Dallas, Texas, August 9, 2007 – LAWFUEL – The Law Firm Newswire – Ba…

Dallas, Texas, August 9, 2007 – LAWFUEL – The Law Firm Newswire – Baker & McKenzie LLP expanded its International Commercial practice in Dallas with a team of three lawyers. The team consists of Partner Michael E. Santa Maria, Of Counsel Todd Bowers, and associate Kevin Maher, all joined the Firm from DLA Piper last month. Mr. Santa Maria was previously an associate at Baker & McKenzie in Dallas from 1994 to 1999, and Todd Bowers was also an associate at the Firm from 1997 to 1999.

The team’s 30 years of experience in cross-border transactions will complement the Firm’s existing practice in complex commercial cross-border transactions.

“We welcome Mike and Todd back, and Kevin to the Firm,” said Miguel Noyola, a member of the North American International Commercial practice Steering Committee. “They are all highly regarded and talented cross-border transactional lawyers. They will add depth to our already successful international commercial practice, with special focus on cross-border work in Latin America.”

Michael Santa Maria was the founding partner of the Dallas office of DLA Piper, where he was the firmwide head of their Latin American practice. His practice consists of cross-border commercial transactions for clients in the hospitality, hotel, resort and restaurant segments and for other clients in the retail and services sectors involved in international development. Mr. Santa Maria will continue to focus on complex cross-border transactions and to steer the continued growth of the Firm’s international commercial group in Dallas.

A fluent Spanish speaker, Mr. Santa Maria has extensive experience dealing with most Latin American jurisdictions. Before entering the private practice of law, he obtained an MBA, worked as a financial analyst in leveraged buyouts in the transportation industry and was a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Texas.

Mr. Santa Maria’s academic background includes obtaining a J.D. in 1992 from Texas Tech University School of Law, magna cum laude, and two business degrees from Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business (BBA in 1986 and an MBA in 1988).

Commenting on his joining, Michael Santa Maria said: “I am very excited to bring my practice back to Baker & McKenzie. The Firm has a strong global presence and the leading practice in Latin America. Its established global presence and seasoned cross-border lawyers will allow us to grow our practice and continue to provide practical business solutions to our clients’ cross-border needs.”

Todd Bowers concentrates his practice on assisting clients in cross-border business transactions, with special emphasis on Latin America. He has experience in assisting clients with direct investment (mergers, acquisitions and dispositions), licensing, franchise and distribution and related transactions in Mexico, Brazil and throughout Latin America. He is also a fluent Spanish speaker. Mr. Bowers received his J.D. from Georgetown Law School in 1995, and his B.A. from Abilene Christian University in 1992.

Kevin Maher focuses his practice on cross-border transactions, including, franchising and distribution, real estate and finance, mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations and taxation. He also has experience in domestic real estate and corporate transactions, including leasing, dispositions and acquisitions, foreclosures, development, corporate formation, joint ventures and M&A. He received his J.D., summa cum laude, from Texas Tech University in 2002, and his B.A., cum laude, from the University of Dallas.

“The talents of Mike, Todd and Kevin tie in very well with Baker & McKenzie’s strong presence and depth of experience in Latin America,” said David Hackett, North American Managing Partner. “The team is an excellent strategic fit as the Firm continues to boost its transactional practices across its global platform.”

Dallas Managing Partner David Parham adds, “The additions of Mike, Todd and Kevin are a welcome first step in our new growth initiative as we take our office and full-service practices to the next level.” Currently, the Dallas office has 73 lawyers.