With 268 specialists, Baker & McKenzie has the world’s second-largest antitrust practice. Its remarkable size, a handful of Who’s Who nominees in key jurisdictions, and net growth at the partnership level this year assure the US firm a place in the GCR 20.
|Baker & Mckenzie|| |
|Global heads: David Clanton, Samantha Mobley, Tulio Coelho and Andrew Christopher|
|Home jurisdiction: USA|
|Total size of firm: 5,309|
|No. of competition lawyers: 268|
|% of firm specialised: 14|
|Who’s Who nominees: 5|
|Equity partners: 64|
|Non-equity partners: 46|
|Senior associates: 46|
|No. of lateral partner hires: 3|
|No. of partner departures: 7|
|No. of internal promotions: 12|
As befits a firm with vast geographic scope, Baker & McKenzie worked on headline-making antitrust cases around the world. For example, the firm advised Cisco Systems on its US$3.2 billion acquisition of Webex – which required filings in seven countries, including Brazil, China and Taiwan.
In the US, Baker & McKenzie represented Pilgrim’s Pride in its hostile acquisition of Gold Kist – creating the world’s largest poultry company – and Hospira in connection with its US$2 billion acquisition of generic drug supplier Mayne Pharma Ltd. It also represented Hebei Welcome Pharmaceuticals in multiple class-action lawsuits which saw allegations of price fixing and output restrictions relating to the export of vitamin C.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Baker & McKenzie advised Alrosa in a landmark European court case in relation to an annulled settlement decision regarding rough-diamond purchases by De Beers, and secured for Mitsubishi Electric the lowest penalty in the elevators cartel investigation.
In Spain, meanwhile, it advised Suez Group and La Caixa on merger control aspects of their e2 billion bid for Aguas de Barcelona, and Universal Music in relation to its phase I clearance of its acquisition of Vale Music. And in the Netherlands, it represented Eneco – the third-biggest Dutch energy provider – in its intervention in merger proceedings between Nuon and Essent, the number one and two respectively.
In the UK, the firm was appointed legal adviser to the BBC Trust, the broadcaster’s new independent governing body, advising on two new services and assisting in relation to the approval process relating to high-definition channels.
In Australia, the firm advised Singtel Optus on the trade practices issues associated with the Optus-Elders joint venture to offer improved telecoms throughout Australia. Other competition clients in Australia include ALDI Stores, Aventis, the Australian Pipeline Trust and the Australian Hotels Association.
In Brazil, Baker & McKenzie advised mining company CVRD on the local filings of its acquisition of Canadian company Inco, and likewise Nestlé and Novartis on the acquisition of Novartis’s health-care business.
In Indonesia, Baker & McKenzie advised one of the country’s largest cement companies, Semen Gresik, in a successful appeal against a cartel decision by the Indonesian competition authority. The firm also did antitrust work in Chile, Poland and Hungary.
Other key antitrust clients include Rio Tinto, Falconbridge and Sanofi-Aventis.
The firm’s geographic scope was reflected in its partnership growth this year. The antitrust practice recruited three new partners: white-collar crime specialists Bob Kent in Chicago, from the US attorney general’s office; Robert Turan from Latham & Watkins in San Francisco; and Fumio Kuma in Tokyo, from Asahi Koma Law Offices. And although the firm saw seven antitrust partners leave – in Australia, Belgium Colombia and Ukraine – it promoted 12 with antitrust experience, including two full-time specialists in Brussels.
Baker & McKenzie’s global antitrust group has four Who’s Who nominees: in London, practice co-leader Samantha Mobley – who is “universally liked and respected” – and of counsel Lynda Martin Alegi; and, in Chicago, Roxane Busey and Thomas Campbell.