Copenhagen secondment story

The Danes, according to a recent survey, are the happiest people on the planet – although, as one local paper remarked, "nobody seems to have told us". Despite such modesty, living and working in Copenhagen makes it easy to see why people are content with life. At the first sign of winter receding, locals flock to the parks and waterfront, enjoying a Mediterranean – style café culture. Even in the cold and rain there is still the unique concept of hygge (roughly translated as "an atmosphere of amiable cosiness") permeating the city.

A typical weekday begins with a short walk from my 17th floor apartment to Gorrissen Federspiel’s office, passing the famous Tivoli Gardens and hordes of cyclists on the way. The firm has a long-standing reputation as one of the best in Denmark, repeatedly winning strong mandates and maintaining a host of enviable clients.

I’m currently sitting in the Finance department where I have, among other things, assisted in advising the government on the winding – up of insolvent Danish banks. I’ve also recently helped to prepare material for prospective buyers of some of the mortgage portfolios that were acquired in the process. The varied nature of the work I have been involved in has been impressive, helped no doubt by the fact that many of the transactions are international and therefore conducted in English.

Copenhagen has been the perfect place to spend the summer, with social occasions including canal tours, eating at award-winning New Nordic restaurants that promote the use of seasonal, fresh and local ingredients, and simple beers with colleagues after work (Carlsberg, of course). It has been a rewarding experience both culturally and professionally, and one that I would recommend to anyone.

Richard McDonnell
Trainee secondment to Gorrissen Federspiel