Baker & McKenzie - Reputation/Business Model?

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Baker & McKenzie - Reputation/Business Model?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:08 am

After some research, it seems like a lot of people are not big fans of how BM operates (too big, concerns about quality of work in different countries/offices, etc.). Yet they have a pretty respectable ranking/practice areas according to Vault & Chambers. Any thoughts?

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Re: Baker & McKenzie - Reputation/Business Model?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:01 pm

Bump

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Re: Baker & McKenzie - Reputation/Business Model?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:36 pm

I work at Baker. Globally, the firm's reputation as a law firm brand is excellent - arguably the best in the world. Particularly strong in Asia and Europe. Growing in North America. Not as "elite" as Skadden but has an impressive global network. It is interesting to work with people from all over the world on a somewhat regular basis, if you're into that. Bilingual skills are valued, although I don't have them. There is endless opportunity within the firm, such as associate transfer programs that allow you to visit different offices. Standard market pay, and billing 2000+ hours unlocks bonuses.

Among attorneys in the US, reputation varies by city/office. It will be interesting to see what people on the outside comment. The franchise business model was helpful in grabbing a lot of offices around the world, but gave us the "McDonalds" type of vibe. That reputation seems to be fading with the newer generation. I also think being headquartered in Chicago makes it appear less important than it really is on the Vault rankings. Multiple clients have told me unsolicited that the quality of work is extremely high. Obviously at a firm this large some people are more detail-oriented than others, but often times the perceived "errors" can be attributed to communication barriers between people of different nationalities.

The most well-known practice group is probably Tax, followed by IP and Corporate, which are both strong. We tend to specialize in cross-border work for companies that need it, ranging from mega huge companies to smaller ones looking to expand. There are steady streams of domestic work too though. Because the firm is so large, there are many different types of personalities here. You can be yourself for sure. The internal office culture varies by city, but there are many efforts made to bring everyone together regularly. Each practice group meets annually in a new city, and then there are additional meetings around the world for associates and partners. My office has beer and pizza every week, and a margarita machine. It's actually a good firm, but like any law firm it is an unforgiving business.

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Re: Baker & McKenzie - Reputation/Business Model?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:06 pm

This is great, thanks. If anyone else has something to say I'd appreciate it.

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Re: Baker & McKenzie - Reputation/Business Model?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:01 pm

Everything guy above me said is spot on. If you are interested in Tax Controversy you could definitely do worse than Baker Mckenzie. Their tax lawyers have the reputation for being sharks so be ready for that. Most of their other practice areas seem average.

What other firms are you looking at?

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Re: Baker & McKenzie - Reputation/Business Model?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:28 pm

Cool. Not really sure what I want to do yet, leaning transactional work. I'm really interested in their international reach, and the fact that they are a global firm. The ATP program is very compelling.

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Re: Baker & McKenzie - Reputation/Business Model?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:39 pm

Can you elaborate with respect to the Tax Controversy practice. Locations, languages & whether LLM preferred and, if so, only NYU & Georgetown LLMs ? Thanks !

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Re: Baker & McKenzie - Reputation/Business Model?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:45 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Can you elaborate with respect to the Tax Controversy practice.


Assuming this is directed at me. My experience is with the SF/Palo Alto office. They have a top notch Transfer Pricing Team there. No need for languages from what I have seen. I didn't get the feeling that a LLM was necessary, but the people without LLMs were from the T14.

FWIW I don't work there so I have no idea what it's like to work there internally. I just know that they have a bit of a reputation for being sharks with the IRS and with the Big4 they work with.

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Re: Baker & McKenzie - Reputation/Business Model?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Cool. Not really sure what I want to do yet, leaning transactional work. I'm really interested in their international reach, and the fact that they are a global firm. The ATP program is very compelling.

Are you a 1L with a SA offer? If not, I would encourage you to hold off on developing your list of firms until after you have your full 1L year grades.

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Re: Baker & McKenzie - Reputation/Business Model?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:54 pm

Yes, it was directed toward you. Thank you for your response.

Seems like there are a significant number of unfilled tax controversy positions in San Francisco, Palo Alto & , if I recall correctly, San Jose with Big 4. Pay is less than stellar with Big 4.

More interested in NYC/DC or abroad with Spanish/Portuguese (Europe/South America obviously).

Do they litigate primarily in Tax Court or District Court (also Court of Claims).

P.S. A transfer pricing reference book was the most expensive non-collector's book that I have encountered on Amazon a couple of years ago.

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Re: Baker & McKenzie - Reputation/Business Model?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:00 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Yes, it was directed toward you. Thank you for your response.

Seems like there are a significant number of unfilled tax controversy positions in San Francisco, Palo Alto & , if I recall correctly, San Jose with Big 4. Pay is less than stellar with Big 4.

More interested in NYC/DC or abroad with Spanish/Portuguese (Europe/South America obviously).

Do they litigate primarily in Tax Court or District Court (also Court of Claims) ?

Tax court. District court tends to be friendlier to the IRS and Taxpayer has choice of venue. They will have to appear in district court sometimes to answer summons enforcement, etc.

My impression was they didn't have much of a presence in NY. Not sure about DC.

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Re: Baker & McKenzie - Reputation/Business Model?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:09 pm

Actually have recurring interest from a top DC firm. This firm also values foreign language proficiency. My impression, however, is that there is not as much litigation. More complex transactional practice.

Again, thanks very much. I know how to contact the Chicago office.

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Re: Baker & McKenzie - Reputation/Business Model?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:51 am

What is BM's reputation for white collar work? I imagine with such an international presence, it would probably be an area they could excel in. Do they?

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Re: Baker & McKenzie - Reputation/Business Model?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What is BM's reputation for white collar work? I imagine with such an international presence, it would probably be an area they could excel in. Do they?

No. They are not well regarded in white collar work or litigation.



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