1. What is Baker McKenzie’s position on the impact of its tax advisory work?
We advise our clients on understanding the highly complex, ever evolving and often conflicting tax rules around the world, and on how to assess and meet their tax obligations.
Taxation is a core area of our global expertise. Our advice is always in strict accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. Transparency and accountability are integral elements of such advice and we strive to ensure that our clients adhere to both the law and best practice.
2. Does Baker McKenzie support a more equitable global tax system?
Baker McKenzie supports the development of a simplified, consistent, and well understood global tax system, and works towards collaboration between different stakeholders for systems of taxation that balance the interests of businesses, citizens and governments.
3. Is Baker McKenzie involved in lobbying Governments and/or policymakers?
Like other law firms and relevant industry or subject matter experts, Baker McKenzie is regularly requested to assist governments and regulatory bodies with the analysis and development of potential new legislation in countries around the world, by contributing our legal expertise and experience.
We are also asked by clients to provide expert input on proposed laws and regulations including through public submissions processes or occasionally by legislative testimony. All our work in this area is done in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including lobbyist registrations where required.
Want to know more?
Our Global Tax Practice
Baker McKenzie's global tax practice is internationally recognized and highly regarded for its depth, breadth and quality. Taxation is a complex area of law and it is a core area of our expertise – as it is for many other international law firms. Many of our clients operate, invest and do business globally and require our expertise to understand and comply with the relevant laws, including their taxes. We help our clients assess and meet their tax obligations on a worldwide basis, and navigate highly complex, ever evolving and often conflicting tax rules around the world. Our services are always provided in strict adherence to all applicable laws and regulations. More information about our Global Tax Practice
Corporate services generally refer to services provided in relation to the maintenance of a company in accordance with local laws. For example, multinationals that have business operations in a given jurisdiction, but no in-house legal staff based locally, sometimes ask Baker McKenzie to provide basic corporate services on their behalf. Corporate secretarial support is a common form of this ancillary corporate service provided by many leading local and international law and advisory firms across the world, as well as corporate administration firms, accounting and CPA firms.
Government and Industry Engagement
Law firms, industry and subject matter experts are routinely approached by governments, regulators and industry bodies to contribute views and analysis on potential laws, rules and regulations. As an established global law firm with leading experts in multiple practice areas, we have participated in this consultative process in various jurisdictions. This is done transparently and in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
Client Intake and Review
We take very seriously and stand by our Code of Business Conduct and compliance with professional responsibility rules and expectations. Baker McKenzie performs comprehensive anti-money-laundering and sanctions compliance and background checks on all potential clients as an integral part of our global client intake risk management procedures. All potential clients are examined through World-Check and other databases to screen for Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), close associates, and family members; global sanctions lists; global regulatory and law enforcement lists; adverse media; Iran Economic Interest (IEI); identifying Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs); and state-owned entities and state invested enterprises. Given our global footprint, we evaluate not only US laws, but also the laws, rules and regulations of all applicable jurisdictions, related risk factors, and our professional obligations in deciding whether to take on a particular client or matter. On occasion, we find that clients later engage in activities that are not consistent with our initial due diligence, or new facts or developments come to light, which would cause us to terminate our representation of them.
Baker McKenzie's award-winning international trade and export controls practice provides clients with expert advice on how to fully comply with all trade sanctions laws. For example, the United States government issues sanctions prohibitions against entities and individuals who must comply with these or face civil or criminal penalties. US law expressly permits seeking and providing legal advice on how to comply with any sanctions issued; this is essential to supporting the policy objectives behind the imposition of such sanctions in the first place. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) guidance issued by the US government confirms this. It also includes general licenses authorizing legal services so that companies can consult with legal counsel to ensure compliance with the laws in their dealings with any sanctioned entities or individuals.
Also, the US government has implemented different levels of sanctions. For example:
- Targeted sanctions: Often only apply to very limited transactions
- Sectoral sanctions: Target only very specific and limited types of activity, but do not otherwise prohibit dealings with such parties
- Blocking sanctions: Generally, prohibit most US persons or entities from engaging in any transactions with “Specially Designated Nationals" (SDNs)
To comply with US sanctions laws, both those subject to sectoral sanctions and those who deal with them on non-sanctioned matters need access to competent legal advice and representation. These are expressly permitted under US law. Again, in advising clients, Baker McKenzie complies with all sanctions and export controls laws.
Our Continued Commitment
Our clients are our top priority. We are proud of the work we do and the clients we serve and take our duties to them very seriously. This includes client confidentiality and professional attorney-client privilege. We remain firmly committed to providing best-in-class legal services locally and globally, and to being fully compliant with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. We also recognize the important role we play in society and work towards collaboration between different stakeholders for legal systems, especially of taxation, that balance the interests of businesses, citizens and governments.