Firm Profile > Baker McKenzie LLP > Washington DC, United States

Baker McKenzie LLP
United States

Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection) Tier 1

Baker McKenzie LLP assists clients with a full spectrum of cybersecurity and data protection matters, including advisory work, transactions and crisis management, data breaches and incident prevention and response, regulatory and internal investigations, disputes and litigation. The practice is headed by Chicago-based Brian Hengesbaugh. Other names to note are Washington DC-based David Lashway, who is well versed in cybersecurity, crisis management, internal investigations, and complex criminal, civil and administrative litigation; John Woods (DC), Michael Egan (Boston) and Jennifer Seale (DC); Palo Alto-based Lothar Determann, who specializes in CCPA; Chicago-based Amy de La Lama; and associate Brandon Moseberry in Chicago. The client portfolio includes Booking, Geotab and Pizza Hut.

International tax Tier 1

Baker McKenzie LLP's team is based across key cities, including New York, Houston, Palo Alto and Washington DC, and advises companies on multi-jurisdictional M&A deals, supply chain integration and restructuring matters. In New York, Thomas May and Tatyana Johnson advised Gebr. Knauf KG, a German building materials company, on its acquisition of Chicago-based USG Corporation. Kai Kramer in Houston and Jeff Maydew in Chicago provided tax advice to Boeing on its acquisition of KLX Inc, a major independent provider of aviation parts and services. UK-qualified James Wilson is not licensed to practice in Washington DC, where he is based, but is a key adviser on tax matters for the firm's consumer goods and retail clients. Jonathan Martin in Houston and Julia Skubis Weber in Chicago are also notable. The firm's North America tax chair, Melinda Phelan, in Dallas and Palo Alto’s Stewart Lipeles are also recommended.

US taxes: contentious Tier 1

Baker McKenzie LLP represents global companies and high-net-worth individuals in state and federal tax litigation, and its large team of partners works across a variety of controversy matters. Duane Webber in Washington DC is representing Sunoco subsidiary Energy Transfer Partners in its appeal of the decision denying Sunoco income tax refunds arising from its 2004-2009 tax years. Washington DC-based practice head George Clarke is representing Discovery Communications in erroneous refund litigation against the IRS in US district court. The practice welcomed Erin Gladney in New York in March 2018 from Mayer Brown. Other names to note are James Barrett in Miami; managing partner of the Dallas office Robert AlbaralAndrew Crousore and Scott Frewing in Palo Alto; and Dan Rosen in New York. Departures from the Chicago office included Patricia Rexford, a principal, in July 2018 to Johnson & Johnson; Daniel White in December 2017 to Amazon; Joshua Richardson to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in January 2018; and Colleen Romero Feeny in December 2018 to Lateral Link, a recruitment firm.

Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional Tier 2

Baker McKenzie LLP’s practice experienced notable growth in 2018, with Denise Glagau and Chicago-based Aimee Soodan being made partner, and of counsel Maria Weydemuller joining the team from an in-house role at Electronic Arts. In San Francisco, Glagau and Victor Flores advised Trimble on its $1.2bn acquisition of Viewpoint. Also recommended is Chicago-based multi-employer benefits expert Maura Ann McBreen and Brian Wydajewski, and global equity expert Barbara Klementz, who heads the San Francisco office. Other standout matters included McBreen assisting German company Knauf with its $7bn acquisition of USG Corporation, and Chicago’s Christopher Guldberg advising CRIF on $20bn of subsidiary sales to private equity firm Thoma Bravo.

International litigation Tier 2

Baker McKenzie LLP's international litigation practice spans the firm's Chicago, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Washington DC and Miami offices, where the team represents US and foreign multinationals in complex disputes and enforcement matters. Key contacts include Jennifer Semko and Edward Baldwin in Washington DC, and Colin Murray in San Francisco.

International trade Tier 2

With trade specialists spread across its Washington DC, California and Chicago offices, as well as a 'deep bench of knowledgeable attorneys in every major geographic area of the world', Baker McKenzie LLP provides a 'very high-level of service' to domestic and multinational corporates, particularly in relation to customs and export controls/sanctions matters. San Francisco-based partner John McKenzie displays an 'unparalleled experience and breadth of knowledge', particularly as it relates to export control compliance. 'Impeccably civil in his deportment', Nick Coward  provides 'clear and concise advice' to global corporates on the design and implementation of compliance programs regarding export controls/sanctions. Although the firm is less active on the litigation front, Kevin O’Brien regularly handles anti-dumping and countervailing duty trade remedies matters, and recently assisted a domestic purchaser of solar panels with a Section 201 safeguards investigation into imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells. Other recommended practitioners include the 'outstanding' Sylwia Lis as well as Janet KimTed Murphy and San Francisco-based partner Teresa Gleason . Named attorneys are based in Washington DC, unless otherwise indicated.

Outsourcing Tier 2

Baker McKenzie LLP regularly advises clients on IT and business process outsourcing, systems, software and hardware procurement, and integration and maintenance agreements; it also has complementary expertise in the IP aspects of outsourcing transactions. Recent clients include Kellogg Company, McDonald’s and the telecoms software company Mavenir. In addition, the team has an enviable corporate client base spanning the healthcare, automotive, social media and hardware industries. The practice is headed in the Chicago office by Michael S. Mensik, and also includes Peter R. George and Samuel G. Kramer. Washington DC-based Sonia Baldia is another name to note.

Trademarks: non-contentious (including prosecution, portfolio management and licensing) Tier 2

Sector expertise for Baker McKenzie LLP spans industries such as pharmaceuticals, fashion, financial services, technology and retail. Nielsen is one of many new clients and recently engaged Lisa Rosaya on global filing strategies, trademark prosecution and portfolio management. Pamela Church serves as practice head and represents The CS Lewis Company, managing the trademarks relating to the works of the late CS Lewis, which include The Chronicles of Narnia novels. Lisa Parker Gates is based in Chicago alongside the well-regarded David Davis; she advises Liberty Mutual on a variety of global brand protection and enforcement strategies. Named partners are located in New York unless otherwise stated.

Transport: aviation and air travel - regulation Tier 2

Baker McKenzie LLP handles a range of regulatory compliance matters, investigations, enforcement proceedings and licensing matters for airlines, technology companies, aerospace manufacturers, repair companies, airport operators, online travel companies, aircraft owners, and drone stakeholders. Global aviation chair Kenneth Quinn and Jennifer Trock, who co-chairs the UAS focus team with Quinn, are key figures in the practice group. Associate Graham Keithley is also recommended. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC.

Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design Tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP fields a ten-partner employee benefits and executive compensation team following the promotions of Denise Glagau and Aimee Soodan to partner in the San Francisco and Chicago offices respectively. Another contact in the San Francisco office is Barbara Klementz, who serves as managing partner following the retirement of Valerie Diamond, and has particular expertise handling the implementation of global equity compensation programs. In Chicago, Maura Ann McBreen provides expertise on single employer, multi-employer and multinational benefits, as well as the implementation of tax-qualified retirement plans. Another name to note is Brian Wydajewski, who focuses on designing domestic and international equity compensation plans. Sinead Kelly, Victor Flores and newly hired counsel Maria Weydemuller, all based in San Francisco, also come recommended.

Energy: renewable/alternative power Tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP has broad experience of wind, solar, geothermal, biofuel and biomass, and ocean energy projects, where it acts for developers, lenders, investors and technology providers. Of note, Chicago-based James O’Brien advised SolarReserve on a power purchase agreement in relation to a solar thermal power plant to supply the South Australian Government’s power needs. Also in the Chicago office, José Morán advised a consortium consisting of ACCIONA Energía, Swicorp and TBEA Co on the $180m project financing of three solar PV plants in Egypt. New York-based Clyde Rankin heads the wider North America projects practice group. Other clients include Solar Reserve, EDF Renewables and Capital Dynamics.

Environment: regulatory Tier 3

A varied practice group, Baker McKenzie LLP’s ‘key difference is its global footprint’, advising governments on climate change, and acting for multinationals and international organisations in regulatory compliance, sustainability, and other ESG matters, as well as advising on ongoing operations, site cleanups, acquisitions, infrastructure projects, and permitting issues. Clients include the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, United Nations Global Compact, and the World Resources Institute. Primarily based in Chicago, the team is led by John Watson, who has ‘a wealth of knowledge on site impacts’ and ‘does an excellent job leading the team’. Rick Saines is noted for his climate change expertise.

ERISA litigation Tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP’s ‘outstanding’ ERISA litigation team is jointly headed by San Francisco-based James Baker and Chicago-based Lisa Brogan. Baker successfully defended Dover Corporation in a deferred compensation dispute, and also acted for HPE in a putative class action concerning a severance plan payout for 30,000 former employees. Other disputes involved prohibited transaction claims, including excessive fee and revenue sharing allegations. William Dugan and Douglas Darch are other notable names in Chicago, and Meredith Kaufman is a key contact in New York.

Immigration Tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP’s global immigration practice is led by Betsy Morgan in Chicago. The firm takes a holistic approach to immigration by working hand-in-hand with the tax, corporate, employment and data privacy attorneys of the firm. The focus is on multinational clients such as T. Rowe Price and the Mozilla Corporation. The work focuses on inbound US immigration as well as global immigration management, and is often carried out in tandem with offices located in other countries. As a representative example, Morgan and her international team advised AGCO on US and global immigration and related issues, including the development of a repayment agreement for permanent residence sponsorship to ensure compliance with employment and immigration law. Also based in Chicago, Ginger Partee is adept at handling the immigration-related aspects of M&A, I-9 audits and government investigations related to compliance with immigration laws. Melissa Allchin was made partner in January 2019. The Chicago office has also been bolstered by the arrival of several associates: John Foerster joined in summer 2018, as did Noha El Maraghi. Amalia Rioja is a new senior associate who joined in late summer of 2018, and primarily handles litigation mandates. Further, associate Sandhya Sharma joined the team from Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy and associate Alessandra Faso joined from a position at the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Shannon Donnelly and Laura Garvin left for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in January 2019.

Technology transactions Tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP handles telecoms contracts, outsourcing agreements and software licensing agreements for clients in the e-commerce, blockchain, IT and media industries. Practice co-head Michael S. Mensik acts for computer and telecoms companies in the development of joint ventures and outsourcing arrangements and Samuel G. Kramer has expertise in IT procurement and licensing contracts in the blockchain sector. Also recommended is Peter R. George, who has advised publishers on the transfer of test and production data from data centers to third-party providers of cloud services. A key contact in the Washington Dc office is Sonia Baldia, who focuses on technology development and licensing in the software and mobile commerce sectors. Named partners are based in Chicago unless otherwise noted.

Workplace and employment counseling Tier 3

Baker McKenzie LLP's team is regularly involved in workforce management issues on a global scale and works closely with the international network. Practice head Susan Eandi in Palo Alto is particularly experienced in advising on employment matters arising from transactions; she recently assisted Motorola Solutions with due diligence, arrangement agreement and executive employment agreements in connection with its acquisition of Avigilon Corporation. Together with Todd Boyer from the same office, she advised a series of Fortune 500 companies on issues related to equal pay, gender pay, diversity and inclusion as well as OFCCP compliance. Other clients include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lumentum and Hollister. San Francisco’s Benjamin Ho is well versed in advising clients when entering into new jurisdictions as well as managing their existing workforce. Emily Harbison in Houston and Los Angeles-based Robin Samuel are also recommended. Of counsel Billie Wenter joined the San Francisco office in July 2018 from Littler Mendelson, P.C..

Energy transactions: conventional power Tier 4

Baker McKenzie LLP has experience of project development and finance, and advises on corporate structures in relation to power plant ownership and operation, including tax planning and commercial contract negotiations. Chicago-based James P. O’Brien chairs the firm's global projects practice group, and New York-based Clyde Rankin, leads the North America projects group. Another contact in the New York office is Margarita Olivia Sainz de Aja, who advised Concesionaria Linea de Transmisión on a $175m hybrid refinancing of its 370km Cajamarca Transmission Line in Peru. Other key clients include Siemens Energy, Oncor Electric Delivery and Cummins. In the Houston office, David Lang and Natalie Regoli left for King & Spalding LLP and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, respectively, while Emeka Chinwuba joined the New York office from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP.

International arbitration Tier 4

Baker McKenzie LLP is noted for its 'good insight' in the international arbitration space. Matters include defending the government of Canada in a $500m dispute brought by Mesa Power Group to vacate a NAFTA award and representing the Republic of Venezuela in relation to the enforcement of a $485m ICSID award for the expropriation of two plants in Venezuela. Key individuals include Grant Hanessian and David Zaslowsky in New York, Brendan D. Cook in Houston and Michael Morkin in Chicago. Derek Soller in New York and senior associate Kyle Olson in Chicago are highly regarded up-and-comers; Miami-based Luis O’Naghten left the firm to join Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.

Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense Tier 4

Baker McKenzie LLP is noted for providing a 'one-stop' service and is regularly engaged by national and international clients to handle labor and employment matters. The team, which is led by William Dugan in Chicago and the 'outstandingMichael Brewer in San Francisco, is experienced in wage-and-hour class actions, whistleblower cases and EEOC pattern or practice proceedings, among others. Dugan, whose 'knowledge, persistence and affability make for a client-focused experience', acts for Virtu Financial in its attempt to prevent a former employee making use of his proprietary information. Emily Harbison in Houston was engaged by NetSync to represent the company in employee trade secrets/restrictive covenants litigation against a former employee, valued at $4m. Palo Alto's Todd Boyer and Chicago-based Arthur Rooney defended Kiewit in a putative wage-hour class action. Further names to note are Emily Harbison in Houston, Robert Lewis and Meredith Kaufman in New York as well as Miriam Petrillo in Chicago. On the West Coast, the Los Angeles and San Francisco offices were strengthen by arrivals of Robin Samuel in March 2018 from Hogan Lovells US LLP and Michael Leggieri in July 2018 from Littler Mendelson, P.C.

Patents: prosecution (including re-examination and post-grant proceedings) Tier 4

Baker McKenzie LLP has particular strength in the electronics, software, chemical and healthcare sector, and often acts for clients from outside the US, an example of which is South Korean gelatin producer Sammi Industrial. Domestic companies, often with an international footprint, also instruct the team. A recent IPR highlight was the representation of Hyundai in ten IPRs filed against Michigan Motor Technologies (MMT) in response to a patent infringement filed by MMT. The firm's main offices are in Dallas and Washington DC, with key names including the Texas-based Brian McCormack, John Flaim and William McSpadden, and Richard Wells, James Pak and recently promoted partner Matt Dushek in the Washington DC office. Practice head Mackenzie Martin is based in Dallas. Rosetta Stone, Schlumberger and Apergy also feature on the client list.

US taxes: non-contentious Tier 4

The sizeable tax group at Baker McKenzie LLP is recommended for its ‘depth of knowledge and willingness to discuss any issue and its ability to provide ‘quick and accurate responses’ and handle multi-jurisdictional tax matters in coordination with its ‘solid international network’. Cross-border M&A, post-acquisition integration, tax planning and corporate restructuring are the main areas of activity. New York partners Tom May and Reza Nader are handling the post-acquisition integration on behalf of new client FedEx following its public takeover of TNT Express, and Chicago-based Jeff Maydew advised General Dynamics on the acquisition of Hawker Pacific by General Dynamics’ Jet Aviation division. The team is also advising The Boeing Company on its joint venture with Brazil-based Embraer. Other key contacts include Stewart Lipeles, Andrew Crousore and Ethan Kroll in Palo Alto, Jonathan Martin in Houston and Melinda Phelan in Dallas. Miami based Robert Moore is ‘a great thinker always looking for viable alternatives’. Todd Schroeder joined the Dallas office of Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP in January 2018, and Michael Liu and Matthew Mock joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's Chicago office in February 2018. Additionally, Jonathan Stevens and Kristin Malm joined the New York and San Francisco offices of EY, respectively.

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense Tier 5

Baker McKenzie LLP's group, which draws on the firm's global pool of white-collar lawyers, is jointly chaired by Peter Tomczak and Jerome Tomas in Chicago, William Devaney in New York and Thomas Firestone in Washington DC. It handles a wide variety of US-based and cross-border white-collar criminal defense matters for corporates and individuals before the DOJ, SEC and other domestic and international enforcement agencies. Although the New York office benefited from the arrival of Terence Gilroy, who previously served as head of financial crime for the Americas at Barclays, a number of practitioners departed in 2018, including Marc Litt, who joined Wachtel MissryKaryn Koiffman, who joined Akerman LLP, and Ryan Fayhee, who left for Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.

Energy transactions: oil and gas Tier 5

Baker McKenzie LLP advises private and public-sector clients on downstream, midstream and upstream oil and gas matters, including onshore and offshore exploration and production, infrastructure and pipeline developments, chemical and refining transactions, asset acquisitions and commercial disputes. Based in the Houston office, Louis Davis heads the oil and gas practice in North America and David Lang leads the global LNG team. Also recommended is Denmon Sigler, who is advising Enterprise Products on a variety of ongoing commercial agreements related to pipeline development projects in the US. Natalie Regoli left for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

Merger control Tier 5

Baker McKenzie LLP recently advised Spanish Parques Reunidos Group on its acquisition of the Brandenburg leisure resort Tropical Islands, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board appointed the group to oversee its strategic investment into a Japan-focused logistics private real estate fund. Mark Hamer leads the team from Washington DC; other key names include Craig LeeBrian BurkeDavid Clanton and Teisha Johnson.

Real estate Tier 5

Baker McKenzie LLP's real estate team advises on development, planning, land use, acquisitions and sales and tax matters. On the finance side the firm deals with cross-border property and portfolio financing transactions, loan portfolios, refinancing, workouts, loan syndications and participations. Its client base includes multinationals, banks, hotels, retail corporations, healthcare providers, construction firms and REITs. Matt Alshouse advised AIP Asset Management on the creation of a $100m pre-development mezzanine loan relating to The Drew Las Vegas resort and casino, while the firm continues to act for high-profile luxury goods retailers on store leases and real estate matters, including Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss and Prada. Another key client is Koch Industries, which the firm advises on a range of real estate issues. Michael Smith heads the practice with support from Kathryn Johnstone, who specialises in commercial leasing and real estate financing. Michael Rechtin left for Seyfarth Shaw LLP. All named attorneys are based in Chicago.

Project finance

Baker McKenzie LLP is praised for its 'deep knowledge' and for its ability to deliver ‘exceptional service’. The team largely acts for sponsors on a range of domestic and international energy, telecoms and infrastructure project finance mandates. Chair of the Latin American finance practice Margarita Oliva Sainz de Aja advised Bow Power, the sponsor of Concesionaria Linea de Transmisión CCNCM, on a $175m hybrid refinancing. Further, Chicago-based José Antonio Morán, who is global chair of the energy, mining and infrastructure industry group, advised a consortium consisting of ACCIONA Energía, Swicorp and TBEA, on the $180m project financing of three solar photovoltaic plants in Egypt. Elsewhere, Clyde Rankin, who jointly heads the team with Mark Tibberts, advised Siemens Financial Services as the lender and lead arranger on the refinancing of a portfolio of three gas-fired combined cycle cogeneration facilities in Upstate New York. Global projects group chair James O’Brien in Chicago is also a key figure. Mona Dajani joined Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP in 2019. Named lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise indicated.

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