Baker & Hostetler LLP at a Glance


  • “Midwest values and culture”
  • “Respectful colleagues”
  • “Partnership prospects”


  • “Lack of transparency”
  • “Over-reliance on Madoff Liquidation work”
  • “Compensation”

The Buzz

  • “Midwest culture”
  • “Quality lawyers”
  • “Madoff billing factory”
  • “NY office hurting”

About Baker & Hostetler LLP

A Cleveland native with a largely domestic focus, BakerHostetler has involved itself in a number of cases that shaped America over the past century. The firm maintains the requisite laundry list of BigCorp clients as well as a small yet respectable lobbying practice.

Hailing from the Forest City

BakerHostetler, founded a hundred years ago in 1916 on the strength of a $1,500 investment by three lawyers, has developed into a Cleveland staple. With specialties in tax, litigation, business, intellectual property, and employment law, the firm boasts a rich history. Major achievements include reorganizing Major League Baseball's American League, representing the village of Euclid, Ohio, in its landmark zoning case against Ambler Realty, and playing a pivotal role in "The Great Chicago Water Steal" case involving 13 states, the Chicago Sanitary District, and a lot of H20.

The firm's client roster currently includes such heavyweights as Major League Baseball, IBM, General Electric, Exxon Mobil, Verizon, The New York Times, Cardinal Health, Caterpillar, Ford Motor Company, Wal-Mart, the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Foundation's HIV/AIDS Initiative, ABC, Inc., Bayer Corporation, The Progressive Corporation, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., and Trammell Crow Co.

From the New Deal to SOX

The firm has long been active in the political world with namesake Newton Baker serving as Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of War during World War I. In his absence, Baker's colleagues roped in two major media clients-the Plain Dealer Publishing Company and The E.W. Scripps Company-which remain with the firm today. A few years later, Baker attorneys represented private utility companies in their nearly 20-year fight against New Deal legislation that authorized the creation of massive public power projects. Baker lawyers later went on to advise a number of key players in the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals.

In 2007, Baker scored an impressive Beltway coup when the firm hired former Ohio Congressman Michael Oxley, sponsor of the famed Sarbanes-Oxley Act: the Enron/Tyco/WorldCom-inspired law that mandated, among other aspects, new and increased oversight of publicly held companies' directors. Oxley had previously worked for the FBI and then as a representative in the Ohio House of Representatives before starting a 25-year career in Congress that eventually landed him a seat as the Chairman of the Financial Services Committee. As a member of the firm's government policy group in DC, Oxley (a noted free-market proponent) "works with multinational and corporate clients seeking to resolve or avert problems related to federal and/or state policy through legislative or administrative solutions."

Bankruptcy Leaders

BakerHostetler also serves as a go-to firm for bankruptcy matters, representing not only debtors and creditors, also as bankruptcy trustees for companies such as Hilton Head and RCS Financial. Since 2008, BakerHostetler has acted as both court-appointed SIPA Trustee and Counsel for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, dealing with the aftermath of the financial collapse of Madoff's infamous Ponzi scheme. As of June 2016, the Madoff Recovery Initiative has recovered more than 62 percent-or $11 billion-of the estimated $17.5 billion in principal lost by Madoff's defrauded customers.


June 2016
Historic Ruling

BakerHostetler energy attorneys achieved a historic ruling in a high-profile challenge to a final rule the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued in March 2015 that would have imposed new regulatory requirements for hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. On June 21, 2016, U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl set aside the final rule, having determined that BLM lacks statutory authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing. The firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Independent Petroleum Association of America and Western Energy Alliance, the two most prominent national trade associations representing independent oil and gas producers. Four states and the Ute Indian Tribe also joined in the fight to oppose the rule.

Dismissing Data Breach Case

In the first case to cite the Supreme Court's recent decision in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins, a Maryland judge held that a data breach plaintiff lacked a concrete injury in fact sufficient to support Article III standing to sue Children's National Health System (CNHS), and sent the case back to state court. The case stemmed from a July 2014 data breach in which hackers gained access to the email accounts of certain hospital employees when the employees responded to "phishing" emails. Arguing that the data breach did not extend to the hospital's electronic medical records system or patient charts, and that there was "no evidence that the information in the emails has been misused or even accessed," the team moved for dismissal for lack of standing. Judge Chuang agreed with the defense team's assessment and dismissed the case in light of the Spokeo ruling-which had been handed down just three days earlier.

March 2016
Dan Aykroyd Wins New Trial

Dan Aykroyd, actor and founder of Crystal Head Vodka, which is sold in a distinctive skull-shaped bottle, won the reversal of a jury verdict in a trademark infringement lawsuit over a tequila maker's use of a similar bottle design. A BakerHostetler litigation team convinced the Ninth Circuit that Globefill Inc., Canada-based manufacturer of Crystal Head Vodka brand, was denied a fair trial because of attorney misconduct

Developing the Meatpacking District

A team of BakerHostetler real estate attorneys recently represented longtime client Meilman Family Real Estate, LLC, (MFRE) in the 99-year ground lease of a pair of properties in the fast-growing Meatpacking District of New York City to Boston-based Rockpoint Group. Rockpoint is leasing a three-story, 50,000-square-foot retail building at 421-435 West 14th Street, as well as an adjacent single-story commercial property at 436 West 15th Street, as part of a large-scale development including office and retail uses.

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Baker & Hostetler LLP

Key Tower
127 Public Square, Suite 2000
Cleveland, OH 44114
Phone: (216) 621-0200


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman: R. Steven Kestner
  • Hiring Partner: Ronald S. Okada
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 919

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $130,000    
    Summer associate: $2,500/week

    Other Offices
    1st year: Varies per office ($110,000 - $160,000)

  • Summer Associate Offers
    29 out of 33 (2015) (2Ls)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Business • Employee Benefits • Employment • Global Practices • Intellectual Property • International Trade • Legislative & Regulatory • Litigation • Private Wealth • Real Estate • Tax

Major Office Locations

  • Cleveland, OH (HQ) • Atlanta, GA • Chicago, IL • Cincinnati, OH • Columbus, OH • Costa Mesa, CA • Denver, CO • Houston, TX • Los Angeles, CA • New York, NY • Orlando, FL • Philadelphia, PA • Seattle, WA • Washington, DC