GCR 100 - 17th Edition

Baker & McKenzie

10 January 2017

The indomitable size of Baker & McKenzie’s antitrust group continues to fuel the firm’s strong showing in our Global Elite rankings. Its size and scope remain by far the largest in our rankings; its 124-member partnership is almost twice the size of its nearest rival, Jones Day. And although GCR does not rank the firm everywhere – or indeed survey every place Baker features antitrust lawyers – its 43 jurisdictions with a competition team speak to the value the firm places on geographical reach and its ability to assist clients wherever they might have a problem. Much of its expansive reach comes through joint-venture with local firms around the world; many of the its 19 Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees – the fifth-most of any firm in our rankings – belong to the Baker & McKenzie network of partner practices. The firm underwent some shakeups in its practice leadership around the world this year, although not all fell into the time frame of our Global Elite rankings. At the top, longtime practice leader Samantha Mobley stepped down and Brussels partner Fiona Carlin took the helm. In the US, practice head Lee Van Voorhis left for a rival firm, as did US cartels heavyweight Doug Tween; in Chile, practice co-head José Joaquín Ugarte departed to form his own firm. Meanwhile, the firm hired big names in Zurich, London and elsewhere, and promoted to keep partnership levels steady.

Merger ranking 8 Litigation ranking - Cartel ranking 5
Global head Samantha Mobley (Fiona Carlin from October 2016)
Number of jurisdictions with a competition team 43
Practice size 322
Partners 124
Counsel and consultants 30
Percentage of partners/counsel in Who's Who Legal 15
Associates 168
Lateral partner hires 3
Partner departures 3
Former enforcers 8

The Baker & McKenzie practice secured a top-10 position in our merger rankings based largely on the strength of its extensive global antitrust network and its ability to advise companies in jurisdictions around the world. It’s a slight drop from previous years, but Baker could be busier than we account for, as it reported a number of confidential deals identified only by an internal code name. Nonetheless, the deals it could disclose included a number of impressive representations, including its work for Hospira in a takeover by Pfizer, and for FedEx in its deal with TNT – two major global mergers that required filings in multiple jurisdictions. Otherwise, the firm handled a number of smaller deals that faced challenges in their particular jurisdictions, including tricky deals in Germany, Indonesia, China and elsewhere. What’s more, it has acted for companies as third parties as they opposed or otherwise sought to influence mega-deals around the world.

The firm’s showing in cartels cracked our top five and topped the table in areas that speak to Baker’s geographic strengths. It helped guide seven companies to submit leniency applications in three or more jurisdictions over the past year – two more applications than its nearest rival. The firm’s cartel team also helped to secure leniency for five clients in jurisdictions around the world, including the US, Germany, the UK, Australia and South Africa. Baker & McKenzie lawyers made those applications for clients caught in significant cartel probes, including auto parts, capacitors, retail cosmetics and and steel supplies. Elsewhere, the firm also holds its own in litigation matters and non-cartel cases before enforcers around the world. Notably, it is acting for Siemens in the Brazilian subway cartel case, perhaps the most high-profile public- and private-enforcement cartel matter in the country’s history. Elsewhere, it is active in the auto parts and capacitors class actions in the US, and a number of UK follow-on damages cases, including those in the foreign exchange, DRAM and polyurethane foam industries. The team also does major litigation work in Canada, where it is acting for clients in Ontario and British Columbia courts.

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