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Baker McKenzie chair Rawlinson targets 250-strong New York office and launches new industrials sector group

With his international tour as global chair coming to a close, Baker McKenzie‘s new chief Paul Rawlinson is targeting renewed growth in the firm’s transactional practices in London, New York and China.

The former London managing partner has singled out the firm’s corporate and transactional centres for further investment.

Highlight aims included boosting the New York office and recruiting up to 20 transactional partners in London over the next three years.

At the firm’s London regional partners meeting, Rawlinson (pictured) told Legal Business: ‘We haven’t got a set in stone target, but internally we have aspirations. We have around 400 lawyers in London but we would want to increase the bench strength in regular M&A, private equity, banking and finance by 10 to 20 partners in two or three years from around 30 at the moment.

‘In North America we have 800 plus lawyers, we need to motor in New York, from in the region of 120 people now to a 250 strong office which is what we need in the next few years.’

The firm’s former chair Eduardo Leite has been engaged in helping to build out the New York office, while Rawlinson has also been meeting with candidates in the city to grow out its presence.

Baker McKenzie has also followed up its launch of a new consumer goods & retail group in 2016 with a new major industrials sector group to be launched this year.

The consumer goods sector was launched after the firm’s October partners meeting in Barcelona last year, headed up by Paris partner Alyssa Gallot-Auberger, who serves as the group’s chair. Major industrials will be the firm’s sixth group, targeting clients who may be in several key sectors or industries.

Rawlinson added: ‘I was elected on a global client mandate, I was someone who had developed deep client relationships globally, developing a global client vision. I put a mandate out there to deepen our relationships through an industry perspective.’