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Partner Profile: Ben McLaughlin

Partner Profile: Ben McLaughlin

Every week we ask a law firm partner a series of rapid-fire questions about their career. This week: Baker & McKenzie's Ben McLaughlin

Which firm are you with?

Baker & McKenzie.

When did you join that firm?

1987.

When were you made a partner of that firm?

1994.

What practice group are you with?

Mergers & Acquisitions. I focus on cross-border acquisitions, in recent years principally in life sciences.

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

Global connectivity. My New Year’s resolution is to reply to all client emails within five minutes.

What has been a major career highlight for you?

In the 1990s, I had three years in the US. I studied securities laws at NYU, undertook the New York Bar exams and then worked in our Chicago office. This shaped my career as I assisted American companies in investing in Australia and Asia, which I continue to do. I also learnt to love The New York Times, jazz, Burgundy, and hiking in US National Parks.

What do you like about being a lawyer?

What’s there not to like? Law is a people profession. I really enjoy getting to know clients and colleagues as people. Due to the nature of our firm, I have friends, both clients and colleagues, in many places around the world. This provides an insight into the broader world.

Being a task-oriented person, I love securing instructions from a client, working out a plan for a transaction, building a team to carry out the plan, and then executing the plan and helping the clients achieve their goals. Being in an international law firm, I love the travel, and undertake about 10 overseas trips each year.

Sydney is a great base. The best and brightest people from across Australia move here to work. I love teaching lawyers. We do a lot of training seminars for our lawyers across the Asia-Pacific and I enjoy leading some of those efforts.

I love black-letter law; there is an answer to every question, you just need to find it. I could go on...

What do you find challenging?

Current economic conditions. However, it is an economic cycle and I’m confident that M&A and capital markets’ activity is picking up.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

My foreign colleagues are envious of our lifestyle in Sydney. I love a dawn kayak in the ocean off Sydney, and have seen whales breaching. In other places, I’ve kayaked with dolphins and orcas.

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Partner Profile: Ben McLaughlin
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