With one of the largest revenues and highest rankings across many global ratings, Baker McKenzie is a very important part of the global law system.
About Baker McKenzie
Baker McKenzie, an international law firm, was founded in 1949 as Baker & McKenzie. One of the largest law firms by headcount (6,000 lawyers) and revenue, it has 77 offices across 46 countries with Chicago as its headquarters.
A general practice law firm, Baker & McKenzie covers the practice areas of Antitrust & Competition, Banking & Finance, Capital Markets, Compliance & Investigations, Data & Technology, Dispute Resolution, Employment & Compensation, Environment & Climate Change, Intellectual Property, International Commercial & Trade, Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Equity, Projects, Real Estate, Restructuring & Insolvency, and Tax.
Annual Baker McKenzie 2019 Financials
For the fiscal year ended June 2019, Baker & McKenzie recorded global revenues of $2.92 billion an increase of 4.4% from previous year. Growth across regions with Latin America recording 9% growth while EMEA stood at 5.2% growth led to the rise. The law firm said that their standout markets with significant double digit growth were Bogota, Buenos Aires, London, Prague, Turkey and Warsaw.
The company’s growth indicates that despite challenging market conditions it has been able to grow with its effective measures like investments in legal services, centers of excellence in lower-cost locations and effective client partnerships. It states that being geographically diverse is not only a strength of the company but also a challenge at times.
While there are other criteria to rank law firms—such as revenue per partner/lawyer, the number of lawyers, or year-on-year percent growth—annual revenue remains the most accurate, consistent, and easy to follow. Among the world’s top ten law firms, Baker & McKenzie stands third in the list (based on 2017 revenue) behind Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP.
Acritas, part of Thomson Reuters, recently revealed the 2020 Global Elite Brand Index which is topped by Baker McKenzie consistently increasing its lead over the last seven years. The Index measures the firms that are most top of mind and most favored by corporate clients with more than $1 billion in global revenues. Also, they are the most considered for multi-jurisdictional deals and litigation.
Chambers Global, a leading international legal directory covering almost 200 jurisdictions across the world, recently ranked Baker McKenzie at the top spot for Employment & Compensation practice. The law firm is recognized within Band 1, the highest tier within the rankings.
Chambers Global cites the company to have “exceptionally broad coverage, with top-notch employment departments in London, across Europe and in China, bolstered by notable strength in Australia and the rest of Asia.”
Baker McKenzie Management Restructuring Changes
Recently, Baker McKenzie brought in top restructuring & insolvency talent with Mark Bloom, chair of American College of Bankruptcy, joining along with Paul Keenan and John Dodd in Miami.
“We have been steadily building up our R&I practice globally, and have been looking to further strengthen our group in the US for some time,” said Debra Dandeneau, chair of Baker McKenzie’s Global Restructuring and Insolvency Group.
The company’s R&I practice is recognized by Chambers Global and it has advised on some of the largest and most complex multijurisdictional restructurings, recoveries and insolvencies for many years.
In January 2020, Baker McKenzie elected the firm’s first ever Asian chair – Milton Cheng – as their global chair who was earlier overseeing business in eight markets across the Asia-Pacific region.
Besides setting other priorities which are the company’s goals, Mr. Cheng said that the law firm would look at other key markets beside New York, London and China with trade and global macroeconomic circumstances changing rapidly. For this they plan to embrace innovation not only in technology terms but also broad mindset terms,
COVID-19 Impact On Law Firms
Baker McKenzie temporarily closed 11 offices in North America amid the coronavirus outbreak and asked staff to work remotely. It is already managing office closures seamlessly and remote working arrangements in Asia Pacific and EMEA.
The pandemic has given rise to a quick demand in legal attention from commercial firms where clients are critically impacted. Also, commercial lawyers ability to conduct work effectively is being hampered by the virus. Some of the issues that global law firms would be impacted by are travel bans to countries across globe, litigations. A rising issue which commercial lawyers have been facing is the use of force majeure clause in any commercial agreement. While the damage intensity from the COVID-19 still remains unknown, commercial law will continually strive to keep up. But it would be completely on how commercial firms to decide how they combat the virus.
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