Each year, our London Calling programme offers one lucky candidate the chance to kickstart their career at our London office. What does the programme entail? How does the selection process work? And what's in it for you? We asked those involved.
Frans Ruijs, London Calling 2019: "My first contact with NautaDutilh was through the annual Masterclass in which a group of law students experienced working at the firm for three days. The Masterclass ended on a Saturday, and I submitted my application on Monday. That's how enthusiastic I was about NautaDutilh. London has been a great opportunity for me because I get to work in finance and M&A while developing my business development skills. During my studies, I spent time in China, and really enjoyed starting somewhere from scratch. Working abroad was high on my list of priorities. To be able to go to London immediately was an unexpected bonus."
Marc Orval, Partner, co-head of our London Office: "London is still the business and financial centre of Europe. So the opportunity to live and work here is an amazing start to a legal career. A big difference between the London office and our Dutch offices is that, here, even the youngest lawyers do a lot of business development. Networking and acquisition activities are part of our daily work. In London, the majority of our work is referred to us by US and UK firms. We often meet with these firms, which also provides work for the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. You can build an amazing network and gain experience that would otherwise take much longer to achieve."
Eefke Janssen, London Calling 2018: "Compared to our Dutch offices, the London office is small so the team is pretty close-knit. And as we are all living abroad, we also tend to spend time together outside of work. As I was new to the firm, it was a great way to get to know my colleagues. Another difference is that you participate in networking events from day one. You’re also involved in business development from the get-go. In the Netherlands, we normally only get our hands on that later. The opportunity to meet with clients and lead counsel early on taught me a lot about how the firm works."
Ward Elfrink, Recruiter: "The candidate we send to London obviously has to be both ambitious and fluent in English. We also look for other skills and talents because different attributes are required in London. A certain amount of resilience, for instance. Cooperation is also a key aspect of being a lawyer and, in London, where the team is much smaller, this skill is even more important. We also look for someone who can connect with all types of people. As there's a great deal of client contact, each member of our team must be an effective ambassador for the firm."
Florentine van der Vet, London Calling 2016: "Business development is an important part of daily work in London. Fresh out of university, you get to accompany partners to client and other meetings. When I returned to the Netherlands, I found this experience was immensely beneficial. For instance, I now find it easy to pick up the phone to talk to a client or opposing counsel. That the programme allowed me to greatly improve my English also helps, of course."