Job market for foreign qualified competition lawyers in London


ela
Does any of you know how difficult is it to get a job (internship, permanent, no matter the type...) as a foreign competition lawyer in London at a MC firm?

I intend to do a LLm in competition law at Kings this year and still find a job in a top law firm. I have around one year experience in competition law in my country and other 4 years and a half exp in business consultancy in well know multinational firms (also in the consultancy dpt of one of the big four firms). I am a qualified lawyer in a EU bar.

thanks
Does any of you know how difficult is it to get a job (internship, permanent, no matter the type...) as a foreign competition lawyer in London at a MC firm?

I intend to do a LLm in competition law at Kings this year and still find a job in a top law firm. I have around one year experience in competition law in my country and other 4 years and a half exp in business consultancy in well know multinational firms (also in the consultancy dpt of one of the big four firms). I am a qualified lawyer in a EU bar.

thanks

quote
legalalien
I'm not a competition lawyer, but based on my experience of MC firms, there are a fair number of non UK, EU qualified associates working in competition law, compared with other areas of law- largely because of the increased importance of EU law in this field. The US firms are recruiting aggressively for junior competition lawyers at present. It might be worth sending a few emails around the London offices of US firms and see what their views are on EU candidates.
I'm not a competition lawyer, but based on my experience of MC firms, there are a fair number of non UK, EU qualified associates working in competition law, compared with other areas of law- largely because of the increased importance of EU law in this field. The US firms are recruiting aggressively for junior competition lawyers at present. It might be worth sending a few emails around the London offices of US firms and see what their views are on EU candidates.
quote
ela
thanks for the answer. Sending emails to HR departments of MC firms is a great idea.

What i am afraid of is that London might be a market too national orientated for foreign lawyers compared to Brussels for example. After my LLM im sure i'll have no pb with Brussels but at least during and if possible even after graduating the LLM i will have to get smth in London on competition law.

Are you also a foreign EU qualified lawyer? if you dont mind me asking.
thanks for the answer. Sending emails to HR departments of MC firms is a great idea.

What i am afraid of is that London might be a market too national orientated for foreign lawyers compared to Brussels for example. After my LLM im sure i'll have no pb with Brussels but at least during and if possible even after graduating the LLM i will have to get smth in London on competition law.

Are you also a foreign EU qualified lawyer? if you dont mind me asking.
quote
Dear Ela,
It clearly is the case that the Brussels market is more internationally orientated than the London market.

My tip however would be to go for the US firm based in London. Some of them have very significant offices and do not have any hang up about foreigners...they are foreigners to.

Having said that I know several partners in major MC firms who are foreigners. Competition law escapes a lot of national straitjackets because it really is a genuinely international commercial law.

I don't know how old you are but you may also consider trying to get a stage in DG Competition or the Competition team in the legal service immediately after the LLM. Apply in March 2012 for October 2012 (check the EU Trainee office for exact details). With the LLM a competition stage would boost your options in both London and Brussels.

Hope that helps
yours sincerely
ALAN RILEY

Professor Alan Riley
Director LLM Programme
City Law School, City University
Grays Inn, London,
Electronic Mail: alan.riley.1@city.ac.uk
Dear Ela,
It clearly is the case that the Brussels market is more internationally orientated than the London market.

My tip however would be to go for the US firm based in London. Some of them have very significant offices and do not have any hang up about foreigners...they are foreigners to.

Having said that I know several partners in major MC firms who are foreigners. Competition law escapes a lot of national straitjackets because it really is a genuinely international commercial law.

I don't know how old you are but you may also consider trying to get a stage in DG Competition or the Competition team in the legal service immediately after the LLM. Apply in March 2012 for October 2012 (check the EU Trainee office for exact details). With the LLM a competition stage would boost your options in both London and Brussels.

Hope that helps
yours sincerely
ALAN RILEY

Professor Alan Riley
Director LLM Programme
City Law School, City University
Grays Inn, London,
Electronic Mail: alan.riley.1@city.ac.uk
quote
ela
thanks for answering.

My main concern would be however that i wont find anything fast in the first 2-3 months in London as an intern/ junior associate at a law firm in UK on competition law due to the rough competition from Oxbridge graduates. I intend to work during LLM in order to support myself in London and for the fact that one year can delete a lot of my practical business knowledge.

I was thinking to start applying now but maybe due to summer holidays it is not such a good idea. I will start as of 1st of September.

I am sure that after graduating the LLM i will have options and i can consider Brussels as well where it would probably be much easier to find something suitable for a foreign competition lawyer. I am 29 years old and i have already applied for a stage in DG COMP. No succes unfortunatelly. I have heard they dont like experienced lawyers due to the fact that you get an insight into their work and after you can use it against them. No idea whether that is true. Anyways i consider applications at the Commission a question of luck rather than of competence so im not counting too much on it.

By the way any idea whether the fact that i am a qualified Eastern Europe lawyer would be a draw back in London? Any preconceptions in this respect?
thanks for answering.

My main concern would be however that i wont find anything fast in the first 2-3 months in London as an intern/ junior associate at a law firm in UK on competition law due to the rough competition from Oxbridge graduates. I intend to work during LLM in order to support myself in London and for the fact that one year can delete a lot of my practical business knowledge.

I was thinking to start applying now but maybe due to summer holidays it is not such a good idea. I will start as of 1st of September.

I am sure that after graduating the LLM i will have options and i can consider Brussels as well where it would probably be much easier to find something suitable for a foreign competition lawyer. I am 29 years old and i have already applied for a stage in DG COMP. No succes unfortunatelly. I have heard they dont like experienced lawyers due to the fact that you get an insight into their work and after you can use it against them. No idea whether that is true. Anyways i consider applications at the Commission a question of luck rather than of competence so im not counting too much on it.

By the way any idea whether the fact that i am a qualified Eastern Europe lawyer would be a draw back in London? Any preconceptions in this respect?
quote
Dear Ela,
First, on the stage in DG Comp. I would try again. One of my LLM students, Polish in fact, tried a couple of times before she got a stage. In fact DG Comp prefers people with experience as they are much more useful.

There is no bias against East European lawyers per se. But as I indicate above you may find more success with US law firms based in London.

It is difficult to maintain a full time legal job in London and do an LLM or alternatively get part time legal work which fits with your LLM work. My tip would be to check the lawyer magazine www.thelawyer.com and register with the legal recruitment agencies, some relevant work may come up for you. For instance, one of my Hungarian LLM students (who also went on to do a stage in DG Comp) ended up doing some para legal competition work with a MC firm..the case was Hungarian and they needed someone who spoke the language and understood antitrust concepts.

Hope the above helps
regards
alan

Professor Alan Riley
LLM Programme Director
City Law School, City University
Grays Inn, London
Electronic Mail: alan.riley.1@city.ac.uk
Dear Ela,
First, on the stage in DG Comp. I would try again. One of my LLM students, Polish in fact, tried a couple of times before she got a stage. In fact DG Comp prefers people with experience as they are much more useful.

There is no bias against East European lawyers per se. But as I indicate above you may find more success with US law firms based in London.

It is difficult to maintain a full time legal job in London and do an LLM or alternatively get part time legal work which fits with your LLM work. My tip would be to check the lawyer magazine www.thelawyer.com and register with the legal recruitment agencies, some relevant work may come up for you. For instance, one of my Hungarian LLM students (who also went on to do a stage in DG Comp) ended up doing some para legal competition work with a MC firm..the case was Hungarian and they needed someone who spoke the language and understood antitrust concepts.

Hope the above helps
regards
alan

Professor Alan Riley
LLM Programme Director
City Law School, City University
Grays Inn, London
Electronic Mail: alan.riley.1@city.ac.uk
quote
ludi
Dear Dr. Riley,

I understand you have a substantial knowlegde of the UK legal market. I just finished my LLM in International Business Law at UCL, and started working for an international law firm as we speak.

I understand that it is not easy for LLM students to find a job in London/uk, especially for non-EU citizens. Almost everyone who didnt do a UK LLB returns to their home country.

I want to work in London in max 3/4 years from now. I intend to get some experience first under my belt at a branch in belgium of an UK firm before. Perhaps/hopefully secure a secondment to london after 2/3 yrs. After the former I hope my profile valuable enough to secure something solid in London.

What is your opinion? Should i do something different/change something?

Thx
Dear Dr. Riley,

I understand you have a substantial knowlegde of the UK legal market. I just finished my LLM in International Business Law at UCL, and started working for an international law firm as we speak.

I understand that it is not easy for LLM students to find a job in London/uk, especially for non-EU citizens. Almost everyone who didnt do a UK LLB returns to their home country.

I want to work in London in max 3/4 years from now. I intend to get some experience first under my belt at a branch in belgium of an UK firm before. Perhaps/hopefully secure a secondment to london after 2/3 yrs. After the former I hope my profile valuable enough to secure something solid in London.

What is your opinion? Should i do something different/change something?

Thx
quote
ela
Hi,

I am interested in your UK legal market experience during your LLM in London. I wanted to ask whether you tried to get a job as a lawyer in London during your LLM and was it impossible?

I am already an EU experienced lawyer (almost 6 years) in multinationals and hope to get sone legal work during my LLM studies in London. Afterwards i will also probably head to Brussels. I'm specialised in competition law (one year experience) and will search first smth in this area.

If not yourself maybe you heard of other colleagues experiences? Did they manage to get some legal work during their LLM? I suppose not everyone had a full financed LLM and some had to work also during the year.

I would really appreciate an answer from someone who already went throught this experience as i am heading to London this September and i don't really know what to expect.

Thank you!
Hi,

I am interested in your UK legal market experience during your LLM in London. I wanted to ask whether you tried to get a job as a lawyer in London during your LLM and was it impossible?

I am already an EU experienced lawyer (almost 6 years) in multinationals and hope to get sone legal work during my LLM studies in London. Afterwards i will also probably head to Brussels. I'm specialised in competition law (one year experience) and will search first smth in this area.

If not yourself maybe you heard of other colleagues experiences? Did they manage to get some legal work during their LLM? I suppose not everyone had a full financed LLM and some had to work also during the year.

I would really appreciate an answer from someone who already went throught this experience as i am heading to London this September and i don't really know what to expect.

Thank you!
quote
ela
As Dr. Riley earlier suggested, from your knowledge is it easier for a non-UK to find smth at a US law firm?
As Dr. Riley earlier suggested, from your knowledge is it easier for a non-UK to find smth at a US law firm?
quote
ludi
Hi Ela,

During my LLM I didnt really look for a legal job. As it was my last year of study, which is quite relax compared to working, i wanted to make the most out of it. I would suggest to do the same ;)

Otherwise, i have to admit, that almost nobody in the LLM did a (legal) job next to their study. Mainly I assume because firms are reluctant to hire llm students for part time work + marketcompetition is very fierce. I only heard of 1 r 2 brazilians who did some legal work during their LLM, but that was because it went via their lawfirm in their homecountry or something. Lastly, if any jobs were done by llm students, it was anything but legal. Got some friends who did like 20hours or so in the hospitality sector (waiter), to finance their LLM a bit. So its defo possible to do some work during your LLM, but mostly it wont be anything highfly (legal, or banking r something) unless u have some connections. But hopefully for you, I could be wrong.

Otherwise, maybe you could try to find some (legal) work as a (competition) paralegal. That the only way I can see you securing a job maybe, but its still not guaranteed. And what I used to underestimate, but what is apparently very crucial, or will increase your chances, is if you know somebody. I'm still stuned by that. Since you already have some experience, maybe you could as your firm if they have connections in London. That could be very helpfull.

Lastly, other than try to secure a job, or enjoy the LLM, is would suggest, if you dont land anything, to do the QLTS. I got an friend, who was an italian banking and finance lawyer in milan, and during his LLM stay he did the QLTT, passed it, and he was offered a job at latham watkins to start. That would increase your chances of securing something afterwards I think.

Dr. Riley, what is your take on that? And your take on my initial query/post?
Hi Ela,

During my LLM I didnt really look for a legal job. As it was my last year of study, which is quite relax compared to working, i wanted to make the most out of it. I would suggest to do the same ;)

Otherwise, i have to admit, that almost nobody in the LLM did a (legal) job next to their study. Mainly I assume because firms are reluctant to hire llm students for part time work + marketcompetition is very fierce. I only heard of 1 r 2 brazilians who did some legal work during their LLM, but that was because it went via their lawfirm in their homecountry or something. Lastly, if any jobs were done by llm students, it was anything but legal. Got some friends who did like 20hours or so in the hospitality sector (waiter), to finance their LLM a bit. So its defo possible to do some work during your LLM, but mostly it wont be anything highfly (legal, or banking r something) unless u have some connections. But hopefully for you, I could be wrong.

Otherwise, maybe you could try to find some (legal) work as a (competition) paralegal. That the only way I can see you securing a job maybe, but its still not guaranteed. And what I used to underestimate, but what is apparently very crucial, or will increase your chances, is if you know somebody. I'm still stuned by that. Since you already have some experience, maybe you could as your firm if they have connections in London. That could be very helpfull.

Lastly, other than try to secure a job, or enjoy the LLM, is would suggest, if you dont land anything, to do the QLTS. I got an friend, who was an italian banking and finance lawyer in milan, and during his LLM stay he did the QLTT, passed it, and he was offered a job at latham watkins to start. That would increase your chances of securing something afterwards I think.

Dr. Riley, what is your take on that? And your take on my initial query/post?
quote
ela
thank you for your answer Ludovic! your answer helps a lot and the situation is as difficult as i assumed it would be.
Plus as i am from Romania, i will also require a work permit which is a bit discouraging for potential employers.

Anyways i hope for a paralegal job.
thank you for your answer Ludovic! your answer helps a lot and the situation is as difficult as i assumed it would be.
Plus as i am from Romania, i will also require a work permit which is a bit discouraging for potential employers.

Anyways i hope for a paralegal job.
quote
ludi
I sended you a PM, with a more elaborate answer and some usefull stuff to secure something. Check it out. Not being from the EU could be a disadvantage.

good luck
I sended you a PM, with a more elaborate answer and some usefull stuff to secure something. Check it out. Not being from the EU could be a disadvantage.

good luck
quote
ela
Romania is in the EU only that we need work permit just as Bulgarians do..... ain't that stupid!
Romania is in the EU only that we need work permit just as Bulgarians do..... ain't that stupid!
quote
Ludovic,
I think you are doing all the right things. After 3/4 years in Brussels you should be highly marketable. As for anything else. Well learn another useful language; learn about a key market sector so you can project yourself as an industry expert or do a part time MBA...all of these extras would help.

Ela, I on the whole oppose jobs while doing the LLM, the degree should be a full time job of work in itself..plus for reasons given it is difficult to find law firms to offer jobs to LLM students.

Professor Alan Riley
LLM Programme Director
City Law School
City University
Grays Inn
London
Electronic Mail: alan.riley.1@city.ac.uk
Ludovic,
I think you are doing all the right things. After 3/4 years in Brussels you should be highly marketable. As for anything else. Well learn another useful language; learn about a key market sector so you can project yourself as an industry expert or do a part time MBA...all of these extras would help.

Ela, I on the whole oppose jobs while doing the LLM, the degree should be a full time job of work in itself..plus for reasons given it is difficult to find law firms to offer jobs to LLM students.

Professor Alan Riley
LLM Programme Director
City Law School
City University
Grays Inn
London
Electronic Mail: alan.riley.1@city.ac.uk
quote
Floris
The market is tough, so you should not expect to get something easily.

English is a very accessible language to nearly everybody, therefore the amount of foreign applicants is huge....
The market is tough, so you should not expect to get something easily.

English is a very accessible language to nearly everybody, therefore the amount of foreign applicants is huge....

quote
ludi
I speak already 4 languages. 3 fluent (english, french, dutch), and 1 basic (german).

Moreover I intend to do the QLTS scheme in 2 years or so. Hence, a double qualification (Brussels bar + Solicitor @ law society), in addition to my education and experience as aforementioned, should hopefully do the trick.
I speak already 4 languages. 3 fluent (english, french, dutch), and 1 basic (german).

Moreover I intend to do the QLTS scheme in 2 years or so. Hence, a double qualification (Brussels bar + Solicitor @ law society), in addition to my education and experience as aforementioned, should hopefully do the trick.
quote
ludi
I think it would be imperative to land a secondment in london first (peferably as long as possible :p), in order to gain a certain degree of exposure to the system and/or firm. IMO, this could potentially smoothen the path for a transfer within the same firm. Work experience in the city before could be very valuable.
I think it would be imperative to land a secondment in london first (peferably as long as possible :p), in order to gain a certain degree of exposure to the system and/or firm. IMO, this could potentially smoothen the path for a transfer within the same firm. Work experience in the city before could be very valuable.
quote
ela
Ludovic as far as you know are Bxl firms opened to secondments in London for their associates? For ex DLA Piper where u work now?
Ludovic as far as you know are Bxl firms opened to secondments in London for their associates? For ex DLA Piper where u work now?
quote
ONLY TRUTH
With regards to the eurozone crisis and Britain's current position on it - would the British LLM's in the Bruxelles legal market would be of any value?

I wonder if any sub-conscious bias in hiring w.r.t to British credentials would affect the already limited marketability of LLM's - given the highly competitive and recession induced & reduced legal hiring!
With regards to the eurozone crisis and Britain's current position on it - would the British LLM's in the Bruxelles legal market would be of any value?

I wonder if any sub-conscious bias in hiring w.r.t to British credentials would affect the already limited marketability of LLM's - given the highly competitive and recession induced & reduced legal hiring!

quote

Reply to Post

Related Articles

The LL.M. in Competition Law

By Anna Blackridge on Aug 19, 2010

More Articles