Global firm outlines big growth plans for Brisbane

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Baker & McKenzie’s new office in Brisbane will soon host a fourth partner, as the firm seeks to grow its capabilities in the state.
National managing partner Chris Freeland this week told Australasian Lawyer the firm would soon announce a new construction partner in Brisbane.
The new partner will join an existing contingent of three – Philip Christensen, Jo Daniels and Darren Fooks – who joined the firm this year to spearhead an energy and resources-focused presence.
Freeland said the firm had in its first few months garnered “a lot of good work” in Brisbane, particularly in the energy and resources sector.
The new partner is expected to broaden this practice with construction expertise, which will be a focus alongside government-sourced work.
“Our new partner will be someone from within the Brisbane market, and will further supplement our offering with a focus on the construction side of the practice,” Freeland says.
“We already have one of the strongest energy and resources practices in the country, and adding a partner in the construction space will add to a compelling value proposition for our clients in Brisbane.”
Freeland says Baker & McKenzie saw Brisbane as a ‘centre of excellence’ for its energy and resources practice globally, with the firm’s global strategy targeting business in resource-rich jurisdictions.
“We have offices in twelve of the fourteen most resource rich jurisdictions in the world. We plan to continue to add offices in resource rich areas, and linking those offices is a common thread of resource expertise that is a powerful proposition for clients in that sector.”
Freeland also hopes the Brisbane office will play a key role in any government asset sales program in the state, in addition to work on similar state asset sales programs in NSW and Victoria.
He says the firm’s office met “pent up demand” from a top tier global client base around the world with a need for access to Brisbane.
The firm formally launched the office last week, hosting 250 people including Baker & McKenzie executive committee chairman Eduardo Leite and energy and resources practice leaders from the US and Asia.