The Firms That Dominated In 2020
The eight law firms topping Law360's Firms of the Year managed to win 54 Practice Group of the Year awards among them, for guiding landmark deals, scoring victories in high-profile disputes and helping companies navigate uncharted legal seas made rough by the coronavirus pandemic.
Mayer Brown's intellectual property team won a first-of-its-kind trademark suit against a company selling 3M Co.-branded N95 masks at six times their list price at the start of the pandemic.
Without a private cause of action for price-gouging available, the firm, representing 3M, hit on the original idea of suing under the Lanham Act and state unfair competition, deceptive business practices and false advertising laws, according to firm Chairman Paul Theiss. The strategy involved arguing that Performance Supply LLC had violated those laws by implying its prices were authorized by 3M.
A Manhattan federal judge granted 3M a preliminary injunction in May, holding that Performance Supply would cause 3M lasting damage if it were allowed to offer the masks at those hiked-up prices while implying 3M had approved them.
"The litigation template the Mayer Brown team helped 3M develop has served as a model for more than 20 price-gouging cases across the country brought by other law firms in 3M's counsel network," Theiss said.
Mayer Brown took on other pandemic-related matters, with its transportation group advising Goldman Sachs in what Theiss called an unprecedented deal after United Airlines Inc.'s revenue plummeted by 87%.
When the airline needed to raise cash, the firm helped it turn to its frequent flyer miles, advising on an innovative $6.8 billion financing transaction backed by the airline's Mileage Plus loyalty program.
"This year has been a challenging and difficult one for our clients and for so many around the world, and Mayer Brown has fully embraced the challenge of helping our clients to meet these challenges by serving as their trusted adviser and business partner," Theiss said.