DC, Houston, Charlotte, Los Angeles and Chicago female lawyers.

     
  • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) dinner in New York City. 

     
  • Coordinated and hosted the annual luncheon of the Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Lawyers of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

     
  • ABA Reception honoring Dennis W. Archer, President-Elect of the ABA.

     
  • Martindale-Hubbell event: "Recruiting & Retention Strategies that Effectively Promote Diversity."

     
  • Provided support for the Annual Women's Law Breakfast, which is hosted by the Puerto Rican Bar Association (PRBA). 

     
  • Hosted the Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund (PRLDEF) "Committee of 100" Kick-Off Reception and our New York lawyers served as founders of the Committee of 100.

     
  • New York Women's Agenda Star Breakfast. 

     
  • Lambda Liberty Awards Banquet, which gives recognition to significant gay and lesbian corporate initiatives.

     
  • Conference for the Texas Minority Counsel Program.

     
  • Sponsor of the A. Leon Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Awards dinner recognizing diversity initiatives hosted by the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

     
  • Sponsor of Catalyst Awards Dinner.

     
  • Hosted member meetings of the Dominican Bar Association and the Hispanic National Bar Association.

Sponsorships

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. 
 

  • National Sponsor of Lambda Legal Education and Defense Fund.

     
  • The official sponsor of the National Black Law Students' Frederick Douglass National Moot Court Competition to be held in Denver, CO, March 30 - April 2.

     
  • National sponsor of Minority Corporate Counsel Association and participated in their cross-gender and cross-mentoring study.

     
  • Mayer Brown's Chicago office is a member of Chicago United, a corporate member organization that brings together business leaders of various races and ethnicities to improve business race relations in the City of Chicago.

     
  • Financial sponsors of law school affinity groups at the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois, the University of Chicago, Stanford University, Northwestern University, Columbia University, Fordham University, and Harvard University.

     
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York (ABCNY) Minority Fellowship Program, through which we hire a minority first-year law student from a New York City law school as part of our summer associate program.

     
  • The Asian University for Women in Bangladesh. This program is for women of diverse backgrounds throughout Asia, with a special emphasis on poor, rural and refugee women.

     
  • The "N.Y. Cares" Winter Benefit and Summer Program for underprivileged children.

     
  • Silver sponsor of the Texas Diversity Council

     

Some examples of the organizations and events to which the Firm has donated are as follows:

     

  • Ricky Byrdsong Foundation Annual Race Against Hate

     
  • Puerto Rican Bar Association 

     
  • Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund

     
  • Illinois Humanities Council - Programming of Brown v. Board of Education Series

     
  • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund

     
  • Women's Bar Foundation

     
  • Hispanic Lawyers Scholarship Fund of Illinois

     
  • Black Women Lawyers' Association of Greater Chicago

     
  • Asian American Legal Resource Center

     
  • Funded a Harvard Law School student's trip to Botswana as part of the Harvard Black Law Student Association (HBLSA) Africa Summit

     
  • Annually fund a fellowship for a public interest project through Legal Aid focused on addressing the legal issues of battered women and immigrant women

     
  • Leadership Circle Sponsor of Access Living Annual Gala, an organization which advocates for disability rights

     
  • Dominican Bar Association

     
  • Hispanic National Bar Association

     
  • Bronx Charter School for the Arts

 Community Outreach

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.

 

     

  • Ricky Byrdsong Foundation Race Against Hate in Chicago. We have been a sponsor for four consecutive years and both lawyers and staff run in the Race.

     
  • Constitutional Law Program with Northside Preparatory in Chicago. Guided by Mayer Brown lawyers, the students research and write oral arguments and argue real cases before a panel of lawyers serving as justices.

     
  • Pro bono work for the NAACP, which includes representing it nationally in matters pertaining to employment, licensing, first amendment rights and intellectual property. 

     
  • Partnership of the Chicago office with the Stockton School in Chicago, an elementary school serving a population that is 90% minority and 93% low-income students. The Firm's lawyers and staff serve as mentors and tutors to the school children during visits throughout the school year. 

     
  • Secured federal trademark protection for the logos of the youth museum, radio station and gift shop of the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum in Chicago.

     
  • Financial and mentorship support provided to Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Providence-St. Mel High School and Farragut High School in Chicago.

     
  • Participation of New York associates and summer associates in a program through NY Cares that takes underprivileged children to the Bronx Zoo. 

     
  • Recipient of Giving Bowl Award in for service to Miriam's Kitchen, which provides meals to hundreds of Washington, D.C. homeless each day.

     
  • Hosted cultivation reception for the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families to introduce the non-profit to new potential corporate donors. 

     
  • Partnership of the Washington, D.C. office with the Gage-Eckington School in northeast D.C. The Firm's lawyers and staff serve as mentors and tutors to the students during the school year and raise money for the school's special needs.

     
  • Each office does significant volunteer work in their communities with city schools and community organizations serving disadvantaged individuals.

Leadership

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:

  • Rebecca S. Eisner, National Outsourcing (Band 1) and Illinois Technology & IT Outsourcing  (Band 1)
  • Marcia E. Goodman, Illinois Labor & Employment (Band 3)
  • Carol A. Hitselberger, National Capital Markets: Securitization (Band 4)
  • Sharon Israel, Texas Intellectual Property (Band 2)
  • Erika Z. Jones, National Transportation: Road (Carriage/Commercial) (Band 1)
  • Jennifer L. Keating, Illinois Corporate/M&A (Band 4)
  • Marcia G. Madsen, National Government: Government Contracts and National Government: Government Contracts : Bid Protests (Band 1)
  • Stephanie Monaco, National Investment Funds: Registered Funds (Band 3)
  • Donna Morgan, National Wealth Management: Central Region (Band 3)
  • Michele L. Odorizzi, Illinois Litigation: General Commercial (Band 3)

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.