Richard W. Shepro
Mergers & Acquisitions, Financial Services M&A, Insurance
Richard Shepro’s practice emphasizes advice on sophisticated, often international, issues and solutions to complex and novel problems. He advises banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions, as well as multinational corporations and service providers and major not-for-profit organizations. Rick is widely recognized for his nuanced approach to the negotiation and structuring of cross-border acquisitions and other transactional matters. He joined Mayer Brown in 1981, and served as co-head of the firm’s Corporate & Securities practice from 1997 to 2005.
In 2009 and again in 2010 Rick was recognized, based on unprompted responses of corporate counsel at the Fortune 1000 companies, as one of approximately 170 BTI Client Service All-Stars in the United States and one of only 15 lawyers to be so honored for a second consecutive year. BTI said he “continues to provide clients with a high level of focus” and quoted the general counsel of a Fortune 1000 company who lauded his “forward-thinking, responsiveness, creativity and attention to detail that make his service so good.”
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Rick is knowledgeable about European and world finance, and he relates well to the conceptual and strategic framework that non-US clients and counsel bring to corporate issues. Illustrating the strength of his multicultural focus is the statement by Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, that Rick is “[one] of the finest legal minds in the US.” He works closely with the firm’s Paris office on matters involving complex cross-border deals and organizations, reflecting his familiarity with French business, legal and cultural issues.
Although Rick frequently works with multinational clients on cross-border transactions, he is equally adept at representing domestically based companies. He has counseled financial-services clients on many matters and industrial clients on deals involving products ranging from nitrogen to electronic components, and frequently advises professional service firms. He has particular experience with the formation and combination of insurance and reinsurance entities, and acted as general counsel of LaSalle Re Limited from 1993 to 2000 while a partner at Mayer Brown.
Rick helps these and other clients on negotiations and planning for acquisitions and sale of publicly traded and private businesses, including both friendly and hostile transactions, as well as joint ventures and other business arrangements. His practice also encompasses restructurings, venture capital and private equity fund work, proxy and consent solicitations, public and private offerings, broker-dealer and investment adviser regulation, and general securities law counsel. Clients he has represented recently include Northern Trust Corporation, Terra Industries Inc., Molex Corporation, LBO France, Argos Soditic, Lazard Freres, CNA Financial Corporation, Harbor Point Insurance and multinational law firms.
Rick has been recognized by Chambers Global since 1999 as being among the world's "Leading Lawyers for Business," and by Chambers USA as among "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" since 2003. Chambers USA 2008 noted Rick's "reputation lies in complex and international matters, although his domestic work should not be ignored." Clients have commented to both publications concerning their high regard for his guidance, calling him a “fine and thoughtful lawyer” who is “thorough and highly analytical,” “thorough, creative and bright,” and who “can boil problems down to get them solved.” (Chambers USA 2007 and 2006). Other clients quoted in Chambers USA praise Rick as being “excellent on both the strategy and the structuring of transactions” and “bright and quick on his feet.” Clients have commented to Chambers Global 2006 on Rick’s “outstanding depth of knowledge and common-sense approach to getting the deal done” as well as his “keen cross-cultural understanding.”
Rick has also been selected for inclusion in Leading Lawyers Network (2006-2008), The Best Lawyers In America (2006-2008), and the Guide to the World's Leading Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers (2006-2008), and has been named an Illinois Super Lawyer. He has written many articles on mergers, corporate law issues and securities law for US and foreign publications, including Financial Times, Harvard Business Review and Business Lawyer. Rick has served as a lecturer in law at the University of Chicago Law School and as a visiting professor at the Northwestern University School of Law. He has lectured or taught at Harvard University, the London Business School, École des Hautes Études Commerciales, and at professional associations.
Before joining Mayer Brown, Rick served as law clerk to the Honorable James R. Browning, chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Represented financial institutions on special issues that have arisen as a result of global financial crisis, including issues relating to auction rate securities, securities lending and other specialized topics.
Advised on the acquisition by LBO France, the leading French private equity firm, of Castle Harlan’s Gravograph, Technifor and Gravotech Group, specialists in high-tech printing and engraving accessories and materials.
Worked with private equity investors toward the creation and multinational financing of a €2 billion multinational reinsurance and specialty insurance company to be based in Bermuda with operations in France, the US and the UK.
Acted as counsel in Terra Industries Inc.’s sale of its Texas methanol and nitrogen business to Eastman Chemical Company.
Advised on the acquisition of the automotive connector business of Connecteurs Cinch SA (an affiliate of French aerospace corporation Snecma) by Chicago-area electronic components maker Molex, Inc. The transaction involved companies and plants on four continents.
Advised on the acquisition of Paris-based Buffet Crampon (a leading maker of musical instruments) by French private equity firm Argos Soditic. The transaction involved manufacturing and marketing activities in Europe, Japan and the US.
- Harvard University, AB, magna cum laude
- The London School of Economics and Political Science, MSc
- Harvard Law School, JD, cum laude
Supreme Court Note Editor, Harvard Law Review
- US Supreme Court
- US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Professional & Community Involvement
- Director, Harvard Alumni Association, 2011 to date
- Member, Visiting Committee of the University of Chicago, 2007 to date
- Governing Member, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 2007 to date
- President, Harvard Club of Chicago, 2010-12; Director, 2007 to date
- Member, Council of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, 2007 to date
- Board of Directors, Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, 2003 to date; secretary, 2004 to date
- Board of Directors, French-American Chamber of Commerce, 2005 to date
- Board of Directors, The Chicago Ensemble, 1993-2001
- Board of Governors, Kohl Children's Museum, 1993-1999
- Special Assistant Attorney General of the State of Illinois, 1981-82
- Staff Member, US Senate Judiciary Committee, 1978-79
- American Law Institute
- Chicago Council on Foreign Relations
- Board of Governors, Chicago Council of Lawyers, 1986-89; Chairman, Election Law Committee, 1987-1993
- Fellow, Chicago Bar Foundation
- Board of Directors, LaSalle Club, 1991-2004