NI: Baker McKenzie appoints first two Belfast trainees as associates in London

NI: Baker McKenzie appoints first two Belfast trainees as associates in London

Pictured: Lesley-Anne Wilson and Luke Hackett

Global law firm Baker McKenzie has appointed the first two trainee solicitors from its Belfast Centre as associates in London.

Luke Hackett and Lesley-Anne Wilson applied for a training contract through the Belfast office when the trainee programme was created in 2016.

Mr Hackett was already a legal professional at Baker McKenzie, having joined the Belfast Centre as a graduate in 2015.

He told Irish Legal News: “I’d gained a lot of valuable experience and developed a keen interest in corporate law in my time with the corporate support team so when the opportunity to apply for a training contract through the Belfast office opened in 2016, this experience proved invaluable and helped me through the interview process.

“I accepted the training contract offer in November 2016 and moved to London two months later to join the accelerated Legal Practice Course at BPP University Holborn alongside my new London peers.”

Ms Wilson applied to the trainee programme as a recent Queen’s University Belfast graduate looking to pursue a career as a solicitor.

She said: “I loved working in the Belfast office and gained an insight into how a global law firm operates while at the same time enhancing my legal knowledge in a variety of different areas.

“The opportunity to train in the London office, work in different departments in order to further develop my legal skills and also promote and enhance working relationships between the Belfast and London offices was a something that I was really keen to pursue and I’m really grateful to have been given this opportunity.”

Over the course of the training contract, Mr Hackett and Ms Wilson spent six months in four of the firm’s key practice areas of corporate reorganisations, EU competition & trade, disputes and corporate finance, sharing an office with a senior associate or partner for each seat.

James Richards, executive director for global services at Baker McKenzie’s Belfast Centre, said: “I am so pleased that we have been able to offer training contracts to a number of our Belfast-based colleagues.

“We have some truly exceptional talent in our Belfast office and it is always very gratifying to see colleagues progressing their careers within the firm.”

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