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Jones Day Practice Head Joins Winston; Other Lawyers Likely to Follow

Posted Jan 13, 2010 5:13 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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The head of the employee benefits and executive compensation practice group at Jones Day has moved to the San Francisco office of Winston & Strawn, where he expects other lawyers from his former firm to follow him.

Although Jones Day has a bigger global footprint, James Baker points out that his ERISA practice is essentially domestic in scope, and that most of his clients are following him, reports the National Law Journal. He says he was drawn to his position by the firm's commitment to streamlining its legal work with the help of new technology.

"There is a huge commitment to technology and innovation at Winston & Strawn that's very attractive to me, and it's important to the clients to keep them abreast of what's going on and to get better results," Baker tells the legal publication.

Detailing the firm's offerings to the ABA Journal, he explains that Winston essentially sets up a personalized web page on its extranet for every lawyer that provides easy access to information about client matters, pleadings, forms and specialized publications.

"It shows you what you're working on, what attorneys are working on the matters, it has personalized libraries for your use," Baker says, noting that his favorite ERISA publications are on his page, for instance.

"They have a knowledge management department that collects good pleadings and good research so you don't have to reinvent the wheel when you take on a client issue," he continues. "It's really great."

From a client's standpoint, the site provides a secure central platform for viewing pleadings, opinion letters and bills, Baker says. "It makes everything transparent--what you're doing, what you're doing for the client."

Updated at 7:15 p.m. to include information from ABA Journal interview with Baker.

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