Baker & McKenzie poach BBC’s Aussie legal head

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A London-based Australian lawyer who has been recognised as one of the UK’s “Hot 100” and has been involved with cases such as that of Jimmy Savile, has been poached by Baker & MacKenzie.

Former Minter Ellison lawyer Nadia Banno has been working at the BBC as head of litigation for the past two years before her appointment at Bakers.

Prior to that she had a further six years at the BBC as a litigation/pre-publication lawyer.

The Monash University graduate has also been recognised by UK magazine The Lawyer in their “Hot 100” list last year.

Her wins at the BBC include leading the work on the high-profile Pollard Review into the sexual allegations against BBC television presenter Savile, and playing a central part in a battle toward press freedom that eventually saw the broadcaster become one of several to successfully oppose an application to disclose footage to the police in relation to the Dale Farm convictions.

It is understood that the BBC are now in the process of recruiting another head of litigation, previously filled by current general council Sarah Jones, The Lawyer reported.

“We are very sorry to see her go. If I could clone Nadia and keep her working for us as well as Bakers I would, but there’s only one Nadia,” Jones said.

The Baker’s London head of dispute resolution, John Leadley, told reporters that having Banno’s expertise and broad experience will be a “tremendous boost” to the firm’s dispute resolution practice, particularly within public law and regulatory investigations.

In Australia, Banno spent three years as a media lawyer in Melbourne with Minter Ellison.