Mayer Brown has been named by Law360 as a “Practice Group of the Year” for 2014 in the Banking, Product Liability and Project Finance categories. The award recognizes law firms “that came through for their clients in 2014, sealing the big deals and winning the high-stakes suits.”

Mayer Brown’s position at “the forefront of a new type of residential mortgage-backed securities litigation” earned the firm its spot in the Banking category. As one example of the firm’s success in this area, Law360 cited Mayer Brown’s work advising a securitization trustee to an $8.5 billion settlement of repurchase and servicing claims belonging to 530 securitization trusts. The law firm’s use of Article 77, a New York state law procedure that allows trustees to seek court approval of matters relating to trust administration (in this case a settlement of trust claims) “is now being used by RMBS trustees inspired by the path Mayer Brown forged,” the publication said. Law360 also noted the firm’s obtaining a relatively small settlement for HSBC Holdings PLC in a Federal Housing Finance Agency suit, achieving a dismissal for CitiMortgage Inc. of a class action regarding a mortgage modification program and arranging arbitration for BMO Harris Bank NA on a debt collection matter. (View article.)

Law360 chose Mayer Brown as a winner in the Product Liability category for the firm’s work on significant pharmaceutical decisions in 2014. The publication highlighted Mayer Brown’s successful defense of Eli Lilly & Co. in the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The federal court rejected a multidistrict litigation that attempted to connect the company’s brand-name drugs with injury claims related to generic medications. “In order to create the most advantageous legal record possible for defendants,” Law360 noted that Mayer Brown’s product liability and mass torts practice group “often approaches individual cases with an eye toward their future progression toward MDLs or appeals disputes,” conferring with the firm’s appellate practice even when a case is still at trial. As other examples of the firm’s 2014 product liability work, Law360 mentioned the firm’s securing a favorable ruling for manufacturers of the branded drug Reglan, helping clients remanufacture historical products in asbestos litigation and using genetic testing to defend clients in birth defect suits. (View article.)

Mayer Brown’s involvement in “several game-changing projects” and its design of “innovative and unique financing deals to meet the specific needs of each project” placed the firm in the Project Finance category, Law360 said. As an example of the firm’s noteworthy work in 2014, the publication pointed to Mayer Brown’s “successfully facilitating negotiations” to restructure the $5.4 billion Panama Canal expansion. Law360 noted that Mayer Brown “[kept] the project moving amid conflict between the parties” on the enterprise, which the publication called “arguably the most significant infrastructure project in the world.” Law360 also referenced the firm’s advising on the innovative financing of the Rutas de Lima toll road project in Peru, representing Nedbank Ltd. and Rand Merchant Bank in a senior debt facility for developing an African mine and helping design a new model for soliciting bids while advising the Texas Department of Transportation on a public-private partnership for a highway. (View article.)

Law360 editors reviewed hundreds of submissions from law firms to determine the winners selected in each of 26 categories.