My elective stage in London


Daniel Müller | Senior Associate | Corporate | Frankfurt:

For many people, London means fish and chips, milky tea, bad food and even worse weather. For me, however, London was always the place where I wanted to spend the elective part of my traineeship. At the same time, it was also important to me to gain experience of as many areas of German civil law as possible during this period. It was Noerr that enabled me to achieve this rare combination. The firm's London office advises its German and foreign clients exclusively on German law. I had already spent a year working part-time in the Tax & Private Clients section of Noerr’s Frankfurt office at the start of my traineeship. This had given me an opportunity to get to know the firm and many of its lawyers well.

When the chance to spend the elective part of my traineeship in London came up, it did not take me long to decide. Noerr opened its office there in 2010. It is located very centrally in the famous City of London, probably the most important banking and financial centre in Europe, and offers a stunning view of the metropolis on the Thames from the 40th floor of a skyscraper. I received a very warm welcome in the office. It has a very strong family atmosphere. A barbecue, which one of the partners organised for the firm’s whole team at his own home, and traditional London after-work drinks also gave me a chance to get to know my colleagues better outside the office. There was also a weekly trainees' get-together, which offered an opportunity to exchange views with trainees from all parts of Germany.

At the start of my posting, I worked on general civil law problems. Then I moved into the Company Law section. However, I spent the most time dealing with Corporate Finance issues. At a kick-off meeting, I got to experience at close quarters how the firm works with a bank on project finance in the field of renewable energies. Towards the middle of my posting, I got the chance to take part in the Humboldt European Law School’s summer academy, which was held in London at that time for German, British and French law students and was organised by Noerr, among others. The subject of the academy was "Corporate Citizenship", meaning companies' civic involvement, which was examined from the specific perspective of law firms. Finally, towards the end of my posting, I also attended a seminar on non-performing loans.

The trainer assigned to me always did an excellent job of looking after me and made sure that I got a chance to work on as many diverse topics as possible. Among other things, I worked across locations with colleagues from New York, Berlin and Frankfurt. The lawyers always gave research assistants, student apprentices and trainees demanding jobs to do. However, they constantly made sure that we also had enough time to explore the literally endless leisure opportunities that London offers. Our cooperation with colleagues took place with an extremely good team spirit and in a highly professional atmosphere.

In conclusion, my stay in London was a definite success. I gained valuable experience, met many pleasant and interesting people, and got to know the city as an incredibly lively, diverse place. Fish and chips is very good, milky tea tastes better than I thought, London's food is very varied, thanks to the Asian and Indian influences, and the weather – despite all prophecies to the contrary – was excellent.