21 December 2007
21 December 2007 - Mayer Brown LLP, a leading global law firm, and Johnson Stokes & Master (JSM), a leading Asian law firm, have agreed to combine as of January 28, 2008. The combined firm will provide a global service to clients through seven offices in Asia, six in Europe and eight in the Americas, including a recently opened office in Brazil.
"This is a truly transformational event that makes Mayer Brown unique among global law firms," said Chairman James D. Holzhauer. "Our combination is an ideal strategic fit and offers enhanced global service to our multinational clients. JSM is the unquestioned leader among law firms in Asia, and the combination extends our capabilities geographically and broadens our exposure to the fastest growing economies in the world. The combined firm will have more than 1,000 lawyers in the United States, 500 in Europe and 300 in Asia."
JSM is one of the oldest and largest law firms in Asia. It was established in 1863 in Hong Kong and has full-service offices in Hong Kong, mainland China (Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai), Thailand (Bangkok) and Vietnam (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City). The firm has a multinational, multilingual team of 800 staff, including more than 260 lawyers who are qualified in local and international jurisdictions. JSM has been named Hong Kong Law Firm of the Year for the past eight years (2000-2007) by various leading legal publications, including International Financial Law Review
, Asian Legal Business
and Who's Who Legal
. JSM is also one of the top three foreign law firms in Thailand and Vietnam.
Elaine Lo, Chairman of the Partnership Board of JSM, said, "Not only is the combination a good business fit, it brings together two law firms that are highly compatible in philosophy and culture. Like Mayer Brown, we have a business-minded, results-oriented approach to solving complex legal issues for clients. And we enjoy a diversity of personal histories, cultures and experiences, all of which contribute to the work we do with our clients. We considered teaming with other law firms, but we viewed the Mayer Brown opportunity as the perfect match. Our clients' needs are increasingly international in nature and we are now able to offer them a unique global platform."
Mayer Brown Vice Chairman Paul Maher said, "Further evidence of the strategic fit is that our respective client bases are very complementary, with few conflicts. We believe this gives the new organization significant potential to develop these relationships, elevating Mayer Brown to an elite international law firm. I do not believe many other law firms can equal our record of success in completing and integrating international mergers and our combined strength in the world's three leading legal markets: the U.S., Europe and Asia."
The combined firm will continue to be known as Mayer Brown outside of Asia. In Asia, it will be known as Mayer Brown JSM. The Asian offices will be managed by an Asia Board with Elaine Lo serving as Chairman of the Asia Board.
Currently, Mayer Brown has over 1,500 lawyers and offices in seven U.S. cities (Chicago, Charlotte, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto and Washington, D.C.), six European cities (Berlin, Brussels, Cologne, Frankfurt, London and Paris), Hong Kong and São Paulo.