Baker & Hostetler LLP at a Glance


  • “Ability to work from home”
  • “Collegial atmosphere”
  • “Staff is great”


  • “Lack of transparency”
  • “Associate turnover”
  • “Not much review or feedback”

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 66 percent-or $11 billion-of the estimated $17.5 billion in principal lost by Madoff's defrauded customers.


December 2016
Ponzi Pickup

BakerHostetler, as court-appointed counsel to the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) Trustee Irving H. Picard, has led the recovery of more than 66 percent of the estimated $17.5 billion in principal lost in the Ponzi scheme by Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC customers who filed claims. This recovery exceeds any prior restitution effort related to Ponzi schemes both in terms of dollar value and percentage of stolen funds recovered. Through the SIPA Trustee's distributions and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) Advances, more than $9.725 billion has been distributed to date to customers with allowed claims.

Protecting the Cyber

BakerHostetler continued to lead the way in data privacy and protection work in 2016. The team advised clients on more than 450 data security incidents during the year, including such high-profile matters as the cyberattacks on Banner Health, Hyatt Hotels and Madison Square Garden. The firm's post-incident healthcare regulatory experience continues to be unmatched, and includes the defense of more than 125 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) investigations. In 2016, we negotiated five resolution agreements with OCR, more than any other firm, including the largest resolution to date.

March 2016
Healthcare Hookup

BakerHostetler represented Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in its acquisition of Seattle's Group Health Cooperative for approximately $1.8 billion in 2017. Both Kaiser and Group Health have nonprofit 501(c)(3) status, and the complex acquisition involved an integrated healthcare system that included health plans, a hospital, medical clinics and other facilities and technologies. The firm worked with Kaiser to develop a unique offer that would appeal to Group Health's long-held values. Kaiser paid the $1.8 billion price to a newly established nonprofit and agreed to invest $1 billion to expand medical facilities, staff, technology and research in Washington state. The transaction will add 590,000 members to Kaiser's existing pool of 10 million members across seven states.

January 2016
Protecting Our Protectors

BakerHostetler has made a significant pro bono commitment to The Veterans Consortium, a nonprofit group that represents veterans and family members for the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Our deep connection to veterans' affairs spans the firm's full history-from Newton Baker's service as Secretary of War under President Wilson to the nearly 70 veterans currently with the firm. More than 65 lawyers received training in veterans' claims in 2016, and we are handling nearly 10 percent of the Consortium's annual caseload.

- Show Less + Show Full Description

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 2017: 919

  • Base Salary

    1st year: $145,000       
    Summer associate: $2,788/week

    Other Offices
    1st year: $120,000–180,000 (varies by office)

  • Summer Associate Offers
    28 out of 32 (2Ls) (2016)

  • 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