Richard W. 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.
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.
- Harvard University, AB, magna cum laude
- The London School of Economics and Political Science, MSc
- Harvard Law School, JD, cum laude
- US Supreme Court
- US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- 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
- 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.
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