Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has appointed Sydney-based Climate Change Partner Ilona Millar to the role of global head of Climate Change.

The Firm's Climate Change and Climate Finance Practice has a longstanding commitment to helping companies respond to the risks and opportunities associated with climate change. For more than two decades, the firm has built a global practice of multidisciplinary climate change lawyers who work continually on innovative and pioneering deals. As the adviser of choice to governments, financial institutions, global organisations and multinational companies, we combine our deep understanding of climate law and policy, with capabilities in securities, finance, tax, M&A and public law to execute effective carbon transactions and to advise on managing climate change risks.

Ilona has worked for the last 20 years on climate law and finance, including the development of law and policy and its implementation by both governments and the private sector. This experience extends to complex multijurisdictional transactions as well as the development of innovative responses to climate change and sustainability problems.

Ilona has worked extensively on the development of carbon contracts, carbon funds and carbon transactions in both the compliance and voluntary markets. She also has a deep expertise in advising on natural sinks and forest based carbon transactions as well as on geological sequestration and the legal frameworks for carbon capture and storage. More recently she has been leading work exploring the role of hydrogen in transitioning to a low carbon economy.

Prior to joining Baker McKenzie in 2008, Ilona worked at the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD) in London. She is also a former Principal Solicitor of the Environmental Defender's Office Ltd (NSW). Ilona currently serves as a visiting fellow at the Australia National University College of Law where she has taught international climate change law since 2009. Ilona has been ranked in Best Lawyers Australia since 2014 and was awarded Best Lawyer Climate Change in 2017 and 2019.

Ilona's appointment coincides with the adoption by Baker McKenzie of its own emission reduction targets for the period to 2030.

In response to Ilona Millar’s appointment to Global Head of Climate Change, Jose Antonio Moran, who chairs the Firm's Global Energy, Mining & Infrastructure Industry Group commented:

"Taking into consideration the Energy Transition phenomenon across the Energy, Infrastructure and Mining sectors, climate change remains the number one existential crisis for both society and business. A sustainable future requires meeting the challenges that climate change presents and translating them into market opportunities whilst mitigating the many risks associated with simply remaining in a state of business as usual. Baker McKenzie has always been at the forefront of advising companies around the globe on what it means for both their business and their industry.”

“Ilona encapsulates the qualities of both leadership and professionalism - widely considered to be at the top of her game in the practice of climate law. Ilona is supremely placed to take our market leading practice forward in an increasingly urgent area for all businesses, globally. She has long recognised and answered the needs of clients in changing the way they operate and has helped them successfully navigate the vast array of issues climate change raises for their business operations.”

Commenting on her appointment, Ilona said:

"Baker McKenzie is the market leader in climate change law and I am immensely honoured to have been appointed to this role as we continue to work on first-of-its-kind matters that are helping our clients around the world address the challenges of climate change.

"I am excited to lead a team of highly talented and experienced climate change law practitioners who have long been innovating in a space that continues to be the greatest challenge we face as both a society and global business community.

"No matter where the client or matter resides, we have a global team and infrastructure which is unrivalled amongst our peers."

Baker McKenzie's Climate Change Practice is ranked Band 1 by Chambers Global.

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