The Management

October 27, 2011 2:53 PM

Baker Moves Into Turkish Market by Teaming with Istanbul Firm

Posted by Victor Li

CLARIFICATION: October 27, 2011, 5:01 p.m. EDT. The third paragraph has been updated to include the name of Chadbourne & Parke as among the Am Law firms opening an office in Turkey.

Baker & McKenzie, the largest law firm in the world in terms of revenue, is following the lead of some of its major rivals by moving into the Turkish market.

The firm announced Thursday that it has established an exclusive relationship with Esin Attorney Partnership (Esin Avukatlık Ortaklığı), a 40-lawyer practice based in Istanbul. According to Baker & McKenzie, the alliance represents one of the first steps toward the firm opening its own office in Turkey.

Turkey's fast-growing economy is drawing plenty of attention these days from international businesses and law firms. Some of Baker & McKenzie's biggest rivals have already set up shop in Turkey, including Clifford ChanceDLA Piper, and White & Case, as The American Lawyer reported in its June issue. Additionally, Chadbourne & Parke opened an office in Istanbul in September.

Bloomberg reports that the Turkish economy grew 8.8 percent in the second quarter of 2011, more than four times the rate of the euro zone. Bloomberg also states that the Turkish deal market is far outpacing that of the emerging markets of the so-called BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

"Istanbul is an increasingly important hub for global business," Eduardo Leite, chairman of Baker & McKenzie's executive committee, said in a statement. "By entering into an exclusive arrangement with one of Istanbul's leading law firms we are underlining our commitment to being able to serve our clients in those markets in which they are growing their businesses, while strengthening our ability to help Turkish clients take advantage of the opportunities beyond their borders."

Founded in 1997, Esin describes its core practice areas as mergers and acquisitions, litigation, arbitration, commercial real estate, corporate governance, and competition law.

Baker & McKenzie had 3,738 attorneys and 717 equity partners worldwide in fiscal 2010, according to the most recent Am Law 100 figures. The firm had revenue of $2.1 billion and profits per partner of $1.1 million during the same period.

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