Mayer Brown, a leading global law firm, announced that veteran insurance regulatory advisor James R. Woods has joined the firm as a partner and a co-leader of the global Insurance Industry Group. Also a member of Mayer Brown’s Corporate & Securities practice, Mr. Woods will divide his time between the firm’s offices in Palo Alto, California and New York. Previously, he was a partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf, where he served as co-chair of that firm’s global Insurance Industry Sector Practice.

“Jim is one of the most experienced and highly regarded insurance regulatory lawyers in the country who for decades has been a trusted advisor to senior executives of leading insurers and insurance organizations worldwide,” said Kenneth R. Pierce, also a co-leader of Mayer Brown’s global Insurance Industry Group. “With his arrival, we have further strengthened our leadership position in delivering the full range of legal services required by insurers and reinsurers.”

“Before beginning my discussions with Ken and others in Mayer Brown’s Insurance Industry Group, I was not aware that the firm’s capabilities in this field are so deep or its geographic reach so wide,” Mr. Woods said. “By adding my experience in regulatory matters to the firm’s already-impressive strengths, I envision numerous synergistic opportunities to benefit both Mayer Brown’s existing insurance and reinsurance clients and the many clients with whom I have longstanding relationships. I look forward to working with my new partners to make Mayer Brown the preeminent global law firm in the insurance space.”

For more than 35 years, Mr. Woods has represented insurers and insurance-related entities on a wide variety of issues in California, across the US and globally. His practice includes: counseling insurers on rate case strategy and on mergers, acquisitions and formations; representing companies and associations on health insurance-related issues; advising insurers, holding companies and creditors on restructuring and insolvency issues; and representing private equity, hedge fund and venture capital companies in connection with various insurance investments. He also advises many e-commerce companies involved with insurance-related and social media issues and co-founded an online insurance business.

Mr. Woods also has advised numerous insurance industry organizations. He is general counsel to both The Surplus Line Association of California and to the Worldwide Broker Network. In addition, he represented numerous insurers in connection with the creation of the International Holocaust Commission, represented the California Insurance Industry in creating the California Earthquake Authority and volunteered and organized the Hurricane Katrina insurance claims relief efforts at the Astrodome. He also represents, on a pro bono basis, the Insurance Information Institute and the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, the latter of which he co-founded and serves as a member of its National Board. He also is a board member of the Global Women’s Leadership Network.

In 2009, Mr. Woods was recognized by the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation for his commitment to charitable services, becoming the only law firm partner to join an impressive group of insurance industry leaders who have been so honored.

Mr. Woods holds a JD degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law and a B.A. with honors from the University of California, Berkeley.