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Baker McKenzie names new global M&A chair, tapping Jannan Crozier in male-dominated field

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Baker McKenzie legal offices in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

  • London-based partner Jannan Crozier will lead Baker McKenzie's global M&A practice starting in July
  • Crozier succeeds Chicago-based M&A partner Michael DeFranco

RALEIGH, NC (Reuters) - Baker McKenzie has named London-based partner Jannan Crozier as its global M&A chair, the firm announced Thursday.

Crozier, who succeeds Chicago-based M&A partner Michael DeFranco, starts her position on July 1.

As a woman taking the helm of a major Big Law M&A practice, she joins a field that's still relatively sparse. But she's hardly alone, and the role has sometimes led to even bigger promotions. Barbara Becker co-chaired Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's global M&A practice before she was elected firm chair in March. Linklaters on Wednesday appointed corporate chief Aedamar Comiskey as its first female senior partner. Less recently, Cravath, Swaine & Moore made headlines in 2016 when it named then M&A co-head Faiza Saeed its presiding partner.

When Crozier takes her position overseeing the international mega-firm's sprawling M&A group, nine out of Baker McKenzie's 16 global practice groups will have female leaders. Two out of its eight global committee members are women.

Her career with Baker McKenzie started nearly 20 years ago when she joined as a senior associate. Since then she has advised Siemens on two acquisitions, Hitachi on its $11 billion purchase of ABB's power grids business and KKR on a $4.3 billion transaction, among other deals.

Baker McKenzie's global chair Milton Cheng said in a statement that he is "delighted that such a stellar home-grown talent as Jannan is taking on the role of leading our M&A practice."

Crozier said in a statement that she hopes that the global M&A practice will "continue to grow ambitiously."

"In taking on this role, I want to engage with our clients across all markets and industries to facilitate bold and transformational M&A," she said.

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