John P. Schmitz

John Schmitz represents US and European companies in complex international transactions and regulatory matters, with a focus on antitrust, media and telecommunications, energy and environmental issues. He has special emphasis on US and German political regulatory concerns, and has experience with numerous high-profile business and regulatory matters involving both American and German public policy and legal activities. John's clients have included the US Chamber of Commerce, General Electric, Bayer AG, Bertelsmann, Bosch GmbH, Deutsche Welle, Gillette, Pfizer, Microsoft, Verizon, Eli Lilly Co., Ford Motor Co., and Arkema., among others.

In September 2009, together with former Ambassador C. Boyden Gray, John established Gray & Schmitz LLP in September 2009 (renamed Schmitz Global Partners LLP in 2011). In 1993, John joined Mayer Brown as a partner to open its first German office in Berlin. From 1993 to 2009, John helped lead and develop a prominent and thriving German practice at Mayer Brown. Before joining Mayer Brown in 1993, John held a wide range of significant public policy positions. Between 1985 and 1993, he served as Deputy Counsel to George H. W. Bush in both the White House and the Office of the Vice President. Following his law school graduation, John was both Law Clerk to The Honorable Antonin Scalia, US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (1983-1984) and Special Assistant to William Baxter, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, US Department of Justice (1981-1982). Prior to law school, he was Legislative Assistant to US Representative Goodloe E. Byron (1977) and Legislative Aide to US Congressman Charles W. Sandman, Jr. (1973-1975).

John has also held a number of high-profile fellowships. In Germany, under a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship, he served at the Office of Bundestag Member Matthias Wissmann (Bonn), and the Office of General Counsel, Robert Bosch, GmbH (Stuttgart). He was also Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology Environmental Quality Lab in Pasadena, CA (1982-1983), and Research Assistant to Professors John Ferejohn and Morris Fiorina, Pasadena, CA, and London, England (1978-1980).

John is fluent in German and has received numerous German-related honors including the Distinguished German American of the Year Award in 2000 from the United German American Committee, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition Organization, and the Officers Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Deutsches Bundesverdienstkreuz First Class), awarded in 1990 by German President Richard von Weizsaecker. John recently was named Robert Bosch Fellow of the Year in 2011.

Notable Engagements

• Co-Chair of the Federalism Initiative of the US Chamber of Commerce, seeking legal reform in the United States.
• Global trade and regulatory consultant for US energy clients in Germany.
• Negotiated numerous international agreements, including the 1996 US-German Open Skies Aviation Agreement, and the 1997 US-EU Heavy Electrical Equipment Procurement dispute and agreement (resulting in the reform of the German Procurement Code).
• Stoneridge Investment Partners v. Scientific-Atlanta and Motorola, Inc., 128 S. Ct. 761 (2008) (on behalf of both defendant product manufacturers). In this case, described by the Wall Street Journal as "the biggest securities-litigation court clash in a generation," the Supreme Court agreed with our position by a 5/3 vote and ordered dismissal of the securities class action with prejudice, rejecting "scheme liability" as a theory of recovery and curtailing future growth of implied securities fraud causes of action. The Stoneridge decision led to the Court's rejection of $40 billion investor class claims in the Enron litigation a week later. Regents of Univ. of Cal. v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., 128 S. Ct. 1120 (2008).


Stanford Law School, JD, 1981; Founding member, Stanford Foundation for Law and Economic Policy; Member, Stanford Law Review • California Institute of Technology, MS, Economics, 1978; Completed all coursework and exams toward PhD • Georgetown University, BA, magna cum laude, 1976; Phi Beta Kappa; Dobriansky Fellowship


• District of Columbia, 1994
• Pennsylvania, 1985


• "OSHA After American Petroleum Institute: A Proposed Regulatory Budget," 33 Stan. L. Rev. 917, 1981

Professional Activities

• Atlantic Council Board of Directors, 2002 to date
• American Council on Germany (New York) Board of Directors, 2001 to 2010
• Virginia Republican Party State Delegate, 2001
• PEW Center on Global Climate Change Board of Trustees, 1999 to date
• Mentor Forum Advisory Board (Cambridge), 1999 to date
• Aspen Institute Berlin Kuratorium, 2005 to date
• Aspen Institute, Berlin Study Group on Germany, 1986 to 1990; Berlin Friends of Aspen 1998 to date
• Bayer Foundation for Cooperative Business and Labor Law (Leverkusen) Kuratorium, 1997 to date
• Friends of Dresden (New York) Board of Directors, 1996 to date
• international Republican Institute, Rule of Law Advisory Board, 1993; Election Observer (Bulgaria) 1997; Parliamentary/Presidential Trainer (Indonesia), 2000
• Virginia Viticultural Society, 1995 to date
• Representative, Joint US-Panama Commission on the Environment (Panama Canal Zone), 1993-1994
• Carnegie Endowment for international Peace, Study Group on American-European Community Relations, 1993
• US Regional Environment Center for Central and Eastern Europe (Budapest) Board of Trustees, 1990 to 1993
• Member, US Delegation, United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) (Rio de Janeiro), 1992
• Vice Chairman, White House Initiative on Forests for the Future, 1992
• Deputy Counsel, White House Task Force on Regulatory Relief, 1985-1989
• White House Working Group on Alternative Fuels, 1985-1989
• Austrian-American Friendship Program, 1987
• Federalist Society, 1985 to date
• Robert Bosch Alumni Association, Vice-President 1985-1987
• Participated in several international conferences and missions including an OPIC Investment Mission to Budapest, Hungary and Warsaw, Poland; met with senior government officials of newly formed governments in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the German Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Slovakia