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Partner Profile: Rob Ritchie

Partner Profile: Rob Ritchie

Every week we ask a law firm partner a series of rapid-fire questions about their career. This week: Ashurst's Rob Ritchie.

 Which firm are you with?

Ashurst.

When did you join that firm?

1 June 2012.

When were you made a partner of that firm?

1 June 2012.

Which firm were you at most recently prior to this?

Corrs Chambers Westgarth in Sydney. Before that I was a partner at Clifford Chance and worked out of London and Hong Kong.

What practice group are you with?

Financial services, with a particular focus on Asian-based finance work, cross-border projects and corporate finance.

What has been the most significant change to your practice area during your career?

Globalisation – financial markets, market practices and market participants – including law firms. I was lucky enough to spend much of my career in the London and Asian markets and experience the beginnings of this wave firsthand.

Australia is in the process of opening up to many of these forces; what used to be a fairly traditional commercial-bank-dominated market is becoming one where international funding sources, products and solutions are more commonplace. Non-bank financial institutions, global sponsors, international infrastructure, high-yield and term-B investors are all beginning to feature.

It has been great to be involved in facilitating this change and in helping some of our own institutions adapt and thrive in the changing market. Given Australia's long-term capital needs – and its relative attractiveness as an investment destination in more volatile times – and some of the prudential and regulatory constraints emerging on more traditional lending, I don't see this trend slowing anytime soon.

What has been a major career highlight for you?

Riding that wave: working with and learning from people from all over the world. I have been very fortunate to have worked not only in a range of developed financial markets, but in the emerging markets as well.

It has been a real privilege to work on projects and transactions which have made a difference in jurisdictions as diverse as Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Gulf states, India and Pakistan, China, The Philippines, Indonesia, PNG – and, of course, Australia.

What do you like about being a lawyer?

The challenge, variety and opportunity to help others succeed. I may be a little old-fashioned, but I still think of it as a profession, with all the duties and obligations to others which that entails. It's about a commitment to clients, to your team – and to continuous learning and improvement.

What do you find challenging?

The iPhone keypad.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

Being with my (long-suffering) family.

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