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Chicago — Baker & McKenzie is exploring possible new office sites in Chicago, as rivals move into upgraded space. The firm, which was founded in Chicago, asked real estate brokers for proposals, though Baker & McKenzie spokesman Douglas MacDonald said the firm is only in the early stages of exploring options and evaluating its current space. “It’s just part of our planning process,” MacDonald said. The firm’s current lease on 230,000 square feet in the original Prudential building overlooking Lake Michigan expires in November 2012. Baker & McKenzie has 220 lawyers in Chicago and 3,400 worldwide in 70 offices in 38 countries. The firm�s biggest attorney headcount is in London. Technological advances and competition for attorneys led Chicago rivals Kirkland & Ellis and Jenner & Block to make plans for moving into new buildings by 2009, after Sidley Austin and Mayer Brown moved their offices last year.

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