Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has welcomed 116 new partners to the Firm in the year to 30 June 2022, an increase of 22% from the previous year, demonstrating clear and growing confidence in the continued success of the Firm.
Seventy-five colleagues were promoted to partner globally and in key markets including the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), with another 41 lateral partner hires joining the Firm in the same period.
In the MENA region, the Firm boasts of over 30 partners with the appointments of Dispute Resolution partners Amir Alkhaja (UAE) and Sally Kotb (UAE), IP & Technology partner Kellie Blyth (UAE), Banking & Finance partner Mohamed Elharmy (Egypt) and M&A partner Keltoum Boudribila (Morocco).
This year the MENA practice also added lateral M&A and Private Equity partners Osama Audi and Adnan Doha and Capital Markets partner Abeer Jarrar and welcomed back M&A and Capital Markets partner Mohammad Al Rasheed.
There is a broad geographical and practice mix across this year's partner promotions, with a focus on M&A, Tax and Dispute Resolution. Baker McKenzie continues to strengthen its partner cohort in key markets including Sydney, Washington D.C. and London.
The 75 home-grown partner promotions are across 25 jurisdictions globally, representing an incredibly diverse range of cultures and backgrounds. Of these new partners, 37% are female, which also moves the Firm closer to its 40:40:20 gender diversity targets (representing 40% women, 40% men and 20% flexible, i.e. women, men or non-binary persons), although there is still more work to do.
Commenting on these appointments, Milton Cheng, Global Chair, Baker McKenzie, said:
"Progressing to partner is a reflection of many years of hard work and highly successful client engagement. With the pandemic creating many challenges over the past two years, this promotion round provides an important opportunity to celebrate the diversity and depth of talent we have in the Firm, and the enormous contribution our new partners make. Across the world, to see our younger lawyers from such a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures make partner is one of the highlights of being a law firm leader."
The newly elected partners in the MENA region are:
United Arab Emirates
Amir Alkhaja has over 15 years of experience in the UAE, focusing on commercial, white-collar crime and banking litigation. Admitted in the UAE Courts in 2012, Amir is a licensed UAE lawyer and has rights of audience in local and federal courts of the UAE, including all Cassation and the Supreme Court. He has successfully represented multinationals, financial institutions and high net worth individuals in local and cross-border disputes in the UAE and the Middle East.
Kellie Blyth is an experienced technology and privacy lawyer and has been advising multinational businesses and public institutions in the Middle East region since 2012. Admitted in Scotland in 2008, Kellie advises clients on technology procurement and digital transformation projects, information law advisory projects, including on data protection compliance matters, the regulation of cross-border data flows and cross-border investigations, product roll-outs, including in the field of electronic payments and stored values and on policy matters, particularly for clients operating in the technology, media and telecoms and healthcare and life science sectors. Kellie's clients include innovators and first-movers, meaning she is often operating at the cutting-edge of legislative and policy developments in the MENA region.
Sally Kotb leads the arbitration practice in the UAE. Her practice focuses on the resolution of both local and international commercial arbitration disputes across a range of industry sectors, including construction, engineering, real estate, energy, distribution and shareholders' disputes, as well as providing clients with strategic advice and project management for dispute avoidance. Sally also sits regularly as an arbitrator under various leading arbitration institutions, including the ICC, DIAC, ADCCAC, LCIA, CRCICA and the BCDR. She has been featured as a “Future Leader for Arbitration” by Who’s Who Legal and one of “Africa’s Most Promising Arbitration Practitioners” by the Associations of Young Arbitrators.
Mohamed Elharmy is a banking, finance and projects lawyer who has a particular focus on energy, mining and infrastructure projects. Mohamed completed his Master's Degree in Law from the University of Aberdeen and served as a lecturer assistant in the Cairo University from 2011 to 2020. For over 11 years, Mohamed has been advising commercial lenders, development financial institutions, export credit agencies, sponsors and borrowers, primarily on cross-border and local syndicated project finance, real estate finance, leveraged finance, acquisition finance and asset finance. He also represents clients on sovereign lending, Shari'a compliant financing and green and sustainable financing. Mohamed has been ranked by IFLR1000 as a "Highly Regarded” Lawyer in Egypt in the 2020 and 2021 editions.
Keltoum Boudribila joined Baker McKenzie’s Casablanca office, the Firm’s third office in Africa, in 2012. Admitted to the Paris Bar in 2010, Keltoum has advised leading companies in the Middle East and North Africa region in the field of business law, in particular mergers and acquisitions and corporate restructurings, as well as on antitrust and employment matters. She received her Master’s Degree in Business Law and Master’s Degree in International Law both from the University Panthéon-Sorbonne. Keltoum has been ranked by Legal 500 EMEA as a “Rising Star” in Commercial, Corporate and M&A and Employment.