James Schell is a partner in Mayer Brown's New York office and a member of the Corporate & Securities practice.

James has more than 25 years of experience in forming private equity and other pooled investment funds and in representing clients who wish to organize or invest or participate in private companies that sponsor and manage private equity and hedge funds. His work in this area encompasses established private equity and hedge fund firms that need to be restructured to address succession, governance or ownership issues, as well as new investment management firms being established by individuals, family offices or traditional financial institutions. James is also a co-author of the leading treatise on private equity funds, "Private Equity Funds: Business Structure and Operations."

James also has extensive experience counseling global professional services businesses, including accounting, banking and investment management firms. He has worked closely with a variety of clients, including a number of major accounting firms, to design and implement global legal entity structures that address sometimes conflicting considerations involving business, tax, risk management, regulatory and operational goals. He has worked with professional service firm clients on a broad range of mergers, combinations and joint ventures. His work with investment management and accounting firms also has involved a broad range of operational matters that have significant economic and risk management consequences, including techniques for cross-border contractual procedures, investment and personnel deployment, as well as governance issues unique to large partnerships and limited liability companies.

James repeatedly has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America.


Columbia Law School, JD
Book Review Editor, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law; Kent Scholar; Stone Scholar

Yale University, BA, cum laude


  • New York


  • Lecturer at Institute of International Research and American College of Investment Counsel Programs