India

In recent years, India has opened up its markets to the world through continuing landmark legal and regulatory reforms affecting almost every aspect of its economy, from business, finance and foreign investments to trade, manufacturing and intellectual property.

As a result of these reforms, the climate for investment in India has never been better. With consistent GDP growth, India's markets offer companies, financial institutions and funds wide-ranging opportunities for growth, development and investment.

Despite recent progress, however, India's rapidly changing business, legal and regulatory environment remains complex and presents unique challenges for market participants, particularly foreign investors. These challenges include market access barriers, limitations on the repatriation of invested capital, restrictions on offshore lending (even to wholly owned subsidiaries) and hard-to-navigate investment regulations, to name just a few. In order for businesses to succeed in this market, they will need to have a well-developed business strategy that takes into account the complex business, legal and regulatory environment and the diverse cultural nuances at play.

As a leading international law firm, Mayer Brown, early on, recognized the importance of the Indian marketplace. We have a multidisciplinary team of practitioners, many of whom speak Hindi or other regional languages, who are dedicated to assisting clients in navigating the challenges of, and the opportunities afforded by, the Indian marketplace. We have considerable experience acting for a wide range of international clients in connection with India-related matters. This experience, combined with our extensive resources and local contacts, ensures that our clients are well-advised and thus well-prepared to participate in the Indian market. Our clients include international firms investing or otherwise doing business in India, as well as Indian companies, which are increasingly active outside India.

Reflecting the firm's full-service global platform, the India group has broad transactional and advisory experience in a wide range of business and legal matters, including:

  • Mergers and acquisitions, equity investments and joint ventures
  • Equity and debt capital markets activities
  • Fund formation matters
  • Real estate projects and related activities
  • Business and technology sourcing transactions
  • Banking and finance, including project finance
  • Global trade
  • Anti-corruption/Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Compliance
  • Intellectual property
  • Tax planning, structuring and controversy
  • Litigation and arbitration

India's markets offer companies, financial institutions and funds wide-ranging opportunities for growth and development. If businesses are to make the most of these opportunities, they need to be well-prepared—and well-advised—by a firm that understands the diverse cultural and legal nuances at play.

Experience

Mergers and Acquisitions, Equity Investments and Joint Ventures

The Corporate practice is at the core of Mayer Brown's work in each of its worldwide offices. As such, advising clients on India-related mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and equity investments is a core strength of our India practice. We have significant experience in representing international clients, including private equity, hedge and real estate funds, as well as Fortune 500 companies, in structuring and implementing their investment strategies across a variety of industries in India. We work closely in structuring investment opportunities with our tax lawyers who are familiar with the various treaty networks that may be available to maximize after-tax returns. We are also well-known for our work in structuring investments on behalf of funds and institutional investors to ensure that such investments are structured in a manner that takes into account ERISA considerations.

Our India group includes lawyers from around the globe who are experienced in cross-border transactions involving India, including a number of India-qualified lawyers located across our offices. The global nature of our practice allows us to recognize and address issues across multiple jurisdictions as we structure and negotiate Indian transactions. We have also represented many India companies in merger and acquisition, joint venture and investment activities involving their US, European, Latin American, African and Asian interests and in connection with negotiations of India-based joint ventures with foreign investors.

We also often advise our international clients in structuring and documenting domestic Indian investments, particularly where we are able to overlay our project management, global tax structuring and other technical skills with our firm understanding of the Indian marketplace and the requirements applicable to foreign investment in India. In such circumstances, we draw upon our network of contacts at Indian law firms to deliver seamless legal advice and project management.

Equity and Debt Capital Markets

Our India group also includes lawyers from the firm's Capital Markets practice who regularly advise on some of the most complex financing transactions around the world. Our technical knowledge and deal experience, together with the strength of the firm's global platform, allows us to help clients structuring and executing a broad range of financing transactions, from debt and equity issues to derivatives and structured finance. Our global footprint enables us to help clients manage complex and multi-jurisdictional offerings, including advising on publicity, offering and selling restrictions across many jurisdictions.

Our experience in the Indian capital markets covers a variety of industries and issuer types, from agriculture to high-tech and services to manufacturing. This broad base of experience allows us to represent clients in the Indian securities market with great efficiency.

We regularly handle a wide variety of transactions in the equity, debt and real estate capital markets on behalf of issuers and underwriters/placement agents alike. Our Capital Markets team has experience advising issuers and underwriters in connection with Indian offerings of foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs), American Depository Receipts (ADRs) and Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) and in conducting initial public offerings or secondary offerings with concurrent US or global offerings (including private placements under Rule 144A and global offerings structured to comply with Reg. S). We also have experience advising on US and European stock exchange listings and global offerings by India-focused investment funds and on other transactions involving listings of securities by Indian issuers on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the National Stock Exchange (NSE), and the London (both Main List and AIM), Luxembourg, Hong Kong and Singapore exchanges, among others.

Fund Formation

Our India group includes lawyers from the firm's Private Investment Fund practice, which includes lawyers from across the firm's worldwide practice areas. This practice helps fund sponsors, advisers and investors structure funds and investments creatively and efficiently to maximize fund-raising flexibility and opportunities. Fund-sponsor clients of the practice include major and boutique fund management companies, investment banks and insurance companies. In addition, we represent a number of leading investors in their private investment fund investments, including private and government pension plans, financial institutions, universities, sovereign wealth funds and other foreign investors, insurance companies, religious and charitable organizations, high net worth individuals and family businesses.

Our India group advises fund sponsors in connection with the structuring, marketing, regulation and operation of public and private investment funds that focus on investments in India. We have substantial experience in structuring Indian funds with a wide range of investment styles and objectives, including private equity, infrastructure, real estate, hedge and venture funds. Our experience also involves representing many of the leading institutional investors with respect to their investments in Indian private funds. Based on our work for such a wide variety of fund sponsors and investors across the globe, our India group is well-positioned to assist clients in developing creative, flexible and efficient structures to raise discretionary capital for investments in India.

Real Estate

Mayer Brown's global Real Estate group is one of the very few real estate groups in the international legal market dedicated to advising clients on their global real estate requirements, including those related to India. Forming part of our India practice, the Real Estate India group is an integrated team of lawyers located across the firm's main hubs in the Americas, Asia and Europe.

Our India-focused and other international real estate lawyers are supported by our global team of lawyers in the fields of tax, finance, construction and corporate law. Together, we offer our clients extensive experience structuring real estate investments and associated offshore structures, agreements and special purpose vehicles. We are also active in negotiating and structuring real estate joint ventures and direct real estate fund investment, as well as advising on the related tax and corporate aspects. In addition, we represent many of our global real estate clients in developing documents for use in the Indian market and managing their local leasing and other programs. We work with leading local law firms in connection with these programs.

Business and Technology Sourcing Transactions

IT/Outsourcing Transactions. Mayer Brown is a global leader in information technology, telecommunications and business process outsourcing. Clients look to us to evaluate, structure, negotiate and project-manage all types of outsourcing transactions—from simple sole-sourced deals to complex, competitively bid, multinational transactions. We advise on the benefits of various structures, apply proven project management and negotiating strategies, and find the best solutions based on individual client needs.

Clients rely upon us throughout the entire life cycle of an outsourcing transaction—from the early planning stages, RFP preparation and proposal assessment to negotiation, closing and post-signing support. We also help companies restructure and renegotiate existing outsourcing relationships and re-source or in-source outsourced services. Each step of the way, our lawyers counsel clients on the available options and their legal and business consequences.

Our 50 outsourcing lawyers have represented clients in all types of outsourcing transactions in India, including application development and maintenance, telecommunications services, help desk and call-center services.

Contract Manufacturing. In negotiating contract manufacturing arrangements for multinational clients, we combine the firm's business and technology sourcing experience with its complex tax planning experience. Additionally, the firm has significant experience in handling the sourcing of services for the contract manufacturing of pharmaceutical products from contract manufacturers located in India.

Banking & Finance; Project Finance

Banking and Finance is a founding practice of Mayer Brown and continues to represent one of the firm's signature strengths. Many of the firm's largest clients are bank-holding companies, commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, asset-based lenders, leasing companies or institutional real estate companies.

We have a broad range of experience in banking and finance transactions in India, including microfinance, securitization and project finance. In the projects arena, lawyers in this group have represented developers and financial institutions in India in a range of project and lease financings that have included industrial and manufacturing facilities such as electric power plants, gas pipelines and oil refineries.

Mayer Brown has an award-winning Projects group that is regularly involved in some of the largest and most innovative projects across the globe. Our lawyers have participated in over 20 Deal of the Year award-winning transactions on five continents, spanning all sectors including power, oil and gas, renewables, mining, roads and motorways, ports, petrochemicals, wind, water and wastewater treatment, and industrial, manufacturing, township projects and other infrastructure facilities.

Our Project group represents developers, sponsors, investors, contractors, operators, governments and public agencies, commercial and investment banks, and bi- and multi-lateral agencies such as the Export-Import Bank and the International Finance Corporation.

Global Trade

Mayer Brown's Global Trade practice has some of the most experienced senior trade professionals and lawyers from the Americas, Asia and Europe, several of whom are internationally recognized for client representation in trade remedy proceedings, customs disputes and market access controversies. From the United States, they include two former US Trade Representatives, a former US Secretary of Commerce, a former Member of the US Congress and several former senior US trade negotiators and senior trade officials. From Europe, they include a former EU Ambassador to the United States and a former member of both the European Parliament and the German Bundestag. Such experience helps us to work with clients to try to open markets, comply with trade laws and resolve trade disputes. Our lawyers have been involved in negotiating almost every major trade agreement and initiative over the past 25 years.

Using our business and legal insight, and access to policymakers in capitals around the world, the Global Trade group helps multinational companies identify promising foreign markets and develop entry strategies that overcome market obstacles. We work closely with bilateral, regional and multilateral institutions, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Our team also represents parties before the relevant government agencies in the Americas, Asia, Europe and elsewhere around the world.

Mayer Brown's Global Trade group has in-depth knowledge of, and vast experience with, virtually every aspect of international trade and investment, including Market Access and Trade Policy (Multilateral and Bilateral Trade Agreements and Preferential Trade Regimes), Antidumping and Antisubsidy Investigations, Customs Compliance, Export Control and Sanctions Programs, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and Anti-Corruption Laws, International Litigation and Dispute Settlement, ITC Section 337 Investigations, World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement, and Market Access and Strategic Counseling.

Mayer Brown's global trade lawyers and professionals in Washington, Brussels, Bangkok, Hanoi and Beijing are supported by lawyers and professionals in major business centers worldwide. That means we can help our clients understand trade policy and comply with trade laws in order to capitalize on opportunities and overcome market barriers in nearly every country.

Anti-Corruption/Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Compliance

Despite great strides in recent years, corruption remains an element of doing business in India and can present serious risks to foreign companies when circumstances require interacting with Indian government officials at the federal, state or local government level. Pursuant to the Indian Prevention of Corruption Act, the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the anti-bribery regimes in dozens of other countries, bribery of governmental officials in the context of doing business in India is illegal.

Many companies turn to Mayer Brown to manage and mitigate these corruption risks should they arise. Mayer Brown lawyers have been involved in every stage of anti-corruption practices in India, including:

  • Compliance counseling focused on Indian operations, including policies and procedures designed to prevent and detect corrupt activities, and training to educate employees on applicable legal requirements.
  • Due diligence of prospective joint venture partners, consultants, agents and other third parties.
  • Developing contract language requiring commercial partners to comply with the anti-corruption requirements.
  • On-the-ground internal corporate investigations, including extensive interviews and document review in India.
  • Enforcement defense in the United States and India (with appropriate coordination with local Indian counsel).

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is a particularly sensitive and an increasingly important part of business activities involving India, and we have an extensive practice with particular emphasis on acquisition and transfer of IP assets, portfolio evaluation, counseling on cross-border IP issues, litigation of disputes involving patent, trademark and copyright, and IP transactional matters. Our lawyers are experienced in the preparation and prosecution of patent, trademark and copyright applications internationally and routinely provide these services to firm clients.

We regularly represent clients in connection with the licensing, purchase and sale of intellectual property assets, including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and computer hardware and software assets. These transactional activities involve negotiating and preparing a wide range of local and international license and transfer agreements as well as due diligence reviews related to corporate mergers, acquisitions and stock offerings.

When needed, our India group can also leverage its close working relationships with some of the most prominent IP law firms in India.

Tax Planning, Structuring and Tax Controversy

Mayer Brown's extensive global tax planning and tax controversy practices have a long history of providing tax advice worldwide.

Our Transfer Pricing and Tax Controversy practices work with multinational companies to plan, coordinate, implement, document and defend their transfer pricing policies worldwide, including India. We also advise clients on unilateral and multilateral advance pricing agreements, represent clients in competent authority and mutual agreement proceedings, and advise clients with respect to permanent establishment and other treaty application issues. In addition, we provide advice and prepare submissions for controversies before Transfer Pricing Officers, Assessing Officers, Commissioners of Income Tax (Appeals) and the new Dispute Resolution Panel.

Our tax planning practitioners function as tax advisers—often the lead tax advisers—on multinational transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, joint ventures, leveraged and structured financings and financial products, coordinating tax advice in the various countries involved in order to structure and implement the transactions in the most advantageous way under all applicable tax regimes. In addition, our lawyers have substantial experience structuring hedge funds, private equity funds and real estate funds with investments in India and advising companies on outsourcing operations to India and structuring their Indian supply-chain operations.

We have advised US multinationals in structuring contract manufacturing arrangements with Indian manufacturers of generic pharmaceutical drugs in order to maximize deferral of US federal income. In this regard, we have worked with Indian tax advisers to also minimize the risk of creating a tax nexus for the US multinational in India, for example, as a result of compliance audits visits of the contract manufacturers' facilities.

Finally, Mayer Brown has significant experience on issues relating to the analysis and enforcement of bilateral investment treaties signed by countries such as India, notably in taxation matters. Our assistance encompasses the analysis of the protection provided by the bilateral investment treaties signed by India and how protected investors may rely on them, in parallel with double-taxation treaties, to challenge potentially illegal or unfair tax practices under international law. If the dispute is not settled amicably, our lawyers have experience representing the parties to the dispute in binding international arbitration proceedings.

Litigation/Arbitration

With more than 450 litigators worldwide, our highly rated Litigation practice assists with virtually every type of legal dispute arising within or across the Americas, Asia and Europe. Our team is particular skilled in arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms that are critical for clients in the context of sometimes backlogged and complicated Indian court systems.

Chambers Global specifically noted the Litigation practice's "skill at managing complex, multilayered proceedings," and Chambers USA remarked that the practice is "used to handling bet-the-company litigation with a high degree of public exposure" and has a "broad-ranging, highly competent collection of unassuming and uniformly excellent lawyers."

By combining intellectual firepower with trial and appellate advocacy, the Litigation practice enjoys great success handling complex, high-stakes litigation for a wide variety of clients around the world.

Similarly, the team's International Arbitration practice works with clients to resolve matters outside the court system. Our arbitration lawyers are well-versed in both common law and civil law procedure and have pioneered the application of advanced trial techniques to arbitration. They are also recognized for their commercial edge and skill in drafting international arbitration clauses that are tailored to the interests of our clients, the complexities of each transaction and to mitigate jurisdictional risks.

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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.