Mayer Brown understands the inventive, entrepreneurial spirit indigenous to Northern California. Our team, based in Palo Alto and San Francisco, advises the innovators, the investors that finance them and the broader infrastructure that drives the economy here. Clients consider us strategic partners whose commercial instincts and understanding of market dynamics have them anticipating the challenges that they face and delivering the solutions they need.
Our diverse, full-service team represents emerging innovators and established leaders for world-renowned companies in technology, telecommunications, life sciences and finance and a host of additional industries for matters ranging from transactional, advisory, regulatory and litigation. Working with Mayer Brown colleagues in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas, our Northern California team has a truly global reach. This is part and parcel of Mayer Brown’s one-firm culture—seamless and integrated across all practices and regions—which ensures that our clients receive the best of our collective knowledge and experience.
Our lawyers in Northern California are consistently recognized for their achievements on behalf of clients in publications including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BNA and Law360 and in series such as The National Law Journal’s “Appellate Hot List” and The Recorder’s “Innovator Awards.” They are highly ranked in annual guides including IAM Patent 1000, International Tax Review, Chambers USA and Legal 500 US.
Our Northern California Capital Markets practice represents private and public company issuers, investors and underwriters in a wide variety of debt and equity transactions. Our lawyers guide clients in connection with issuances of fixed-income securities, including investment-grade debt, high-yield debt, continuously offered products and equity-linked note programs. We also have substantial experience in all aspects of equity capital transactions, including initial public and follow-on offerings, private investment in public equities and spin-offs. In addition, our lawyers advise on securities law compliance, stock exchange listing requirements, fiduciary duties and corporate governance matters. Our experience spans a wide range of industries, including technology, biotech and life sciences, financial services, insurance, real estate and energy.
Consumer Financial Services
Mayer Brown’s Consumer Financial Services group is a world-class team with a well-established and highly respected record of advising clients with regard to the full panoply of issues that confront residential mortgage lenders, non-mortgage consumer credit lenders and card and payment system operators. A dedicated team of lawyers and other professionals, the group is a vital component of Mayer Brown’s global Financial Services Regulatory & Enforcement practice.
With its exceptional breadth of knowledge and experience, the Consumer Financial Services group assists mortgage lenders and other consumer finance companies navigate the broad range of US federal and state laws that impact their businesses' operations. Members of the group serve as trusted advisors in every aspect of the consumer lending spectrum, including formation, licensing and approvals, regulatory compliance, government enforcement, internal investigations, class action defense, and public policy and government affairs.
Corporate & Securities
Our Northern California Corporate practice advises start-ups to blue chip corporations across all stages of growth as well as financial institutions, insurance industry participants and private equity and other investors in areas such as mergers and acquisitions; technology transactions; capital markets and financing activities; venture capital fundraising; IP strategies; and data privacy and security matters. Guided by our clients’ objectives, we provide high-caliber legal advice and creative solutions to attain the best possible outcome. Closely connected to our other US and international offices, we assist clients in growing their businesses through mergers and acquisitions, alliances and other corporate and financing transactions not only in Northern California but also globally.
Cybersecurity & Data Privacy
In an increasingly connected world, businesses and investors alike recognize the importance of cybersecurity and data privacy. Mayer Brown’s Cybersecurity and Data Privacy practice, consisting of over 50 lawyers worldwide, brings a comprehensive and integrated approach to respond to these dynamic challenges at a global scale. We advise clients on the full range of privacy and cybersecurity issues, including preparedness and compliance, cyber incident response, regulatory engagement, and policy and advocacy. Our practice in Northern California has deep experience providing strategic thinking and practical legal advice to clients across sectors, with a particular focus on technology.
Emerging Growth and Venture Capital
Mayer Brown’s Northern California-based emerging growth/venture capital lawyers provide comprehensive and commercially sound legal solutions. Using our deep understanding of complex technologies, we represent many emerging growth companies, corporate venture capital (CVC) investors and venture capital funds in fundraising, forming strategic relationships and engaging in related transactions. Our experience encompasses many industries including software, digital media and mobile technology, blockchain, fintech, insurtech, cybersecurity, AI (artificial intelligence), life sciences, clean technology and alternative energy, agtech, and social enterprise and impact investing.
Employment & Benefits
Our multidisciplinary group offers sophisticated solutions to the most complex employment and benefits related issues facing our clients. Our clients are among the largest businesses in the world with members of the Fortune 100, FTSE 100, DAX and Hang Seng frequently seeking our counsel on employment law and benefits strategies across the myriad regulatory environments in which they may find themselves. We have a broad and diversified US practice that is capable of servicing all of the employee benefit needs of our clients and that is strengthened by our global employee benefits presence. This includes having the largest employee benefits capability of any firm operating in Asia and our presence in Europe bolsters the reach of our European benefits lawyers. Our lawyers have vast experience in compliance, transaction and controversy work involving employee benefits and executive compensation arrangements and in representing clients in these matters before agencies such as the US Internal Revenue Service, the US Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
Our insurance group advises insurers and reinsurers, as well as brokers, banks and investors, on insurtech, cybersecurity, M&A, capital raising and sophisticated insurance structured finance at the convergence of insurance markets and the broader capital markets, as well as regulatory matters, litigation, alternative dispute resolution, investigations of the insurance industry and enforcement matters.
Intellectual Property Counseling and Litigation
In trials and arbitrations, we have successfully represented plaintiffs and defendants doing business in a wide range of markets such as LEDs, software, computer peripherals, servers, disk drives, robotics, electro-mechanical technologies, memory chips, telecommunications, energy, medical devices and semiconductors. We litigate IP cases around the world and coordinate multi-national litigation strategies with our offices in Europe and Asia. We regularly appear in courts here in California as well as in major IP venues such as Delaware and Texas. Many of our IP lawyers have advanced degrees in engineering and are registered patent lawyers who regularly litigate before the US district courts, the International Trade Commission and the US Patent Office (inter partes review).
Intellectual Property & Technology Transactions
We provide our clients with strategic advice on a wide range of IP-related matters, including product development, strategic alliances, joint ventures and patent licensing, commercialization, copyright and trademark matters and the integration of business units and product lines in connection with mergers and acquisitions. We have advised on cutting-edge technology transactions, including completing some of the largest outsourcing and software deals ever attempted. We have helped clients develop and implement digital and data-driven strategies and then govern the often complex relationships necessary to keep these services operating. In recent years, we have assisted our clients in business transformations that involve SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms, automation and IoT (Internet of Things), among other technology. Our practice advises across a wide range of industries including financial services, life sciences, software and computing, media and telecommunications.
Mayer Brown has a robust team of trial and appellate litigators in Northern California representing clients ranging from established internet companies, financial institutions, medical device manufacturers and semiconductor companies to newer app-economy players. Our litigators:
- Resolve complex commercial, antitrust, privacy class actions and intellectual property disputes
- Handle government investigations and white-collar defenses
- Provide strategic advice on international dispute resolution, e-discovery and data strategy
Many of our matters—and results—have industry-wide or nationwide significance. Recent cases include:
- A defamation action against “security consultants” who worked with a hedge fund to affect a medical device manufacturer's stock price and profit from a short position
- A defense (through the US Supreme Court) of a privacy class action against a specialized internet search provider
- Securing a landmark appellate decision reversing class certification in an action claiming that an auto manufacturer falsely advertised a high-tech safety feature
- Defense of an employee antitrust class action involving the top players in Silicon Valley's high-tech industry
- Defense of a class action based on claims that a major internet advertising program doesn't work as advertised
- Defense of an antitrust class action against semiconductor manufacturer
- Securing California Supreme Court limitation on a retailer’s common law duties;
- Defense of a trade secret claim against a major investment index provider
- Appellate defense of wage-and-hour class actions in technology and telecommunications industries
Mergers & Acquisitions
Mayer Brown‘s leading global Mergers & Acquisitions practice is rapidly expanding in Northern California. Our global practice includes Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, private equity sponsors, investment banks and privately held companies. Our Northern California M&A lawyers work as a team and collaborate with Mayer Brown colleagues with deep experience in intellectual property, financial services and insurance regulatory, employment and employee benefits, finance, real estate and tax matters. We advise clients locally, nationally and internationally across a wide variety of industries such as technology, including insurance, SaaS, semiconductors, AI, data analytics and IoT; financial services (including fintech); insurance (including insurtech); life sciences; media, consumer and branded products; hospitality and leisure; energy; and telecommunications.
We also provide businesses with practical and creative solutions on regulatory and compliance matters, especially with respect to regulated industries such as financial services, insurance, health care and life sciences. Our lawyers also advise on securities law compliance, stock exchange listing requirements, fiduciary duties and corporate governance matters,
Real Estate Investment and Financing Transactions
We are leading practitioners to global institutional equity investors in bilateral joint venture formation and transaction execution. Our geographic reach is wide, but our focus is on premier investment hubs on the West Coast, including California and the Pacific Northwest. We understand the interwoven corporate, tax and real property issues presented to domestic and international firms in their acquisitions, financing transactions and developments for office, retail, single and multi-family residential and industrial warehouse and logistics purposes. We are trusted advisors to successful private equity funds, life insurance companies, investment advisers, publicly traded REITs and banks.
From Northern California, we open doors for, and have extensive experience in advising, Australian, Canadian, Chinese, English, Japanese and Korean capital sources. Our experience includes advising bank and non-bank lenders in the making of permanent mortgage, construction, conduit and mezzanine loans for the development and redevelopment of retail, multi-family residential and office properties. We also are well versed in assisting clients with CMBS-loan servicing issues such as transfer and assumption applications, portfolio recapitalization transactions and distressed debt sales and purchases.
Tax Transactions & Consulting
Our Tax Transactions & Consulting practice provides full-service tax transaction and advisory services to clients in all areas of inbound and outbound planning, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, leveraged and structured financings, financial products, investment funds, insurance, derivatives, tax credits, transfer pricing, state and local tax, tax policy and other tax matters.
Our group is part of the firm’s Tax Controversy practice of approximately 50 lawyers, one of the most active tax dispute practices in the country. Mayer Brown’s Tax Controversy practice has been ranked as a tier 1 firm by Chambers and Legal 500 for their highest ranking for 16 and 11 consecutive years, respectively, and a number of our partners in Northern California have been recognized as leaders in the field. We represent clients in a variety of federal and California tax disputes, whether counseling during tax audits, pursuing administrative appeals of audit results or litigating tax matters at the trial or appellate court level. We identify key issues in the case and resolve them with speedy and favorable results for our clients.
We are committed to serving our community here in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. Our pro bono work has included filing amicus briefs in the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court, providing legal assistance to immigrants and asylum seekers and helping nonprofit organizations on tax and intellectual property matters. We have been honored by Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLESPA) as a Law Firm of the Year for providing significant legal services to CLESPA’s clients and by Public Advocates as a Pro Bono Champion for our contributions to the organization’s work on education equity. Many of our lawyers also serve on boards and committees of charitable and community service organizations, such as Silicon Valley’s Campaign for Legal Services, Oakland’s Family Violence Appellate Project, Stanford Law School’s Three Strikes Project, San Francisco’s The Little School pre-school, the Dads’ Club of Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, the Menlo Park/Atherton AYSO and the Tri-Valley/East Bay YMCA.
Director of Administration - US - West Coast
Global Head of Alumni Relations
Peter M. Columbus
Global Director of Business Development and Marketing
Public Relations Contact
Assistant Director of Public Relations
Recruiting - Lateral Lawyers
Director of Lateral Partner Recruitment - Americas
Recruiting - Staff & Support
Human Resources/Attorney Development & Recruitment Manager