Baker McKenzie has lost real estate partner and data centre specialist Michael Rechtin from the firm’s Chicago office.
Rechtin is leaving the firm to join Seyfarth Shaw as its new group head of data centres in the Midwest city. He had previously been a partner at both Holland & Knight and Quarles & Brady before joining Baker McKenzie in June 2015.
Data gathered for The Lawyer Global Real Estate 50 2018 shows that Rechtin is joining a standalone real estate group of 80 partners and 130 lawyers. Those partners are solely located in the United States with Atlanta-based partner Paul Mattingly heading up the practice.
Mattingly said: “Mike has established himself as one of the foremost experts in international data center law, a significant growth area in the real estate market.
“He understands the complex technical and operational issues in the data center sector and can help clients navigate the unique concerns and technology involved in these types of transactions. He is an exceptional addition to our national real estate practice.”
Rechtin’s departure from Baker McKenzie leaves nine real estate partners in the Chicago office, including North American regional practice head Michael Smith.
Rechtin has traveled in the opposite direction to former Seyfarth Shaw litigation partner Bill Dugan who left to join Baker McKenzie last year. Dugan joined his new firm in its Chicago office, the same one that Rechtin has just left.
The Lawyer‘s research shows that in 2017 data centres were not mentioned as an asset class that was anticipated to rise in the next three-to-five years. This year’s report showed that 20 per cent of respondents were now expecting to see a rise in work from data centres over this time frame.
Conversely, some assets which were seen as mainstays of real estate saw diminished enthusiasm. Responses from the real estate practices surveyed showed that firms are anticipating a drop off in PRS, hotels & leisure and commercial office work in the next three to five years.
Last year, Rechtin led for Baker McKenzie as the firm advised on a 28-country data centre review for an unnamed client across Europe, the Middle East and Asia and Asia Pacific. The review oversaw the regulatory elements of creating several new centres in each jurisdiction.