Global Equity Matrix

Law Firm: Baker McKenzie
Firm Size: Large
Released: March 28, 2013
Platform: iPhone (iTunes), Android (Google Play)
Cost: Free

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Some law firms have recognized that they can take existing hard copy or e-resources and turn them into even more valuable resources by making them  mobile apps. Baker McKenzie has created such an app based on the firm’s “40 Country Matrix” publication that provides critical legal and tax information from nearly 40 countries on granting equity awards to employees and executives of public companies. The resource has been published for 10 years in print and electronic form by the firm’s Global Equity Services Group.

The app was created as a resource for a range of professionals, including: stock plan professionals, tax directors, HR managers, employee benefit lawyers, and corporate/securities counsel.

The core information provided in the app includes select tax, securities, foreign exchange controls, labor, and data privacy considerations for employee stock options, employee stock purchase rights, and employee restricted stock and restricted stock units. Users can search for information by equity type (e.g. options, RSU, ESPP), country, and specific area of interest. The firm will also update the app to notify users of upcoming seminars and white papers.

Valerie Diamond, Chair of the Firm’s Global Equity Services Group, remarked:

“We understand that our clients increasingly need quick access to the myriad tax and legal consequences of equity awards in jurisdictions around the globe before they make the grant… Clients repeatedly told us that they relied on the 40 Country Matrix publication for the latest information, and they needed to access it no matter where they were.

The app currently has information for 40 countries and the firm plans to expand that coverage in the future.

In what should become a standard practice for law firms with apps, Baker McKenzie has created a landing page on its firm website for its app, a page that describes that app. Law firms still do not promote their own apps enough; having a landing page is a modest step to doing so. On the needs improvement side of things, the firm should consider a little more refined design of the app’s pages, particular the main “home” page.