Singapore partner succeeds London investigations specialist at helm of Baker McKenzie’s financial institutions group

Annual practice and sector group leadership refresh also ushers in new tax, IP and tech chiefs
Headshots of Emmanuel Hadjidakis (left) and Eva-Maria Strobel

Emmanuel Hadjidakis and Eva-Maria Strobel

Baker McKenzie has shaken up the leadership of three practice and sector groups in a move that sees London investigations specialist Jonathan Peddie make way for Singapore banking and finance partner Emmanuel Hadjidakis at the helm of its flagship financial institutions team. 

The changes, effective from 1 July, also see Zurich-based IP partner Eva-Maria Strobel and London technology partner Steve Holmes take over as co-chairs of the global intellectual property, technology and data practice group while the global tax group will be led by Washington DC-based James Wilson.

Bakers’ global chair, Milton Cheng, said all three groups were “important areas of growth for the firm”, adding: “For example, as the global financial sector embraces new technologies and moves to a carbon neutral economy, our financial institutions practice is a leader in advising clients on the opportunities and risks that they pose.”

Peddie joined Bakers’ London office in 2014 from Barclays, where he was global head, financial crime legal, and was promoted to head the financial institutions group in 2018. His four-year term was extended for a year last year. 

His successor, Hadjidakis, joined Bakers as a partner in Singapore in 2010 and acts for financial institutions, borrowers and private equity funds throughout the Asia Pacific region. He is set to lead the group, which comprises nearly 600 lawyers, for the standard four-year term, although terms are often extended by a year. 

Also stepping up into a global leadership role is Strobel, who has been a Bakers partner for nearly eight years and whose IP work is focused on the luxury goods, cosmetics, food and beverages and healthcare sectors. Holmes, her incoming co-chair at the IP, tech and data practice group, advises on technology, outsourcing, telecommunications and digital transactions. The duo are taking over from commercial specialist Anne-Marie Allgrove, who is based in Sydney. 

Wilson, meanwhile, is currently chair of Bakers’ global tax planning, transactions and tax policy sub-practice group and has worked out of offices in London, New York and Washington DC during a career at Bakers that spans more than 20 years.

He succeeds Amsterdam-based Antonio Russo.

Cheng said tax was a key area for the firm as “rapid transformation and changing legislation continues to shape the future business landscape and tax increasingly intersects with our clients' most strategic business decisions”. 

Seven practice and sector leaders have had their tenure extended by an additional year, namely:

  • Michael DeFranco (Chicago), transactional practice group
  • Adam Farlow (London), capital markets practice
  • Karen Guch (London), private equity practice
  • Vanina Caniza (Buenos Aires), healthcare and life sciences practice
  • Mark Hamer (Washington, DC), antitrust and competition practice
  • Matthew Dening (London), banking and finance practice
  • Michael Brewer (San Francisco), employment and compensation practice

Last year, three group chairs had their terms extended while four saw new appointments: the global technology, media and telecoms industry group, the global industrials, manufacturing and transportation industry group, the global capital markets group, and the energy, mining and infrastructure group.

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