Get the facts about our Global Tax Practice

1. What is Baker McKenzie’s position on the impact of its tax advisory work?We advise our clients on understanding the highly complex, ever evolving and often conflicting tax rules around the world, and on how to assess and meet their tax obligations.

Taxation is a core area of our global expertise. Our advice is always in strict accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.  Transparency and accountability are integral elements of such advice and we strive to ensure that our clients adhere to both the law and best practice.

2. Does Baker McKenzie support a more equitable global tax system?

Baker McKenzie supports the development of a simplified, consistent, and well understood global tax system, and works towards collaboration between different stakeholders for systems of taxation that balance the interests of businesses, citizens and governments.

3. Is Baker McKenzie involved in lobbying Governments and/or policymakers?

Like other law firms and relevant industry or subject matter experts, Baker McKenzie is regularly requested to assist governments and regulatory bodies with the analysis and development of potential new legislation in countries around the world, by contributing our legal expertise and experience.

We are also asked by clients to provide expert input on proposed laws and regulations including through public submissions processes or occasionally by legislative testimony. All our work in this area is done in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including lobbyist registrations where required.Want to know more?Our Global Tax Practice

Baker McKenzie’s global tax practice is internationally recognized and highly regarded for its depth, breadth and quality. Taxation is a complex area of law and it is a core area of our expertise – as it is for many other international law firms. Many of our clients operate, invest and do business globally and require our expertise to understand and comply with the relevant laws, including their taxes. We help our clients assess and meet their tax obligations on a worldwide basis, and navigate highly complex, ever evolving and often conflicting tax rules around the world. Our services are always provided in strict adherence to all applicable laws and regulations. More information about our Global Tax Practice

Corporate Services

Corporate services generally refer to services provided in relation to the maintenance of a company in accordance with local laws. For example, multinationals that have business operations in a given jurisdiction, but no in-house legal staff based locally, sometimes ask Baker McKenzie to provide basic corporate services on their behalf. Corporate secretarial support is a common form of this ancillary corporate service provided by many leading local and international law and advisory firms across the world, as well as corporate administration firms, accounting and CPA firms.

Government and Industry Engagement

Law firms, industry and subject matter experts are routinely approached by governments, regulators and industry bodies to contribute views and analysis on potential laws, rules and regulations. As an established global law firm with leading experts in multiple practice areas, we have participated in this consultative process in various jurisdictions. This is done transparently and in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Client Intake and Review

We take very seriously and stand by our Code of Business Conduct and compliance with professional responsibility rules and expectations.  Baker McKenzie performs comprehensive anti-money-laundering and sanctions compliance and background checks on all potential clients as an integral part of our global client intake risk management procedures. All potential clients are examined through World-Check and other databases to screen for Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), close associates, and family members; global sanctions lists; global regulatory and law enforcement lists; adverse media; Iran Economic Interest (IEI); identifying Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs); and state-owned entities and state invested enterprises. Given our global footprint, we evaluate not only US laws, but also the laws, rules and regulations of all applicable jurisdictions, related risk factors, and our professional obligations in deciding whether to take on a particular client or matter. On occasion, we find that clients later engage in activities that are not consistent with our initial due diligence, or new facts or developments come to light, which would cause us to terminate our representation of them.

Sanction Issues

Baker McKenzie’s award-winning international trade and export controls practice provides clients with expert advice on how to fully comply with all trade sanctions laws.  For example, the United States government issues sanctions prohibitions against entities and individuals who must comply with these or face civil or criminal penalties. US law expressly permits seeking and providing legal advice on how to comply with any sanctions issued; this is essential to supporting the policy objectives behind the imposition of such sanctions in the first place.  The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) guidance issued by the US government confirms this. It also includes general licenses authorizing legal services so that companies can consult with legal counsel to ensure compliance with the laws in their dealings with any sanctioned entities or individuals.

Also, the US government has implemented different levels of sanctions. For example:

  1. Targeted sanctions: Often only apply to very limited transactions
  2. Sectoral sanctions: Target only very specific and limited types of activity, but do not otherwise prohibit dealings with such parties
  3. Blocking sanctions: Generally, prohibit most US persons or entities from engaging in any transactions with “Specially Designated Nationals” (SDNs)

To comply with US sanctions laws, both those subject to sectoral sanctions and those who deal with them on non-sanctioned matters need access to competent legal advice and representation. These are expressly permitted under US law. Again, in advising clients, Baker McKenzie complies with all sanctions and export controls laws.

Our Continued Commitment

Our clients are our top priority. We are proud of the work we do and the clients we serve and take our duties to them very seriously. This includes client confidentiality and professional attorney-client privilege.  We remain firmly committed to providing best-in-class legal services locally and globally, and to being fully compliant with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. We also recognize the important role we play in society and work towards collaboration between different stakeholders for legal systems, especially of taxation, that balance the interests of businesses, citizens and governments.

Baker McKenzie Named World’s Strongest Law Firm Brand for 11th Consecutive Year

Baker McKenzie has been named as the strongest law firm brand for the 11th consecutive year according to the Acritas Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index. The Firm once again ranked top for each of the measures that make up the Index – awareness, favorability, consideration for multi-jurisdictional deals and for multi-jurisdictional litigation. Baker McKenzie has held its lead over its nearest competitor, receiving an overall score of 100, which is 57 points ahead of the firm ranked in second place.

The ranking is based on interviews with 1,565 senior legal buyers across the world’s largest multinationals with revenues in excess of $1bn.

Milton Cheng, Global Chair of Baker McKenzie, said, “Our global mindset and deep local market knowledge combined with our practice and sector expertise really differentiates us from the competition and enables our success locally, regionally and globally. I am delighted that clients around the world continue to recognize Baker McKenzie’s unique brand and value proposition.”

In the Acritas Global Elite Law Firm Index announcement, Elizabeth Duffy, senior director, Global Client Services at Thomson Reuters, stated, “2020 was an extremely disruptive year all the way around, and both law firms and corporate clients had to adjust how they worked together. Corporate legal departments gravitated to their most trusted advisors, leaning on relationships formed over years. And law firms that demonstrated a local presence along with global coverage were able to ensure that they could meet the needs of clients no matter the location.”


Baker McKenzie: Helping Clients Do Business in Japan

Eliza Low named Partner at MDP Law

Melbourne, February 8th, 2021 —Eliza Low was promoted to Partner at mdp Law after six months as Special Counsel.

Eliza’s exposure to large scale, multi-jurisdiction deals as a Senior Associate at Baker McKenzie, combined with her extensive corporate law experience, marked a significant expansion of mdp’s legal capabilities when she joined in September 2020. Read more

Baker McKenzie, DLA Piper and Dentons beat magic circle rivals

Bakers bags top spot for 11th consecutive year

Read more

Baker McKenzie Named World’s Best Law Firm Brand

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has been named as the best law firm brand for the 10th consecutive year by Acritas’ Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index. The Firm once again ranked top for each of the measures that make up the Index – awareness, favorability, consideration for multi-jurisdictional deals and for multi-jurisdictional litigation. Baker McKenzie also once more widened its lead over its nearest competitor, receiving an overall score of 100, which is 57 points ahead of the firm ranked in second place

The ranking is based on interviews with 1,596 senior legal buyers across the world’s largest multinationals with revenues in excess of $1bn.

Milton Cheng, Global Chair of Baker McKenzie, said, “Market disruption is an accepted reality for business, as new competition and technologies drive the pace of change faster than ever before. Our clients want lawyers who are prepared to lead, differentiate and adapt in a constantly changing world.

“We are unquestionably the leading cross-border law firm that large, global clients trust for complex transactional and other matters involving multiple jurisdictions. That’s why we are top of mind across so many countries and areas of law. Topping this ranking for the tenth consecutive year underlines that.”

Lisa Hart Shepherd, vice president of Research and Advisory Services at Thomson Reuters, commented: “For firms, choosing an overarching focus and sticking with it is essential to developing a differentiated brand. Baker McKenzie has shown that commitment to a long-term strategy that is in line with evolving client needs will deliver financial success. This strategic focus on global reach makes for a clear purpose that its people can get behind and that its clients can easily understand.“

Baker McKenzie Announces Global Carbon Emissions Reduction Targets

Today Baker McKenzie announces a plan to significantly reduce its global carbon emissions over the next decade.  The reductions are part of the Firm’s wider sustainability strategy and support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Firm commits:

  • To reduce its emissions from energy consumption* by 92% by 2030 (from a 2019 baseline)
  • To develop a strategy and target by 2021 to lower emissions from its business air travel; and
  • To report its emissions with the Carbon Disclosure Project starting in 2020.

“Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing humanity,” says Global Executive Committee member Ai Ai Wong who is also Chair of the Firm’s Asia Pacific Region and the Global Environmental Committee. “Limiting warming requires everyone – including Baker McKenzie — to take action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, without delay. We are setting targets to drive better environmental performance across our global operations, and to clearly demonstrate our commitment.”

“These targets are part of the Firm’s continuing effort to integrate sustainability meaningfully into our strategy and operations,” added Christie Constantine, Baker McKenzie’s Global Director of Sustainability.

“Climate change is a priority and a concern for many people at our Firm, as well as for our clients and the communities where we do business.  Our various stakeholders want to know that we are part of the solution.” Constantine, who has been with Baker McKenzie since 2013, was appointed to the newly created Global Director of Sustainability role earlier this year, reflecting the Firm’s commitment to sustainability.

Last year, the Firm launched a refreshed global sustainability strategy, centered on the environmental, economic, social and governance issues most material to the Firm as identified by more than 1400 stakeholders. Additionally, Baker McKenzie has prioritized a number of the UN Sustainable Development Goals linked to these issues which it will focus on over the next ten years. This includes Goal 7 (clean and affordable energy); Goal 12 (responsible consumption and production); and Goal 13 (climate action).

The Firm plans to lower its energy consumption through improvements in the energy efficiency of its offices (including a shift to green buildings over time), as well as via procurement of renewable energy credits.

With respect to business air travel, which is the Firm’s biggest emissions source, in addition to lessening non essential travel, Baker McKenzie will assess investments in enhanced video conferencing technology and redesign key meetings and events to make virtual attendance viable. The Firm currently offsets all business air travel associated with its annual and regional partners meetings, using offsets that provide social benefits in addition to carbon abatement, such as reducing poverty, improving health, empowering women, job creation, or other benefits to local communities.

The new targets build on successive efforts by the Firm to make its operations more environmentally sustainable in recent years. In 2017, Baker McKenzie launched B-Green, a program designed to help its offices around the world to “green” their operations. The program provides a road map for each office to follow, along with tools and guidance to help them measure, evaluate and incrementally improve their environmental performance.

The Firm also strives to contribute to environmental sustainability through strategic partnerships (for example, it was the first law firm to join both the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition);  pro bono and community service initiatives; and through the work of its award winning Climate, Environment and Energy practice groups.

* This covers Baker McKenzie’s “scope 1 and scope 2” emissions.  The Green House Gas (GHG) Protocol (the international standard for corporate emissions accounting and reporting which Baker has followed in its own emissions tracking and calculations) classifies emissions by so-called scopes, with scope 1 emissions being direct emissions from owned or controlled sources and scope 2 emissions being indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy.

Baker McKenzie Reshuffles Asia Practice

Baker McKenzie has appointed new leaders for seven of its Asia Pacific practice and industry groups. The new heads will join 12 other continuing practice and industry group leaders in the region on July 1.

The Tokyo office will see most changes in this round of leadership shuffle; four of the five incumbent practice and industry leaders in the office will step down leaving one Tokyo partner among the newly appointed leaders. Singapore-based Emmanuel Hadjidakis will replace Tokyo-based Gavin Raftery as Asia Pacific chair of banking and finance, while Kuala Lumpur-based Brian Chia will replace Tokyo-based Hideo Norikoshi as regional M&A chair.

Singapore-based Nandakumar Ponniya will take over from Tokyo-based Yoshiaki Muto as regional dispute resolution chair, while Sydney-based Anne Petterd will succeed Tokyo-based Kana Itabashi as regional chair of the firm’s international commercial and trade practice.

The one remaining Tokyo-based regional head will be Yaeko Hodaka, chair of the Asia Pacific industrials, manufacturing and transportation industry group. Hodaka will now share her duties with Shanghai-based Cherrie Shi, who works under Baker McKenzie’s special alliance with local firm FenXun Partners in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

Shi will join Shanghai-based Brendan Kelly, regional chair of the firm’s tax practice, and Beijing-based Bee Chun Boo, regional chair of the energy, mining and infrastructure industry group, to make a total of three regional heads in China.

The Singapore office will see its importance boosted with the addition of two new heads to make a total of five, the three other partners continuing in their leadership roles being Stephanie Magnus, Kelvin Poa and Martin David, regional chairs of the financial institutions industry group, private equity, and projects respectively.

The number of practice and industry leaders in Hong Kong office will be unchanged at four, with three regional heads there continuing in their positions, namely Ivy Wong, Stephen Crosswell and LokeKhoon Tan, chairs of capital markets, antitrust and competition, and the consumer goods and retail industry group respectively. The only change there involves a shift in role for Isabella Liu, who will replace Bangkok-based Say Sujintaya as regional chair of the firm’s intellectual property and technology practice following a stint as regional chair of the healthcare and life science industry group.

The healthcare and life science group will be led by Sydney-based Elisabeth White, who along with Petterd will bring the number of regional heads in Australia up to five. The three continuing regional heads are Adrian Lawrence, Michael Michalandos and Bruce Webb, chairs of TMT, employment, and real estate respectively.

“I am delighted to welcome our new practice and industry group leaders to the leadership team. What is particularly exciting is that among the seven new Asia Pacific leaders, four are women,” said Baker McKenzie’s Asia Pacific chair Ai Ai Wong.

Wong was appointed to her current position in 2018 when Baker McKenzie reshuffled its overall leadership in Asia Pacific. There have been changes among those leaders since then. Last year, Hong Kong partner Milton Cheng, then managing partner for the firm’s Hong Kong and mainland China offices, became the firm’s first-ever Asia-based global chairman. The China offices are now run by Hong Kong-based partner Steven Sieker, who previously led the firm’s regional tax practice.


The New Lawyers: Our Story

Baker McKenzie Announces Record Global Revenues of $2.92 Billion

  • Revenues up 4.4% with growth in all regions

  • PPP up 3%

  • Major program to drive global digitization and optimal client service delivery

  • Leading the sector for our people through Diversity & Inclusion

Baker McKenzie, the leading global law firm, has announced record revenues for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2019 (FY19) of $2.92 billion. In terms of constant currency, Baker McKenzie’s revenues were up 4.4% compared to the previous year. In US dollar terms, the Firm’s reporting currency, this translates into growth of 1.2%, after the effect of adverse currency exchange.

Baker McKenzie remains the most geographically diverse global law firm and all of our regions recorded growth as follows: EMEA +5.2%, AP +2.1%, LA +9.0% and NA +4.0%

All of our key financial metrics improved over last year: revenue growth, net income, profit margin, Profits per Partner (PPP), Revenue per Partner and Profits per Lawyer. We are especially pleased to accomplish this amid a market with flat demand. PPP was up by 3% to $1.48 million in US dollars. Overall net income or profit rose by 2% to $1 billion. Over the last decade the Firm has grown by 40% in terms of revenue and 50% in terms of PPP, outperforming most of our competitors.

Among our standout markets, all with significant double-digit growth, include Bogota, Buenos Aires, London, Prague, Turkey and Warsaw.

Baker McKenzie Acting Chair Jaime Trujillo says, “Recording 4.4 percent growth in a market as challenging as this while maintaining our commitment to all of our offices and our full service offering is a good result. The investments the Firm continues to make in legal services, the centers of excellence we have opened in lower-cost locations, and more effective partnering with clients, supported by long-term investments in industry, practice and client programs have enabled us to show profitable growth.

“This is despite the distinct geopolitical head winds throughout the second half of the year, which prompted our clients to cancel or postpone projects. We are also one of the most geographically diverse professional services firms in the world, both one of our key strengths, and at times a challenge in markets impacted when the US dollar is so strong, as it was this past year.”