Brian McErlean

Brian McErlean, New Business Intake Analyst

When teammates in offices across the world ask if I’m from Belfast I tell them that I’m local - very local! I live just a stone’s throw from the Baker McKenzie Belfast Centre!

I joined in February 2021, while we were still going through lockdowns and fully remote working but I’m happy working at home or from the office. I’m always happy to spend time with colleagues in person. When our hybrid working policy (two days in the office, two days working remotely and one day flexible depending on business need) was introduced it was easy for me as my commute is a matter of minutes.

I work in the New Business Intake team and our day-to-day activities involve onboarding new clients on behalf of our partners across the world. There’s always an element of remote work in what we do here, as we’re part of a truly global organisation.

The New Business Intake Team is involved in a variety of projects, so each team member's day can differ greatly which keeps the work interesting and varied.

My role as a New Business Intake Analyst means I am responsible for vetting the information submitted by Partners as part of the onboarding process. I review client suitability, check for potential conflicts of interest, and ensure all the necessary information about the client has been obtained.

I am also responsible for ensuring all client data in our Firm systems is up to date and responding to enquiries from around the Firm which gives me an opportunity to interact with Partners from Baker McKenzie offices round the world. This work allows me to build relationships, getting exposure to different cultures and build my knowledge of the Firm and the legal industry.

A career in law was always of interest to me but the idea of working in a big corporate law firm was not something I saw in my future. I honestly thought it would be like stepping into an episode of Suits. However, I could not have been more wrong!

Baker McKenzie Belfast is a really friendly and supportive place to work. I have received exceptional support in particular my Team Lead.

I gained a Masters Degree in Law in December 2020, but when you come from a background that you perceive to be completely different to many people in the legal world, there's a part of you that thinks you've bitten off more than you can chew. Imposter syndrome haunts even the best qualified of us, but particularly so when you’re perhaps the first person in your family to go to university, like I was.

The Social Mobility Committee in the Belfast Center have done tremendous work in this field to ensure more local students do not feel the way that I felt!

Thanks to the openness of Baker McKenzie, I have managed to settle into this role and develop an incredible level of knowledge that I can now share with our new joiners. It has become an ambition for me to lead my own team here and I feel like I’d thrive in a more senior role.

I can say that because I know I’ll be supported in that role by teammates and more senior colleagues. The culture here is one of friendship and positivity and I have made strong connections within my team, across the Belfast Center and with teammates in locations worldwide.

The Belfast Centre has a fantastic social aspect, with drinks on the terrace, Christmas parties and several clubs and societies helping to forge friendships and build networks across the Firm. I am currently a member of the Firm's Pride Network, which I have found to be incredibly rewarding and something I’ve not had an opportunity to benefit from in previous jobs.

I’ve never worked in a team that invests so heavily in their people, not just in terms of personal development but also professional - including accredited qualifications such as ACAMs etc.

If you are looking to launch your career in a challenging and rewarding environment, why not reach out?