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Bakers swoops on KWM duo
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Bakers swoops on KWM duo

Baker & McKenzie has started the financial year by poaching two lawyers from King & Wood Mallesons.

Ellen Thomas and Sean Selleck will join Bakers as partners on 15 and 16 July respectively.

Sydney-based Thomas was a senior associate at KWM and specialised in general corporate, property and banking tax advice across a range of sectors, including mining and financial services. She has acted for Westpac on its issue of Westpac Subordinated Notes and worked on a range of infrastructure projects, including the M7 motorway and the privatisation of the Sydney desalination plant.

Melbourne-based Selleck was a KWM special counsel and advised on employment issues and disputes, and industrial strategies and disputes. He has a special interest in non-standard labour practices such as labour hire, outsourcing, casual employment and independent contractors.  On his appointment he said he was “thrilled to join one of the world’s best labour law practices”.

Commenting on the appointments, Baker & McKenzie national managing partner Chris Freeland (pictured) said: “Ellen and Sean will add a new dimension to our existing tax and employment teams, and the advice we provide our clients.  On behalf of the firm, I would like to welcome them to Baker & McKenzie. It’s an exciting time to join one of the world’s largest law firms.”

The two appointments follow Bakers’ promotions of four new partners – Sebastian Busa (real estate); Jennifer Hughes (environmental markets); Kate Jefferson (corporate/M&A), and Anne Petterd (information technology and communications) – and the appointment of partner and life sciences specialist Amanda Turnill from DLA Piper.

Freeland added that the firm’s recent appointments have increased Bakers’ female partner numbers by three per cent, to 19 per cent. Freeland spoke to Lawyers Weekly recently about Bakers’ desire to increase the percentage of women in its partnership.

“That’s not a great result,” Freeland admitted to Lawyers Weekly, referring to the 19 per cent figure, “And we know we need to do much better; I think all firms need to do much better.”

However, commenting on these appointments, he added: “I am really pleased to see more of our female lawyers being promoted as leaders of the firm … we still have work to do in this area, [but] these female promotions reflect well on our firm’s focus on this important issue, which will continue to remain front and centre.”

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