France Business Report 2018

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Discovery Reports

Baker McKenzie’s full-range legal solutions help clients navigate an unpredictable global market

Firm shares an unparalleled expertise in all matters concerning French and international law across borders, markets and industries

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 March, 2018, 9:36am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 March, 2018, 9:36am

[Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports]

Home to many of the world’s cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As), Europe plays a key role in easing international trade and global economic growth. According to a report published by Baker McKenzie and Oxford Economics, M&A activity in the region even outperformed the United States and Asia-Pacific last year.

France is central to sustaining Europe’s M&A activity as an attractive foreign investment hub – thanks to its stable post-Brexit economy under a new leadership, the growing availability of skilled labour and a favourable geographical position bridging northern and southern Europe.

Working with major industry players in some of the world’s most important business deals and cases, Baker McKenzie shares an unparalleled expertise in all matters concerning French and international law across borders, markets and industries.

The multiawarded firm has been consistently ranked No 1 by Thomson Reuters over the past eight years for the volume of its cross-border deals. With revenues totalling US$2.67 billion in 2016 spread across Asia-Pacific (26 per cent); Europe, Middle East and Africa (37 per cent); and the Americas (37 per cent), Baker McKenzie is the most diverse global law firm.

“In this uncertain world, we bring quality, certainty and commerciality to make sure our clients achieve their goals,” says Arnaud Cabanes, managing partner of Baker McKenzie’s Paris office. “We offer the highest quality of services to all our clients internationally – enabling us to grow our revenues by 50 per cent over the past 10 years.”

With an international presence consisting of 77 offices in 47 countries, Baker McKenzie gives transnational businesses the confidence to succeed in a challenging global market.

“Commercial transactions between countries and continents are increasing,” Cabanes says. “Our office in Paris offers a fantastic hub connecting investors with Asia, Europe and Africa.”

Africa’s abundant mineral reserves and untapped potential have attracted aggressive Chinese investment. Baker McKenzie is in a strategic position to leverage the continent’s rising prominence among investors.

In this uncertain world, we bring quality, certainty and commerciality to make sure our clients achieve their goals
Arnaud Cabanes, managing partner, Baker McKenzie Paris

To support its market expansion, the firm has hired new partners such as Richard Mugni, who has worked on major projects in 47 different African and developing countries. His expertise in large infrastructure projects, transport and energy supports Baker McKenzie’s established capabilities in Morocco, Egypt and South Africa.

“Our added value is the ability to advise clients from various markets – in this case, Chinese and European groups investing in different African industries – not only on the current environment, but also on their direction and future developments,” Mugni says.

In Asia-Pacific – where Baker McKenzie holds offices in China, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Myanmar and Australia – new partner Anne Quenedey’s expertise in tax law, strongly focused on China, has prepared her for the role of developing the firm’s activity in the region.

Skilled at supporting European groups operating in China and Chinese groups investing in Europe, Quenedey helps groups define their legal and tax strategy, including M&A and restructuring operations. She also works with listed groups, mid-tier companies with Chinese interests, state-owned companies and Chinese-owned private equity groups.

“Asia-Pacific is already an important market for Baker McKenzie – we have been in China since 1974,” Quenedey says. “We follow our clients to every new market, wherever they go.”

The firm has been named the No 1 legal brand in Asia-Pacific by Acritas Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index 2017.

Being the only law firm to partner with the World Economic Forum’s Fourth Industrial Revolution project, Baker McKenzie also maintains an innovative industry edge. From being the first firm to use a robot for data collection to developing information technology solutions for clients, Baker McKenzie proves its ability to stay ahead.

“Our stability is the key to our success – a number of our local and international clients have been with us for more than 50 years,” Cabanes says. “We solve complexities to become the legal partner-of-choice for clients handling multijurisdictional deals and projects.”