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Baker McKenzie Appoints New Chief People Officer

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Baker McKenzie Appoints New Chief People Officer

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28th September 2021

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Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie today announces the appointment of a new Chief People Officer, Jay Connolly, who will take up his new position next month.

Jay joins from Dentons, where he has most recently served as Global Chief Talent Officer, leading the firm's human resources, recruiting and training functions. Prior to his decade with Dentons, Jay was a senior member of the global HR leadership team at Clifford Chance. He was appointed after an extensive global search, and will replace Baker McKenzie's longstanding Chief People Officer, Peter May, who is leaving the Firm to launch his own consultancy focused on leadership and succession planning.

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Commenting on this appointment, Milton Cheng, Global Chair, Baker McKenzie, said, "I am delighted that Jay will be joining our Firm at a time when what we are asking of our people, and what they are asking of us, continues to evolve. Jay is an experienced talent and HR professional, who will bring a wealth of experience to help us define and share what it means to be a Baker McKenzie lawyer and business professional in this brave new world.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our current CPO Peter May for his tremendous service to our Firm over the last seven years. I am grateful for the leadership, humanity, and positivity. He is an extremely talented professional who has made an incredible contribution to the Firm. Peter plans to set up a leadership consultancy later this year, and our entire Firm wishes him well with that endeavour. 

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Commenting on his appointment, Jay Connolly said, "While Baker McKenzie is the original global law firm, with a thirst for innovation, ability to adapt and true client focus, it is the Firm's road ahead that really excites me about taking up this role. Working alongside other talented leaders, including the Firm's Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer, I believe there is much we can do to help shape what it means to work for a law firm in the decade ahead, reflecting our colleagues' desire for greater balance, purpose and support around overall wellbeing.

"I am excited about the opportunity to lead the Firm's People function in this next phase of the Firm's growth and development, and look forward to taking up the role."

Jay has lived and worked in Europe, UK and the US, and has extensive experience leading teams globally. Bringing insights from multiple sectors, he has written numerous articles and contributed to leading publications on topics from leadership to inclusion and beyond. 

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