Bakers IT partner to run client's in-house team

A Baker & McKenzie partner is leaving to join a long-standing IT client of the firm, just six months after being appointed partner.

Graham Allan, an IT specialist, will become European managing attorney of Cisco Systems. “I have always harboured ambitions to work in industry and the opportunity with Cisco gives me a chance to fulfil those ambitions with one of the top IT companies in the world,” he says.

Allan, who started his career with Baker & Mckenzie in 1989, will head a six-strong team focusing on Cisco's core legal issues. He replaces Mark Chandler, who is to become the firm's worldwide director of legal services in San Jose, Cisco's headquarters.

Russell Lewin, managing partner of Baker & McKenzie, says it is the first time a partner at the firm has left to work for a client.

“There is an increasing trend for lawyers to go in-house, and some of the best companies will offer the best opportunities in a business environment,” says Lewin.

The announcement comes only a few weeks after Stephen Jones, a former partner at Allen & Overy, joined Baker & McKenzie's IT department. Jones is primarily a patents expert but does have experience of working for IT clients.