Chicago

When I was offered an opportunity to spread my professional wings and work from our Chicago office, I jumped at it, without a moment’s hesitation, writes Mayer Brown associate Megan Paul.

I’m now on a six-month secondment from London to Mayer Brown’s business and technology sourcing (BTS) team in Chicago, which is a sub-group of the corporate and securities team. It is a global practice with lawyers across the US, Europe and Asia, which means there are plenty of opportunities to experience different types of work.

In London I worked on transactions across the practice, including sourcing, venture capital and general corporate work. I also worked on multi-jurisdictional reorganisations and private M&A. Here in Chicago, I receive work from both BTS and the corporate and securities teams. The continuity from the mixture of commercial and corporate transactions is a welcome familiarity.

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Chicago and London share some of the same clients; these are mainly big, international corporations. While the personnel at the client here in Chicago may be different, the approach to working with our clients is similar and the work I am undertaking as a result is not wholly different to that in London. The large, multi-jurisdiction sourcing transactions require the same level of commitment and similar issues are raised and addressed throughout the life-cycle of the deal.

Chicago is a great city – vibrant and culturally diverse with a mix of sandy beaches, lake-side living and skyscrapers. I arrived at the end of June and have so far experienced great things from this relatively small city. The Chicago partners and associates alike have encouraged me to see what the city has to offer, and all (without exception) are incredibly proud to live and work here. Some have lived here for over 50 years. From the blues bars downtown to village life of Logan Square, it’s easy to see why my colleagues speak to fondly of the Windy City. 

The other great thing about Chicago is its location. Based here you are perfectly situated to access clients across the US and Europe. The office itself is located in The Loop and surrounded by financial institutions and corporations – an impressive number of which are clients of the firm. Some of the senior management team are also based in Chicago and I’ve been able to work with them on some client matters. It is my ambition to be a partner in the London office. 

So, for the next four months I will continue to work hard (and play hard). I definitely advocate this type of secondment to others. It’s a fantastic opportunity that you have to earn but once you’re living it, you have to appreciate the benefits, the rewards and make the most of it.

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Megan Paul, Mayer Brown