Chicago, June 28, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Baker & McKenzie’s Caracas, Venezuela office, the Firm’s first office outside of the US, will celebrate its 50th anniversary on July 1, 2005. The anniversary marks the Firm’s first steps toward achieving the global reach that today is geographically unequalled by any other law firm.
Baker & McKenzie, founded in Chicago in 1949, established its Caracas office in 1955 to help US corporate clients set up foreign subsidiaries to do business abroad. Not only was Caracas the Firm’s first office outside of the US, it also made Baker & McKenzie the first international law firm in Venezuela and the first firm to offer international legal advice in Latin America. Many firms have followed the lead that Founder Russell Baker set with his vision of a global law firm.
“This anniversary is a true milestone for Baker & McKenzie,” said John Conroy, Chairman of Baker & McKenzie’s Executive Committee. “Our success in Caracas launched our course for globalization long before the concept was common in the legal industry. It set the standard for our international business model– to be on the ground where our clients need us, around the world.”
By the end of the 1950s, still in the early days of intercontinental air travel, the Firm had established offices in Amsterdam, Netherlands; Belgium, Brussels; Zurich, Switzerland; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Baker & McKenzie now has 69 offices in 38 countries, including 15 throughout Latin America, exceeding by 50% the geographic coverage of the next largest firm.
“We succeeded in Caracas because it was the most fitting location at the right time. Venezuela had a booming petroleum industry, a vibrant economy, and was moving toward industrialization,” said Andres Ochoa-Bünsow, Latin America Regional Council Chairman. “Fifty years is a great achievement, and we look forward to even more success in the years to come.”
In Caracas, Baker & McKenzie SC offers a full range of legal services for domestic and foreign enterprises doing business in Venezuela as well as Venezuelan companies doing business abroad. These include: corporate law, tax law, customs and anti-dumping, environmental law, natural resources (mining, oil and gas, energy, water), telecommunications law, financial law (banking, capital markets, insurance), and more.
“We are very excited to be celebrating 50 years in Caracas,” said Roberto Mendoza, Baker & McKenzie SC Managing Partner. “Baker & McKenzie’s journey to become the most geographically global law firm in the world began right here in Venezuela, and our early success fueled our continued expansion, throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Without Caracas we would not be the international firm that we are today.”
The Firm will celebrate the Caracas office anniversary through various activities and commemorative projects throughout the year, beginning with a cocktail event for clients and friends of the Firm on June 29 and an office party on July 1.