New dawn at Mayer Brown as firm goes back to US roots

The power base at Mayer Brown is set to return to the US as London-based vice-chair Paul Maher exits the firm’s management.

Bert Krueger

Bert Krueger

Last week (17 April) TheLawyer.com reported that Chicago partner Bert Krueger has been elected to lead the firm, while Maher’s co-vice-chairman Ken Geller has been handed the newly created role of firmwide managing ­partner.

It is understood that Maher, a ­driving force behind Mayer Brown’s internationalisation, did not stand for a management role because his vision for the firm had diverged from that of the rest of the management.

Speaking to The Lawyer, Maher said: “I’ve been a big advocate of governance change for a long time. I stood for re-election more than a year ago explicitly
on proposals to amend the ­governance structure.”

While London partners Sean Connolly and Jeremy Clay, who both worked with Maher to put together the 2002 merger between Rowe & Maw and Chicago’s Mayer Brown & Platt, are included in the new management structure, the shift of power back to the firm’s ­traditional Chicago roots is a move away from the strategy ­followed by the firm since 2002.

A source close to the firm said: “Over the next five years the key thing will be to see whether this was the start of Mayer Brown moving back to its roots.

“I have a suspicion we’ll look back on this and say it was the beginning of it becoming Mayer Brown Chicago again.”