Jonathan Tham

Associate

I was drawn to Baker McKenzie because I could see people like myself in leadership roles. I could see ethnic minorities represented; I could see members of the LGBTQ+ community high up in the ranks. I knew I wouldn’t have to break down barriers in the Firm, that I’d be judged on my own merit. Baker McKenzie is very vocal in celebrating diversity and equality, but they don’t just talk about it – they live it too. We choose our clients carefully, only working with those who care about equality as much as we do.

So that’s why I joined. There are groups to support us, a Baker Women group, an LGBTQ+ group, a wellbeing group. Everyone’s perspective is listened to and represented.

As an international firm, that celebration of diversity really comes into play in everyday life. We speak to people from different cultures every day, and our commitment to employing and promoting individuals from all parts of society is making us a better firm. It’s helping us to understand our clients – every one of them – and it’s opening up our minds and perspectives.

My secondment in Palo Alto, near Silicon Valley in San Francisco, was nothing short of amazing. In the tech hub of America, I would see people testing prototype scooters and hoverboards on the streets. I would see security robots passing me as I walked to work. It was an amazing city to be in.

This was during my final seat as a Trainee Solicitor, and it was where all the major players are located. I was there for four months getting to know the culture, understanding the fast-paced nature of young tech companies. I was there to learn the ins and outs of technology mergers and acquisition work and there couldn’t have been a more apt city to teach me what I needed to know. I also made incredible contacts, raising my profile in the sector and building relationships that will flourish for the rest of my career.

My goal is hopefully to return, to build on client relationships and to absorb more of the culture and expertise of the Firm. I’m so excited to see where technology will lead law next.