Mayer Brown, a Chicago-founded firm with more than 200 lawyers in Manhattan, has named Matthew Ingber as partner-in-charge of the New York office.
Ingber, 45, has been with Mayer Brown for more than 20 years, his entire career, he said. He started in his new leadership role at the end of November.
Ingber was previously a co-leader of the firm’s global litigation and dispute resolution practice. He succeeds Richard Spehr, who has led the New York office since 2009 and who now leads Mayer Brown’s litigation and disputes practice.
Ingber said he plans to continue the firm’s New York office growth in corporate practices, including fund formation, capital markets, and mergers and acquisitions, and litigation. “We’ve had real growth and real momentum over the last few years and we want to continue that,” he said.
Mayer Brown’s New York office added a number of lateral partner hires in 2018, such as a capital markets group from Morrison & Foerster; a former federal prosecutor from Bracewell, Glen Kopp; and Aubry Smith, a former fund formation counsel from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.
Not all the growth went smoothly. One new partner in the capital markets group, James Tanenbaum, put the firm in the spotlight when it was revealed he faced sexual harassment allegations at his prior firm, Morrison & Foerster. Shortly after the news broke, Tanenbaum resigned from Mayer Brown.
Ingber said Mayer Brown didn’t know about allegations against Tanenbaum before hiring him. When asked whether Mayer Brown put in place any new procedures to prevent a similar situation from occurring, Ingber said, “We are scrutinizing our lateral-hiring process to ensure a thorough vetting of lateral candidates, including a review of our background-check process.”
In general, he said, “firms will continue to think about and scrutinize how they vet lateral partner candidates.”
On the associate front, the firm’s New York office has matched the end-of-year bonuses on the scale set by Cravath, Swaine & Moore in late November, Ingber said. (He could not comment on bonuses in other offices.) When asked whether the increasing associate compensation over time will affect the number of associates the firm hires, Ingber said any changes in associate compensation “has not changed how we view hiring in New York” and he didn’t believe it has affected hiring or retention practices across the firm.
Ingber declined to say whether the New York office will add any new lateral partners in the next few weeks, going into 2019. But in general, he said, “We’re always talking with people in the lateral marketplace.”
To accommodate the firm’s growth plans, Mayer Brown has taken over a floor in its current New York office building at 1221 Avenue of the Americas from an outgoing tenant, he said. Starting in early 2019, Mayer Brown will build out the floor to provide additional office space for partners and associates, Ingber said.
Mayer Brown named Ingber to lead the New York office late last month, at the same time it named Britt Miller as the partner-in-charge of its Chicago office. Miller succeeds Rebecca Eisner, who has led the Chicago office since 2015 and will continue to serve on the firm’s management committee.
In a statement, Mayer Brown chairman Paul Theiss said Miller and Ingber “represent a new generation of leadership in two of our largest offices” and “both are leaders in their respective fields” who hail from the same associate class in 1998.
Ingber, a trial lawyer, represents financial institutions, technology companies and other corporations in litigation matters, such as commercial disputes, securities fraud and shareholder derivative actions. He currently serves as chairman of the New York office’s pro bono committee.
Reprinted with permission from the December 5, 2018 edition of New York Law Journal © 2018 ALM Properties, Inc. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited.