Mayer Brown, a leading global law firm, announced today that John P. Berkery and David S. Bakst have joined the firm’s New York office as partners in the Corporate & Securities practice. Mr. Berkery joins Mayer Brown from the capital markets practice of Shearman & Sterling’s New York office and Mr. Bakst comes to the firm from Eiseman Levine Lehrhaupt & Kakoyiannis in New York.

The hiring of Messrs. Berkery and Bakst is part of Mayer Brown’s strategic plan to grow its capital markets presence in New York. These hires further accelerate the growth momentum of Mayer Brown’s New York office, which has added 14 lateral partners since January 2009 in practice areas such as capital markets, derivatives & structured products, insurance and reinsurance, global projects, intellectual property and litigation. 

“John and David are first-rate capital markets lawyers who are already well known to our existing clients in this area,” said Edward S. Best, co-leader of the firm’s Capital Markets practice. “Our capital markets practice had a very strong 2009 and we look forward to working with John and David to expand our capital markets practice and add additional capacity in New York.”

Mr. Berkery’s practice focuses on representing major financial institutions and corporations in a wide range of capital markets transactions, including public offerings (IPOs, secondary and follow-on offerings), private placements (Rule 144A/Reg S offerings, Regulation D), leveraged buyouts, complex restructurings and liability management transactions (exchange offers, tender offers and consent solicitations). He is also experienced in a wide range of securities products, ranging from investment grade to high yield debt securities and from simple common equity to complicated convertible debt and other hybrid securities.

“Mayer Brown has a strong national capital markets practice and a solid base in New York and I look forward to contributing to the growth of the practice in this key market,” Mr. Berkery said.

Mr. Bakst’s practice focuses on a wide variety of public and private securities offerings ranging from large NYSE and NASDAQ listed IPOs and multi-billion dollar debt offerings to smaller private placements of securities for companies of all sizes. One area of specialty for him is investment grade debt. He also has extensive international experience and has worked on significant securities offerings for a number of the largest companies in Asia. Mr. Bakst has worked with clients from a broad range of industries, including financial services, oil, gas and petrochemicals, alternative energy, telecommunications and technology.

Prior to joining Eiseman Levine Lehrhaupt & Kakoyiannis last year, Mr. Bakst practiced corporate and securities law for Sidley Austin LLP in New York and Hong Kong for nine years. He also worked as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers in Hong Kong for four years, where he focused on corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions throughout Asia.

“Mayer Brown’s strong presence in the world’s key financial markets offers me the opportunity to continue to build my practice on a global scale. The firm’s global platform fits well with my experience and contacts.” Mr. Bakst said.

Mr. Berkery received a bachelor’s degree from Le Moyne College and a J.D. from Emory University School of Law. Mr. Bakst graduated from Northwestern University and received a J.D. from Boston College Law School.

“Building our corporate practice in New York continues to be an important priority for the office and the firm, and John and David, as well as Diego, will play an important role in that effort,” added Richard A. Spehr, partner in charge of Mayer Brown’s New York office.