Bakers chairman demands strategy rethink

Baker & McKenzie

global chairman John Conroy has been re-appointed for a second term during the firm’s annual partnership conference, which takes place in London this week.

Conroy, who took up the role in 2004, will serve a further three-year term as head of the international firm.

The question of strategy is another major issue on the London agenda with Conroy asking partners to rethink how the firm will proceed in the coming three-year period.

Around 700 Baker & McKenzie partners from around the globe have descended on London for the conference, with the formal election process for the position of chair part of the agenda.

Pointing out that in June Baker & McKenzie hit its three-year profitability target a year ahead of schedule (, 16 August), Conroy said: “We are now rethinking our implementation strategy: should we be staying the course or raising the bar to an ambitious level? I will put that basic question to our partners.”

The five key areas the firm’s strategy focuses on are: deepening major client relationships, enhancing core practices, expanding in key geographic markets, better management of talent, and improving profitability.

This week partners will discuss how to build on this. For example, Conroy said a major theme in terms of client relationships will be how to make the firm the counsel of choice on major clients’ panels.

In addition, Conroy said partners will look at how the firm’s geographic focus has expanded beyond the financial centres of London, New York, Hong Kong/China and Tokyo to include the west coast of the US, Chicago, Brazil, Australia, Germany and Paris.