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New Bakers chair gives role a sporting chance

New Bakers chair gives role a sporting chance

He was recently appointed Australian chairman of one of the world's largest law firms, but Bruce Hambrett may not have reached the top of Baker & McKenzie without a passion for the other…

He was recently appointed Australian chairman of one of the world's largest law firms, but Bruce Hambrett may not have reached the top of Baker & McKenzie without a passion for the other things in life - such as cricket.

After five years as a partner at Baker & McKenzie, Hambrett took up the new position in August. While he still retains his practice in insolvency and corporate restructuring, he will now also support the firm's Australian managing partner, Mark Chapple, in driving the future strategy of the firm.

It will be a busy time for Hambrett, but speaking with Lawyer2B this morning, he said he's well and truly prepared for the challenge given his previous experience as a managing partner at Minter Ellison, and also as the General Counsel of Singtel Optus for four years from January 1998.

And he has some good advice for students rising up the ranks of law, particularly those concerned by the current economic conditions: "Economies go up and down, they [students] shouldn't worry about the short term," he said.

"My advice would be to work as hard as you can, and make your time at university a winner. Work hard when you have to work hard and when you have time off, use the university network to plug into the social and sporting networks."

For Hambrett, such networks introduced him to a passion for cricket, and he encourages all students to see the potential for exploring passions such as sport, languages and other cultures throughout their time at university. "I played cricket for most of my life," he said. "Cricket was my passion, I found that a great leveller and equaliser and I've always encouraged my children to play a lot of sport."

- Angela Priestley

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