Law firm Baker McKenzie battles global uncertainty to realise record revenues with five per cent growth

Lucy White
Baker McKenzie
The firm was afraid global uncertainty may stunt growth (Source: Wikipedia)

Law firm Baker McKenzie, which this year advised blue chip companies such as BHP Billiton and Dyson, has announced continued growth despite global uncertainty.

The firm said its revenues reached a record of $2.67bn (£2.02bn) in the year ended 30 June, with its operations in all regions across the world posting an increase in revenues of four per cent or more.

According to the firm's chairman Paul Rawlinson, the firm worked on 277 cross border deals over the year – one for every working day.

“A five per cent revenue growth and one per cent increase in profit is a strong performance in difficult circumstances. It means that over the last decade, our firm has grown revenues by 50 per cent without a significant merger. Very few global law firms can match that,” he said.

Rawlinson added that political events such as Brexit and the election of President Trump had been troubling signs for Baker McKenzie's operations, and that he would not have predicted growth at the beginning of the year.

Read more: Brexit boost not here to stay, warns outgoing Baker & McKenzie chairman

Areas of growth

The firm pushed ahead with hiring, taking on 140 new partners over the year and increasing profits per partner by 1.2 per cent in constant currency terms.

Part of the impressive set of numbers is due to a push for innovation and automation where possible.

The firm has turned to artificial intelligence and machine learning to help speed up less complex tasks, while bringing in “project managers and other business professionals” to share their expertise and make Baker McKenzie's processes more efficient.

Baker McKenzie is the only law firm to join the World Economic Forum's Fourth Industrial Revolution project, which aims to accelerate the positive use of technology while minimising risks.

In more traditional areas, the firm's highest growth industry sector was technology, media and telecoms. Tax, dispute resolution, banking and finance, mergers and acquisitions and capital markets also posted notable increases in business.

Baker Mckenzie added two more areas of expertise over the financial year – consumer goods and retail, and industrials, manufacturing and transport.

Read more: London leads Europe in cross-border floats as global IPO market rebounds

Sectors which Baker McKenzie operates in:

Banking and finance

Capital markets

Consumer goods and retail

Dispute resolution

Energy, mining and infrastructure

Financial institutions


Industrials, manufacturing and transport

Mergers and acquisitions


Technology, media and telecom

Baker McKenzie's cases

The firm worked on a number of cases involving household names over the last 12 months. It supported BHP Billiton with the development of a Forests Bond, won a victory for Dyson in the European courts over true-to-life vacuum cleaner testing, advised Yum! Brands on the spin-off of its Chinese restaurants and scored a goal for Nike over a tax dispute.

Read more: UK could lose £250bn in potential M&A deals after Brexit

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