Partner / NEW YORK,
Partner / NEW YORK
Melissa Francis has a wide-ranging legal practice focusing on complex commercial litigation, banking and finance litigation, securities litigation, and cross-border internal investigations. She has represented a diverse array of individual and corporate clients before state and federal trial and appellate courts across the country, and has won both bench and jury trials on their behalf. Ms. Francis has significant experience representing clients in class actions and cases involving breach of contract, business tort, securities, and products liability claims. She also has substantial experience in arbitrating and mediating commercial disputes. Ms. Francis serves as a guest lecturer on Administrative Law at the George Washington University Law School.
Ms. Francis also focuses on immigration law, and her contributions and leadership in the pro bono arena have been formally recognized by her clients and colleagues alike. She has successfully represented numerous refugees in asylum proceedings, including at trial, and spearheaded major relief efforts to assist undocumented youth, victims of crime, and Haitian nationals affected by the 2010 earthquake in obtaining legal status. Ms. Francis serves on the boards of several prominent legal service organizations, which have described her as being “on fire in her advocacy on behalf of immigrant clients.” She was a founding member of the Legal Aid Society’s New Leadership Program, serves on the Board of Advocates for Human Rights First, and previously served as Pro Bono Chair of the New York Legal Assistance Group’s Associate Board.
After serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Lewis R. Carluzzo on the U.S. Tax Court, Ms. Francis joined the New York office of Mayer Brown LLP, where she spent the first decade of her career in private practice as a member of the firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution group. Ms. Francis received her J.D. from The George Washington University Law School, where she was Managing Editor of the International Law Review Journal. She received her B.A. from The University of Pennsylvania.
Representative matters handled by Ms. Francis include: