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Aisha Khalil consultant, London, Partner...

Whether you’re a British lawyer returning to London after a stint overseas or are looking to break into the London market for the first time, there are several reasons to make it the top destination for your next career move. Due to the sheer number of lawyers in London and it’s reputation as a well-established market, the capital of England has typically been seen as a ‘sender’ of professional services talent, rather than a ‘receiver’. The way talent moves in/out of this giant market has changed in recent times, making it a more desirable and realistic option for many lawyers in Asia. Read on to find out why…


1. Get to the HQ

Multi-jurisdictional deals are often headed by a team in London, and firm-wide (or at least multi-continental) decisions are made by senior Partners in London, as it’s a key seat of power within the global network of most firms. Lawyers in Asia sometimes have to accommodate the time difference for conference calls with London, or adhere to decisions primarily taken by colleagues based there – your interests are aligned with these decision-markers when you are based in the same London office.

2. Get to a top legal jurisdiction

London is the centre of a highly-developed and sophisticated legal jurisdiction, with the laws of England & Wales frequently governing complex transactions across the globe. Many countries have either adopted or borrowed heavily from English common law – moving your career to such a mature jurisdiction has obvious benefits for your professional development.

3. Get to an amazing office

Firm’s London offices are frequently in another league, with facilities and services that lawyers based in comparatively small HK, SG or TKY offices can only dream of. Nexus have recently visited firms whose London offices boast an Olympic-sized swimming pool, an on-site pastry chef, an in-house hotel and a plethora of internal bars, restaurants and cafes.

4. Get to Europe

Most of us are past the age of gap years and back-packing before starting a career, but even for a hard-working lawyer, the chance to explore the cultural richness of Europe just a short flight from London is a major selling point. Just a HK or SG are appealing locations to explore the rest of Asia, basing oneself in London means proximity to Paris, Rome, Monaco, Amsterdam, Venice and Stockholm, and with it incredible diversity in terms of culture, art, history, food & drink and language.

5. Get to a truly forward-thinking location

Societal changes have filtered through to law firm culture & practices in London to a greater extent than in other locales, regarding gender equality & representation at senior levels, flexible working, LGBT initiatives, and better accommodating working parents – the latter being a key reason for working parents leaving private practice altogether.

​Over the last 10 years, firms in London have become significantly more open-minded when it comes to hiring lawyers qualified in other jurisdictions, for reasons this short article will avoid addressing for the sake of brevity. Now is an ideal time to explore a market once considered closed to lawyers from certain backgrounds, and we’d be glad to hear from you to discuss your background and London in greater detail.

For a confidential conversation, contact our London-specialist, Aisha Khalil (Senior Consultant), or David Warburton and John Clayton, (Directors), both of whom are UK-based and have extensive experience in the Asia market, on +44 161 870 6776 or: ,,