Baker McKenzie debuted a revamped global leadership team this week, but it’s a team filled with familiar faces for those who know the firm’s partnership well.
Executive committee member A. Duane Webber in Washington, D.C., Constanze Ulmer-Eilfort in Munich and Ai Ai Wong in Singapore have all taken on new roles as the regional chairs for North America, EMEA (Europe-Middle East-Africa) and Asia-Pacific, respectively.
Webber, Ulmer-Eilfort and Wong are replacing Mike Wagner in Chicago, Gary Seib in Hong Kong, and Erik Scheer in Amsterdam, who are all returning to their practices as their four-year terms on the executive committee have ended. Meanwhile, three new partners have joined the committee: Esteban Raventos in Barcelona, Michael Santa Maria in Dallas and Michael Wong in Taipei.
Washington-based Webber led Baker McKenzie’s global tax practice until 2016, when he joined the executive committee. He handles tax disputes and litigation and other international and domestic tax matters for a client roster that has included Altera Corp., Apple Inc. and AOL. Baker McKenzie’s tax team under his direction represented a host of other Fortune 500 companies.
The firm’s global leadership gathered in D.C. last week to chart the path forward for the mega-firm, which grossed $2.9 billion last year. Before Paul Rawlinson temporarily left his post as global chairman earlier this month, he said in September that Baker McKenzie was actively courting a merger in America. Rawlinson described a prospective merger with a firm in the U.S. as, “a question of when, not if.”
Bogota-based M&A partner Jaime Trujillo Caicedo took the reins of the nearly 5,000-lawyer firm this month after Rawlinson decided to take temporary leave due to exhaustion. Trujilo Caicedo chairs the Latin America region for the firm, while Rawlinson had led the firm from London.
“I welcome our new executive committee members and regional chairs to their positions and look forward to working with them,” Trujillo Caicedo said in a statement. “The firm has achieved a great deal in the past 12 months, with double-digit revenue growth, maintaining our position as the world’s leading law firm brand and promoting more women to partner than any other firm. At the end of a successful annual partner meeting we can look to the year ahead with real confidence and ambition.”