As I near completion of my training contract with Norton Rose Fulbright, it seems only natural to reflect on these past two years before I embark on life as a corporate associate back in the London office.
After seats spent in London (corporate, M&A and securities; banking and finance; dispute resolution and litigation; and real estate) and Munich (aviation finance), what better way to round it all off than by doing banking and insolvency work in Amsterdam?
Being in an English law team in an international office, you do not only find yourself assessing what the English law position is on a transaction but whether the courts in England should have jurisdiction at all (so called “conflict of laws” issues). For example, you may find yourself considering the following: if a Dutch company incorrectly executes an irrevocable English law power of attorney, who has jurisdiction to decide if the power of attorney is valid when the Dutch company becomes insolvent?
Following the fall-out of the Lehman Brothers collapse five years ago and its domino effect on the financial world, the banking sector is constantly being faced with new regulatory legislation globally. Alongside the Norton Rose Fulbright Dutch law team, the English law team has been involved in researching the impending legislation (and accompanying guidance) which requires certain financial entities to have plans in place for recovery (saving the entity when insolvency proceedings are looming) and resolution (winding up the entity with minimal damage to the financial market), a pioneering area of law.
And if that is not enough, there is always the chance to be involved in the English law aspects of finance arrangements with major Dutch clients. In addition, talk has turned to there being a likely increase in debt capital markets work on the horizon since the Netherlands has recently become an attractive environment for issuers of Dutch corporate bonds.
Socially, the Netherlands provides good nights out, leisurely strolls along countless canals, a variety of museums, free festivals and even the odd beach. The whole of the Netherlands is amazingly accessible by public transport and it’s easy to make day trips to places such as Rotterdam, The Hague and Maastricht (to name but a few).
So, in short, if you are ever asked whether you would consider an international secondment to Amsterdam, the only sensible answer is “definitely”!
Samantha Hurrell, Norton Rose Fulbright