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Winston & Strawn has picked up partner James P. Baker from Jones Day, where he co-chaired the firm’s employee benefits and executive compensation practice. Baker joined the labor and employment relations department in Winston’s San Francisco office last week. Additional Jones Day lawyers are likely to make the move, he said, but he declined to give names. In addition to reconnecting with lawyers with whom he has worked in the past, Baker said it was Winston’s use of technology to track cases and do research that drew him to the firm. “There is a huge commitment to technology and innovation at Winston & Strawn that’s very attractive to me, and it’s important to the clients to keep them abreast of what’s going on and to get better results,” Baker said. Baker praised his former firm, but said, without elaborating, that “it was time for a change.” Baker’s move takes him to a firm that is less than half the size of Jones Day and has a much smaller network of offices around the world. Chicago-based Winston has 14 offices on three continents, while Jones Day has 31 on four continents. Baker said in his practice, which focuses on litigation related to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, almost all of the work is domestic. The current congressional and White House efforts to revamp the nation’s health care system will affect retirement and welfare benefits, roiling regulation in the area and boosting demand for ERISA-related legal services, Baker predicted. Most of his clients are making the move with him, he said. Baker is rejoining a former colleague, Jeffrey Bosley, with whom he worked at Littler Mendelson, and reconnecting with Gerald Silver, with whom he worked on Capgemini North America litigation. Daniel Hagen, a Cleveland-based co-chair of the Jones Day employee benefits practice, did not return a call seeking comment.

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