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FIRM OF THE YEAR - RUSSIA
Baker & McKenzie opened its 73rd and 74th offices in 2013, in Seoul and Dubai, reinforcing its global scope and depth of coverage. The Seoul office opened in May and is focused on the Korean outbound market, while the Dubai office is the result of the firm’s merger with Habib Al Mulla, effective from 1 July. Early 2014 saw the opening of Baker & McKenzie’s Myanmar office, bringing the total number of Asia-Pacific offices to 16.
|BAKER & MCKENZIE|
|Aviation||5||Management Labour & Employment||4|
|Business Crime Defence||4||Mining||7|
|Commercial Litigation||7||Private Client||10|
|Construction||2||Product Liability Defence||1|
|Corporate Immigration||6||Project Finance||9|
|Corporate Tax||18||Public Procurment||3|
|Environment||5||Sports & Entertainment||1|
|Franchise||5||Telecoms & Media||8|
|Information Technology||16||Trade & Customs||8|
|Insolvency & Restructuring||1||Trademarks||12|
The firm’s total number of offices now stands at an impressive 75, giving the firm a presence in 26 of the world’s 30 largest economies, a testament to the firm’s steady expansion into high-growth markets. Baker & McKenzie continues to be a “dominant presence” in the international legal marketplace with recommended individuals across a number of jurisdictions and practice areas. Its cohesiveness allows the firm to maintain its “fluent” service in advising leading multinational corporations on the issues of the integrated world market.
|Total Listings in WWL||210||Established||1949|
|Home jurisdiction||US||Total size of firm||Over 4,100|
|Number of partners||1,400||Number of offices||75|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
The firm’s tax team have served as counsel to a number of the world’s largest public companies for over 50 years. The current team comprises over 750 lawyers, economists and advisers and counsels on changing tax laws, practices and dispute resolution techniques. Luis Briones is “one of the best” practitioners in Spain. He advises Spanish and multinational companies on international tax planning and gives tax advice on asset management matters. In Chicago, Richard Lipton continues to build a “great reputation” providing advice for corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies, particularly in the real estate space. Carol Dunahoo is “very well known” in the DC office for her work on tax controversies, compliance and policy.
Lawyers in the global information technology and communications group provide local know-how to help businesses create new technology offerings and design sound compliance programmes. In London, Harry Small is a “leading” IT specialist and heads the firm’s global technology practice group. Colleague Ian Walden advises on regulatory and transactional matters including electronic commerce, IT systems and service contracts. Raffaele Giarda heads the telecommunications practice in Italy and is “highly respected” for his expertise regarding operations such as network roll-out and broadband infrastructures. Matthias Scholz also has a “wealth of experience” in advising German and international companies in the full range of information technology matters.
The firm’s trademark specialists are experienced in a wide variety of matters including portfolio management, licensing, due diligence and litigation. In Russia, Eugene Arievich is a “wonderful” lawyer. Head of the firm’s CIS intellectual property practice group, his practice focuses on all aspects of trademark protection. Managing partner of the London office Paul Rawlinson is a “well regarded” figure in the field. His representative experience includes representing L’Oréal in the trademarks case of L’Oréal v Bellure concerning the sale of look-a-like and smell-a-like fragrances.
As antitrust compliance becomes more complex and costly, individuals at Baker & McKenzie are “well primed” to advice clients on the shifting policies worldwide and carry out complex cross-border compliance strategies. Samantha Mobley leads the global antitrust and competition practice group and is recognised as a “star” by peers and clients for her work in the cartel field. Fiona Carlin heads the European and competition law practice in Brussels and advises on high-profile merger cases involving investigations by the European Commission. Gavin Bushell is a “talented” lawyer and focuses on EU competition and merger control law.
In the private client sphere, Anthony Poulton is a “very impressive” practitioner. Head of the London trust disputes group, he often handles international trust-based disputes involving fraud and asset tracing. In Zurich, the “terrific” Marnin Michaels focuses on international estate planning and taxation of trusts for families with connections in the US.
PRO BONO AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
The global pro bono and community service expands its influence by teaming with large corporations to provide support in a number of large-scale projects. A recent pro bono case saw the firm’s work with in-house lawyers at Accenture, Caterpillar and Merck to help draft model legislation to protect Nepalese women from socio-economic and sexual exploitation.
DIVERSITY, INCLUSION AND SUSTAINABILITY
The global diversity and inclusion committee comprises members from around the world and develops and implements initiatives to further their goal of building a global community. Currently, nearly 40 per cent of lawyers at the firm are women. As one of the first global law firms to establish a climate change practice, the firm also affirms commitment to renewable energy and sustainability with green offices and initiatives implemented regularly.
In the first few months of 2014 alone, Baker & McKenzie has strengthened a variety of practice areas including M&A, real estate, tax and finance in its offices in Europe, North America and the Middle East. The firm is expected to further enhance its offering in its three new offices as it looks to dominate the emerging market space, as well as consolidate its premier position worldwide.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.