04 June 2020

Baker McKenzie promotes trio of London partners to key practice group roles amid global shake up

Helen Bradley and Matthew Dening

The shake up sees Helen Bradley become capital markets chair and Matthew Dening take the reins of the banking and finance group

Reshuffle also sees Buenos Aires partner take over as global chair of the healthcare group

Baker McKenzie is shaking up its global leadership team with a trio of London-based partners due to take up key practice group roles next month while it has turned to a Buenos Aires-based partner to take over the leadership of its healthcare group.

The practice group changes see London derivatives partner Matthew Dening replace Paris-based Michael Foundethakis as chair of banking and finance, Helen Bradley — currently head of corporate finance — replace Brussels-based Koen Vanhaerents as the firm’s capital markets chair and partner Karen Guch take over from David Allen as global private equity chair, stepping up from her current role as regional private equity chair for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Alex Chadwick, managing partner of the firm’s London office, said: “I am excited about our new global practice and industry group appointees… They have well-deserved reputations and I am confident they will add tremendous strength to the firm’s leadership team.”

Dening is currently in his second spell at Baker McKenzie. He first joined the firm in 1993 as a trainee solicitor, working his way up to partner and then leaving for Sidley Austin in 2004. He spent 14 years at Sidley in London before returning to Bakers in late 2018.

Bradley, meantime, has been with the firm since 1996, heading up the corporate finance team since 2016. Guch has been with the firm since 1998, starting out in the Kuala Lumpur office before moving to London in 2000. 

The firm has also appointed a new global chair of its healthcare group, with Buenos Aires-based partner Vanina Caniza replacing Sydney-based Ben McLaughlin. 

Caniza joined Bakers as an associate in 1996, becoming a partner 10 years later. Her practice focuses on M&A, licensing, distribution agreements and commercial and corporate law. 

Meanwhile, Paris-based Alyssa Auberger, chair of the firm’s consumer goods and retail team, has had her term extended for one year, while Nikolaus Reinhuber in Frankfurt will remain chair of industrials, manufacturing and transportation for another three years.

The changes follow the election of Milton Cheng as global chair last autumn, the first Asia-based partner to head the firm. 

Hogan Lovells, Herbert Smith Freehills and Slaughter and May have also shuffled their leadership teams in recent weeks.

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