Mayer Brown announced that Litigation & Dispute Resolution partners Andrew J. Calica and Christopher J. Houpt, Banking & Finance partner Thomas L. Eldert and Government & Global Trade partner Timothy J. Keeler were named 2015 “Rising Stars” by Law360. This annual recognition honors attorneys under the age of 40 whose “outstanding career accomplishments … belie their age,” the publication said.
Andrew J. Calica: Mr. Calica, who bases his practice in the firm’s New York office, was named a Rising Star in the Product Liability category (view article) for his work on “a string of game-changing victories” for UCB Inc. He has become a “primary architect of [Mayer Brown’s] national strategy” for approximately 8,000 suits against UCB, work that has helped Mayer Brown’s New York product liability practice gain a “nationally recognized reputation,” Law360 said. The cases have hinged on the “innovator liability” theory, which argues that brand-name drug manufacturers such as UCB can be held liable for injuries allegedly caused by generic versions of their drugs.
Describing why he enjoys practicing at Mayer Brown, where Mr. Calica has worked since graduating from law school, he said, “You’re encouraged to contribute, and that gets you to thinking about all aspects of the case, not just whatever portion you’re focused on or assigned [to]. And that’s exciting.”
Thomas L. Eldert: Mr. Eldert, who is based in Washington DC, was chosen as a Rising Star in the Project Finance category (view article) for remaining “undaunted by the challenges of project work in emerging or politically unstable markets.”
Working on deals in developing countries is an “exercise in problem-solving” requiring “international politics and international relations [be applied] to commercial and development goals,” Mr. Eldert said.
And there’s a human rights element to this work. “It’s one thing to talk about human rights [in developing countries], but if you don’t have a sound economy and development plan, it’s hard to make it work,” Mr. Eldert said.
Among Mr. Eldert’s representations, Law360 noted his work on an Iraqi hotel financing, the inaugural project financing under the Iraqi National Investment Law. Of his current projects, the publication highlighted Mr. Eldert’s work advising the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and other lenders on a $7.5 billion petrochemical project in Egypt.
This is the second consecutive year that Law360 has recognized Mr. Eldert as a Rising Star in the Project Finance category.
Christopher J. Houpt: Mr. Houpt, a partner in the firm’s office in New York, was recognized as a Rising Star in the Banking category (view article) for his ability “to make a numbers-based case understandable.”
Law360 described Mr. Houpt as the “numbers guy” in Mayer Brown’s work on the $8.5 billion residential mortgage-backed securities settlement proposed by The Bank of New York Mellon. Having minored in math in college and then having worked as a financial analyst, Mr. Houpt was able to calculate items such as expected losses to investors. And he could explain the math in a manner “easily digestible for judges and attorneys,” a skill he used in the numbers part of Mayer Brown’s closing argument before the New York Supreme Court judge.
His work on the RMBS litigation was just one more success in “a legal career that has miles to go,” Law360 said.
Timothy J. Keeler: Mr. Keeler, who is based in Washington DC, was chosen in the International Trade category (view article) for building a “thriving” trade practice while recently representing lobbyists fighting the Obama administration’s “blanket” ban on their serving on trade advisory committees.
“Essentially, the [DC Circuit ] court held that while there isn’t an inherent right to be on a trade advisory committee, the government can’t prohibit you from serving because you’ve exercised a First Amendment right—and the right to petition is a First Amendment right,” Mr. Keeler told Law360.
Among Mr. Keeler’s representations, Law360 noted his 2014 work representing clients before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. His prior experience as Chief of Staff for the Office of the US Trade Representative and as a US Treasury Department official “paid dividends in [this] highly sensitive work,” the publication said. Law360 also referenced Mr. Keeler’s work fighting a proposed tax on the use of foreign affiliate insurance for ACE Insurance Group, serving as global trade counsel to Visa Inc. and advising on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Law360 received a record 1,200 submissions for the “Rising Stars” series this year. Winners were chosen based on the strength of their accomplishments in their practice areas.