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US LAWYER John Klotsche will take over as chair of Baker & McKenzie's executive committee when current incumbent John McGuigan steps down in October.
McGuigan, who has served a three-year term, will also leave the firm's Chicago headquarters to return to his native Australia.
He will remain as a member of the firm's executive committee.
"My plan is to return to
active involvement in the practice of law. I haven't done too much of that in the last four years and I haven't practised in Sydney for over 11 years," says McGuigan.
"There will clearly be a
period of reorientation, but I'm looking forward to that."
Klotsche, who joined Baker & McKenzie in 1968, worked in Chicago until 1987 when he transferred to Texas to open the Dallas practice.
He now works as senior partner in the firm's Palo Alto office, where he specialises in international tax work.
Klotsche says he hopes to build on McGuigan's expansionist plans for the international practice, and to continue his focus on client service and professional development initiatives.
"During John McGuigan's three-year tenure, not only has our revenue grown every year, but the scope of our global practice has expanded significantly, making this a particularly exciting time to take on the role of chairman," says Klotsche.
"I will do whatever it takes to ensure that our long-term profitable growth continues."