John Walker

John Walker

Baker & McKenzie


John has been a partner at Baker McKenzie for almost 20 years, and head of the tax group for most of that time. John has held a variety of global, regional and local management roles and is a former member of the Firm’s Management Committee. John is widely recognised as one of Australian leading tax lawyers, including in various editions of the Australian Financial Review’s Best Lawyers, Chambers Asia Pacific, APL 500, Euromoney's International Tax Review's World Tax and the Tax Directors Handbook and was last year’s Lawyers Weekly Tax Lawyer of the Year. He writes and teaches broadly, and is currently a lecturer in the Sydney University LLM program and a writer for Thompson’s loose leaf income tax service and the author of BNA Buchanan Ingersoll PC’s Tax Management: Business Operations in Australia. He is also the head of the Firm's Structured Assets group in Australia, which incorporates the Tax, Financial Services, Commercial Real Estate and Hotels, Resorts & Tourism groups. 

Practice Focus

John's focus is on the tax aspects of corporate and debt restructures, M&A, spin-offs, takeovers, funds and unwinding structured finance transactions. He also deals with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) on a regular basis: in the context of private and class rulings, settling outstanding tax liabilities, industry risk reviews and tax policy initiatives.

“His reputation plus a strong presence in the funds and cross-border investment space has enabled him to be the advisor of choice for multi-jurisdictional restructures and other forms of cross-border investments.” (Euromoney's International Tax Review's World Tax, 2016)

Representative Legal Matters

  • Representing various multinationals and high profile individuals in dealing with Australian Taxation Office risk reviews and audits.
  • Advising various high net worth families regarding intergenerational business restructures.
  • Advising Platinum Equity Partners on the acquisition of Sensis from Telstra.
  • Advising Archer Daniels Midland on its investment in GrainCorp.
  • Advising the NSW Government on its electricity privatisation.
  • Advised OTPP on its acquisition of the NextGen, Metronode and Infoplex telecommunications divisions of Leighton Holdings Limited.
  • Advised a major telecommunications client on its arrangements with NBN Co.
  • Advised the Federal Government regarding its Contracts for Closure program for coal-powered electricity generation stations.
  • Advised on the acquisition of a majority interest in the Transfield Services Infrastructure Fund by Ratchaburi Generating Holding Company.
  • Advised on the equity, debt and supply chain restructures of US and European listed companies

Professional Honors

  • Best Lawyer - Tax, The Australian Financial Review’s Best Lawyers, 2014-2020
  • Leading Individual - Tax, Chambers Asia Pacific, 2010-2020
  • Recommended, Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2010-2020
  • Leading Tax Controversy Practitioner, International Tax Review's Tax Controversy Leaders Guide, 2014-2020
  • Leading Indirect Tax Practitioner, International Tax Review's Indirect Tax Leaders Guide, 2017-2020

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Law Society of New South Wales - Member
  • Taxation Institute of Australia - Chartered Tax Advisor


  • New South Wales~Australia (1995)


  • English