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Kate Stonestreet Appointed Global Chief Operating Officer

Baker McKenzie is delighted to announce the appointment of Kate Stonestreet as our new Global Chief Operating Officer. In her new role, Kate will report to our Global Chair Milton Cheng, and will oversee all of the business services functions of the Firm, as well as the Firm’s internal business services transformation project which aims to deliver higher quality service to our internal and external clients in a streamlined and tech-enabled way.

Kate will work alongside the Global Chair and Executive Committee on the implementation of Firm strategy, with a key focus on our clients and our people. This will leverage the Firm’s global footprint and the investments we have made in innovation and sustainability to reinforce our leading position as a diverse and inclusive workplace committed to our clients, people and the communities in which we work.

She will take up her new position with effect from 1 February 2021 and will remain based in London.

Since 2017, Kate has been the Firm’s Global Director of Operations with responsibility for the strategic oversight of our Centers in Manila, Belfast, Buenos Aires and Tampa, and as part of the leadership team overseeing the development and implementation of the Firm’s business services transformation program.

Prior to assuming her current role Kate spent 13 years as the EMEA Regional Operating Officer (ROO) supporting our EMEA leadership, working with Managing Partners and leading the regional business professional teams. During her time as EMEA ROO, she was instrumental in the new office openings in Casablanca, Dubai, Istanbul and Johannesburg.

Prior to her EMEA role, Kate held a variety of positions within the Firm including COO for HK/PRC/Vietnam and Director of Business Development for Asia Pacific. She joined the Firm in Hong Kong in 1995 and has been based in London since 2004.

Kate earned her BA Hons degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Northumbria and her MBA from the University of Western Ontario (Toronto), Hong Kong campus. She is a member of our Global Diversity & Inclusion Committee and our Global Race & Ethnicity Task Force, and co-leads the Firm’s social mobility program.

Kate said, “Coming from a small village in Yorkshire in the North of England and joining the Firm in a relatively junior role in Hong Kong, I am a story of what is possible at Baker McKenzie. As a Firm we are in a strong position as we emerge from the pandemic – with loyal clients, connected global teams, and the drive to excel. This is an exciting time, and we face both opportunities and challenges as we emerge from the crisis, but I believe we are strongly positioned for the future and I look forward to playing a central role in ensuring our future success.”

Milton said, “Throughout her career with the Firm Kate has been an inspiring leader and a highly effective professional. Having known her for more than 20 years I can say with assurance that I know she represents the very best of Baker McKenzie. I look forward to working even more closely with Kate in the coming months and years to drive our global Firm strategy forward.”

Baker McKenzie law firm to create 150 jobs in Belfast

GLOBAL law firm Baker McKenzie is to create 150 new jobs in Belfast as part of major expansion plans.

The legal company, who first opened in the city back in 2014, has entered into an agreement with Belfast Harbour Commissioners to take additional office space in the City Quays development. The deal will see Baker McKenzie lease a floor in City Quays 2, a move which will see staff numbers in Northern Ireland grow from just under 300 to 450.

The expansion also allows the legal firm to develop and grow the services it currently provides in Belfast.

Baker McKenzie was the first tenant to move to grade A office space within City Quays 1 in June 2015, but is now nearing capacity in its existing premises.

Since setting up in late 2014 the Belfast office, one of 77 around the world, has grown rapidly and now provides over 30 legal and business services, including finance, corporate support, marketing and IT.

Executive director at Baker McKenzie, James Richards said the expansion underlines the firm’s commitment to Belfast and Northern Ireland.

“The growth of our Belfast office has been a remarkable success story which would not have been possible without the exceptional pool of talent here from both legal and business backgrounds, which has allowed us to create highly skilled and specialised opportunities in Northern Ireland.”

“Our lawyers and professional staff around the globe have been really impressed at what we have created in Belfast and we have become a major innovation hub for the firm. We have introduced a number of initiatives here that are not only benefitting our clients but have a direct impact on our financial performance,” he added.

Belfast Harbour CEO, Joe O’Neill believes Baker McKenzie’s expansion in the city is testament to the offering provided in the City Quays development.

“Cementing our relationship even further with Baker McKenzie and facilitating their ability to grow is something which makes us very proud,” he said.

“City Quays 2 is Belfast Harbour’s response to ongoing demand by inward investors and indigenous firms for new Grade A office space in Belfast. The development has already established itself as the preferred destination for local and international business leaders and Baker McKenzie’s decision to expand into City Quays 2 is a clear testament to the quality of the space provided, its location for business and the infrastructure around it.”