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Baker McKenzie Continues to Grow California Transactional Practice

Global law firm Baker McKenzie announced today that Aarthi Belani has joined the Transactional practice as a partner in the Firm’s Palo Alto office, bringing experience advising technology and life sciences companies on M&A and venture capital transactions. Aarthi joins the Firm from Jones Day, where she was a partner.

Aarthi represents strategic acquirers, especially in cross-border deals, emerging growth technology companies, venture capital funds, and corporate venture capital. She has also represented the sell-side and advised on digital health, financial services, and impact investment deals. Recent major transactions she has worked on include representing Uniphore Technologies in its Series D fundraising, acquisitions for Five9, a provider of cloud contact-centre solutions, AbbVie in its acquisition of Mavupharma, SAP in its $8 billion acquisition of Qualtrics, and Oclaro in its $1.8 billion sale to Lumentum.

Previously, Aarthi was on the in-house strategy M&A legal team at Credit Suisse in New York, where she was also a member of the Sustainability Network, a Credit Suisse OneBank (cross-divisional) initiative to develop impact investment products. She started her legal career at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in New York, where she worked on complex strategic M&A, especially cross-border M&A. In 2018, she was recognised as a “40 Under 40” honouree by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

“The addition of Aarthi to our California Transactional Team demonstrates our commitment to building a destination practice for technology M&A. Aarthi is well-known as a trusted business adviser to leading Silicon Valley companies and is sought after for her deal-making advice, particularly for cross-border transactions,” said Leif King, head of Baker McKenzie’s California Transactional practice.

“Aarthi is another excellent addition to our growing California team, bringing outstanding credentials and advising on transformative deals in Silicon Valley. Since Leif King joined us in 2019, we’ve added 11 market-leading transactional lawyers, and we are delighted to add Aarthi to the team,” said Colin Murray, Baker McKenzie’s North America chief executive officer. “Not only is Aarthi a star M&A practitioner, she also brings a commitment to furthering diversity and inclusion efforts in the industry — which is core to our Firm’s strategy and a key objective for us in North America.”

She is a mentor for the Unreasonable Group (a program for entrepreneurs) and a Leadership Committee member of How Women Lead, which is part of the campaign to increase the representation of women on corporate boards.

Our California M&A team has advised on some of the largest and most complex transactions in Silicon Valley, helping clients seize opportunities, mitigate risk, make judgment calls and achieve their goals. With locally trained lawyers around the globe, we serve as a “one-stop shop” for acquisitions, providing a consistent approach and quality, supported by in-depth local knowledge and a global perspective.

“I’m excited to join the Baker McKenzie team. I look forward to working with my new colleagues as we build something enduring here,” Aarthi said.

Aarthi received her LL.M. and J.D. from New York University and her B.A. from Stanford University.