Trainee secondment to Mannheimer Swartling
Going on an international secondment is a huge challenge, both professionally and socially, but has been a fantastic opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve learned so much about different ways of working, teamwork, project management, Scandinavia, a totally new legal market and, of course, have discovered the joys of fika (the typical Swedish pastime of enjoying a coffee and a sweet treat mid-afternoon!)
I’m sitting in the Private M&A practice here in Mannheimer (the firm sub-divides its Corporate practices into Public M&A, Private M&A, and Corporate, Commercial Contracts & Intellectual Property) and I have been working mostly on private equity matters, as well as a number of projects with some of the major Nordic tech startups
The culture here is very similar to Slaughter and May, largely owing to the fact that it is also a pure lockstep firm. Everyone is extremely generous with their time and the environment between associates is hugely collegiate and collaborative. The M&A group has been really welcoming and friendly - the firm hosts bi-monthly themed ‘pubs’ at the rooftop bar in the office which have been a great opportunity to get to know colleagues, and there have been a number of office summer parties.
Outside of the office, I haven’t been short of things to do – I’ve taken ferry trips out into the Stockholm archipelago, I am learning to love cold water swimming and Swedish sauna culture, and I have particularly enjoyed the VERY long summer days! Stockholm has also been the perfect location for me to explore the Nordic region more generally – I’ve been lucky enough to take trips to Oslo, Copenhagen, Malmö and Skåne, mostly just by hopping on a train. I have also managed to learn some Swedish, although Mannheimer largely operates in English so there hasn’t been too much of a language barrier to overcome!