Darren Gardner: Managing Partner, Minter Ellison's San Francisco Office

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					BCG PROFILE                                                                                            1. 800.973.1177

                            Darren Gardner: Managing Partner, Minter Ellison’s San
                            Francisco Office
                            [By Jen Woods]
                            Minter Ellison, the only Australian law firm with an office in the United States, has experienced significant success in San
                            Francisco. From the start, Darren Gardner, Managing Partner of Minter Ellison’s San Francisco office and head of the firm’s
                            international employment and labor law practice, has been a key player in the firm’s U.S. prosperity.

Gardner joined the firm’s Sydney, Australia         terminations (both individual terminations           really focus on these aspects,” he said.
office in 997. In 2000, Gardner transferred        and large-scale downsizing), privacy and
                                                                                                         The demand for international employment
overseas to help establish the firm’s U.S.          data protection, workplace harassment, anti-
                                                                                                         lawyers has increased, as U.S. multinational
office, which originally opened in New York.        discrimination laws, and workplace policies
                                                                                                         corporations have continued to grow
However, the firm relocated their U.S. office       and handbooks, as well as local and cross-
                                                                                                         and outsourcing has become a pervasive
to San Francisco three years later, after it        border employment and labor issues arising
                                                                                                         business trend over the last 0 years. Minter
became apparent that many clients doing             from mergers and acquisitions on a single
                                                                                                         Ellison’s San Francisco office, which opened
business in the Asia-Pacific region were            and multi-jurisdictional project basis.
                                                                                                         with just two lawyers, now employs 2.
based on the West Coast.
                                                    Gardner said one of the most appealing               Richard Horton, an Australian lawyer from
“We learned from experience that having our         aspects of his job is the variety of everyday        the U.S. firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher
U.S. headquarters on the West Coast best            tasks. “There’s a lot of diversity. It makes         & Flom, joined Minter Ellison near the end
suits our business model. We also learned           it interesting and exciting. You also get the        of 2004. Horton is an intellectual property
how important it is to focus on our strengths.      opportunity to be a part of big, international       (IP) partner, and he has helped develop a
In doing this, we have built a substantial          transactions,” he added.                             substantial client base in the Silicon Valley.
international employment law practice in our        One of the most challenging aspects of the job       Gardner is admitted as a legal practitioner
San Francisco office and have been able to          is dealing with the time differences in different    of the Supreme Court of New South Wales,
use that as the cornerstone for our growth,”        countries. “You can’t be an international            the Federal Court of Australia, and the
Gardner said.                                       lawyer and work nine to five,” he said.              High Court of Australia. He is admitted to
The San Francisco office assists clients in         You also can’t be an international lawyer            practice in the United Kingdom, and he is
the United States who are doing business or         without traveling-a lot. Gardner’s clients           registered as a foreign legal consultant for
considering doing business in Asia. Gardner         run businesses throughout Asia, from India           the California State Bar Association.
said that, in his experience, international         all the way to Australia, and he frequently          Minter Ellison has more than 270 partners
employment law practices are “fairly unique,”       meets with them in person. “I spend a lot of         and 900 legal staff in Australia, Hong
and he feels that his team’s Asian employment       time working in different places, and we’re          Kong, China, Indonesia, New Zealand, the
law credentials and experience “really              lucky to have offices in different countries,”       United Kingdom, and the United States.
distinguish [Minter Ellison] in the U.S. market.”   Gardner said. International lawyers have to          Minter Ellison has advised Australian and
Experience with international employment            spend face time with each client. “It’s the only     international corporations since 827. The
law counsel is essential for U.S. companies         way,” said Gardner, “to properly understand          firm has experienced dramatic growth over
that run international businesses, since            their business and make sure that what you’re        the last 0 years, and the Sydney office has
employment laws are different in every              proposing fits with their commercial objectives      more than 500 staff, including 62 partners
country. While the United States has                and circumstances in that particular place.”         and over 200 legal professionals.
sophisticated employment laws, these laws           While the job has its challenges, it is also
                                                                                                         ON THE NET
are specifically designed for the United            rewarding, and Gardner has received
States, and companies cannot make the               recognition in the United States for his             California State Bar Association
assumption that they will work abroad. For          international employment law work. In      
instance, the “at-will” employment concept          October 2005, Gardner was featured in a              home.jsp
is unique to the United States. “Employers          Forbes radio program, “Special Tribute               Minter Ellison
[in Asia] just don’t have the same flexibility      to America’s Best Lawyers.” Gardner’s      
as they do in the U.S.,” Gardner said.              inclusion in the program was a testament             internet/
                                                    to his dedication and high-quality work.
Gardner helps his clients with a broad                                                                   Sydney, Australia
                                                    “Clients always judge you on your quality of
range of employment issues, including                                                          
                                                    work and responsiveness. As a team, we

Description: Article About Clients With A Broad Range Of Employment Issues, Including Terminations (Both Individual Terminations And Large-Scale Downsizing), Privacy And Data Protection, Workplace Harassment, Anti-Discrimination Laws, And Workplace Policies And Handbooks And About Workplace Harassment Law, Workplace Harassment, Workplace Discrimination, Employment Discrimination.
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