BakerHostetler Elects Paul Schmidt to Chair, Effective January 1, 2019

Succeeds Steven Kestner after Kestner's 15-year tenure

Press Releases / March 21, 2018

Cleveland, OH — March 21, 2018 — BakerHostetler today announced the election of Paul M. Schmidt as the Firm’s next Chair, effective January 1, 2019, having been unanimously approved by a vote of the full partnership. Currently Chair of the Firm’s Tax Group and a former legislation counsel to the U.S. Congress Joint Committee on Taxation, Schmidt will succeed Steven Kestner, who will be stepping down from the position after 15 years. Kestner has presided over the national Firm’s significant growth in financial performance, lawyer headcount, market expansion and key innovation advancements since becoming Chair in 2004. 

“I am extremely pleased that Paul Schmidt will be taking over as the next Chair of BakerHostetler,” said Kestner. “Paul is an invaluable advisor to his roster of multinational clients. His years of extensive international experience, business and financial acumen, leadership style, and unwavering commitment to meeting our clients’ needs, make him the right person to be the Firm’s next Chair.”  

“It is humbling and a tremendous honor to have been selected by my partners to serve as the Firm’s next Chair,” said Schmidt. “I am fortunate to have a remarkable example of successful leadership in Steve Kestner and plan on working closely with him to ensure a seamless transition to my new role.  

“For over a century, BakerHostetler has exhibited consistent dedication to professional excellence and superb client service, which has at its core an uncompromising focus on quality. Our stable business and financial foundation, combined with our collaborative culture, enables us to respond to the rapidly evolving landscape in both the legal profession and our clients’ businesses. I am confident we are well-positioned to leverage our solid platform and diverse practice strengths to further build and grow as an innovative, globally competitive law firm,” adds Schmidt. 

Based in Washington, D.C., Schmidt joined BakerHostetler in 2004, after having practiced in another major law firm, a Big Four accounting firm and the federal government. In his practice, he counsels multinational corporations, private equity and hedge funds, and publicly traded partnerships and master limited partnerships, along with a number of industry-focused clients, on all facets of taxation. He has a unique understanding of corporate and international tax matters, significant experience handling issues in connection with examinations by the Internal Revenue Service, and the ability to bring clients pragmatic solutions to complicated foreign tax issues. He regularly counsels CEOs, CFOs, boards and audit committees on all aspects of their financial dealings and the impact on the bottom line.     

Schmidt has served as Chair of BakerHostetler’s national Tax Group since 2008 and is also a member of the Firm’s Policy Committee, its governing board.  

Schmidt graduated summa cum laude from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a B.S. in accountancy in 1989. He received his J.D. magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 1993, and he received his LL.M. in taxation with distinction in 1997. 

Kestner will remain as Chair through 2018, working with Schmidt on the transition, and he plans to return to practicing in the Firm’s Business Group. He concentrates his practice on mergers and acquisitions, transactions and securities law. He chaired the Firm’s national Business Group from 1995 through 2003, and has served as a member of the Policy Committee since 1999. 


About BakerHostetler 
Recognized as one of the top firms for client service, BakerHostetler is a leading national law firm that helps clients around the world address their most complex and critical business and regulatory issues. With five core national practice groups – Business, Employment, Intellectual Property, Litigation and Tax – the firm has more than 940 lawyers located in 14 offices coast to coast. BakerHostetler is widely regarded as having one of the country’s top 10 tax practices, a nationally recognized litigation practice, an award-winning data privacy practice and an industry-leading business practice. The firm is also recognized internationally for its groundbreaking work recovering nearly $13 billion in the Madoff Recovery Initiative, representing the SIPA Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. Visit 


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