Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has today announced the election of 80 new partners. This latest investment in the Firm's expertise grows the total number of partners worldwide to nearly 1 600. Over 400 of these are women - the most of any law firm.
Three new partners were appointed in the Johannesburg office. Lerisha Naidu was promoted to partner in the Antitrust & Competition Practice and Callum O’Connor and Michelle Wright were made partners in the firm’s Dispute Resolution Practice.
Nearly 40% or 31 of the new promotions are women; a market-leading number for any law firm. Across the Firm's practice groups globally, Dispute Resolution saw the largest intake of new partners with Tax and Mergers & Acquisitions, significantly bolstering their ranks. Promotions are effective from July 1.
Managing Partner in the Johannesburg office, Morne van der Merwe, said: “This is a great career accomplishment for Callum, Lerisha and Michelle and we wish them all the best in their new roles. These promotions will further strengthen and support our capabilities in providing top quality advice and service to our clients. We are also proud of the number of women rising through the global ranks - 61% of employees in our Johannesburg office are women."
During Financial Year 2017 Baker McKenzie added 59 lateral hires, bolstering the Firm's already strong client service capabilities in key practice areas such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Dispute Resolution, Banking & Finance and Tax, among others. A third of the lateral hires are women. Combining this year's promotions and new lateral talent, the Firm added 139 partners to its ranks.
Paul Rawlinson, Global Chair of Baker McKenzie, said: “I am delighted to welcome all these great individuals to the partnership. As always I am pleased that we have a good proportion of women joining the partnership which is reflective of our focus on diversity and inclusion activities across the firm. We have also had a very successful year in attracting new lateral partners to the Firm who joined Baker McKenzie because they saw a truly innovative and integrated organisation with a clear vision and purpose as well as its own unique culture."