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Baker & McKenzie has reached the 10-figure turnover landmark with fee income of $1bn (£704.38m) for the financial year to 2001.
The increase represents a modest 6 per cent growth on last year's $940m (£662.12m). Christine Lagarde, chairman of the firm's executive committee, said: "This record result for Baker & McKenzie is clear evidence of the continuing long-term success of our business strategy." Like many other US-based firms, Baker & McKenzie operates a cash accounting system, which means that its performance at the end of the fiscal year is based not on amounts billed but on monies collected. The international firm witnessed a relatively even spread of fee income among its three key regions: North and Latin American offices were responsible for generating 39 per cent of the overall total and Europe and the Middle East combined to form the second-best-performing region, accounting for 35 per cent of the firm's turnover. Asia faired comparably less well. Baker & McKenzie offices in this region provided about a quarter of the fee income. Lagarde said: "Over the past year we've experienced strong growth across the firm, with offices in North America, Europe and the Middle East posting particularly impressive results." Sluggish Asian markets have already caused the firm to take evasive action. Earlier in the month, Baker & McKenzie initiated cutback measures in its Hong Kong office. A number of associates and support staff were made redundant. Lagarde acknowledged that the current economic climate will be challenging for the firm, but she said that Baker & McKenzie would use this year's performance as a platform for further growth.