Baker & McKenzie takes "global" to a whole new level, with
its plethora of global offices spanning every continent. The firm's
geographic and practice area diversification has enabled it to ride
out financial storms while outrunning a legion of BigLaw
These days, any firm with a few outposts outside its home
city or a number of foreign-based clients proudly awards itself an
"international law firm" sash. Baker & McKenzie, however,
pretty much coined the term: it is by many measures the largest law
firm in the world, with more than 4,000 attorneys (one-third of
whom are partners) covering hundreds of jurisdictions. Thanks to
the firm's sprawling network (73 offices in 46 countries, at last
count), Baker & McKenzie remains unique among law firms.
Diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords at the firm, which
includes citizens of over fifty countries who speak more than five
dozen languages-a vibrant community including just about every
race, color, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation.
Got a Map?
From the firm's early days in Chicago, founder Russell Baker wove
internationalism into his overall strategy. Spending part of his
youth in New Mexico, Baker learned Spanish and developed a lifelong
interest in other cultures. In 1948, Baker shared a cab with trial
lawyer John McKenzie, and by 1949, the two shared a legal practice.
In 1955, the partnership established its first foreign office in
Caracas to serve the interests of a Venezuelan client; today Baker
& McKenzie has numerous offices in Central and South America (a
region that many law firms entered years later) and is the largest
law firm in Mexico.
The firm has a plethora of offices outside the Americas as well,
with locations in all major financial centers. Interestingly, New
York has never been the main outpost for the firm; the Chicago
office-where the firm was founded-remains more than double the size
of New York. Nevertheless, London is the firm's largest office,
with more global heads based there than in any other office across
Baker's vast network.
Averaging just over one new office per year since its inception,
the firm has defined rapid and steady growth without losing its
reputation for quality legal work. Given its humble beginnings, its
incredible growth, and its worldwide strength, the firm is
understandably proud of its history. The firm's journey from that
Chicago cab to global prominence hasn't escaped notice-there's even
a book about it. Pioneering a Global Vision: The Story of Baker
& McKenzie (Harcourt Professional Education Group -
Chicago) provides a detailed look at the firm's history.
IN THE NEWS
Congrats from Chambers
58 Baker & McKenzie partners will be recognized in the 2013
edition of Chambers USA, representing a range of practices
across the country.
Strongest Global Law Firm Brand
Baker & McKenzie has again been named the strongest global law
firm brand in the 2012 Acritas Sharplegal® Global Elite Brand
Index, receiving the highest marks for awareness, favorability and
as the firm most often considered for multi-jurisdictional deals
and litigation. The ranking is based on a survey of 1,001 general
counsel from many of the world's leading organizations. Baker &
McKenzie has received the highest ranking in each of the three
years that the index has been published.