Bakers names new heads of Brazil and Australia

Baker & McKenzie has appointed new managing partners in Brazil and Australia.

Claudia Farkouh Prado takes up the reins in Brazil, replacing outgoing managing partner Eduardo de Cerqueira Leite, who was elected chair of the firm’s executive committee  last month (3 June 2010). Leite will take up the role in October after the firm’s annual meeting in Chicago.  

M&A specialist Prado has been with the firm, which in Brazil goes by the name of Trench Rossi e Watanabe in adherence to local bar regulations, since 1985. She head’s the Brazil corporate practice and sits on the steering committee of the firm’s global M&A and private equity groups. 

She said: “I’m extremely pleased to begin this important new role as head of the Brazilian offices of Trench Rossi e Watanabe in such a positive and promising environment, not only within the firm, but also with the country’s current economic situation.”

The firm has 160 lawyers across offices in São Paulo, Brasília, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre.

Christopher Freeland, partner and chief operating office at Australian firm Gilbert & Tobin, has been brought in to head the firm’s Australian offices. He arrives on 2 August and will take over from Mark Chapple, who will remain a partner at the firm. Freeland has acted as a consultant at China firm King & Woo and has held senior management positions with the Boston Consulting Group in New York and Australia.

John Conroy
John Conroy

Outgoing Baker chair John Conroy said: “For nearly 50 years, the Australian offices have been, and continue to be, very successful in driving growth and innovation within our firm. We welcome the opportunity to continue to develop our provision of strategic and valued legal advice to our clients in Australia and across the globe with Chris’s insight and skills.”

Australia chair Bruce Hambrett added: “The international experience that Chris brings matches the global perspective from which we view and consider our strategic opportunities.”