This time it's different
Published 12/08/2014 | 02:30
Baker & McKenzie has become the biggest law firm in the world. Former French finance minister and current IMF chief Christine Lagarde, below, is an ex-chair of the firm. And, like Ms Lagarde, Baker & McKenzie has global reach.
The Chicago-based outfit overtook rivals to become the biggest firm globally, with revenues this year of $2.54bn (€1.87bn). Profits of $910m work out at $1.29m per partner. Baker & McKenzie employs just under 11,000 - of those 4,245 are lawyers, and 1,430 are partners.
Eduardo Leite, Christine Lagarde's successor as head of the firm, is under no illusions about what is driving growth.
"Clients who are very cash rich have finally reached a level of confidence in the market's stability and they are using that cash to do strategic moves," he told trade publication Legal Week.
Not that this splurge is anything to worry about, of course. "All the transactions we have seen lately are very strategic, not like 2007, where it was growth for growth's sake," Leite said.
Well, his hindsight is certainly 20/20.