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Baker McKenzie LLP

United States: Antitrust

Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 5

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP fields a team of ‘highly responsive’ antitrust lawyers. Lee Van Voorhis, head of the North America antitrust and competition group, has ‘excellent technical knowledge’. He successfully defended Phoebe Putney Health System and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in a lawsuit brought by the FTC challenging a proposed combination with Palmyra Park Hospital. Darrell Prescott in New York has ‘excellent analytical skills’.

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United States: Dispute resolution

International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 4

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP’s US international arbitration team, which is spread across multiple offices, benefits from the firm’s impressive global reach. Key domestic locations include New York, where North America practice chair Grant Hanessian is based, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Miami and Washington DC. The San Francisco office was strengthened when the firm brought Maria Chedid over from Arnold & Porter LLP in February 2015. Chedid co-leads the representation of Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim, a Turkish energy company, in a $2bn-plus ICSID dispute arising from the company’s investment in a rental power project in Pakistan. Elsewhere, Harnessian teamed up with colleagues in the firm’s Moscow and Almaty offices to represent Consolidated Exploration Holdings, a mining company that sought to develop one of the largest gold mines in the Kyrgyz Republic. He also worked with lawyers in the Caracas office when he represented Longreef AVV, an Aruban corporation, in a $500m-plus ICSID arbitration regarding Venezuela’s alleged refusal to fairly compensate the company post expropriation. Attorneys across the US handle complex commercial arbitrations: Luis O’Naghten in Miami; Justin Marlles in Houston; Mark McCrone in Washington DC; and Michael Morkin and Matthew Allison in Chicago.

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International litigation
International litigation - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP benefits greatly in this arena from its broad international network and its longstanding relationships with major oil and gas companies. Standout cases include Brendan Cook’s representation of a Bangalore client pursuing claims in the US concerning the ownership of a database used in the oil and gas industry. Cook was also lead counsel for a Norwegian investor and its Texas-based downhole oilfield tool company in a dispute concerning the misappropriation of trade secrets and violation of non-compete agreements. San Francisco-based Colin Murray worked with colleagues in the firm’s Kuala Lumpur office in the representation of three Hewlett-Packard entities in a case filed by a Singaporean subcontractor over work performed for a bank in Malaysia. The New York office brought in William Devaney from Venable LLP in December 2014. Devaney is a former US district attorney who specializes in white-collar criminal defense, investigations and compliance.

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International trade
International trade - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie LLP

Based out of Washington DC, the team at Baker McKenzie LLPprovides a superior service’, and can call upon a ‘deep bench in the area of trade compliance and knowledgeable attorneys in every major geographic area of the world’. Led by John McKenzie, Edward Dyson, the ‘experienced and practical’ Nicholas Coward, and ‘superstar’ Janet Kim, the firm is ‘very strong on export controls’ and trade sanctions work. San Francisco-based McKenzie gains particular plaudits from clients for his ‘unparalleled experience and breadth of knowledge’ as well as his ability to ‘cite both black-letter law and provide nuanced practical guidance on export control matters’. McKenzie is also involved in customs issues, where he receives strong support from Teresa Gleason and Ted Murphy. A smaller presence on the trade remedies front is headed out of Washington DC by Kevin O’Brien. Although the firm is active across the spectrum of industry sectors, it is ‘particularly strong in areas that affect hi-tech companies’, including Google, Intel Corporation and Veritas Technologies. The arrival of Ryan Fayhee in July 2015 from the DOJ adds further credibility to the practice, particularly on export controls and economic sanctions enforcement matters.

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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

Baker McKenzie LLP’s product liability and recall practice is headed by Chicago-based Michael Wagner. The group has experience across a wide range of industries, including food and beverages, electronics and industrial products. Mark Karasik (Chicago) was retained to defend Hubbell Power Systems against a product liability suit alleging manufacturing defects in products sold to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). In San Francisco, Tod Gamlen obtained dismissal of a product liability suit for Japanese cosmetic producer Pola following a mail order purchase by the plaintiff, a California resident. Washington DC-based Neil O’Flaherty is also recommended.

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White-collar criminal defense
White-collar criminal defense - ranked: tier 5

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP is especially active in the area of international anti-corruption work, including FCPA investigations. In August 2015, the Washington DC office was strengthened by the arrival of Maurice Bellan and Ryan Fayhee from McGuireWoods LLP and the DOJ respectively. In the same office, Thomas Firestone, Trevor McFadden and Hillary Brennan were promoted to the partnership, and other key figures include Joan Meyer and Richard Dean. William Devaney heads the practice from New York, where his colleagues include Marc Litt. The firm negotiated with the DOJ on behalf of more than 40 Swiss banks in relation to allegations that they helped US account holders evade tax. Other highlights included conducting an internal investigation in Hong Kong in response to an SEC subpoena connected with alleged insider trading.

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United States: Finance

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

Baker McKenzie LLP

The magnitude of some of the matters handled by Baker McKenzie LLP’s US project finance team belies its relatively small size. José Morán leads the team from Chicago, and is supported Mona Dajani, James O’Brien and Michael Smith, and New York-based Clyde Rankin and Mark Tibberts. Significant project finance matters included Rankin’s assistance to consortium leader ICICI Bank with financing the construction of an iron ore facility being built by Essar Steel in northern Minnesota: he advised the lender on a $415m loan to complement the $713m-worth of financing already provided by the consortium and the Export-Import Bank of India. The team’s clients, however, are predominantly sponsors, and are usually involved in renewable energy projects. Rankin acted for EDF Energies Nouvelles on the $240m financing of its 146MW Laberinto solar photovoltaic project, based in the Antofagasta region of Chile; it will be the first club-deal financing of a solar project in Chile that has taken place without the support of multilaterals. On the transactional side, the team advised EDF Renewable Energy on its sale of a 97.5MW wind generation facility in Minnesota to Allete Clean Energy.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy transactions: conventional power
Energy transactions: conventional power - ranked: tier 4

Baker McKenzie LLP

Based in Chicago, James O’Brien heads Baker McKenzie LLP’s global energy, mining and infrastructure group, which welcomed Mark Tibberts to its New York office from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP in 2015. As well as advising several sponsors on the development of large power projects across the US, the team acted for a large wholesale power producer on its acquisition of an important energy project on the East Coast. Natalie Regoli is a name to note.

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Energy transactions: oil and gas
Energy transactions: oil and gas - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP’s department is led by the ‘responsive’ Louis Davis, who is praised for his ‘loyalty’, ‘expertise’ and ‘sound judgement’. The team’s clients include White Marlin Oil and Gas Company, Mexico Petroleum Company and Toyota Tsusho Corporation. Natalie Regoli is a name to note. Huhnsik Chung joined the New York office from Locke Lord LLP in April 2015.

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

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP demonstrates particular strength in assisting developers with transactions, while also advising on project finance and power purchase agreements. Team head Clyde Rankin advised EDF Renewable Energy on the $47.5m sale of a 97MW generation facility in Minnesota to ALLETE Clean Energy. Banking and finance partners Jai Khanna, previously of Winston & Strawn LLP, and Mark Tibberts from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, joined the team, while Chicago-based Mona Dajani was promoted from partner to principal partner.

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Environment: regulatory
Environment: regulatory - ranked: tier 4

Baker McKenzie LLP

The Chicago-based team at Baker McKenzie LLP is especially strong in the Midwest and is recognized for assisting a notable list of clients from a range of industries on regulatory, enforcement defense and litigation matters. The regulatory experience includes assisting on development of global environmental compliance programs, strategic global environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility initiatives, as well as the formulation of global climate change policies. Team leader John Watson and Richard Saines are the key contacts.

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United States: Intellectual property

Patents: prosecution (including re-examination and post-grant proceedings)
Patent: prosecution (including re-examination and post-grant proceedings) - ranked: tier 5

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP’s patent team advises US and foreign clients on prosecution and post-grant matters, and, in 2015, it has handled numerous IPRs. In a recent highlight, it acted for Kinik Company in an IPR petition, including the final oral argument before the PTAB, and successfully obtained a final decision holding all instituted claims unpatentable. It also successfully defended RealD against institution of a series of IPR petitions. Dallas-based Brian McCormack and William McSpadden, and Houston-based Lisa Meyerhoff are the key contacts.

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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 team, led by Dave Davis in Chicago, is praised for ‘combining IP expertise with a multi-jurisdictional outlook and a wide global footprint’. It handles the full array of trademark matters, including global trademark portfolio management, major rebranding projects and transactional due diligence. Lisa Rosaya and Pamela Church in New York have been assisting key client Unilever with trademark prosecution, opposition and cancellation proceedings, as well due diligence. Rosaya also handle Pinterest’s global trademark portfolio and advises on the enforcement strategy. Other clients include Dita Eyewear, the C.S. Lewis Company, and Brooks Brothers.

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United States: Labor and employment

ERISA litigation
ERISA litigation - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP’s Douglas Darch and Rick Hammett, based in Chicago and Houston respectively, continue to represent Whirlpool in a long-running class action case involving 2,100 retirees arguing that their health benefits were unchangeable. On the West Coast, San Francisco-based practice head James Baker acts for businesses in disputes regarding supposed refusal of health coverage and high-stakes withdrawal liability arbitrations. Other areas of work include medical claim payment issues and disputes between pension plans.

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Employee benefits and executive compensation
Employee benefits and executive compensation - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP has ‘excellent international resources to draw on’ and the team is ‘always realistic in its expectations’. The firm advises on transactions and plan creations, including employee stock ownership programs. In Chicago Maura Ann McBreen, who leads the executive compensation and employee benefits practice, is advising Merck on its $9.5bn purchase of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, a deal also involving Aimee Soodan, who has ‘a wonderful way of simplifying complex issues for lay clients’. San Francisco’s Valerie Diamond, who leads the global equity services team, advises on the equity award aspects of complex international company mergers; Brian Wydajewski in Chicago is ‘able to support various transactions and activities’; and Barbara Klementz in San Francisco has ‘global experience and extensive knowledge’. Richard Reilly, a leading lawyer since 2012, passed away in October 2015.

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Immigration - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP operates ‘at the highest level of professionalism’. In addition to handling the full scope of US and global immigration services, the practice assists in specialty matters relating to critical enforcement trends - including worksite compliance, best practices for business visitor travel, integrated preventative protocols and VIP executive transfer services. The practice manages US and multi-jurisdictional projects for clients such as AGCO Corporation, Caterpillar, CFA Institute, and T. Rowe Price. Washington DC-based Shannon Donnelly leads the team managing the Royal Bank of Canada’s full US, Canada, Europe and Australia immigration portfolio, which includes handling several hundred visa candidates per year, developing global visa solutions for corporate executives and technical professionals, as well as managing the bank’s permanent residency and compliance needs. In Chicago, practice head Betsy Morgan has ‘the ability to see the bigger picture and always works to find ways to improve’ and Ginger Partee is also a key name.

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

Baker McKenzie LLPsets the bar by which many firms are measured’. In Houston, practice head Scott Nelson and Richard Hammett are highly regarded, as is Cynthia Jackson* in Palo Alto, praised for her ‘superior skillset’. She defended OK International and its parent company Dover Corporation against a wage and hour class action concerning allegations of unpaid overtime, missed breaks, unfair business practices and off-the-clock time as well as PAGA issues regarding employees’ time entries. Other mandates include representing clients in EEOC discrimination matters, NLRB proceedings and Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims. Chicago’s Douglas Darch and New York’s Robert Lewis are also revered. Arthur Rooney joined from Seyfarth Shaw LLP in Chicago, Celina Joachim returned to the Houston office from Direct Energy, and Palo Alto-based Kevin Whittaker arrived from Reed Smith LLP as of counsel. Houston’s Jordan Faykus and Emily Paige Harbison made partner, as did Chicago’s Ryan Vann. *Since publication, Cynthia Jackson has joined Dentons.

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

Baker McKenzie LLP

Under Susan Eandi and Scott Nelson, Baker McKenzie LLP’s ‘talented group of attorneys’ excels in US and cross-border issues involving M&A and post-acquisition integrations and restructurings. The practice is ‘among the best for global work’ and is retained by multinationals such as FedEx, Mozilla Corporation and Cameron International. Eandi assisted Hewlett-Packard with the employment aspects of separating its PC and printer business from its software and corporate hardware offering. Douglas Darch ‘works well with clients’, Cynthia Jackson is rated by some as ‘the best’, the ‘phenomenal’ Robert Lewis ‘gets to the heart of the issue’, and Richard Hammett and Nelson provide ‘skilled advice’. Carole Spink, Robert Mignin, Jennifer Field, James Baker and Joseph Deng are also highly regarded. Celina Joachim returned to the firm from Direct Energy, of counsel Kevin Whittaker joined from Reed Smith LLP and Arthur Rooney arrived from Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Benjamin Ho, Jordan Faykus and Ryan Vann were made up to partner. Named practitioners work out of Houston, Chicago, Palo Alto, San Francisco and New York.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) - ranked: tier 7

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP is ‘excellent’ when it comes to ‘quality and speed of service’, and clients praise the firm for its ‘strong involvement and commitment to projects’ and for operating as ‘a core team member’. These characteristics, as well as the firm’s ubiquitous presence around the globe, make it a ‘priority choice in cross-border M&A transactions’. It is also increasingly active in pure domestic deals, and has notable strength in the pharmaceutical, energy, mining and technology sectors. Led by the increasingly prominent Olivia Tyrrell, it advised Baxter International on the spin-off of its bioscience business into a separate publicly traded company, Baxalta. This was one of the largest spin-offs in North American corporate history, with Baxalta having a market capitalization of in excess of $21bn. Leading technology M&A specialist Matthew Gemello led the group that advised Symantec on the international aspects of the separation and $8bn sale of Veritas to a consortium led by The Carlyle Group. Chicago’s Michael DeFranco headed the team that advised FedEx on its $1.4bn acquisition of GENCO. Chicago-based Craig Roeder and Jakub Telpy have ‘demonstrated excellent performance’ in M&A transactions along with ‘strong involvement and commitment’.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Cyber law
Cyber law - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie LLP

David Lashway leads the six-partner team at Baker McKenzie LLP, which advises global vehicle manufacturers, internet services companies, global hotel chains, financial groups, and telecoms companies. Recent work includes carrying out crisis management and an investigation following a computer network intrusion involving servers in 70 countries. Other expertise includes investigations into compliance with FTC decrees. Hillary Brennan was promoted to the partnership in January 2015.

Leading lawyers

David Lashway - Baker McKenzie LLP

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Technology: data protection and privacy
Technology: data protection and privacy - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP’s practice is led by Lothar Determann in Palo Alto and Brian Hengesbaugh in Chicago, and clients applaud the duo for being ‘very knowledgeable and practical’. Ryan Fayhee joined the Washington DC office having previously held a role as a national security prosecutor for the DOJ; he now focuses on compliance issues related to export controls, sanctions, and anti-corruption laws and regulations. Recent work includes advising an IT security company with its global expansion, data privacy compliance, and litigation and M&A transactions.

Leading lawyers

Brian Hengesbaugh - Baker McKenzie LLP

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Technology: outsourcing
Technology: outsourcing - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie LLP

Sonia Baldia recently joined Baker McKenzie LLP’s Washington DC office from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, and has provided a significant boost with her expertise in inbound and outbound India transactions. Her practice also encompasses IT and business processes, including finance and accounting functions, employee services, data analytics, telecoms, infrastructure, product engineering, and global service delivery models. Michael Mensik leads the team from Chicago, and recent experience includes advising a Fortune 500 healthcare company on complex technology transactions and managed services agreements with domestic and offshore providers. Peter George’s recent work includes advising a client with the structuring and negotiating of various recruitment process outsourcings. Other core strengths of the practice include RFP preparation and down selection, governance and renegotiation, and cross-border and regulatory issues related to ITOs and BPOs, including allocating legal and regulatory responsibility for outsourced services. Samuel Kramer is recommended.

Leading lawyers

Michael Mensik - Baker McKenzie LLP

Samuel Kramer - Baker McKenzie LLP

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Technology: transactions
Technology: transactions - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP

Providing a ‘good quality of service’, Baker McKenzie LLP works with both vendors and customers in relation to technology transactions, advising on software as a service (SaaS) matters and system integration, among other things. In Chicago, the recommended Samuel Kramer, along with Michael Mensik and Peter George, count Brambles, Cardinal Health and Hewlett-Packard among their client roster. As a function of its international network, the 20-lawyer team regularly handles multi-jurisdictional projects for clients across the globe. Dual-qualified Sonia Baldia joined the Washington DC office from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, and advises on US and global outsourcing, technology and IP transactions, with a focus on India inbound and outbound transactions.

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United States: Real estate and construction

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 4

Baker McKenzie LLP

The ‘professional and very efficient’ practice at Baker McKenzie LLP handles a range of real estate matters for its global corporate clients. Recent highlights include advising Hewlett-Packard on the planned spin off of its Enterprise business and representing Sears in connection with global lease portfolio management. Key players in the firm’s strong Chicago office are practice head Michael Smith, hotel specialist Richard Cremieux and Michael Rechtin, who joined from Quarles & Brady LLP and has expertise in data centers and retail leasing. Also in Chicago is newly promoted partner Mona Dajani, who represented Mohammed I. Alsubeaei & Sons Investment Company as mezzanine lender in relation to the acquisition and construction of a multi-use high rise at 45 Park Place, Manhattan. In New York, Gerard Hannon has significant experience in cross-border real estate transactions, and assisted Benetton Group with the $161m sale of 100% of the shares in Benetton USA to Ramsbury Property.

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United States: Tax

International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP’s ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘practical’ department is ‘highly professional, displays complete dedication to supporting its clients’ and is ‘particularly strong in internal restructuring’. The team is jointly led by Jeff Maydew in Chicago and Christine Agnew Sloan in Washington DC. Palo Alto-based John Peterson and San Francisco-based Kirsten Malm led the work for Agilent Technologies in relation to the $5bn spin-off of Keysight Technologies, a new publicly traded company. Malm also advised Expedia on a range of matters, including the sale of its Chinese mobile and travel service eLong for $671m. New York-based Jonathan Stevens assisted Johnson & Johnson with its $1.75bn acquisition of Alios BioPharma, and with its sale of its Cordis business to Cardinal Health for $1.99bn. The ‘exceptional’ team includes New York-based Thomas May, who is ‘extremely talented’, John McDonald in Chicago, who ‘understands the technical issues’, and the ‘highly regarded’ Susan Stone in Houston. Peter Daub joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in 2016.

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

Baker McKenzie LLP

With around 60 specialists, Baker McKenzie LLP’s tax litigation team has one of the deepest benches around, and assists clients in the full range of contentious tax matters. Dallas-based practice head Robert Albaral took the lead in the successful representation of Pilgrim’s Pride at the Fifth Circuit in a dispute involving nearly $100m. A team from the Chicago office secured certainty on behalf of Starbucks after the coffee giant entered into a ten-year bilateral advance pricing agreement (APA) with the IRS and the Canada Revenue Agency. Chicago-based Mark Oates has a high standing in the market and Duane Webber in Washington DC can ‘distil technical arguments into a few meaningful concepts’. Clients include American Airlines, Dresser-Rand and Guardian Industries and also Medtronic, which the team has a longstanding relationship with and currently represents in all aspects of its administrative tax disputes and tax litigation. Mark Roche in San Francisco and Susan Ryba in the Chicago office were made partners.

Leading lawyers

Mark Oates - Baker McKenzie LLP

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US taxes: non-contentious
US taxes: non-contentious - ranked: tier 5

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP’s tax practice covers tax planning, M&A, state and local tax (SALT) and e-business tax. Christine Agnew Sloan chairs the North American tax planning and transactions practice. SALT specialists Maria Eberle and Lindsay LaCava joined the firm’s New York Office from McDermott Will & Emery LLP, while former Treasury adviser Alexandra Minkovich joined the Washington DC office as of counsel.

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Latin America: International firms

Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 4

Baker & McKenzie LLP

Baker & McKenzie LLP’s peerless global capacity and dedication to Latin America makes it a prominent player in M&A transactions in the region. The firm has a wealth of M&A talent in offices across Latin America, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. Clients include Advent International, Brookfield Asset Management, Grupo Security, Southern Cross, Terranum Corporativo and Yara International. Recent matters saw the firm advise Grupo Security on the acquisition (through its subsidiary Vida Security), of 61% of Peruvian insurance company Protecta, owned by Grupo ACP and IFC. It also represented Advent International in its acquisition of a 30% stake in Lifemiles from Avianca Holdings. Colombia partner Jaime Trujillo Caicedo leads the regional M&A group.

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Further information on Baker McKenzie LLP

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United Arab Emirates

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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

Offices in Seoul

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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