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John Clayton legal roles, Singapore, BVI...

A small but significant portion of our work involves recruiting for the top offshore law firms, both in traditional offshore jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands or BVI, as well as ‘onshore’ locations such as Hong Kong or Singapore. 

Below we explore several key reasons an offshore opportunity could warrant your attention.

Work/Life balance
A benefit of the offshore culture that is so commonly cited as to almost be inseparable from the word ‘offshore’, it is true that these firms have a distinct culture and way of working that offers more predictable and reasonable hours. Combine this with the fact that offices in many offshore locales such as Jersey or the BVI are within walking/cycling distance of home (as opposed to 1-1.5 hrs on the train/tube across London!), and you end up enjoying many more daylight hours with friends and family. A lawyer in the Cayman Islands once reported to us that the office air conditioning is turned off at weekends, meaning work/life balance is almost built into the functioning of the office itself.

Whether you’re looking to break into the top-tier legal world for access to the most sophisticated and complex transactions, or simply to move overseas to a global hub city such as Dubai or Hong Kong, it’s no secret that opportunities can be scarce and hotly-contested. Broadening your search to include offshore options gives you more to aim at, and in some cases less competition. If your profile doesn’t lend itself to, for example, joining a major international firm in Hong Kong, perhaps due to a lack of language skills, regional experience or time spent at a ‘peer’ firm, moving to an offshore firm in HK could be the ideal career move. You may stay there long-term, or thereafter pivot to another firm that previously wouldn’t have considered you.

As offshore work can be relatively broad, often advising on specialist offshore elements of numerous transactions rather than working intensively on just one or two, it’s likely you’ll be required to handle a greater breadth of practice areas also. A mid-level Corporate/M&A lawyer might move offshore and find themselves handling a mixture of M&A, Funds and Capital Markets, for example. This is ideal for someone looking to either broaden their practice, or transition into another area. If a move of the latter variety is being sought, one could often find that prior experience is required, creating a vicious cycle. How can an M&A lawyer gain Funds experience, is every Funds role requires prior Funds experience? The answer could be moving to a mixed M&A and Funds role in an offshore firm.

To discuss offshore opportunities in greater detail, contact our Director John Clayton on +44 161 870 6776 or