Baker Loses Its Top Position but Remains Strong
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What does it take to stay up top? Does a firm have to continue to grow, despite most everybody else wilting in a recession? Baker & McKenzie has done that. Does it mean opening up markets internationally, exploiting every possible place your services can be rendered? Baker & McKenzie has done that as well. Whatever should have been done was in fact been done, but nevertheless, the world’s top-grossing firm has slipped into the number two spot, giving the place of honor to DLA Piper /a>

Which is not to say that Baker is doing bad for themselves. With revenues at an all time high of $2.42 billion at the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2013, a 4.6 increase in gross revenues, they were doing mighty fine for themselves. Only, Piper saw a 9.1 percent increase during the same period.


Baker has been neck to neck on head counts, but now has the greater number, growing to 4,097, with DLA at 4,036. And as they’ve moved into four new international bases — in the Moroccan capital Casablanca, another in Peru, one in the middle east and another in Africa — they are not only increasing their market, but find that these added markets make more work for the rest of their firms.

As The Am Law Daily reported them as saying, “Every new office we open creates additional work for all of our existing offices. That multiplying effect generates a very strong momentum for growth.”

Meanwhile, they are not expecting an outrageously strong finish for the next fiscal year. Something tepid, between 3 and 5 percent, “no more than that. It’s conservative, but those are the signals we’re getting.” This from Baker’s global chairman Eduardo Leite, who seems grateful enough that Baker remains where they are at, and is hoping things continue to improve after their worst year in 2012.

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