Baker & McKenzie ranked largest US firm by headcount

May 4, 2011 Baker & McKenzie has come in as the largest of US law firms by head count, according to the The National Law Journal. This is the third year in a row that Bakers has topped the list, reporting a total of 3,774 attorneys working across 60 offices in 2010. The second biggest firm was DLA Piper, with 3448 lawyers.

Eduardo Leite, chairman executive committee at Baker & McKenzie commented on the advantages of scale: “We're are not only present in many jurisdictions, but we have been there for so many years that we have built teams of local attorneys who are very knowledgeable -- not just about the laws, but also about the culture, the ways of doing business, who is who, and that is very important in the client's eyes. We see that as a true differentiator. The second is that we are truly global in that we are organized in a global management team. The executive committee is made up of eight partners from all over the world -- not necessarily centered around the U.S., the U.K. or any country in Europe. That's another interesting advantage we have. We see the world as truly global.”

Asked to predict how the headcount might change in the coming year, Leite said: “It's hard to tell. We are seeing growth in some jurisdictions, such as Asia Pacific and Latin America. It's very competitive in other regions, such as Europe. Eastern Europe, not so much, but in Western Europe, especially. We have been adding laterals in New York and Paris. It's hard to predict. I expect some growth, but it has to be very careful growth in the right practices and at the right level of attorney. We do have gaps, as does everyone else, and we want to fill those gaps. I would say I'm positive about growth, but I don't expect anything drastic or extraordinary. One never knows what opportunities will arise between now and the end of the year.”

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