In the early years, Baker & McKenzie embraced the novel idea that qualified lawyers who were not US nationals should be equal partners. We also developed innovative ideas for tax planning that would spur growth across Europe and South America. As we matured, Russell Baker would become one of the oldest lawyers ever to pass the rigorous California bar exam. He took it so that we could open an office in San Francisco. We would be among the first in China as we expanded to Asia Pacific and the Middle East, while growing to become the largest law firm in the world. By 1987, we would become the first law firm to employ 1,000 lawyers. We also doubled that number in a decade and tripled it by 2001. We were the first to reach US$1 billion in global revenue.