Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, Bakker said that working in Europe has given him a great deal of experience in cross-border transactions, working with colleagues and clients in various countries and from various cultural backgrounds.
“This will be very useful in a multi-cultural society in Australia with a growing focus on its role and opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Bakker.
Bakker specialises in syndicated finance and leveraged acquisition finance, as well as trade finance and asset finance. He regularly advises major international investment banks and sponsors on complex cross-border finance matters.
“In addition to general/acquisition finance, [in Australia] there will be a greater focus on project and infrastructure finance in light of Australia’s natural resources and the importance thereof to the region,” he said.
Bakker is qualified in Australian and English law, having previously worked at Clayton Utz in Australia before joining Linklaters in London in 2002 and then moving to Amsterdam in 2004.
“After working as a solicitor for four years at Clayton Utz in Sydney, I decided in 2002 to move to Europe for both professional and family reasons. The original plan was to go for two to four years, but after working in London for two years and then settling in Amsterdam, everything was going well and we decided to extend our stay,” he told Lawyers Weekly.
Bakker said the offer from DLA gave him the perfect opportunity to return and re-establish himself in the Sydney and Australian markets.
“Ever since first moving to Sydney in 1993, I have always found Sydney a really exciting city to live and work in,” said Bakker
Damian McNair, Asia-Pacific head of finance & projects at DLA, said Bakker represents a strategic addition to the firms offering to its major domestic, international and investment-banking clients.
Bakker will join DLA’s Asia-Pacific finance & projects practice and will be based in the firm's Sydney office from early 2013.