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Litigator and former Commerce Department official John J. Sullivan rejoins Mayer Brown as partner in DC

22 February 2012
Mayer Brown

Washington, DC, 22 February, 2012 – Mayer Brown, a leading global law firm, announced today that John J. Sullivan has rejoined the firm as a partner in its Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice in Washington, DC.  Mr. Sullivan was a partner in that office and practice before beginning five years of government service that culminated with his appointment in 2007 as Deputy Secretary of Commerce.  Since returning to private practice in 2009, he has been a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Mr. Sullivan’s practice focuses on all aspects of global commerce, including litigation and arbitration, import and export regulation, foreign investment in the United States and US economic sanctions issues.  He has advised clients on trade and investment issues in markets around the world. 

“Mayer Brown’s geographic scope, practice area diversity and roster of leading multinational clients make it the perfect place for me to apply my extensive experience in litigation and in advising clients on US economic sanctions, export controls and other national security issues,” Mr. Sullivan said. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues around the world to help clients address a wide range of legal and business challenges.”

Mr. Sullivan began his most recent government service in 2004 as Deputy General Counsel of the US Department of Defense, and then joined the Commerce Department as General Counsel in 2005. Two years later, he was named the Commerce Department’s Deputy Secretary.

As Deputy Secretary, Mr. Sullivan was instrumental in shaping the development and administration of US trade law and policy.  He co-chaired the transparency component of the Bush Administration’s Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) with China led by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson.  Mr. Sullivan led trade missions composed of representatives of dozens of major companies to open foreign markets for US exports; participated by appointment of the President as a senior member of the US delegation to the Palestine Investment Conference in Bethlehem in May 2008; and, as a co-chair of the US delegation, moderated the discussions between US business leaders and senior members of the Iraqi government at the Iraq Business Dialogue in Baghdad in November 2008.

“John has an outstanding track record in government service and in private practice,” said Michael E. Lackey, Jr., partner-in-charge of Mayer Brown’s Washington, DC office. “His deep knowledge and experience in the international trade arena and his proven skills as a seasoned litigator will be valuable assets to our clients across the globe.”

While in private practice, Mr. Sullivan has continued his involvement in the public arena.  In September 2010, he was appointed by the Obama Administration as Chair of the US-Iraq Business Dialogue, an advisory group formed by the Governments of the United States and Iraq to foster economic development and investment in Iraq.

Mr. Sullivan earned a JD from Columbia University, where he was Book Reviews Editor of the Columbia Law Review, and received an AB from Brown University.  He served as law clerk to Judge John Minor Wisdom of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and to Justice David H. Souter of the Supreme Court of the United States.

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