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Firm spotlight: Baker McKenzie

 

Established in 1949, Baker McKenzie is a renowned global firm with 74 offices spanning 45 countries. Further, Baker McKenzie employs approximately 80 partners and 220 lawyers and graduates across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.


Locally and globally, Baker McKenzie works on significant and high profile matters, for leading local and global clients. We have the experience, knowledge and expertise, both at a local and global level, to meet complex demands from our clients.


Our key areas of practice in the Melbourne office are:


  • Banking and Finance

  • Corporate (including Mergers and Acquisitions, Capital Markets and Private Equity)

  • Energy, Resources, Infrastructure and Corporate

  • Funds

  • Commercial Real Estate

  • Construction

  • Dispute Resolution, Litigation and Insolvency

  • Employment and Industrial Relations

  • IPTech


 

Firm Background


Baker McKenzie invented the global law firm – so we are different in the way we think, work and behave. Our story is one of imagination, determination and hard work. We have followed clients into new markets, establishing offices driven by local lawyers and talent. And our growth has been organic, giving us a strong, common culture that runs through our Firm. Our unique culture, developed over 75 years, enables our 13,000+ people to understand local markets and navigate multiple jurisdictions, working together as trusted colleagues and friends to instil confidence in our clients. We also understand the challenges of the global economy because we've been a global law firm from the start.


Our People Experience, a key component of our strategy, is about delivering the best employee experience to enable one high-performing, global team to serve our clients. We offer our people access to market-leading, cross-border, local, and industry-focused matters for leading multinational/domestic clients. We have an unrivalled ability to provide training and secondment opportunities across our global network. We are committed to engaging with our communities. We view inclusion, diversity and equity as foundational to our culture and strategic vision. We have an inclusive culture of learning, coaching and opportunity, where you undertake work in small teams

across multiple geographies with clients and colleagues. And we are a place where everybody can succeed, whatever your background and wherever you are located.


At Baker McKenzie, we attract market-leading clients, and challenging cross-border, local, and industry-focused work. We understand our clients' businesses, industries, and strategic objectives. Armed with this knowledge, we work with our clients to overcome the challenges of competing in the global economy. Our clients include nearly all of the world's largest public companies and more than three-quarters of the Fortune 500. For more information on our clients and the key matters we have worked on, please visit our website: https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/newsroom


 

Key Values

 

Quality and excellence together with integrity, honesty, candour, teamwork and responsiveness are some of Baker McKenzie's key values. They are central in us delivering outstanding service to our clients.


The values that make us a unique and great place to work are deeply embedded – you will notice our difference in all of your interactions with us, in Australia and globally:

  • We are passionately global, and leverage our global expertise for our Australian and global clients at every opportunity, recognising our strength is in our diversity

  • We are a truly multicultural firm united by a genuine and robust culture of friendship, inclusion and collaboration

  • We are commercial pragmatists who make complex issues simple for our clients and are passionately committed to service excellence

  • We strive to stay ahead of the curve, bring entrepreneurial energy to our work and embrace innovative change

  • We encourage and support engaging with our community, through our pro bono and community service programs

  • We want everyone to reach their potential so invest in global, regional and local world-class development and mobility programs for our people.

Our award winning diversity initiatives stem from our values and focus on five areas, in which all employees can participate:


  1. BakerWomen – gender diversity, including the implementation of our gender diversity strategy to support the progression of women as a strategic priority for the Firm

  2. BakerDNA – ethnic, indigenous and cultural diversity

  3. BakerWellbeing and BakerBalance – mental health and wellbeing, workplace flexibility and supporting parents/carers

  4. BakerPride & Allies – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex diversity

  5. BakerIndigenousEngagement – commitment to engagement with our Indigenous community - achieving better social, economic and cultural outcomes for First Nations people, and to making a real difference in the lives of them and their communities.


 

What sets Baker McKenzie apart?


In addition to our values, Baker McKenzie's key difference is that, unlike other firms, we were 'born global'. Our practices and culture are well-established and integrated globally, which is why many clients and lawyers choose to work with us.

We have a global approach to development. Because we've been global from the beginning, we have well-established regional and global programs and a deeply embedded culture of knowledge sharing, support and mentoring both within and across offices.


Our global development roadmap, the Development Framework, explains what success looks like at each career stage at Baker McKenzie. It shapes the way we recruit, select, develop, manage and promote our lawyers. For you, it means always having a clear career roadmap, empowering you to plan and drive your development – formally and on-the-job – at every stage.  

 

Our lawyers benefit from an Australian professional development curriculum based on the Development Framework – from black letter law to practice-specific skills and business development at the local, regional and global levels. 

 

Our lawyers also attend regional and global training and events and conferences relating to their practices to help develop networks and legal skills. Further, they attend regional transition programs at each career stage which provide development in the key skills our lawyers need – like people leadership, business development and project management – and which enable them to foster relationships with international peers at the same career stage.

 

We also provide our lawyers with opportunities to attend USA summer school courses and scholarships for full-time legal study overseas, and support them undertake further study locally, both financially and with study leave.


In addition, the Firm offers opportunities for lawyers at varying stages of their career to work directly for clients or with our other offices globally.

 

 

Meet Deakin Law Alumni: Jed Lehmann


Introduction


I studied Law/Commerce at Deakin University and completed my degrees in 2021.

 

Further, I am currently an Associate in the Transactional Practice Group (TPG). TPG is comprised of the Corporate Markets (M&A, Capital Markets and Global Reorganisations), Funds and ERIC (Energy Resources, Infrastructure and Corporate) teams.

 

My go-to coffee order is an almond latte (or two!).


 

Why Baker McKenzie?


To me, Baker McKenzie represents the best of both worlds – it has a large global presence with 74 offices in 45 countries and a smaller Melbourne office full of people who are kind, inclusive and down to earth. The culture of the Firm and the warm and approachable nature of the people at Baker McKenzie attracted me to the Firm from my first interactions with it as a law student.

 

Once I became a part of the Firm, I really saw the benefits that a smaller office provides. From the outset, as a paralegal and seasonal clerk, I was trusted to do work on the Firm's leading local and global matters, contact clients directly, and work with partners and senior lawyers. I felt very valued and also pleased that I was able to make a meaningful contribution from the get go. When selecting a Firm on grad offer day, Baker McKenzie was my number one – as I thought it would be the best place for me to continue to learn, grow and develop as both a person and lawyer, alongside great people and mentors who would invest in me.

 

My time at Baker McKenzie has only reaffirmed all the thoughts I had when I initially applied as a student many years ago. Being at a global firm, with the size and reputation of Baker McKenzie, has given me the opportunity to work on market-leading cross-border transactions, directly with experienced and well-respected partners who are committed towards my growth and development.


 

What sets Baker McKenzie apart from other firms in the market?


Baker McKenzie’s global presence is a key differentiator to other firms in the market. Just about every matter that I work on has at least one international element, whether that is an international client, counterparty or other stakeholder. Not only does this give you the opportunity to work on interesting and market leading transactions and matters, but it also allows you to build strong relationships with clients and colleagues around the world.

 

Being able to leverage this global presence, while still being able to enjoy a down to earth and inclusive culture in the Melbourne office, is a unique offering by Baker McKenzie that not many other firms/organisations can provide. The flat structure of the Firm and ability to learn from very experienced people from day one has been extremely beneficial for both my personal and professional development.

 

Additionally, no firm can match the people and culture of the Melbourne office! Everyone knows everyone in the Firm and gets along really well – we are not hierarchical and everyone is really friendly and supportive. We also have lots of social events throughout the year, my favourites being weekly mixed social netball and monthly Friday night drinks (both organised by yours truly!). In addition, I still regularly catch up with my graduate cohort (including daily coffee runs) and consider them (and many others in the Firm) as some of my good friends.


 

Advice for law students interested in working with Baker McKenzie?


Please reach out! As a student applying for clerkships, I was always surprised at just how willing everyone was to give up their time and catch up prior to the clerkship application process (and even during the actual clerkship). If you would like to know more about our Firm, I would recommend that you connect with our people and ask them directly about their experiences. All the best!

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