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Baker McKenzie bolsters tax practice with hire of Stephanie Pantelidaki

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has hired Stephanie Pantelidaki as Head of Financial Services Transfer Pricing in the firm’s tax practice. Stephanie joins from PwC, where she has worked in both the firm’s United Kingdom and Switzerland offices.

Stephanie has over twenty years’ experience advising on transfer pricing and international corporate tax issues with a particular focus on financial services – having worked with leading institutions in banking and capital markets, investment management, and the insurance sectors.

She started her career in academia as an economic adviser and research fellow at London Business School, and went on to work for organisations including Andersen, KPMG and Baker McKenzie (2006-2009) where she helped establish the Transfer Pricing team in the London office.

Mark Delaney, head of Baker McKenzie’s tax practice in London, said: “Stephanie is a truly exciting hire for Baker McKenzie. We’re seeing increased demands from financial institutions for transfer pricing works and her skills and expertise will enable us to deliver an even better service for our clients.”

Alex Chadwick, Baker McKenzie’s London Managing Partner, said: “We’re welcoming Stephanie back to Baker McKenzie at a great time, with opportunities in abundance for continued growth across the tax practice. Her experience, crossing academia and finance, mean she will bring a lateral-minded point of view to the team. She’s going to be a fantastic asset to us.”

Stephanie’s hire follows a number of recent significant lateral appointments including Leveraged Finance partner Ben Wilkinson, who joined Baker McKenzie from White & Case, M&A partner Nick Rainsford, who joined from Ashurst, private equity partner Justin Hutchinson, who joined from Kirkland & Ellis, Adam Eastell a partner from Slaughter & May and Nick Bryans, also from Ashurst.

Baker McKenzie Continues to Grow California Transactional Practice

Global law firm Baker McKenzie announced today that Aarthi Belani has joined the Transactional practice as a partner in the Firm’s Palo Alto office, bringing experience advising technology and life sciences companies on M&A and venture capital transactions. Aarthi joins the Firm from Jones Day, where she was a partner.

Aarthi represents strategic acquirers, especially in cross-border deals, emerging growth technology companies, venture capital funds, and corporate venture capital. She has also represented the sell-side and advised on digital health, financial services, and impact investment deals. Recent major transactions she has worked on include representing Uniphore Technologies in its Series D fundraising, acquisitions for Five9, a provider of cloud contact-centre solutions, AbbVie in its acquisition of Mavupharma, SAP in its $8 billion acquisition of Qualtrics, and Oclaro in its $1.8 billion sale to Lumentum.

Previously, Aarthi was on the in-house strategy M&A legal team at Credit Suisse in New York, where she was also a member of the Sustainability Network, a Credit Suisse OneBank (cross-divisional) initiative to develop impact investment products. She started her legal career at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in New York, where she worked on complex strategic M&A, especially cross-border M&A. In 2018, she was recognised as a “40 Under 40” honouree by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

“The addition of Aarthi to our California Transactional Team demonstrates our commitment to building a destination practice for technology M&A. Aarthi is well-known as a trusted business adviser to leading Silicon Valley companies and is sought after for her deal-making advice, particularly for cross-border transactions,” said Leif King, head of Baker McKenzie’s California Transactional practice.

“Aarthi is another excellent addition to our growing California team, bringing outstanding credentials and advising on transformative deals in Silicon Valley. Since Leif King joined us in 2019, we’ve added 11 market-leading transactional lawyers, and we are delighted to add Aarthi to the team,” said Colin Murray, Baker McKenzie’s North America chief executive officer. “Not only is Aarthi a star M&A practitioner, she also brings a commitment to furthering diversity and inclusion efforts in the industry — which is core to our Firm’s strategy and a key objective for us in North America.”

She is a mentor for the Unreasonable Group (a program for entrepreneurs) and a Leadership Committee member of How Women Lead, which is part of the campaign to increase the representation of women on corporate boards.

Our California M&A team has advised on some of the largest and most complex transactions in Silicon Valley, helping clients seize opportunities, mitigate risk, make judgment calls and achieve their goals. With locally trained lawyers around the globe, we serve as a “one-stop shop” for acquisitions, providing a consistent approach and quality, supported by in-depth local knowledge and a global perspective.

“I’m excited to join the Baker McKenzie team. I look forward to working with my new colleagues as we build something enduring here,” Aarthi said.

Aarthi received her LL.M. and J.D. from New York University and her B.A. from Stanford University.

Baker McKenzie Enhances Leveraged Finance Team With Significant Hire

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has hired Ben Wilkinson from White & Case where he was a partner in the Debt Finance practice. Ben will join the Banking & Finance practice in London on May 3rd, to help build out the Leveraged Finance team.

With over 16 years in the legal industry, Ben’s experience includes advising investment banks and private credit funds in relation to cross-border acquisition finance transactions, in particular those with complex capital structures. He regularly advises lenders, borrowers and financial advisors in connection with the bank financing of acquisitions of public companies, and also acts for a variety of lender syndicates, steering committees, sponsors and companies in relation to various restructuring matters.

Ben is an important strategic hire with a focus and strong experience in cross-border leveraged / acquisition financing transactions, particularly on the lender-side, which will significantly expand our capabilities in the leveraged finance space.

Matthew Dening, Global Chair of Baker McKenzie’s Banking & Finance practice group, commented: “Ben has an outstanding reputation in the acquisition finance and bank lending market. Expectations are that 2021 is going to be very busy as financial performance re-stabilises with pent-up refinancing and liquidity that has yet to be deployed, creating key opportunities. Ben’s appointment will put Baker McKenzie in a solid position to take advantage of these openings.”

London Managing Partner Alex Chadwick added: “We are very excited about Ben joining our Banking & Finance group in London. His practice is firmly aligned with our strong industry focus and his hiring represents our ambitions to become one of the leading transactional Firms globally. Ben has a long track record of doing deals in the financial sector which supports our ambitions to strengthen our relationships with sponsors. We will continue to grow our transactional partnership in London and other key markets, both laterally and organically.”

Ben Wilkinson’s hire comes after a number of recent lateral appointments including M&A partner Nick Rainsford who joined from Ashurst, private equity partner Justin Hutchinson who joined from Kirkland & Ellis, Adam Eastell a partner from Slaughter & May and Nick Bryans, also from Ashurst.

Baker McKenzie is a transactional powerhouse with over 2500 deal lawyers and expertise in over 46 countries. We excel in cross-border deals – over 60% of our deals are multi-jurisdictional. We are global and local, combining money market sophistication with local excellence.

Challenges remain for Industrials, but calculus shifts

Disruption arising from COVID-19 has accelerated trends already apparent in the industrials market – particularly digitalisation and trade volatility – and transformation has gone from a “nice to have” to a necessity, according to the latest findings from Baker McKenzie. The law firm surveyed 700 company leaders in six industrial sub-sectors in early 2020, and again at the end of the year after the pandemic had taken hold of the global economy.

Interviews with sector leaders highlighted renewed action and energy, with companies looking to acquire technology and reimagine systems, networks and services to thrive in future. A License to be Bold: Transforming Industrials covers four areas of focus: adapting to the new market; digitalising for growth; disruption-proofing supply chains; and sustainability.

Nikolaus Reinhuber, Global Chair of Baker McKenzie’s Industrials, Manufacturing and Transportation industry group says, “Our findings show that disruption arising from COVID-19 has accelerated trends already apparent in the market –– particularly digitalisation, trade volatility and the importance of sustainability –– and transformation has gone from “nice to have” to necessity. There is a significant imperative to change, with greater stakeholder buy in and long-term viability outweighing short-term performance.

“Those organisations that meet disruption with a bold and innovative vision and execute effectively on it, will be best placed to adapt and grow over the coming decades. The industry has an imperative to change and a new license to be bold –– the stage is set for transformation.”

A License to be Bold: Transforming Industrials

Kuehne+Nagel acquires Asian logistics provider Apex

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has advised global transport and logistics group Kuehne+Nagel on its acquisition of Apex International Corporation (Apex) from private equity firm MBK Partners and management, its largest acquisition to date.

Apex is one of Asia’s leading freight forwarders, especially in the transpacific and intra-Asia. The company was founded in China in 2001 and has expanded throughout Asia and beyond over the years of its growth history. With approximately 1,600 employees, Apex generates yearly turnover in excess of CHF 2.1 billion. In 2020, the company handled total air freight volume of approximately 750,000 tons and sea freight volume of 190,000 TEU.

Dr. Detlef Trefzger, CEO of Kuehne+Nagel International AG, says: “The combination of Apex and Kuehne+Nagel provides us with an opportunity to offer our customers a compelling proposition in the competitive Asian logistics industry, especially in e-commerce fulfilment, hi-tech and e-mobility. We are looking forward to welcoming the Apex colleagues to the Kuehne+Nagel family.”

The Baker McKenzie team was led by Alexander Fischer, together with Howard Wu, Alexander Blaeser, Matthias Trautmann, and with the following deal team members: Zurich: Boris Wenger, Matthias Courvoisier, Eva-Maria Strobel, Markus Wolf, Yves Mauchle, Roger Thomi, Zarina Fueglister, Tiziana Hongler and Jan Lusti; PRC: Zheng Lu, Terry Xu, Gege Li, Merry Du, Coco Xi, Emma Zhao, Leo Zhang, Sufi Shang, Luis Zhang, Rachel Ye, Cora Wu, Lucca Li, Xi Chen, Hunt Wu, Kevin Yuan and Laura Liu; Hong Kong: Harold Van Kooten, Isabella Liu, Jannice Lau, Joel Cheung, Mandy Hung, Bryan Ng, Stephen Crosswell, Charlie Wong, Thomas Jenkins, Amy Ling, Lu Zhou, Jannie Mak, Rainbow Fu, Lesley Jingyu Luo and Antonia Chan; USA: Eunkyung Shin, Jeanne Song, Andrew Sagor, Chen Tang, Derek Liu, Stuart Seidel, John Fedele, Jennifer Trock, Alexander Matthews and Arvind Miriyala; Australia: Eric Thianpiriya; Canada: Yana Ermak; Germany: Alexander Ehrle; Mexico: Reynaldo Vizcarra-Mendez and Jesus Antonio Perez-Palazuelos; Netherlands: Christiaan Van der Meer, Danielle Pinedo, Florian Fehres, Emile Doelwijt, Julie Wulfften Palthe, Maarten van Laar, Philip Luckmann and Anastasia Moonen-Vaes; Taiwan: Gwyneth Gu and Yiting Lin; Thailand: Pornapa Luengwattanakit, Narumol Chinawong Teo, Sirikan Buranasiri and Kritchaya Rattanasakul; Vietnam: Lan Phuong Nguyen, Chi Hoang Yen Ngo and Xuan Nghi Ma.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including merger clearance by the competent competition authorities. The purchase price will be financed by available liquid sources and, if needed, by available credit lines. Following closing of the transaction, a minor stake of Apex shares is to remain with the experienced and entrepreneurial management of Apex.

Baker McKenzie Advises Mytheresa in Approximately $407mn IPO

Baker McKenzie advised MYT Netherlands Parent B.V., the parent company of luxury e-commerce platform Mytheresa, in its approximately USD 407 million initial public offering of American Depositary Shares (ADSs). Mytheresa’s ADSs now trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “MYTE.”

The Baker McKenzie team included Roger Bivans, Chris Bartoli, Leif King, Eric Mattingly, Jamie Nix, Jeremy Poore, Derek Liu, Tom Asmar, Jonathan Martin, Robin Chesler, Christoph Wolf, Bernhard Trappehl, Kim Tan, Rebecca Kuijpers-Zimmerman, Ulrich Weidemann, Denise Ozmis and Willem Treuren, and numerous other team members in the United States, Netherlands, Germany and other countries.

About Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is a transactional powerhouse with over 2,500 deal lawyers and expertise in over 46 countries. Our strong global reputation for both issuer and underwriter counsel is based on our ability to successfully navigate the highly complex mix of legal system and cultures in complex cross-border and domestic equity and debt offerings.