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Baker McKenzie LLP

United States

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 5

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP’s global network of offices ensures that the firm is regularly engaged on real estate-related mandates for a wide variety of foreign investors. Recent examples of work include practice head Michael Smith assisting Nord Anglia Education with the $167m sale and leaseback of a three-school portfolio located in Florida and Texas, and hotel specialist Richard Cremieux representing Binjiang Tower in the restructuring of a joint venture to develop a 41-story mixed-use project in Downtown Seattle. In another highlight, Matthew Alshouse acted for Mirae Asset Global Investment in its joint venture with Transwestern Investment Group to purchase State Farm’s Southwest headquarters in the Cityline development in Dallas. The practice’s caseload extends to work for domestic corporates, such as Walgreens and Sears, and Michael Rechtin, who has particular expertise in data centers, continued to advise Comcast on its data center portfolio. All attorneys named thus far are based in Chicago, but the practice also has boots on the ground in New York, where Gerard Hannon was busy on a multibillion-dollar development joint venture for a foreign investor. Chicago-based Kathryn Johnstone was promoted to the partnership.

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United States: Dispute resolution

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense - ranked: tier 5

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP’s FCPA work included advising Brazilian company Embraer and global IT and communications company Harris Corporation on SEC and DOJ investigations. The firm serves as corporate monitor to AU Optronics and AU America following the client’s conviction for price-fixing, and acted as investigative counsel to a multinational food company in an SEC investigation into potential improper payments to government officials in China. It served as lead US counsel to Nordion in an investigation into improper payments in Russia and acted for Mondelēz in an internal investigation into potentially improper payments in several countries. New York’s William Devaney and Washington DC’s Brian Whisler head the team. Other key figures include Robert Kent and Jerome Tomas and Robert Tarun in San Francisco.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 4

Baker McKenzie LLP

The sizeable US-based team at Baker McKenzie LLP operates closely with the firm’s international network of offices. Maria Chedid, who is based in the San Francisco office, is representing Turkish energy company Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim, in a multibillion-dollar ICSID arbitration regarding its investment in a rental power project in Pakistan. New York-based Grant Hanessian is acting for Gavrilovic, alongside colleagues in Vienna, on an ICSID arbitration with Croatia pursuant to the Austria-Croatia BIT. Clients also include IBT Group and Longreef. Luis O’Naghten in Miami and David Zaslowsky in New York are also recommended.

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International litigation
International litigation - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP’s US team spans its Chicago, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Washington DC and Miami offices, with clients also able to benefit from the firm’s huge international network in a variety of complex cross-border disputes. Colin Murray in San Francisco is leading advice to Hewlett-Packard, HP Enterprise Services and HP Malaysia on allegations filed by a Singaporean subcontractor regarding work performed in Malaysia for Bank Negara Malaysia. Dallas-based Brian Hurst and colleagues overseas are advising John Paul DeJoria, a billionaire American entrepreneur and philanthropist, on efforts to invalidate a Moroccan judgment regarding a failed Moroccan oil exploration venture. San Francisco-based senior counsel Bruce Jackson is representing Russian national Vitaly Smagin in proceedings to enforce an $84m arbitration award issued by the London Court of International Arbitration. Luis O’Naghten in Miami is also recommended. Mark Taylor in Dallas chairs the North America litigation practice.

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International trade
International trade - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP has ‘tremendous knowledge of international trade’ and the critical mass to represent clients from a broad range of industries across their most sensitive and strategically important trade issues. Spearheaded out of the US by Nicholas Coward, Janet Kim and San Francisco-based John McKenzie, and also benefiting from practitioners spread out across its vast global network, the firm has ‘an impressive depth of expertise’ pertaining to export controls as well as sanctions compliance and enforcement work, where its client base includes high-profile hi-tech companies such as Advanced Micro Devices, Intel and Veritas Technologies. McKenzie is also a key part of the firm’s customs team, which includes leading practitioners Teresa Gleason and Ted Murphy. Kevin O’Brien successfully defended the government of Trinidad and Tobago and a major chemical producer and US importer in a trade remedy case involving melamine. The ‘dedicated and thorough’ Sylwia Lis is also recommended.

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco)
Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco) - ranked: tier 4

Baker McKenzie LLP

Headed by Michael Wagner in Chicago, Baker McKenzie LLP’s product liability and product recall group has experience defending a wide range of clients in product liability litigation, as well as advising on compliance issues. Chicago-based Erin Maus has been defending a global manufacturer of furniture products in a number of wrongful death claims arising from a furniture warehouse fire. The team includes e-discovery expert Tod Gamlen in Palo Alto, Mark Karasik in Chicago and Washington DC-based Neil O’Flaherty, who specializes in FDA regulations.

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United States: Finance

Project finance
Project finance: advice to sponsor - ranked: tier 5

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP’s project finance group acts for a predominantly sponsor-side client base and is especially strong in the renewable energy space. The Chicago-based José Morán heads the practice, which was strengthened by the arrivals of renewables specialists Evelyn Kim and senior associate Jennifer Layfield, who joined the San Francisco office from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in March 2016. The New York-based Mark Tibberts acted for Greenleaf Energy Holding on its sale of subsidiaries that owned two Northern California gas-fired power plants, to an affiliate of Starwood Energy. Other renewable energy clients include Solar Reserve. Conventional power is another area of strength for the firm: James O’Brien, who is based in Chicago, advised J-POWER USA on its acquisition from Dyson of the remaining interests in the 1.35GW Elwood power project, making J-POWER the project’s sole owner. Tibberts acted for Ohio Valley Electric Corporation on the refinancing of $100m-worth of bonds that had been issued by the Indiana Finance Authority and the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority to finance flue-gas desulphurisation facilities at OVEC’s power plants. Other clients include Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and farmer-owned cooperative CHS. Clyde Rankin in New York, Mona Dajani in Chicago and Natalie Regoli in Houston are also recommended.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy transactions: conventional power
Energy transactions: conventional power - ranked: tier 5

Baker McKenzie LLP

Project acquisitions and sponsor-side project finance are Baker McKenzie LLP’s team’s main areas of activity. Practice head James O’Brien in Chicago advised J-Power USA on its $173m acquisition from Dynegy of the remaining 50% of Illinois’ 1.5GW Elwood power plant, making the client the plant’s sole owner. New York-based Mark Tibberts assisted Ohio Valley Electric with refinancing $100m of tax-exempt bonds. Other clients include Calpine, Eosol Energy and Greenleaf Energy Holdings.

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Energy transactions: oil and gas
Energy transactions: oil and gas - ranked: tier 4

Baker McKenzie LLP

Upstream and midstream are the key sectors for Baker McKenzie LLP, which is especially active in asset acquisitions and disposals, although it also handles corporate restructuring. Its clients include Mexico Petroleum and White Marlin Oil and Gas. Louis Davis heads the Houston-based group, with support from Denmon Sigler, who joined in July 2016 from Winston & Strawn LLP, and Natalie Regoli.

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Energy: renewable/alternative
Energy: renewable/alternative - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP

The New York-based Clyde Rankin heads Baker McKenzie LLP’s practice; he assisted Philips Electronics North America with arranging a PPA for the Los Mirasoles Wind Farm in Texas. Evelyn Kim, who joined in San Francisco from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in March 2016, advised an affiliate of SunEdison on the $20m sale of a 120MW portfolio of Idaho solar projects. The team also regularly handles EPC contracts.

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Environment: regulatory
Environment: regulatory - ranked: tier 4

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP’s range of regulatory expertise includes global compliance programs, sustainability initiatives, climate change policy changes and environmental risk assessments and management. John Watson chairs the practice group from Chicago, where he advises US and multinational companies on the environmental issues associated with their industrial and manufacturing operations. Douglas Sanders is the key contact for contentious matters, representing clients in federal and state courts and in administrative proceedings.

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United States: Intellectual property

Patent: prosecution (including reexamination and post-grant proceedings)
Patent: prosecution (including reexamination and post-grant proceedings) - ranked: tier 5

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP handles a mix of design and utility patent prosecution and IPR proceedings for a range of well-known US and foreign clients. The team, led by Dallas-based Brian McCormack, is particularly active in the electrical, software, chemical and life sciences sectors. Washington DC-based Richard Wells is assisting a leading industrial company with its patent prosecution and counseling work and is representing a consumer electronics manufacturer as petitioner in IPR proceedings involving patents related to peer-to-peer communication. The group also has a presence in Houston and Chicago.

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Trademarks: non-contentious (including prosecution, portfolio management and licensing)
Trademarks: non-contentious (including prosecution, portfolio management and licensing) - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP’s practice manages the domestic and global trademark portfolios of clients from a wide range of industries and has expertise in rebranding projects and transactional due diligence. Recent work includes taking over the trademark portfolio management for Lumileds, advising Brooks Brothers Group on licensing issues and filing strategies, and counseling Scholastic on trademark issues arising from the sale of its Educational Technology and Services Business to Hougton Mifflin Harcourt. Practice head Dave Davis in Chicago is recommended, as are Lisa Rosaya and Pamela Church in New York.

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United States: Labor and employment

ERISA litigation
ERISA litigation - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP

James Baker heads Baker McKenzie LLP’s ERISA litigation department from San Francisco and led the defense of Quest Diagnostics in a class action suit brought by a terminated employee seeking voluntary separation agreement benefits; the team secured dismissal twice. In Chicago, Douglas Darch represented Whirlpool in an action filed by 2,100 retirees alleging the defendant’s changes to their level of health insurance benefits violated their vested rights to unchanged benefits. Other highlights included withdrawal liability cases and plan contribution disputes.

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Employee benefits and executive compensation (transactions)
Employee benefits and executive compensation (transactions) - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP promoted Victor Flores and Lindsey Minnis to partner in the San Francisco and New York offices respectively. Practice co-heads Valerie Diamond and Maura Ann McBreen, based in San Francisco and Chicago respectively, demonstrated the firm’s capabilities in the technology sector in advising on executive compensation matters for SanDisk and Western Digital, and Microchip. Chicago-based Brian Wydajewski is another name to note.

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Immigration - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP’s ‘knowledgeable, responsive and ethical’ team is ‘among the very best for global immigration issues’. Largely centered in Chicago, the department also has immigration specialists in Washington DC and Miami as well as across its huge global network. Chicago-based group head Betsy Morgan continues to act for AGCO Corporation on global immigration and related issues, including advising on the impact of a potential corporate reorganization. Ginger Partee is also recommended in Chicago. In Washington DC, the ‘extremely talented’ Shannon Donnelly is ‘superlative’; she leads the team’s management of the T Rowe Price immigration portfolio for the US, UK and Asia-Pacific regions and recently advised it on the development of new recruitment and immigration policies.

Leading lawyers

Betsy Morgan - Baker McKenzie LLP

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Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense
Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense - ranked: tier 4

Baker McKenzie LLP

Employers in sectors ranging from energy to hospitality retained Baker McKenzie LLP in a broad range of matters, including unpaid overtime, EEOC discrimination and wrongful termination disputes. The firm obtained a dismissal at the Fifth Circuit of a former employee’s attempt to revive a putative class action against DynCorp regarding allegations that the company failed to provide overtime pay and benefits earned on a Kuwaiti logistics contract for the US Army. Scott Nelson and Emily Paige Harbison, who are in Houston, have brought proceedings against a former employee and their new employer on behalf of Netsync Network Solutions, which has filed trade secret misuse and breach of contract claims. The group comprises several statewide practices, with Nelson heading the Texas group, Robert Lewis leading New York’s offering, and Chicago-based Ryan Vann and Arthur Rooney chairing the Illinois practice. Houston-based Richard Hammett is managing partner of the firm’s North America region and is noted alongside Douglas Darch and recently promoted partner Miriam Geraghty Petrillo, who are based in Chicago. Of counsel Kevin Whittaker has taken over as head of the California group following Cynthia Jackson’s move to Dentons.

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Workplace and employment counseling
Workplace and employment counseling - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP’s ‘stellar’ practice is singled out for cross-border work, where it assists multinational companies with employment matters arising from corporate transactions and global expansion, as well as with workforce issues such as redundancy. In Palo Alto, practice head Susan Eandi advises Hewlett Packard Enterprise on several ongoing mandates, including two spin-offs and mergers into Computer Sciences Corporation and Micro Focus, respectively; these matters included advice on employee transfers and pensions. The ‘business-oriented’ group has also led on Sarbanes-Oxley Act matters, internal investigations into discrimination claims, executive terminations, pay equity and other work. Clients include Seagate Technology, GlobalLogic and Trend Micro. In Chicago, Ryan Vann provides ‘business-savvy advice’ and Carole Spink is highly recommended, as are Douglas Darch, Arthur Rooney and recently promoted partner Miriam Geraghty Petrillo. Palo Alto’s Joseph Deng routinely assists clients with Asia Pacific operations and former joint head Scott Nelson maintains an active practice in Houston, where managing partner Richard Hammett and recently elected partner Emily Paige Harbison are also noted. San Francisco’s Benjamin Ho and New York-based Robert Lewis are additional contacts, along with Kevin Whittaker, who divides time between Palo Alto and San Francisco. Cynthia Jackson moved to Dentons.

Next generation lawyers

Benjamin Ho - Baker McKenzie LLP

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) - ranked: tier 6

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP has a particularly impressive record in cross-border transactions, thanks to its immense global platform, though it has genuine domestic credibility especially in key sectors such as technology (including semiconductors and software), healthcare, aerospace and defense, pharmaceuticals, transportation and energy. Clients include Cardtronics, FedEx, Intel, Quest Diagnostics, Safran and Symantec. The firm recently advised Intel on a restructuring and integration process following its $16.7bn acquisition of Altera. It also continued to advise Symantec on the $7.4bn sale and separation of Veritas, its information management business, to Carlyle; the deal involved over 50 jurisdictions. In another key deal, it advised FedEx on its €4.8bn acquisition of TNT Express to expand its European operations; chair of the firm’s global M&A practice Michael DeFranco has worked on several deals for FedEx. Palo Alto partner Matthew Gemello is noted for technology transactions. Olivia Tyrrell, David Malliband, San Francisco’s Veronika Nemeth and New York partner Alan Zoccolillo are also recommended. Partners mentioned are Chicago based unless stated otherwise.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Cyber law (including data protection and privacy)
Cyber law (including data protection and privacy) - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie LLP

Data protection and data breach response - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie LLP

Crisis management is at the forefront of Baker McKenzie LLP’s practice, which includes Lothar Determann in Palo Alto, Brian Hengesbaugh in Chicago, and David Lashway and John Woods in Washington DC, as well as personnel in New York. The team is assisting a global vehicle manufacturer with a security inquiry regarding connected cars. It is also handling the implementation of an international data privacy compliance program for a software company. Other hallmarks of the practice include expertise on Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Privacy Shield matters, cybersecurity-related litigation, and internal investigations. Clients include Raytheon, Realogy, Wells Fargo, Westfield Financial Group and Priceline. Washington DC-based Michael Egan was promoted to the partnership in January 2016.

Leading lawyers

Brian Hengesbaugh - Baker McKenzie LLP

David Lashway - Baker McKenzie LLP

Next generation lawyers

Michael Egan - Baker McKenzie LLP

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Outsourcing - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP’s Chicago-based practice is led by Michael Mensik and is well known for its expertise in complex, multi-jurisdictional outsourcing transactions, with an emphasis on complex IT, communication, shared services and data management outsourcings. Key contacts include Sonia Baldia, Michael Stoker, Samuel Kramer and Peter George. The team is advising a leading healthcare company on a range of matters, including technology transactions and managed services agreements with domestic and offshore providers, a software as a service (SaaS) implementation project, and the delivery of an offshore shared service center for the delivery of BPO services. Other highlights included advising a global restaurant chain on IT agreements, software licenses, open source and inter-company agreements, and export controls related to IT products, among other things. Lindsay Martin is also recommended. Since publication, Vincent Schroder has joined as counsel in Palo Alto from McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

Leading lawyers

Michael Mensik - Baker McKenzie LLP

Samuel Kramer - Baker McKenzie LLP

Next generation lawyers

Lindsay Martin - Baker McKenzie LLP (Associate)

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Technology: transactions
Technology: transactions - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP

Supported by a global team of technology attorneys and experts in 77 offices worldwide, Baker McKenzie LLP’s practice regularly advises on enterprise resource planning and systems integration projects, telecoms arrangements, outsourcing agreements and software development. It is also recommended for cloud computing, social media, licensing and distribution agreements, as well as professional service agreements. Chicago-based Michael Mensik, Samuel Kramer, Peter George and Michael Stoker are highly rated technology and outsourcing lawyers; Kramer advised Oculus on licensing requirements for its virtual reality products. Other notable clients include Brambles, Cardinal Health, Kellogg Company and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. Sonia Baldia in Washington DC, Palo Alto’s Lothar Determann and San Francisco-based Gary Shapiro are also highly regarded.

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United States: Tax

International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP’s large international tax team advises on M&A transactions, post-acquisition integrations, spin-offs and transfer pricing matters. Houston-based Jonathan Martin, who leads the practice alongside Chicago-based Jeff Maydew, handled a $1.8bn UK re-domiciliation transaction for Cardtronics, while San Francisco’s Kirsten Malm and John Peterson and Scott Frewing in Palo Alto supported Expedia in several matters, including the post-acquisition integration of Orbitz and HomeAway. In January 2016, six associates were promoted to partner, among them Kai Kramer in Houston and Julia Skubis Weber in Chicago. Following Peter Daub’s move to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, the team added four partners as well as director of economics Donna McComber, who joined the Washington DC office.

Next generation lawyers

Julia Skubis Weber - Baker McKenzie LLP

Kai Kramer - Baker McKenzie LLP

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US taxes: contentious
US taxes: contentious - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie LLP

Led by Robert Albaral in Dallas, Baker McKenzie LLP’s ‘outstanding’ practice has ‘extreme strength in depth’. The 70-strong team advises on all phases of international and domestic tax disputes. The ‘diligent’ Duane Webber in Washington DC is advising Altera Corporation on a high-profile challenge against the validity of a US Treasury regulation that required cost-sharing participants to share stock-based compensation. In Chicago, Thomas Linguanti and senior counsel Robert Cunningham led Medtronic in a $1.4bn transfer pricing dispute, and Andrew Crousore in Palo Alto successfully represented Nike in challenging Internal Revenue Service (IRS) deficiency notices regarding the allocation of taxes. The team represents a range of Fortune 500 companies, including names such as Starbucks, American Airlines, Pfizer and The Boeing Company. Palo Alto-based Scott Frewing has ‘a wealth of expertise’, Mark Roche in San Francisco is ‘excellent’ and Mark Oates and Susan Ryba in Chicago are also recommended. Colleen Romero in Chicago and Phillip Taylor in Washington DC were recently promoted to partner.

Leading lawyers

Duane Webber - Baker McKenzie LLP

Mark Oates - Baker McKenzie LLP

Next generation lawyers

Mark Roche - Baker McKenzie LLP

Susan Ryba - Baker McKenzie LLP

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US taxes: non-contentious
US taxes: non-contentious - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP is well known for its ability to advise multinational corporations on local and international tax matters, including state and local tax (SALT) and e-business taxation, as well as tax matters arising from public transactions, major internal restructurings and post-acquisition integrations. Highlights included advising Abbott Laboratories on tax matters related to its $25bn acquisition of St Jude Medical, assisting Cardtronics with tax issues connected to its re-domiciliation to the UK and advising Expedia on tax planning, M&A and transfer pricing matters. Mary Bennett, Jonathan Martin and Thomas May are all noted.

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Latin America: International firms

International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 4

Baker McKenzie LLP

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Further information on Baker McKenzie LLP

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Czech Republic

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Hong Kong

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Asia Pacific: Regional international arbitration


Offices in Moscow and St Petersburg

South Africa

Offices in Johannesburg


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South Korea

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Saudi Arabia

Offices in Riyadh and Jeddah


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United States

Offices in Washington DC, Palo Alto, New York, Miami, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, and Houston


Offices in Valencia and Caracas


Offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Legal Developments by:
Baker McKenzie LLP

  • The New Turkish Code of Obligations: Important Changes for Leases of Residential & Business Premises

    For decades, the primary Turkish laws governing leases of residential and business premises have been the Law on Leasing Real Property dated May 27, 1955 (the “Lease Law”) and the Turkish Code of Obligations No. 818 dated April 22, 1926 (the “Obligations Code”). Both of these laws, however, will be repealed and replaced with the new Turkish Code of Obligations No. 6098 dated January 11, 2011 (the “New Obligations Code”), which will enter into force on July 7, 2012.
    - Esin Attorney Partnership

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