13 December 2007 - Mayer Brown, a leading international law firm, today announced the official opening of its new office in São Paulo, Brazil, following registration with the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB). Stephen Hood, a lawyer with extensive international experience, particularly in the Brazilian legal community, is the partner-in-charge of the office. Mayer Brown also announced that James Vickers, an experienced projects and infrastructure lawyer in the São Paulo office, will be promoted to partner on January 1.

"The opening of our São Paulo office marks a significant expansion of our presence in Latin America, where we have been active for more than 15 years," said James D. Holzhauer, chairman of Mayer Brown. "This event is an important milestone for the firm because it signifies that our global growth plan is on track. Brazil is one of the world's fastest-growing financial markets, particularly with a surge in IPOs, infrastructure financing and cross-border acquisitions. We are excited by our prospects."

Holzhauer noted that Hood is a tremendously well-respected and experienced lawyer with established legal and business relationships in Brazil, New York and London. The newly-published Chambers Global 2008 ranks Hood highly in three categories in Latin America: Tier 1 for Locally Based International Counsel in Brazil, Tier 1 for Project Finance and Tier 3 for Corporate & Finance.

"Mayer Brown recognizes the benefits of providing sophisticated legal support on the ground in important expanding markets," Hood said. "Clients really value this and the scale of the firm's services in the North American market, combined with its first-class capabilities in Europe, will be particularly attractive to Brazilian companies expanding abroad."

Mayer Brown expects to add approximately a dozen lawyers in São Paulo over the next 18 months, complementing the firm's 40-strong Latin American practice group. Lawyers in the São Paulo office will focus on foreign investment, infrastructure finance, debt and equity capital markets, structured finance, corporate transactions, debt restructuring and trade finance.

The contact information for Mayer Brown's new office in São Paulo:

Rua do Rócio 291 - 2nd Floor São Paulo, SP 04552-000 Brazil Tel: +55 11 2167 4850 Fax: +55 11 2167 4851