Senior Counsel

Michael Kantor

Financial Services M&A, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Corporate & Securities

"arguably the finest trade negotiator in the world and a terrific resource for the firm."
Chambers Global 2006


Mickey Kantor concentrates his practice on corporate and financial international transactions. He has extensive experience in market access issues, as well as the expansion of client activities in foreign markets through trade, direct investment, joint ventures, and strategic business alliances.

Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Mickey was the United States Secretary of Commerce (1996-1997) and the United States Trade Representative (1993-1996). He has been called “arguably the finest trade negotiator in the world” (Chambers Global 2006) and is said to be “blessed with fantastic political insights and connections” (Chambers USA 2007). He was recently recognized in The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers - Trade & Customs 2009. Among the many awards and honors he has received are the following: the Civic Medal of Honor by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Order of the Southern Cross Award by The Government of Brazil, 2001, the William O. Douglas Award by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the Thomas Jefferson Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Center for the Study of the Presidency, the Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award from the Hugh O'Brien Youth Foundation, and Elihu Root Distinguished Lecturer, Council on Foreign Relations.


  • "A key name" - Legal 500 2015
  • "Among the best for customs law," Mayer Brown provides "service of the highest level in all aspects." - Legal 500 2015
  • Who’s Who Legal (WWL) – Recommended: Trade & Customs (2022)


  • Georgetown University Law Center, JD
  • Vanderbilt University, BA


  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida


  • English

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Board member of the National Equal Justice Library
  • Chair of the Center on Communication Leadership & Policy (present)
  • Vision to Learn, Board Member (present)
  • U.S.-China Clean Tech Center, Honorable Advisory Committee Member (present)
  • Member of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee (present)
  • Board of Advisors of Drug Strategies (present)
  • L.A. Commission of Economy and Jobs (present)
  • Los Angeles Conservation Corps, Founder (present)
  • Board of Visitors for Georgetown University Law Center, Member
  • Board of Councilors, Annenberg School of Communications, University of Southern California
  • Los Angeles Civic Alliance
  • Christopher Commission, Member (1991)
  • Center for Law in the Public Interest, Board Member (1989-1992)
  • California Commission on Campaign Financing, Board Member (1990-1992)
  • Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Board Member (1988-1990)
  • United States Secretary of Commerce (1996-1997)
  • United States Trade Representative (1993-1996)
  • Clinton/Gore '92 Campaign, National Chair (1991-1992)
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • California Bar Association
  • Florida Bar Association
  • Board of Directors for CB Richard Ellis (present)
  • US Advisory Board, ING Americas (present)
  • Member, Board of Directors for G-24 Innovations
  • International Advisory Board, Fleishman-Hillard
  • Member of Huawei USA Advisory Board (present)
  • Member of the Chairman’s Advisory Group of the National Center for APEC (present)
  • Council on Foreign Relations, Member (present)
  • Board member of Pacific Council on Leadership and Policy (present)
  • International Commercial Diplomacy Project, Trustee
  • American Bar Association
  • Transitional Board of Directors, Member (1992)
  • Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Board Member (1980-1990)
  • American Bar Association Special Committee on Crime Prevention and Control (1971)
  • Legal Services Corporation, Board Member (1978-1981)
  • White House Conference on Children 6 (National Legal Aid and Defender Association)
  • United States Naval Officer (1961-1965)