My experience in London and at Eversheds Sutherland- Josiah N. Wamwere LLB (3.2)


EVERSHEDS WORK PLACEMENT REPORT

My experience in London and at Eversheds Sutherland in particular has really been (if I could describe it in one word) mind-blowing. From day one I was directly immersed in the fast paced working environment at the global law firm as I had the privilege of attending a two-day Global Relationship Firm Conference at the Grange Hotel. This was truly a historic event since it was the first relationship firm conference to take place after the combination of Eversheds LLP and the US outfit Sutherland Asbill & Brennan in February. It was while at this conference that the sheer size and immense capabilities of Eversheds Sutherland dawned upon me as I had the rare honour of interacting with some of Eversheds Sutherland’s partners, associates and lawyers from its relationship firms across the globe. During the conference, I was also presented with a certificate by Paul Smith, Chairman of Eversheds Sutherland.

The main takeaway for me from the conference (and I dare say from my entire experience at Eversheds Sutherland) was the law firm’s remarkable emphasis on and commitment to client service excellence. It was really impressive to note how the Partners are genuinely concerned about the general affairs of their clients and not just the work that they do for them. I also found it quite remarkable that the partners and associates at the firm are actually able to immerse themselves into the culture and work ethics of their clients without any difficulty at all.

In the office I was for the large part placed in the marketing department under the immediate supervision of Bukky Fatusin, Lead Manager, International Team. While I was not able to engage in any significant work (since I was on a visit visa and I was only staying for two weeks) I was able to help out on small tasks here and there and I got incredible insight into the significant role that the marketing and business development departments play in running a truly global law firm. I have come to appreciate the fact that for any law firm to survive and thrive in this highly competitive 21st century legal services market then they must go the extra mile and offer innovative solutions to their clients. But more importantly, as Laura Ottley, Head of International Marketing, Business Services, impressed upon me, a good lawyer is one who first and most importantly listens to the client and then goes ahead to offer solutions based on the client’s needs/requirements. Indeed spending time with the Marketing/Business Development team at Eversheds Sutherland has left an indelible mark in my legal career as I do not think I would have gained such awareness of the “business side” of law firms as I have now, by being placed in a legal department.

Additionally I was able to have one-on-one interactions with a numbers of the partners, associates and trainees at the law firm. Whereas some of the meetings were formal and quite informative, I also had the opportunity to go out for coffee and lunch dates with some of them.

On some days I was allowed to take the day off and tour the city and also visit family and friends. This was really a great opportunity for me to figure my way around the exhilarating London maze of tunnels, streets, bridges and tourist destinations. I got lost a couple of times but in the end, I think I can now make my way from one point to another without having to ask around for directions (or calling someone at the office to declare my “lost status”). All in all, London was amazing, everyone at Eversheds Sutherland was very supportive and very helpful and I am so grateful for this. Perhaps my only regret is that I wasn’t able to meet my co-prize laureate, Kelly. Anyway, this was truly a once in a life-time opportunity and I can’t wait to get back home and tell my family and friends of the things I have seen and heard and tasted in the United Kingdom! Cheers!

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