Top 50 US Firms in London Rank12

Mayer Brown & Platt’s 2002 merger with UK firm Rowe & Maw was one of the most significant transatlantic tie-ups to have occurred at that point. While the US firm was the larger partner in the merger, Rowe & Maw gained a number of seats at the leadership table and – for a few years at least – kept its name in the combined branding. The three most significant legacy firms of what is now simply ‘Mayer Brown’ were Chicago

Mayer Brown & Platt’s 2002 merger with UK firm Rowe & Maw was one of the most significant transatlantic tie-ups to have occurred at that point. While the US firm was the larger partner in the merger, Rowe & Maw gained a number of seats at the leadership table and – for a few years at least – kept its name in the combined branding.

The three most significant legacy firms of what is now simply ‘Mayer Brown’ were Chicago practice Mayer Brown & Platt, London firm Rowe & Maw, and Hong Kong firm Johnson Stokes & Master (JSM). All three can trace their history back to the late 1800s in their respective jurisdictions.

The US firm had a small office in London before the Rowe & Maw merger, and also carried out smaller combinations in France and Germany in 2001.

Since the transatlantic tie-up, Mayer Brown dropped ‘Rowe & Maw’ from its name and in 2007 announced it was combining with JSM in Hong Kong. In 2009 it formed an association with Tauil & Chequer Advogados in Brazil, and in 2015 Mayer Brown JSM formed an association with China’s Jingtian & Gongcheng.

It is the biggest global firm in Brazil through its association there.

The firm operates as a collective of separate legal entities together turning over more than $1.2bn and with a foothold in 14 countries. However, Chicago remains the biggest office and much of Mayer Brown’s bench strength is still in the US.

Legacy Rowe & Maw, JSM and Paris firm Lambert & Lee are all represented on Mayer Brown’s management committee by London partner Jeremy Clay, Asia chair Duncan Abate and Paris partner-in-charge Jean-Philippe Lambert.

Otherwise, Mayer Brown’s global leadership has a strong US bent. Managing partner Kenneth Geller has been in his role since 2009, when the firm’s management team was restructured. At that time Geller was co-vice-chair alongside London-based Paul Maher, but the duo were stripped of their roles and had to stand for a place on the new committee.

Sally Davies, Mayer Brown
Sally Davies

While Geller successfully won the managing partner role, Maher chose to leave the firm to set up Greenberg Traurig’s London office.

Chicago partner Bert Krueger was named as chairman at the same time, taking over from Jim Holzhauer. He held the role for three years and was replaced in 2012 by corporate and securities partner Paul Theiss, also based in Chicago.

Last year, litigator Sally Davies was named as the firm’s first female London senior partner. She replaced Sean Connolly who had led the office for 10 years. The appointment means Davies is also a member of the 15-strong partnership board.

TRAINING CONTRACTS

What is the trainee salary at Mayer Brown?

1st year trainee: £42,000

2nd year trainee: £47,000

What is the NQ salary at Mayer Brown?

NQ: £75,000

Number of trainees: 30

MAYER BROWN FACTS

Founded: 1881

Location: London Liverpool Street