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Baker & McKenzie Announces Appointment of New Chief Operating Officer to Australia Offices

Baker & McKenzie announced it has welcomed James Odell to its Australia offices as national Chief Operating Officer (COO).  Odell transfers from Singapore; there he served COO of the firm’s South East Asia operations.

Before joining Baker & McKenzie, Odell was a member of Linklaters’ global Strategy & Planning team based in London and Hong Kong. He began his career as an aeronautical engineer with the UK Ministry of Defence, and possesses nearly two decades of experience in Asia.

Baker & McKenzie Managing Partner, Chris Freeland, was quoted as saying in a press release at the firm’s website: “Australia’s increasing connectedness with global markets, particularly in Asia Pacific, means the need for seamless legal advice, delivered efficiently across borders, has never been greater. In addition to a balance of strategic and operational experience, James brings a drive for efficiency born from his experience as an engineer. We are very pleased to have James on board to further strengthen the value of our offering.”

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On his appointment, Odell highlighted Baker & McKenzie’s unparalleled global platform combined with a deep understanding of local markets, and was quoted as saying: “This has positioned us very well to advise investors looking to extend and protect interests in new markets.  It’s exciting to be in Australia as it emerges as a key player on the world stage at a firm which has invested in its global offering for so many decades.”

Chris Freeland is National Managing Partner of Baker & McKenzie’s Australian offices and a member of its Asia Pacific Regional Council. Chris has had many years’ experience as a lawyer, strategy consultant and professional services manager in leading global and domestic organizations. He has lived and worked in New York, Beijing, Melbourne and Sydney.

Baker & McKenzie’s Australian lawyers have advised on many of the headline Australian transactions of the last four decades. These include the capital raising and listing for International Ferro Metals Limited, the first Australian company admitted to the FTSE 250; the A$4 billion KKR joint venture with the Seven Network; the groundbreaking A$1.85 billion Sims Group merger with the US company Metal Management Inc; and the A$1.2 billion acquisition of Schweppes Australia by Asahi Breweries.

The firm is a trusted advisor to leading Australian and multi-national corporations, State and Federal governments, Australian, international and multilateral institutions.

Baker & McKenzie continues to bring the experience of its global classroom to our clients in Australia through every transaction and every piece of advice. The firm actively ensures that it has harnessed the best legal solution as tested through its global platform. The firm’s ability to accomplish this is enabled by leadership in legal thinking, and by bringing experience across legal and regulatory boundaries to clients in their home markets.

Baker & McKenzie is an international law firm, founded in Chicago in 1949 by Russell Baker and John McKenzie. The firm employs over 3,800 lawyers in 70 offices in 42 different countries.

As a transnational operation, no single nationality dominates the firm, and over 80 percent of its lawyers practice outside the United States. The lawyers come from 60 countries and speak more than 75 languages, with English in common.

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