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Baker & McKenzie beefs up tax practice

Bar Talk

Christopher S. Reed/© Copyright 2007 by Christopher S. Reed

Baker & McKenzie, despite being one of the largest law firms in the world, doesn't get a lot of attention on Bay Street. This may be changing.

The firm, which – unlike some other U.S. heavyweights with Toronto offices – actually practises Canadian law here in addition to U.S. law, has been quietly adding new talent to its roster in recent months.

It said on Tuesday that it has lured veteran corporate tax lawyer John Owen away from Bennett Jones LLP, where he was co-chair of its tax and estates department.

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In a statement, Len Terr, Baker & McKenzie's North American tax group chairman, said the move was timely, as the number of corporate deals rebounds: "John extends our capabilities for clients in Canada at exactly the perfect time when we are seeing a dramatic resurgence of local and cross-border transactional activity."

The firm has lately been beefing up its worldwide tax practice. In Toronto, it recently brought another Bennett Jones lawyer, Jacques Bernier, into its tax group. And Baker & McKenzie also recently picked up merger-and-acquisitions lawyer Howard Burshtein from Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP.

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