Bakers names Brazil chief as global chair

Baker & McKenzie has elected Brazil managing partner Eduardo Leite as its next global chairman.

He will take over from incumbent John Conroy when he stands down after the firm’s annual meeting in Chicago in October.

Leite served on the firm’s executive committee form 1999 to 2003 and chaired its policy committee in 2005. He has been Brazil managing partner since 2003 and also heads the global energy, mining and infrastructure practice.  He has previously worked in the firm’s Chicago and Miami offices.

He said: “I’m honored and humbled to have been selected by my colleagues around the world to become the next chairman of the executive committee of Baker & McKenzie. I’m also fortunate to assume this new role when the firm’s financially strong and competitively well positioned.  

“Our unparalleled global platform of offices, practices and expertise makes us a natural match for the business and legal needs of companies in all sectors at a time when global economies are increasingly interdependent.”

Earlier this week The Lawyer reported that Conroy would not be seeking re-election after six years in the top role (21 May 2010).

He said: “I’ll be delighted to pass the baton in October to my good friend and colleague, Eduardo Leite.  Having had the privilege to work closely with Eduardo over many years, I know that he’s eminently well-qualified and a proven leader – a terrific choice to take our firm forward.  He has my warmest congratulations on his well-deserved election.”

Baker & McKenzie is among the largest international firms in Latin America with 14 offices and 550 lawyers across the continent, including four in Brazil. In the 2009-10 financial year it reported global revenues of $2.11bn.