Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie today announced plans for a new Center in Tampa, Florida in the United States, which will create more than 300 new high-quality jobs.

An innovative hub, connected with the Firm's offices globally, the Tampa Center will provide expert support to Baker McKenzie and its global clients -- for example, in Legal Services, Finance, IT, Knowledge Management, Operations, Business Development, Marketing and Communications, and Talent.

The Center is expected to be fully operational in the beginning of 2020. Its development builds upon the success of Baker McKenzie's operations in Manila (Philippines) and Belfast (Northern Ireland) and is part of a major program across the Firm to enhance quality and provide the best possible "follow the sun" support to clients around the world.

Jamie Lawless will be the new Executive Director for the Tampa Center. Jamie previously served as Director of Implementation and Chief Operating Officer of  Baker McKenzie's Washington, D.C. and New York offices. Earlier in her career Jamie held several Vice President roles at Swiss Post Solutions and worked as a consultant for Accenture. Jamie is passionate about serving the community, and the legal industry at large. She has served as the Advisory Council Chair for Dress for Success Worldwide, and is a Founding & Advisory Board Member for Women to Know aimed at elevating and accelerating the careers and leadership of women in the legal industry.

Jamie comments: “We were looking for an exceptional pool of talent, a meaningful cultural fit and a global outlook that will work well with our business needs -- Tampa ticked all those boxes. But we have found much more, including a really warm welcome! We have been encouraged by the hospitality of the local economic development team and local government – in fact, by everyone in the business community we’ve met so far and who has extended open arms to us. 

"We want our relationship with Tampa to be truly reciprocal – so that means in addition to building a talented team that will provide high-quality legal and business support to clients around the world, we’ll also work hard to make sure we contribute to the continued success and growth of our new home.

Talent is the biggest asset to any global professional services firm and we intend our Tampa Center to be a great place to work for the best and brightest in the area. Solid, collaborative and trusted relationships with the local community will make us more effective in delivering on that promise."

The Firm's global Chair Paul Rawlinson adds: "We need to be continually innovating as a business and investing in ways to do things better, smarter and more efficiently. It is our people who help us achieve these ambitions. Our Centers, and our plans to grow them, show that we are serious about innovating to provide faster, more efficient and more cost-effective services. And the new location in Tampa is the latest example of this."

Baker McKenzie will be the largest global law firm to establish operations in Tampa. The project was made possible through strong partnerships with Enterprise Florida, the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

“This announcement is a huge win for Tampa and further evidence that our city has what it takes to compete and attract major global operations,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa. “Tampa has earned a reputation as a top business destination with the exceptional talent and quality of life that the world’s most competitive employers demand. The addition of Baker McKenzie will bring great prestige to Tampa and help fuel our increasing momentum.”

Financial and professional services is the fastest growing industry sector in the Tampa metro area, with year-over-year employment gains and a workforce of around 1.5 million in the vicinity. Tampa and Hillsborough County offer a competitive alternative to the traditional financial centers of the US Northeast.

"Tampa and Hillsborough County are hugely attractive to global investment, as today's announcement demonstrates -- and in particular because of the exceptional talent available here for the information technology and financial and professional services sectors," said Judy Genshaft, Ph.D., chair of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and president of the University of South Florida System. "We know that Baker McKenzie will enjoy the success other multinational companies have had in this market. The EDC is committed to supporting them as they establish and grow their operations here."

Today's Tampa announcement underpins Baker McKenzie's drive to be a more efficient, innovative organization, and a better place for professional and business services personnel to grow and enhance their careers.

The news follows on the heels of the Firm's latest global financials announcement which saw revenue up 10% on the previous year, to a record $2.9 billion -- the Firm's fastest growth in a decade.

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