Australian lawyers are making waves internationally with many taking top positions in law firms internationally. A top example is the number of Australians holding top positions in Baker & McKenzie, with many occupying senior positions in the US and Asia.
Bakers opened their Brisbane Office and Bruce Hambrett, (pictured) chair of the Asia-Pacific region, told Lawyers Weekly of the Aussies’ role in his firm, particularly as Australia engages more fully with Asia.
He said Australian lawyers can expect significant opportunities to arise out of the country’s improved engagement with Asia.
“We are so well placed,” he said, “with this explosion taking place in the Asia-Pacific region and the opportunities that we’re seeing.”
After almost a decade of negotiations, Australia signed a free-trade agreement with China this month.
Hambrett also noted a growing acknowledgment among world leaders of Australia’s importance on the global stage, demonstrated during recent visits by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama.
The arrival of other global firms to the Australian market in recent years has seen a growing number of Aussies move up the ranks of foreign offices. Despite the increased competition, Hambrett claimed the globalisation of the Australian market has been “a positive thing” for Bakers.
“As a result of the arrival of those international firms, it shone a light on Baker & McKenzie,” he said, explaining that clients became aware of the firm’s longevity in the Australian market.
Bakers has been in Australia for 50 years, opening its Sydney office in 1964 and Melbourne office in 1982. The firm waited more than 20 years to open a third office in Brisbane.