Friday, April 12, 2024

Death of Baker McKenzie associate rocks law firm

Death of Baker McKenzie associate rocks law firm 

NSW police attended Baker McKenzie’s Sydney office after the death by suicide of an associate, which has left colleagues devastated and leaders of the firm offering extra HR support.
The Australian arm of the global firm was informed by management of the news late last month. The associate’s death did not occur in the workplace. This week, current and former lawyers attended a funeral service in Sydney for their colleague.
Baker McKenzie’s Sydney office at Tower One, Barangaroo. Nicole England
Baker McKenzie Australia’s managing partner Ann-Marie Allgrove said in a statement, approved by the lawyer’s family, that the firm had engaged support from external HR services to help staff.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our colleague,” Ms Allgrove said. “We are devastated for their family and friends, and have extended our deepest sympathies and support at this very challenging time.
“The firm and all who knew them are deeply mourning this loss.”

We have  provided onsite support for our staff in the Sydney office and engaged our Employee Assistance Program provider for additional support across all three of our Australian offices.”

Police officers attended the firm’s Sydney headquarters, understood to be part of a routine check of the workplace. There is no suggestion police are investigating the matter further.
The associate’s death comes at a particularly challenging time for Baker McKenzie. The firm has been grappling with a string of resignations from senior partners over the past 12 months.
As this masthead reported three weeks ago, Baker McKenzie global had been in discussions to take greater control of the Australian outpost, with some partners reporting a drop-off in financial results.
Baker McKenzie’s headquarters are in Chicago, with thousands of attorneys spread across the United States.
The firm’s Australian outpost has been operating for more than 50 years, with around 300 lawyers across three offices, based in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

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Maxim Shanahan is a professional services reporter at the Australian Financial Review. Email Maxim at
Mark Di Stefano is Rear Window columnist, based in the Sydney newsroom. He previously worked at BuzzFeed, the Financial Times and The Information before joining the Financial Review as a media and tech correspondent.Connect with Mark on Twitter. Email Mark at