Bakers launches global equity team in New York

Baker & McKenzie’s New York office has made five lateral hires and created a new practice area to strengthen its position in the competitive Manhattan market.

One partner, Margaret Paradis, comes to Bakers from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe ahead of its proposed merger with Dewey Ballantine scheduled for 2007.

Paradis joins as a corporate & securities partner, along with Jonathan Stapleton from Arnold & Porter. Paradis has expertise in venture capital whilst Stapleton is a corporate restructuring specialist.

In addition, Bakers lured the head of global equity from Mercer Human Resource Consulting, June Anne Burke. Another partner and an associate join Burke in Bakers’ global equity services team. The three are the only global equity services lawyers in Bakers’ New York office, with group chair Edward Burmeister based in San Francisco.

Bakers’ North American managing partner, David Hackett, said that the hires were “indicative of our continued growth and success in New York. We look to build on this momentum of adding critical mass in key areas”.

Two weeks ago Bakers announced that the New York office management would be reworked into a troika-style leadership, with former Coudert chief Clyde “Skip” Rankin jointly heading up the office with finance partner Jenna Bellwin and Charles Niemeth. Niemeth, who joined in March 2005 from O’Melveny & Myers will be office managing partner (see, 6 November).

Bakers took Coudert’s New York headquarters and 70 lawyers, including Rankin, in September 2005 after merger talks with the whole of Coudert failed before its implosion. The addition gave Bakers essential bulk in Manhattan, bringing headcount to 130.