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Baker & McKenzie has opened an Austrian office following a merger with local 21-lawyer firm Kerres & Diwok. The two founding partners of the Austrian firm, Dr Christoph Kerres and Georg Diwok, have joined Baker & McKenzies international partnership. The office will also have two local partners. Baker & McKenzie's executive chairman Christine Lagarde said the merger would further develop the firms central and eastern European practice. "Vienna is capital of a thriving economy in its own right and a natural gateway to other central European countries such as Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia. It is a natural step in the continued expansion of Baker & McKenzie," she said. Christoph Kerres will be managing partner of the new office, which will be Baker & McKenzies 66th worldwide. On 13 February the firm opened an office in Shanghai.