find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Commercial and cross-border exposure key to opportunities abroad

Commercial and cross-border exposure key to opportunities abroad

For those with ambitions to take their legal careers overseas, commercial and cross-border skills are king, a senior associate of a global firm has said.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, Bird & Bird senior associate Bridget Edghill said the best bet for lawyers who want to stand out in the international market is to develop their commercial nous and cross-border experience.

According to the Sydney lawyer, who completed a three-month secondment in Sweden last year, the appetite in the Scandinavian market is for candidates with strong corporate and commercial skills, as well as exposure to matters spanning a number of jurisdictions.

“Because there are so many businesses that are being founded or that are moving into other markets, strong corporate and commercial skills are invaluable, particularly in terms of technology and regulatory matters,” Ms Edghill said.

In her view, the burgeoning tech start-up scene in Sweden and the wider Nordic region offers opportunities for lawyers looking to take their skills abroad.

Ms Edghill said cross-border skills are also favoured in the technology space, given that business acquisition has become a common growth strategy for companies.

“While secondment is a great way to get into the Scandinavian market; given a lot of the new start-ups are operating in English and are desperate for talent, I get the impression that might also be an avenue for people.”

It was a telephone conversation about a cross-border M&A project that started Ms Edghill on her own sabbatical to Sweden. The corporate lawyer was speaking to a colleague in one of the global firm’s Nordic bases when she mentioned a desire to get out of her comfort zone and try a secondment.

After a few extra calls to the Bird & Bird global human resources unit, the senior associate found herself set up at a desk in Stockholm.

“I had only been to Stockholm for a day before, and one night I was talking to a [project contact] and she was telling me how wonderful the Bird & Bird office in Sweden was, and that kind of planted the seed for me to go to Stockholm,” Ms Edghill said.

What began as a two-month stint soon stretched into three months, and she is the first to admit she would have happily stayed longer.

Ms Edghill’s work in Sweden involved the third phase of a major M&A project, where she helped coordinate the integration of businesses across the region. She was involved in overseeing complex mergers for the global expansion of a large tech company in the Netherlands, Germany and Latvia.  

In Australia, Ms Edghill had been involved in phase one of the same project and its associated mergers taking place throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

She described the Swedish approach as dynamic and welcoming, melding unique cultural traditions with a true zest for innovation.

“Stockholm is one of the start-up capitals of the world. There’s so much innovation going on there, lots of emerging technologies and yet they still do things their way.

“I really loved that aspect, and that they also introduced innovation into their culture in a happy way,” Ms Edghill said.

Earlier this year she chose to return to Sweden for a holiday, but asked the Bird & Bird managing partner in Stockholm if she could work in the office for an additional two-week undertaking. He agreed.

“I made so many great friends over there and I really enjoyed working the Stockholm office. It really is a beautiful and proud culture,” Ms Edghill said.

Ms Edghill spent three months living in Östermalm, Stockholm last year.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Commercial and cross-border exposure key to opportunities abroad
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Dec 15 2017
Timing ‘critical’ in unusual contempt of court ruling
A recent case could have interesting implications for contempt of court rulings, according to a Ferr...
Dec 14 2017
International arbitration and business culture
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the impact of international arbitration on t...
Papua New Guinea flag
Dec 14 2017
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...