Mayer Brown announced that Corporate & Securities partners Jennifer Carlson and Nina Flax were named 2019 “California Trailblazers” by The Recorder, the California publication that intersects law, technology and business. The inaugural list recognizes innovative individuals who have made ”significant marks on the practice, policy and technological advancement of their practice” and the overall legal industry in California.

In 2014, Mayer Brown moved Ms. Carlson and Ms. Flax from Chicago to build the firm’s Northern California-based Corporate & Securities practice. Taking an entrepreneurial and inclusive approach, the partners significantly expanded the practice in one of the country’s most competitive legal markets. For example, they rehired and relocated a former Chicago-based Mayer Brown litigation associate and mentored him to become a corporate lawyer. In addition, they helped recruit Corporate & Securities partners Kara Baysinger, Paul Chen and Michelle Ontiveros Gross. This recruitment has played a significant role in helping Mayer Brown expand work for existing clients and attract new clients with a focus on the firm’s experience in emerging industries such as fintech and insurtech.

In addition to significantly expanding the practice’s size and the firm’s corporate offerings on the West Coast, Ms. Carlson and Ms. Flax have built one of the firm’s most diverse practices; it is now nearly 60 percent female at the partner level and over 90 percent diverse overall. The fact that Ms. Carlson and Ms. Flax have spearheaded this effort has generated attention in the market; as Ms. Carlson said in The Recorder’s profile, clients have taken notice of “the power of having two women leading the charge,” particularly in a male-dominated area of law.