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Asia-Pacific: office number 76 for Baker & McKenzie in Brisbane

Baker & McKenzie has opened a third office in Australia, launching in Brisbane as it targets expansion into energy and resource-rich jurisdictions.

Brisbane becomes Baker & McKenzie’s seventeenth office in Asia-Pacific and is the firm’s second new office in the region in this year, following the firm’s move into Myanmar in February.

The firm will staff the office, which will work closely with the firm’s practices in Sydney and Melbourne, with three partners. The firm has hired former Herbert Smith Freehills energy lawyer Philip Christensen, who left in the aftermath of the Anglo-Australian merger to found mining and natural resources law boutique Christensen Legal, to launch the office alongside regulatory partner Jo Daniels, who was hired from Allens, and energy and natural resources partner Darren Fooks, who makes the switch from Clayton Utz. Daniels was previously a partner at both Middletons (now K&L Gates) and Clayton Utz.

Brisbane is Baker & McKenzie’s seventh office opening in three years, following the launch of its offices in Yangon, Seoul, Dubai, Lima, Casablanca and Johannesburg.

Baker & McKenzie’s Australia national managing partner, Chris Freeland, said: ‘Our new Brisbane office is key to deepening our firm’s offering across a number of sectors in Australia and globally. Baker & McKenzie is in 12 of the 15 most resource-rich jurisdictions in the world. Few law firms can say that. We have built one of the strongest energy and resources teams in the country and our top-tier infrastructure and construction practices are outstanding. There is no better time than now for us to move into the Queensland market.’

Baker & McKenzie’s chairman Eduardo Leite added: ‘There are significant opportunities for our Australian and international clients in resources, infrastructure development and agribusiness in Queensland.’

The firm recently made up 65 new partners across 22 countries in its worldwide promotions round, including 28 in Asia Pacific, the most of any region.