Baker McKenzie completes 2023 partner promotions with 58-strong international round

Summer tally follows 31 North America appointments in January with the overall proportion of women rising to 46%

Baker McKenzie has promoted 58 new partners across its international network in its annual summer promotions round, with 31 new partners having been made up in North America in January.

This year’s 89-strong cohort is a marked step up on the previous two years, when 75 and 67 lawyers got the nod respectively. 

The proportion of women also jumped from 37% last year to 46% this time round, an increase Bakers said demonstrated its “ongoing progress in building a more gender equitable workplace”.  

The latest cohort moves the firm closer to the 40:40:20 gender diversity targets it announced in 2019 for partners, representing 40% women, 40% men and 20% flexible (women, men or non-binary persons). 

The promotions were spread across 24 jurisdictions globally and, as with previous years, were focused on M&A, tax and dispute resolution.

Asia Pacific saw the most promotions last year but this time round that honour went to Europe, where a total of 33 new partners were welcomed, including six in Paris, followed by five apiece in Germany and Switzerland and four in London – Mara Ghiorghies (antitrust & competition), Benjamin Bierwirth (capital markets), James Adams (private equity) and Tania Arora (projects). Four were made up in Spain, with the rest of the promotions split between Belgium, the Netherlands, the Ukraine, Poland, Italy and Luxembourg.  

Like last year, the Asia Pacific promotions were dominated by Bangkok, where five were made up, followed by three in Australia across Sydney and Brisbane. There were two promotions apiece in Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Taipei, and one each in Beijing and Shanghai.

The only promotions in the Middle East this round went to three lawyers in Dubai, two of whom – Stephanie Samuell and Marcos Spanos – are members of the M&A team. They follow the firm establishing an interim management team in Dubai last autumn as it negotiated a split with the high-profile head of its Gulf arm, Dr Habib Al Mulla, following controversy over his anti-gay views.

The summer round was completed with four promotions in South America, with three made up in Bogota in Colombia and M&A lawyer Cristóbal Larraín getting the nod in Santiago, Chile. 

M&A dominated the summer round in terms of practice area, adding 12 new partners, followed closely by tax (nine) and dispute resolution (seven). Antitrust and competition, capital markets, and IP and technology each welcomed five partners, followed by employment and compensation (four), banking and finance, projects and real estate (all three) and private equity (two). 

“We recognise the often unprecedented challenges that our clients face – we face them too,” said Milton Cheng, Bakers’ global chair. “The broad geographical, practice and cultural mix of our new partners ensures we bring diverse perspectives combined with local insights and legal expertise to help our clients make informed decisions in uncertain times. We will continue building on our strengths and grow our capabilities in key strategic areas that will benefit our clients.”

Looking back on January’s North America round, the firm made up 19 lawyers across the US, where Chicago gained the most new partners (five), followed by New York and Dallas (both three) with the rest spread between Washington DC, San Francisco, Palo Alto and Houston. Nine partners were made up across Mexico, including four in Guadalajara, while three were promoted in Bakers’ sole office in Canada, in Toronto. 

The firm’s tax team dominated last year’s North America promotions but this time M&A had the most – nine – followed by tax, which had seven. Dispute resolution welcomed four, employment and compensation three and antitrust and competition, IP and technology, and international commercial and trade each had two, with the final promotion going to capital markets lawyer Sali Wissa in Chicago. 

Since last year the firm has also added 42 partners through lateral hires, including construction and energy duo Emanuel Confos and Harriet Oldmeadow from Norton Rose Fulbright in Sydney earlier this month. 

The firm also hired Addleshaw Goddard’s Hong Kong dispute resolution head, Ronald Sum, last September. 

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