Mayer Brown's Chemicals practice consists of a multidisciplinary team of lawyers with extensive industry knowledge and resources. The group comprises lawyers from across the firm’s practices. These lawyers are experienced in dealing with the issues affecting the chemicals industry globally, including transactions, environmental and regulatory matters, dispute resolution, antitrust and competition, risk management, investigations and compliance, government and global trade, intellectual property and tax.
At Mayer Brown, we have a long history of providing clients in the global chemicals sector with practical and effective legal support. Our clients range from emerging companies to some of the largest chemical companies in the world. A number of our lawyers have worked within companies in the chemicals sector either on secondment from the firm or in senior positions as in-house counsel. As a result, our Chemicals practice has firsthand knowledge of key technical, operational, strategic and commercial aspects of the sector from the perspective of its many chemicals industry clients. We also represent a significant number of regional, national and global banks, investment banks and other investors in capital markets and structured finance transactions in the chemicals industry.
Our geographic reach and on-the-ground presence in most of the world’s key business and finance centers allows us to assist our clients in structuring and coordinating cross-border transactions and other transnational legal matters. Our in-depth experience, gained by working across business areas and issues with chemical companies and networking with leading industrial organizations, provides our lawyers with insight into legal and regulatory challenges facing the industry.
Our Chemicals practice provides advice on the full range of issues, including:
Clients turn to us for advice in structuring, managing and documenting their transactions, including the most complex, time-sensitive and critical deals.
We have represented domestic and multinational clients in all forms of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, divestitures/disposals, contested transactions, management and other buyouts, recapitalizations, reorganizations, tender offers and joint ventures. Our chemicals team has extensive experience in assisting with all aspects of transactions, including site separation mechanics, shared facility agreements, business, site and other service agreements, lease agreements, toll and contract manufacturing agreements, supply agreements, power arrangements and IP agreements.
We provide competition and antitrust advice on a variety of cross-border transactions to ensure compliance with regulations and other guidelines in the Americas, Asia and Europe. We also draw upon our litigation experience to assist companies in evaluating potential product and commercial liability risks in formal and informal due diligence for transactions in all forms, including risks of existing or emerging toxic torts, product liability and commercial disputes.
Lawyers from the firm’s Capital Markets practice provide legal knowledge, market experience and international insight with the financial products central to financial institutions. We work with many of the Fortune 100 companies, most leading global banks, broker-dealers, asset managers and insurance companies. The impact of this experience is that our clients gain thoughtful, creative solutions to the challenges encountered in capital markets transactions. Mayer Brown’s experience in the chemicals industry allows us to quickly and seamlessly provide the proper context for the regulatory, disclosure and other commercial issues that arise during the course of a capital markets transaction. There is no substitute for having lawyers on a deal team who have a sophisticated understanding of their client’s business.
With our multijurisdictional capabilities and deep understanding of the capital markets and structured finance (including securitization), we are ideally placed to advise on global project finance. The firm’s award-winning Projects Group is regularly involved in some of the largest and most innovative projects across the globe. Our experience ranges across sectors and hemispheres, including countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The depth and quality of our domestic and international teams bring together skills in risk assessment, project appraisal and project documentation, including concession agreements, project development agreements, partnership and joint venture agreements, acquisition agreements, management agreements and subcontracting arrangements for a diverse group of clients, including developers, sponsors, investors, contractors, operators, commercial and investment banks and governments and public agencies.
Environmental and Regulatory
We have experienced and accomplished teams of lawyers who “first chair” litigation matters and advise on transactional and regulatory matters related to environmental concerns. In transactional matters, we identify, evaluate and manage environmental risks in multi-jurisdictional corporate, real estate and finance transactions. We take an appropriate, consistent and cost-effective approach to managing the due diligence/disclosure process with the aim of delivering practical, commercially effective solutions.
In regulatory matters, including the REACH legislation and global climate change issues, we have experience in all relevant jurisdictions. For example, we have a multidisciplinary regulatory team that includes in-house scientific expertise and that provides leading edge assistance to help our chemicals clients comply with and manage complex regulatory requirements, such as the regulations adopted in the European Union and elsewhere pursuant to the Global Harmonized System (GHS). Lawyers in the group participated in the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol negotiating process and have been involved in developing a post-Kyoto agreement architecture. At the same time, we have a thorough understanding of the broader regulatory context in which our clients operate.
Our lawyers have been at the forefront of developing policy on the legal aspects of climate change and have assisted clients with all associated activities, including legislative and regulatory advice, emissions trading, climate change levy agreements, carbon capture and storage, energy efficiency issues and compliance with greenhouse gases permits. We are also at the forefront of the regulatory debate on nanotechnologies. Our broad understanding of these and other regulatory issues offers insight that is valuable to helping chemical companies ensure global market access in compliance with regional and local regulatory requirements.
We have substantial experience in successfully leading a broad spectrum of cases, including civil and criminal enforcement actions, statutory cleanup actions, refusal of environmental permits, environmental prosecutions, and mass tort and toxic tort actions. We have particular experience handling and prevailing in large cases combining governmental investigations or prosecutions and mass civil claims. Our work has included defending chemical companies, suppliers and insurers against a wide range of consumer and product liability claims, and we have worked on matters dealing with some of the most well-known chemicals and substances (such as asbestos) to those on the cutting edge of emerging claims and litigation (such as bis-phenol A, food flavorings and MTBE).
Of particular interest to the chemicals industry, the firm’s Supreme Court & Appellate practice has comprehensive experience in the area of preemption, having secured dismissal on federal preemption grounds—at trial or on appeal—in purported class actions involving everything from bank fees and practices to product liability; lawyers in the group have been involved in virtually every Supreme Court product liability preemption case—representing either a party or an amicus—in the past 10 years. Unlike many other firms, we believe in an integrated trial approach in which our appellate group regularly assists at the trial level and with briefing and arguing pre-trial motions, handling post-trial motions and working closely with trial counsel to shape legal strategy and properly preserve the record for appeal.
We also provide advice on a broad range of commercial disputes, including various forms of breach of contract and warranty, post-closing matters, business torts, qui tam and “whistleblower” litigation. In addition to our representation in courts in multiple jurisdictions, we have extensive experience in international arbitrations and other domestic arbitrations and mediations of disputes. Supporting our dispute resolution work, we are also leaders in the field of electronic discovery and records management.
Antitrust and Competition
Mayer Brown's Antitrust & Competition practice works with clients on a broad variety of issues as they apply to the chemical industry, including mergers and acquisitions, internal investigations and government proceedings, including criminal investigations and enforcement proceedings, and civil litigation related to price fixing, allocation of markets, monopolization and other abuse of dominance charges. We are experienced in representing clients in the chemical industry in matters involving the US Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the European Commission and various national competition authorities and in private damages actions brought by civil plaintiffs around the world. We also are ideally placed to advise clients with respect to the new competition regime in China thanks to our 2008 combination with the leading Asian law firm JSM (formerly Johnson Stokes & Master). In addition, we regularly advise and counsel our clients on all aspects of antitrust compliance and risk assessment.
Risk Management, Investigations and Compliance
Our experience allows us to identify weaknesses in internal controls and business activities that could present risks of enforcement actions. Our lawyers help companies evaluate and enhance their best compliance practices and develop appropriate procedures and policies in response to the changed regulatory landscape, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Regulation FD and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and the increasingly aggressive enforcement efforts of prosecutors and regulators across the globe. Using our insight into how prosecutors apply criminal law to alleged business crimes, we work with clients to undertake compliance audits and draft, implement and monitor compliance plans.
Our defense team conducts independent internal investigations on behalf of corporate management, boards of directors, audit or special litigation committees, government agencies and other investigators; we have suggested corrective measures that have resolved or lessened later enforcement actions. We are able to staff these matters with a diverse team of seasoned criminal defense and compliance lawyers whose prior government and investigative experience make them the optimal choice for these assignments.
In addition to these broad capabilities, we are advocates of the concept of “product stewardship,” which is aimed at spotting potential problems and minimizing the associated risks as early as possible. We can also advise on whether and how to augment insurance coverage in connection with potential product liability claims.
Our analytical approach is the foundation of insightful risk management advice to help clients reduce and manage the risks of litigation and claims on an ongoing basis. We provide practical ways that companies can limit their risk exposure, and, as part of our advice for clients, we can help them develop model supplier and vendor agreements, review product labels, draft and review compliance programs, develop document retention policies, assess existing or contemplated processes for potential risks, and advise on ways to minimize potential litigation or regulatory exposures.
Government and Global Trade
Mayer Brown's Government and Global Trade practices have earned international recognition for using sophisticated political experience and leading-edge legal knowledge to help shape government and trade policy, legislation, and regulations in the Americas, Asia, Europe and key countries and regions around the world. The lawyers, lobbyists and other professionals in our groups are strategic thinkers who help clients to advance their domestic and global goals.
The firm’s IP practice offers a full range of services, including litigation and enforcement, counseling, prosecution and transactions. Our global IP capabilities, coupled with our multidisciplinary approach to today’s emerging issues in the development, protection and exploitation of intellectual property assets, are well-matched for companies in the chemicals industry. We offer comprehensive assistance in key business centers around the world. Many of our IP lawyers in the United States are admitted before the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). In addition, roughly half of our US IP lawyers have technical degrees in such fields as biochemistry, chemistry, pharmacy, microbiology, electrical, mechanical and chemical engineering and computer science, and a number of them have worked as scientists and engineers before becoming lawyers. Our European lawyers deal with cross-border patent issues and strategically manage some of the largest and most recognized global brands. In Asia, we have a highly experienced team of focused IP lawyers who have practiced in Hong Kong, China and the broader Asian region for many years. As a result, we know not only IP law, but also its practical application.
With more than 100 tax lawyers in our ten worldwide offices, the breadth of Mayer Brown's tax practice is difficult to match. Our tax planning lawyers regularly advise on domestic and cross-border restructurings and related planning projects and have represented clients in many major corporate transactions. We have particular experience in the area of transfer pricing and have advised chemical companies on the tax, customs and VAT ramifications of all facets of their value chains, including the development, transfer and exploitation of high-value intangibles, related and unrelated party manufacturing, and worldwide distribution. Our tax controversy lawyers represent clients of all sizes concerning any phase of a tax dispute, from even before a tax audit begins through litigation in the courtroom.
Excellent lawyer whom I have known for many years.
Paul would be my first choice in a merger or corporate acquisition transaction.Read more
Paul would be my first choice in a merger or corporate acquisition transaction.
Bob is an excellent tax attorney, with many years of experience in the field. He is committed to his clients and provides excellent service.Read more
Bob is an excellent tax attorney, with many years of experience in the field. He is committed to his clients and provides excellent service.
SHE IS GREAT. SHE HAS BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY FOR OVER 20 YEARS. SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE'S TALKING ABOUT.Read more
SHE IS GREAT. SHE HAS BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY FOR OVER 20 YEARS. SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE'S TALKING ABOUT.Read less
5.0/5.0 on 03/24/10 on 03/24/10
They are a fine firm. They do good work. They are a good partner to work with.Read more
4.3/5.0 on 02/05/10 on 02/05/10
3.8/5.0 on 12/25/10 on 12/25/10
Mayer Brown is committed to diversity because it is the right thing to do and because it makes sound business sense. Diversity broadens our knowledge and skills, heightens our awareness of and sensitivity to cultural issues and equips us to respond to the challenges of serving a clientele that spans the globe. Diversity is a hallmark of Mayer Brown heritage and will be a key driver of our future success.
|At Mayer Brown, we view the attainment of diversity at all levels of our organization as crucial to, and a natural result of, building a cohesive, successful law firm. We recruit, develop and promote the highest caliber lawyers and are committed to providing our lawyers with opportunities to realize their potential regardless of race, religious beliefs, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.|
Inclusion begins with opportunity. We continue to seek innovative and effective ways to increase the number of diverse students interested in law school and to recruit diverse law students and lateral candidates. By engaging law schools and colleges directly, Mayer Brown builds programs for students at all levels of higher education to increase the pool of lawyers from diverse backgrounds. We also ensure that all our associates are provided challenging work experiences and the guidance necessary for success. We strive to keep all of our lawyers active, engaged and on the road to partnership in the firm and encourage them to make a meaningful contribution to the profession. By investing in the skills and abilities of all our lawyers, we create a wide variety of role models for the generations to follow.
Mayer Brown handles many of the most important cases and transactions for the largest companies in the world, and we consider our diversity efforts critical to the level of service we provide to our clients. Clients recognize diversity and inclusion as business imperatives critical for success in our multicultural world. To remain a world-class law practice, we must continue our push forward in these vital areas.
Our commitment to the professional development and advancement of our diverse attorneys is central to our diversity and inclusion programs. We strive to create a culture in which all our attorneys can thrive and advance. The Firm sponsors attendance at numerous external networking and educational conferences, such as:
The retreats have provided our lawyers from all of our U.S. offices with the opportunity to interact over the course of a weekend. The retreats have been a great success. The lawyers networked with one another while gaining valuable career advice from minority partners and senior associates. The retreats also give our associates the opportunity to meet with the leaders of the Firm, as well as allowing each to give suggestions and guidance as to how the Firm's recruitment, retention and promotion of diverse lawyers could be improved. The Firm uses the wealth of knowledge and insight gathered and shared at the retreats to inform our diversity efforts.
Members of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion host, in each office, periodic sessions with lawyers to share information about our diversity efforts and solicit ideas and comments regarding ongoing events and future initiatives. In addition, minority lawyers meet informally to provide ongoing opportunities for building relationships within the firm.
Women's Symposiums are hosted every other year for all female lawyers. These include workshops, panel discussions, networking receptions and presentations led by our female partners and leaders from the legal and business community. We are actively focused on opportunities to raise the visibility of our female lawyers, supporting their development through leadership conference participation, skill development programs and mentoring. We provide business development programs focused on issues unique to women attorneys and have held numerous networking events for our female attorneys and clients. In the past year, for example, our women attorneys have hosted women clients at a luncheon and private museum tour, a chamber music concert performed by female musicians (who discussed the career challenges they faced as women in their field), wine tastings and theater performances. We have partnered with the women’s groups of several clients for networking events and educational workshops. These programs have facilitated building relationships between our women lawyers and our clients, providing focused opportunities for our women lawyers not only to learn about our clients’ needs, but also to showcase their own talents. Each office hosts programs focusing on women’s professional development issues and periodic informal lunches for female lawyers to cultivate and strengthen relationships.
Family-friendly programs offered to Mayer Brown’s US lawyers include: part-time work opportunities; back-up child care service; paid leave of absences for new and adoptive parents, including up to 18 weeks for new mothers, and a coaching program to provide support to new parents returning to work from leave. The firm also offers up to 6 weeks paid leave for lawyers who need time to serve as a primary caregiver for elderly family members. In addition, Mayer Brown is a founding member and sponsor of the Project for Attorney Retention, which works to stem lawyer attrition at large firms by promoting work/life balance and the advancement of women in the legal profession.
Mayer Brown is committed to providing a thriving workplace for LGBT lawyers. We have provisions for same gender relationships in our domestic partner benefits program. We provide pro bono legal service for a number of LGBT-focused organizations as well as support for their organizational events. We participate annually in the Lavender Law Career Fair in order to increase the number of LGBT law student applicants to our summer associate program. The Committee on Diversity and Inclusion includes LGBT partners who monitor and push for progress in this important area.
Highlights and Achievements regarding LGBT rights issues at Mayer Brown include:
Mayer Brown is an equal opportunity employer and partnership. It is our policy to hire, train and promote lawyers without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, disability, national origin, or veteran's status. The Firm seeks to hire, develop and advance lawyers on the basis of their professional ability and strives to build a team of lawyers that reflects the diversity of our world.
Mayer Brown is signatory to several statements of goals for increasing the recruitment and retention of minority lawyers and women, including The Association of the Bar of the City of New York's "Statement of Goals of New York Law Firms and Corporate Legal Departments for the Retention and Promotion of Women" and its "Statement of Diversity Principles," The Chicago Bar Association’s “Call to Action”, the Houston Bar Association's "Gender Initiative Commitment Statement" and the New York County Lawyers' Association "Statement In Support of Diversity In The Legal Profession.” By proudly signing these statements, Mayer Brown publicly affirms its commitment to a culture of inclusion.
Our London office is a signatory to the UK Law Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter and supports the legal sectors PRIME initiative which provides quality work experience to young people from socially deprived and under privileged backgrounds.
Building for the Future
Diversity and inclusion are important keys to securing the future success of the Firm. Legal cultures that welcome and accept differences are the most successful in creating an environment where diverse attorneys thrive. The Firm's inclusion initiatives not only appeal to partners and the clients they interact with, they also attract bright young associates and college and high school-level interns who are encouraged by the dynamic, welcoming environment we provide. Through our various workshops, panel discussions, conferences, and events, and partnership with the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), as well as through our diversity-related sponsorships and giving, we are building a bridge to an exciting, diverse future.
Law Schools, Colleges & High Schools
Through conferences, job fairs, panel discussions, and workshops, we make the legal profession less abstract and more familiar and accessible to students of all backgrounds. Providing the "nuts-and-bolts" of what lawyering is about helps students make informed career decisions and puts them on the path to professional success.
The scope and range of events that we are involved with demonstrate our desire to build diversity in as many ways as possible. Participating in special events that target specific groups is an effective way to build interest in our firm and to expand our culture of inclusion.
Through the sponsorship of law-related groups and events, we provide vital support to those who have made diversifying the legal world their central goal. These partnerships enable us to build lasting relationships with minority and female students and student groups while also sharing our own expertise during sponsored events and discussions.
Some examples of the organizations and events to which the Firm has donated are as follows:
Our outreach program is not restricted to young lawyers and students interested in the law. We are directly involved in the communities where our offices are located. We use our resources to strengthen educational and cultural institutions and to assist groups, associations and agencies that are already working for the good of our local communities.
Chicago Government & Global Trade partner Mary Richardson-Lowry has been named one of 50 “Women of Excellence” by the Chicago Defender, the leading daily newspaper serving Chicago’s African-American community. The award acknowledges and celebrates African-American women who personify the exemplary qualities of respect, responsibility, passion, sisterhood and leadership. Mary also was named president of the Chicago Board of Education earlier this year.
Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Mary Richardson-Lowry as a member of the Chicago Board of Education and recommended to the Board that she be named President, which she was. See http://www.cps.edu/News/Press_releases/Pages/01_28_2010_PR1.aspx
LAW360 described Britt Miller as someone “With a reputation as a creative and thoughtful strategist” in designating her one of LAW360’s Ten Competition Lawyers under 40. See http://competition.law360.com/articles/157892
Steve Sanders, a Supreme Court & Appellate associate in the Chicago office, argued his first case before the Supreme Court this week. In Pottawattamie County v. McGhee, Sanders went up against former Solicitor General Paul Clement, who has argued in front of the Court 51 times. Sanders represented Pottawattamie County and two of its former prosecutors who were sued for falsifying evidence after two men were deemed wrongly convicted in the murder of a retired Iowa police officer. In his argument, Sanders claimed the Constitution only guarantees the plaintiffs the right to a fair trial, not a fair investigation, and that the prosecutors are immune from any suit claiming they knowingly introduced false testimony in trial. To read news coverage about the case and Sanders’ first argument, click here.
Donna Morgan was named to the Top 10 Women List of Leading Women Consumer Lawyers in Illinois by Leading Lawyers Network. Additional lawyers listed in either the Top 100 Women of Leading Lawyers and/or the Top 100 Business Lawyers in Illinois by the Leading Lawyers Network are Fern Bomchill, Debora de Hoyos, Rebecca Eisner, Sheila Finnegan, Michele Odorizzi and Mary Richardson-Lowry.
Mayer Brown LLP, a leading global law firm, announced today that 123 of its attorneys are ranked in the 2009 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, including 32 who achieved top-band ranking or higher in 26 national and/or state categories.
The 2009 edition of the Chamber USA ranks 14 women partners from Mayer Brown. The partners, their areas and band ranking are:
Washington, DC partner Marcia Madsen has been named one of the “Attorneys Who Matter” in the field of corporate compliance by The Ethisphere Institute, an international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability. Honorees were chosen for their work in advancing the cause of ethics and corporate compliance.
Chicago partner Mary Richardson-Lowry, chairman of Mayer Brown's Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, will be a speaker on the opening panel at the 2009 conference for The Leadership Institute for Women of Color Attorneys in Law & Business on March 4th in Atlanta. The panel will discuss the value of understanding the intricacies and politics of a law office, navigating diversity issues, the power of networking and the importance of law firm economics. The two-day event helps women of color attorneys develop critical skills necessary to become leaders in their field and provides networking and mentoring opportunities with other successful professionals.