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Firm Spotlight: Baker McKenzie

Firm Overview

Baker McKenzie is a firm that is continually expanding and currently employs over 6,000 lawyers across 76 offices. We have been in Australia since 1964 and employ approximately 220 lawyers/graduates and 82 partners across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Globally, we have 76 offices in 46 countries.

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 & Finance

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

  • Energy, Resources, Infrastructure & Corporate

  • Funds

  • Commercial Real Estate

  • Construction

  • Dispute Resolution, Litigation and Insolvency

  • Employment & Industrial Relations

  • IPTech

Firm History

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 70 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, with our commitment to excellence underpinning our success.

We offer our people access to market-leading, cross-border, local, and industry-focused matters for leading multinational and domestic clients. We understand our clients' businesses, industries and strategic objectives and work with our clients to overcome the challenges of competing in the global economy. We have an unrivalled ability to provide training and secondment opportunities across our global network. We are committed to engaging with our communities. We have an inclusive culture of learning, coaching and opportunity, where you undertake work in small teams across multiple geographies with clients and colleagues. 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:

Some of Baker McKenzie's recent noteworthy achievements include:

  • AAGE Top Intern Program 2022 - ranked 1st in the legal profession and ranked 4th across all industries.

  • Australasian Law Awards, 2022 Excellence Awardees* for:

  • Law Firm of the Year (101-500 lawyers) – Baker McKenzie

  • Equity Market Deal of the Year – Home Consortium's HealthCo Healthcare and Wellness REIT IPO

  • Debt Market Deal of the Year – Ramsay Health Care sustainability-linked loan facility

  • Infrastructure & Projects Deal of the Year – New South Wales sale of interest in WestConnex Toll Road*

  • Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year (30 or under) – Laura Matson

  • Law Firm Leader of the Year (>200 employees) – Anthony Foley

*Excellence Awardees = Finalists

  • Asia IP Awards, 2021 (January 2022)

  • Australia Trademarks Firm of the Year - Baker McKenzie

  • HICAP Deal of the Year Awards, 2021 (16 March 2022)

  • AccorInvest Australian Hotel Portfolio – Merger & Acquisition Deal of the Year

  • Euromoney Asia Women in Business Law Awards, 2021 (15 September 2021)

  • Australian Firm of the Year – Baker McKenzie (2nd consecutive year)

  • Patent Lawyer of the Year – Helen Macpherson

  • Tax Lawyer of the Year – Simone Bridges

  • Tax Rising Star of the Year – Janet Cho

  • Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards, 2021 (02 December 2021)

  • Dispute Resolution Team of the Year – Baker McKenzie

  • Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards, 2021 (25 November 2021)

  • Senior Associate of the Year: BigLaw – Kathleen Jeremy

  • WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality – 2022: 12th year in a row.

  • Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) – 2021: Bronze Tier Employer. (LGBTQ inclusion)

  • Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards – 2020: Australian Wellness Initiative of the Year.

  • The first global law firm to set 40:40:20 gender targets (40% women, 40% men and 20% flexible (women, men or non-binary persons)).

  • Stonewall’s Top Global Employers 2020 and Global Trans Inclusion Award 2020.

Baker McKenzie's Key Values

Quality and excellence together with integrity, honesty, candour, teamwork and responsiveness are some of Baker McKenzie's key values - and 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 multi-cultural 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 we are passionately committed to service excellence.

  • We strive to stay ahead of the curve, we bring entrepreneurial energy to our work, we embrace innovative change - and our curiosity continues to push new boundaries and challenge existing norms.

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

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

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

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

  • BakerDNA – ethnic, indigenous and cultural diversity

  • BakerWellbeing – mental health and wellbeing, workplace flexibility and supporting parents/carers

  • BakerPride – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex diversity

  • BakerIndigenousEngagement – commitment to engagement with our Indigenous community - achieving better social, economic and cultural outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to making a real difference in the lives of our nation's First Peoples.

Standing out: What Makes Baker McKenzie Different

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, clearly 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/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.

Graduate Lawyer in Practice: Clare Carroll

I am a graduate currently rotating through the Corporate team in TPG - the Transactional Practice Group. In the Melbourne office, TPG is comprised of the Corporate Markets, Funds and ERIC (Energy Resources, Infrastructure and Corporate) sub-teams.

My go-to coffee order is an oat cappuccino from Sargon which is a café near the office, although, I am also partial to a mocha every now and then.

Why Baker McKenzie?

I completed my clerkship virtually in the Commercial Real Estate team in December 2020. It was clear from the outset that one of Bakers' biggest strengths is the way in which the Firm invests in its people. From the first day of my clerkship, I was given the opportunity to complete real work. I was thrown into a variety of client, business development, knowledge and pro bono matters. The learning curve was (and as a graduate, still is) steep. However, I received an immense amount of support and guidance not only from my Supervising Partner and Buddy but the entire team - enabling me to make the most of my clerkship with the Firm.

This level of support has continued into my time as a graduate and will, from what I can see, without doubt continue as I progress with the Firm - with specific development programs for each level of lawyers. Just recently, I attended a 2-day junior lawyer training intensive program in the Sydney office where we had the opportunity to meet our Sydney graduate cohort and, together, learn the essentials of transactional and litigious legal practice.

Having always been interested in cross-border legal issues, I knew I wanted to work for a global firm. I also chose Bakers as the Firm specialises in cross-border transactions and has an unparalleled local and global client base. In my current rotation in the Corporate team, I have already had the opportunity to work on a number of multi-jurisdictional deals spanning Europe, the United States and Australia, which is pretty exciting as a brand new graduate!

Most importantly, I chose Bakers because of the Firm’s people and culture. A real highlight of my experience at the Firm has been the wonderful friendships I have been able to forge with my graduate cohort and colleagues. The Firm is also very social, with regular Firm drinks and events such as our annual lawn bowls night (a personal favourite) organised by our social committee.

Overall, I chose Bakers because it offers a friendly and collaborative culture, a challenging and rewarding hands-on learning experience as a junior lawyer, and truly global and exciting work. If that is something that excites you, then we are the Firm for you!

Advice for Law Students or Recent Graduates Looking to Work at Baker McKenzie

I know that as law students we can often put pressure on ourselves to present as the ‘perfect’ law student/candidate. However, it is important to remember that law firms (especially Bakers) are not looking for 'cookie-cutter' people - they want unique and diverse individuals - so it is important to be yourself throughout the process. Bakers also looks for people who are interested in and excited about the law, who are passionate about global work, who are well-rounded with diverse interests, who are down to earth and friendly, and - importantly - who are genuinely interested in the Firm. So be yourself in the recruitment process and let your personality shine through.

Also, try to talk to a few people at the Firm prior to submitting your application. At Bakers, we run several Firm-specific events (including our Bakers' Dozen virtual series) throughout the clerkship recruitment period but there are also quite a few Deakin events as well. By talking to/hearing from people at the Firm, you can get a gauge of the Firm’s culture/people, work and training, and opportunities for you as a clerk/graduate. As a result, you can figure out whether you would be a good fit for Bakers and if Bakers is a good fit for you - and get some great information to boost your application too.

Wishing you all the best with the clerkship process!

-Clare Carroll, Graduate Lawyer

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