Mayer Brown becomes US LLP after ban lifted

The UK part of the firm is already an LLP, but the US partners could not gain LLP status until this April, when the state of Illinois, where the US partnership is headquartered, lifted its ban on LLPs for law firms.

When UK firm Rowe & Maw and Chicago…


The US practice of Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw is converting to a US limited-liability partnership (LLP), with the legacy Mayer Brown German practice opting in to the US LLP.

The UK part of the firm is already an LLP, but the US partners could not gain LLP status until this April, when the state of Illinois, where the US partnership is headquartered, lifted its ban on LLPs for law firms.

When UK firm Rowe & Maw and Chicago firm Mayer Brown & Platt merged in 2002, they were already planning to run the combined business as two separate US and UK LLPs, but the move was delayed by Illinois’ practice rules.

Chicago litigation partner James Holzhauer said the firm was part of a group of Chicago heavyweights that lobbied Illinois to lift its ban. He said it rejected forming a US LLP without the Illinois practice. “We didn’t want to do this as we have a great number of partners and 500-plus lawyers in Illinois. We wanted everyone to be protected from liabilities in the same way,” Holzhauer said.

The firm’s German partners are also joining the US LLP, while its French partners are already part of the UK LLP.