Monday, March 05, 2012

Dacanay vs. Baker & McKenzie [10 May 1985]

Facts: Lawyer Adriano E. Dacanay sought to enjoin respondents from practicing law under the name of Baker & McKenize, a law firm organized in Illinois. 

A letter dated 16 November 1979, using the letterhead of the said firm and carrying the name of the respondents, requested Rosie Clurman to release 87 shares of Cathay Products International, Inc. to H.E. Gabriel, a client. Atty. Dacanay, in his reply dated 07 December 1979, denied any liability of Clurman to Gabriel. He asked whether Gabriel is represented by Baker & McKenzie, and if not, why they misrepresented themselves by using the letterhead of another law firm. Not receiving a reply, he filed this instant complaint. 

Issue: Whether or not respondents can make use of the firm name Baker & McKenzie 

Held: Baker & McKenzie, being an alien law firm, cannot practice law in the Philippines. The respondents, members of the Philippine Bar and practicing under the firm name of Guerrero & Torres, are members or associates of Baker & McKenzie. Respondents’ use of the firm name constitutes a representation that they could “render legal services of the higher quality to multinational business enterprises and others engaged in foreign trade and investment.” This is unethical, as Baker & McKenzie is unauthorized to practise here. 

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