V10 partner now in Europe AMA

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LondonCallingV10

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V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby LondonCallingV10 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:47 am

As the title says - transactional partner in London office of V10 firm. Here a few years now after starting and making partner in NY. Am very old and have worked at one V5 and two V10 firms. Happy to give the overseas perspective if anyone is interested.

ac8876a

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby ac8876a » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:55 am

How easy would you say it is to work directly in a european office straight after graduation? and how easy is it to transfer if you start out in an american office?
Do you also know about working at other european offices, such as Brussels? Is it hard to find openings?

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:46 am

Is 1 year of practice (generally speaking) at the firm (V10) enough time before asking to make the switch from the U.S. to UK?
How valued are foreign language facilities as compared to other skill-sets?
After capital markets, what other practice groups have high demand for US JDs?
Thanks!

LondonCallingV10

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby LondonCallingV10 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:06 am

It can be very possible straight out of law school but there is less of a structured path and you will need to make your own opportunities and contacts to a greater extent. Top US firms in London now tend to look for lawyers who are likely to be here for the long term. We still do OCI for our European offices but I look for people who can demonstrate a compelling reason to come to Europe and stay, often evidenced by family/relationship ties. We rarely offer split-summers as we did a few years ago when we were trying to tempt US qualified bodies over the pond. But the big London high yield bond teams (Latham, Simpson etc.) will still take some churn-and-burn junior associates for a couple of years before returning them to the US offices (usually exhausted and with lots of deal experience but a relatively narrow skill set).

I've also worked in the Paris office of my previous firm (Brussels tends to be mainly European anti-trust specialists - not much general deal work) and those offices are quite small and don't do much active recruiting at grad level. There are also a reasonable number of French JDs educated in the US who come back home and take the entry-level jobs. But if you actively went after them for a summer in Europe and were well-liked in the office (interpersonal relationships are EVERYTHING in France) you might well get an offer to return. You need good French for Paris though - at a minimum the ability to do internal emails/general conversation with clients.

As a lateral it totally depends on business needs. Even if you come to us highly recommended internally by a powerful NY partner, if your skills aren't realistically useful to us at the time, then we can't take you. But there is quite a lot of short term shifting between offices to help out for weeks/months on specific deals or clients.

LondonCallingV10

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby LondonCallingV10 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:15 am

Cap markets is still the bulk of the work. But lots of senior US lawyers over here doing M&A and finance work, particularly in the PE space where many of the global players are based out of the US.

RaceJudicata

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby RaceJudicata » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:01 am

Do you make more or less than a "similar" (i.e. similar book, practice, years of experience, etc.) US based partner?

qxfr

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby qxfr » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:03 am

How is the market looking? Seems like things are slowing down (I'm a mid-level NY associate in London).

LondonCallingV10

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby LondonCallingV10 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:28 am

Impossible to identify a direct US-based comparator - partner comp is so subject to internal politics that you can sometimes make more by being in a market where it would be hard to replace you or where the local rainmaker sees the value of your personality in a smallish office/team. I probably make the same or more than I would be making if I'd stayed in the US. I'm not the super-ambitious type (by lawyer standards) though and would rather have a comfortably busy life and get on with people than strain every nerve to push my comp as high as it will go.

London market is looking crazy busy from where I'm sitting but ymmv depending on your client base.

ac8876a

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby ac8876a » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:14 pm

Is it possible to start in a london office and never have to go back to the US?
Also, what tips would you give someone on how to improve their chances to get an offer from an office abroad? I know that it is important to show ties, but is there anything else that firms look for in US candidates?

LondonCallingV10

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby LondonCallingV10 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:56 pm

Sure. Lots of people spend their whole career here, but immigration to the UK and acquiring residency/citizenship rights is getting more difficult so unless you get married to a Brit (and sometimes even then) your visa might be linked to your job.

Same qualities are looked for as in US recruitment - stellar academics, articulate, willing to work hard. Being personable is much more important though - you have to be able to fit in and be capable of building your own network in a smaller office, where you likely won't be one of a huge and faceless incoming class. Maybe also a more cosmopolitan, tolerant outlook on life that some US lawyers - you have to work comfortably with people from all over the world, many of whom are very sophisticated. That last criteria tends to be self-selecting, as most people looking to work abroad tend to be quite open-minded in the first place, but I thought it worth mentioning as I've seen some quite senior US lawyers dealing with Europeans get it disastrously, offensively wrong....

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:59 pm

What would you recommend for a 1L at a Top 20 school in the US with middling academics? Is getting to London out of the picture?

LondonCallingV10

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby LondonCallingV10 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:08 pm

Not necessarily impossible but you need to reach out in advance and work any contacts you can find - graduates of your school now in London offices and so on. Would be easier and show more credibility if you made a trip over here at some point. But you should also mention your interest in London as you go through the regular US recruitment process.

ac8876a

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby ac8876a » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:09 pm

So I assume you are also partner in the london office you are now in correct?
do you think targeting a firm that has a big london office, such as Hogan, would make it easier to obtain a job there? Also, would obtaining a LLM at a university in England along with US JD make you more marketable to european firms?

Btw, thank you so much for doing this!

LondonCallingV10

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby LondonCallingV10 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:28 pm

Yes that's right.

The thing with firms like Hogan, that formed by way of a merger with a big UK firm, is that the size of their US practice in London is very very small. Same for the firms who merged with mid-market UK practices (Dechert, Reed Smith etc.) They don't often work on big enough deals to access the US capital markets from Europe so we would never see most of those firms on our deals. They also pay less than the top US/magic circle firms.

I don't think an English LLM really helps - a more common path for US lawyers who end up here for one reason or another and want to work outside the core US practice areas in London is to come as a qualified US lawyer and later take the exam to cross-qualify as an English solicitor. It's not so difficult to do. For most transactional areas you can work across jurisdictions provided you are sufficiently junior and/or flexible to re-learn things like local collateral and bankruptcy rules.

ac8876a

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby ac8876a » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:18 pm

LondonCallingV10 wrote: They also pay less than the top US/magic circle firms.


But i assume that if you enter directly or lateral afterward, you will always be paid the US rate correct?

LondonCallingV10

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby LondonCallingV10 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:21 pm

In theory, but they don't really have a use for more than a handful of lawyers doing US work in London, and they won't pay a premium for you to do work a UK lawyer could do because they have millions of those and they are cheaper than you are.

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:56 pm

Any opinion on London offices of White & Case, Milbank, and Kirkland? What kind of work they do, office culture, reputation, etc. Very helpful thread, by the way. TYIA!

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:00 pm

Are there opportunities in london for U.S. tax associates? Would being there provide any advantages?

LondonCallingV10

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby LondonCallingV10 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:17 pm

Millbank and Kirkland are 'top tier' in London and have a decent amount of US work. White & Case not quite so much. In terms of office culture, W&C are much bigger, more like a 'full service' firm here, much more anglicised and less high-pressured. Millbank and Kirkland are smaller and specialise more in the high-end stuff - Millbank used to be synonymous with project finance here but that market is suffering from the energy price dip so their lev fin team is probably just as strong now. There are some 'characters' among the Millbank partner team. Kirkland is growing really quickly and has a rep as a tough place to work but an amazing PE client base.

The important thing to remember is that the culture as a US lawyer will depend upon the team you are working in and in some London office US lawyers will be limited to the small US-qualified practice group. So general culture means less to you than in a US office where you have an opportunity to work with a range of people. Here your focus should be on meeting the small group of partners you will likely do all your work for - they will determine how pleasant or otherwise your life is.

And sadly it's probably a no for US tax lawyers. Tax structuring on deals and fundraising is primarily driven by the company/fund's jurisdiction and any input needed where there is a US nexus can easily be sourced from our US offices.

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:40 pm

Very interesting and helpful thread! Thanks very much for taking the time to do this.

Similar to your discussion of other firms, what is your insight regarding Skadden in London?

Also, how do you see the London market evolving from here? Obviously Brexit will have some impact, but I wonder what you think will be the noticeable changes will be in five or ten years, especially from the perspective of an American lawyer.

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:51 pm

LondonCallingV10 wrote:
And sadly it's probably a no for US tax lawyers. Tax structuring on deals and fundraising is primarily driven by the company/fund's jurisdiction and any input needed where there is a US nexus can easily be sourced from our US offices.


Thanks, that's what I thought. I appreciate the response.

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby LondonCallingV10 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:48 am

Skadden in London do ok. They have been here for a long time and had a very strong project finance team when that market was booming. But they haven't really made a push to hire star laterals and grow their office over the past few years the way other top US firms have done. They are also based in Canary Wharf rather than the City which is off-putting for some people.

As for Brexit, I think London will continue to be the finance gateway for Europe. The UK's departure from the single market will likely create more work at least in the short term for regulatory lawyers figuring out the new regime and some banks may shift/open offices on the continent, but I don't see Paris or Frankfurt replacing the financial and back-office infrastructure London has developed any time soon.

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:50 am

Thanks for doing this: really informative.

What about Simpson Thacher or Gibson Dunn? I seem to hear less about them compared to the likes of Kirkland or Weil. Would you say their London offices are decent?

Also, what do you see as the main growth areas in London post Brexit?

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:40 pm

Curious about opportunities for U.S. based restructuring lawyers (at KE/Weil if it helps).

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Re: V10 partner now in Europe AMA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for doing this: really informative.

What about Simpson Thacher or Gibson Dunn? I seem to hear less about them compared to the likes of Kirkland or Weil. Would you say their London offices are decent?

Also, what do you see as the main growth areas in London post Brexit?

Thoughts on Cravath London would also be appreciated.



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