James Richards will take on the Executive Director role in Baker McKenzie's Belfast Centre, succeeding Jason Marty. The appointment will see James move from his current Director of Legal Services Global Services Belfast role , to take on the new post over the summer months.

Baker McKenzie first opened Global Services Belfast in 2014, with Jason Marty at the helm in the Executive Director role. Now employing around 250 people across a diverse range of legal and business roles, the Belfast centre works with every part of the global Firm in nearly 50 countries worldwide. The City Quays-based state of the art office is a hub for innovation in the firm and recently partnered with Ulster University on its Legal Innovation Centre to help equip and inspire the lawyers of the future.

Paul Rawlinson, global chair of Baker McKenzie, said:

I'm delighted to welcome James into the role and I'm excited for what lies ahead for the teams in Belfast, for many of whom he is already a familiar face and respected colleague.

 "James has spearheaded the development of legal services since he joined Belfast back in January 2015, growing the team to around 100 today and I know he will take that same energy and enthusiasm and apply it in his new role to build on the success of the last three years."

James Richards joined Baker McKenzie in 1994 and was made Partner in 1998. He has led many important initiatives within the UK and internationally - both as a senior corporate partner in London and in establishing and leading the Firm’s English law M&A team in Moscow.

James commented: "The last three years have been hugely significant for Global Services Belfast and it has been a privilege to be part of the story so far . And we have much still to do!  I am thrilled to be taking up the Executive Director post and leading the Belfast-based teams as we take on even more exciting challenges and continue to deliver for our global clients.

"I feel very honoured to work with such a talented group of colleagues, with such a global outlook and to have their support as we continue to grow here in Northern Ireland. The well-educated, enthusiastic workforce was one of the key reasons we chose Northern Ireland as a location and we certainly haven't been disappointed.

"Jason and the whole team here have created an environment where innovative ideas are encouraged and harnessed.  That spirit of innovation and agility will remain as we continue to adapt our legal and business services delivery, building on what we have already achieved as a team. I'm excited by what lies ahead!"

Jason Marty added: "James is a trusted and hugely talented leader and I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to place the Belfast team into such knowledgeable, capable hands. He knows the Firm inside-out and he also knows this centre intimately, having been with us from the early weeks when we opened in Belfast, building on his long pedigree with the Firm as a partner. I wish James much continued success and look forward to watching my Belfast colleagues grow and flourish alongside him."

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