New York, NY, November 5, 2006 –LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs Network – Moving to further strengthen its presence in New York, Baker & McKenzie LLP today announced an ambitious new strategy and management team for its New York office. The changes, launched at the Firm’s recently concluded annual partners meeting in Washington, D.C., are designed to capitalize on the momentum generated by the Firm’s recent lateral acquisitions, including its combination last year with most of Coudert Brothers’ New York office, which more than doubled the size of Baker & McKenzie’s New York office.
The Firm’s new strategy in New York is designed to build on the success of the Coudert combination and several other lateral additions whose practices significantly expanded Baker & McKenzie’s corporate transactional and capital markets practices in New York. In its new plan, Baker & McKenzie plans significant additional growth in the size and depth of its New York practices, with special emphasis on corporate and banking transactional practices (including M&A, private equity, securities, and banking and finance), litigation, tax and intellectual property.
“We are firmly committed to growing our New York office pursuant to our Firm’s Strategy,” said John Conroy, Chairman of Baker & McKenzie’s Executive Committee. “We are very encouraged by the considerable progress that we have made in New York this past year. By more than doubling our playing strength in our prioritized practice areas, we have deepened major client relationships, generated more transactional deal flow and, as a consequence, sharply improved our profitability – all key objectives under our global Firm Strategy. As a leading financial market, New York is obviously important for many law firms, but it has become especially important for Baker & McKenzie given the scale and depth of the legal business we have built throughout the world for nearly six decades and the escalating opportunities that our global business is now generating for us in New York.”
The Firm also named Charles F. Niemeth as new Managing Partner in New York; and appointed Janna Bellwin and Clyde “Skip” Rankin III to a newly created three-person management committee for the office. In addition, William Scarbrough has assumed the role of New York Chief Operating Officer.
“This new management structure is designed to effectively manage a much larger and growing office, as well as the growth process itself,” said David Hackett, Baker & McKenzie LLP’s North American Managing Partner. “Chuck, Janna and Skip are all very seasoned lawyers with rich experience in areas of critical importance to our New York strategy. We are pleased to have them lead our strategic efforts in New York.”
Charles F. Niemeth, who succeeds Gerry Hayes as New York Managing Partner, joined Baker & McKenzie last year and has more than 40 years of legal experience in mergers and acquisitions and securities matters. His practice principally involves advising U.S. and foreign clients on mergers and acquisitions, public and private offerings of securities, and other corporate and financing matters. He also has a wide range of experience in the offering of tax-advantaged partnership securities, project financings, and corporate reorganizations and restructurings. He began his legal career at O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles in 1965, and founded that firm’s New York office in 1983.
Janna Bellwin is a Partner in the New York Office of Baker & McKenzie and past Chair of Baker & McKenzie’s North American Banking, Finance, and Major Projects Practice Group. Bellwin’s practice consists of over 25 years of experience representing banks and borrowers in lending and other finance transactions including project finance and trade finance transactions, syndicated secured loans, private and public debt restructuring, acquisition finance, senior and subordinated debt indentures and asset swaps.
Clyde E. Rankin, III is a member of the Firm’s Global Corporate & Securities Practice Group. Rankin advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, privatizations, licensing and distribution agreements, joint venture agreements and project finance. For the past several years, he has represented U.S. companies investing in the Russian Federation and Eastern and Central Europe, as well as Eastern and Central European governments in the privatization of state-owned enterprises. Rankin counsels clients extensively on renewable energy projects in the U.S. and abroad. Rankin came to Baker & McKenzie from Coudert Brothers LLP, where he served as its ninth Chairman.
“I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead our New York office,” said Niemeth. “I look forward to working with Janna and Skip to build on the Firm’s momentum in adding more depth to our New York office to enable us to provide top quality legal services to our clients.”
Baker & McKenzie’s recent growth in New York was headlined by the September 2005 acquisition of Coudert’s flagship office in New York, which more than doubled Baker & McKenzie’s presence in the city. Other key additions in M&A and banking & finance law in New York since 2004 include Robert Grauman, Howard Jiang, Laurence Pettit, David Spencer, Roslyn Tom and Martin Weisberg. Last month, Baker & McKenzie added two corporate & securities partners in New York, Jonathan Stapleton and Margaret Paradis.