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Rebecca Thompson marketing, global, locations...

We’ve all been there. You’re looking out of the rain while dreaming of sunnier climes. You’re looking at the same 4 walls you’ve spent Monday-Friday (and some weekends!) in for years. You’re looking up the career ladder at remote prospects for promotion. Whatever causes it, your mind starts to wander and consider options. Going in-house is one, moving to an equivalent firm across the city is another. The most radical yet oftentimes best option rarely gets serious consideration – move overseas. Stepping outside our comfort zone can be daunting, but as the benefits may outweigh the risks, it could be the best career, and personal, decision you ever make. Read on for three key reasons this could be the case for you…

Professional development
From our experience of assisting numerous lawyers in moving to the Middle East, Asia, Australia, offshore and South Africa, we know that different opportunities exist internationally than at ‘home’. Firm’s international offices tend to be smaller, staff smaller teams on deals, and involve a greater degree of client interaction. This increase in client exposure and responsibility accelerates one’s learning and means that 2 years overseas can be worth 3 back home. A 2.5pqe lawyer we assisted in moving from London to Asia said he’d done more client visits in the first 2 months in Asia than in his entire career in London. The nature of working overseas can be very different indeed.

Earning potential
With the draw of tax-free earning in regions such as the UAE and Offshore, and spiralling house prices/cost of living in places London or Sydney, it’s no surprise that many lawyers have chosen to move overseas. Moving from a taxed salary at a UK firm in London to a tax-free salary at a US firm in Dubai could easily double one’s take-home earnings, which has obvious short-term benefits alongside medium-term benefits in terms of saving funds for property/investments at home. A number of the lawyers we assist are pursuing a 3-5 year overseas move to set themselves up for life financially.

Work/Life balance
Moving overseas can also result in a better work/life balance, due to cultural differences in the country in question, or because your commute has been cut significantly. Offshore locations come out on top in this regard; lawyers working in the Cayman Islands, BVI or Jersey/Guernsey usually walk 10 minutes to work, rather than spent over 1 hour on the train/tube, saving circa 10 hours per week just in commuting time. The island lifestyle impacts working culture too, with one lawyer reporting that most Cayman-based firms tacitly discourage weekend working as the office air conditioning only comes on Mon-Fri!

It is time for a change?
If the above has piqued your interest in exploring options, or if you have additional questions, one of our Senior Consultants would be glad to speak with you on +44 161 870 6776 or email

Specific opportunities can be found by clicking >> here