Mayer Brown elects former banking and finance practice co-head as new chair

New York and Chicago based Jon Van Gorp replaces Paul Theiss, who steps down after nine years

Jon Van Gorp Image courtesy of Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown has elected banking and finance partner Jon Van Gorp as its new chair, replacing Paul Theiss whose third consecutive three-year term concludes at the end of this month.

Van Gorp – who splits his time between the firm’s Chicago and New York offices – has been at the firm for almost 25 years, joining from Thompson & Knight in 1997 where he spent three years after graduating from law school. He has served in a number of leadership positions at the firm, serving on its management committee since 2017 and previously co-leading the firm’s banking and finance, capital markets and structured finance practices.

Van Gorp said: “The firm’s collaborative ‘one-firm’ culture, integrated global footprint and strong leadership have put us on a great trajectory, thanks in large part to Paul’s stewardship. I look forward to continuing to drive the execution of our strategic vision, and embarking on a listening tour to hear directly from our clients and colleagues across the globe how we can work and innovate together to achieve even greater success.”

The firm said that during Theiss’s nine-year tenure as chair, profits per partner increased by 74% with panel appointments growing almost four-fold to 275 client panels. Over the same period, the diversity of the firm’s partnership almost tripled while total pro bono hours increased globally by more than 50%.

Theiss is the firm’s longest-serving chair since the 90s.

He said: “Mayer Brown has become one of the largest and most successful law firms in the world. Together, we’ve experienced eight consecutive years of revenue growth, a marked increase in the number of clients who turn to us as their trusted advisor to help address their most complex needs, and developed an integrated culture of working together seamlessly across offices and practices to live our core values.”

Theiss added that Van Gorp is a ‘transparent and steadfast leader’ who will bring a logical, thoughtful and innovative approach to the role.

He said: “[Van Gorp is] widely known by the Mayer Brown community as a builder and a connector: he has both experience and a track record of success building our firm and connecting our partners and clients.”

Mayer Brown has also elected a trio of partners as new members of its eight-person management committee – London managing partner Sally Davies, Washington DC managing partner Raj De and Hong Kong partner Jason Elder.

Fellow American firm Vinson & Elkins announced earlier this month that corporate partner Keith Fullenweider has been elected its new chair, with private equity partner Jim Fox, litigation partner Michael Holmes and IP partner Hilary Preston named vice chairs. The four partners will make up the new executive committee, replacing current chairman Mark Kelly and managing partner Scott Wulfe after a decade in those roles. And earlier in the year, AmLaw 100 firm Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton named corporate partner Lucantonio Salvi as its new chair, replacing Guy Halgren who is stepping down after two decades in the role.

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