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W orking as a lawyer in England

W orking as a lawyer in England

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W orking as a lawyer in England

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  1. Workingas a lawyerin England

  2. Becoming a lawyer in England • Differences between the legal systems in Poland and England • Split profession – how the peculiar division works • Career and work of a lawyer • Education and training • Differences between law firms • Type of work done by lawyers

  3. QS World University Ranking – most famous, considers over 2000 universities worldwide • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) • Harvard • Cambridge • University College London (UCL) • Imperial College London • Oxford • Stanford • Yale • University of Chicago • California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

  4. English universities and studying in England • Higher education – structure: • Undergraduate courses – bachelor degrees: • BA • BSc • LLB • Graduate courses – master degrees: • MA • MSc • LLM • Post-graduate courses - PhD • BUT – note the different approaches to graduate courses in Poland and in England

  5. Becoming a lawyer in England • Differences between the legal systems in Poland and England • Europe – civil law systems • Based on codes / statute law • Laws drafted by parliament • England and Wales – common law system • Also contain statute law – but key emphasis on case law • Laws created by parliament AND by courts • Example – contract law

  6. Becoming a lawyer in England • Split profession • Peculiar, historic division • No single lawyer – instead two professions: barristers and solicitors

  7. Becoming a lawyer in England • Barristers • Specialise in advise and advocacy • Only barristers have right of audience • BUT – members of the public cannot go directly to barristers

  8. Becoming a lawyer in England • Solicitors • Members of the public must go to a solicitor • Solicitor then instructs a barrister on behalf of the client • Work is more transactional • Draft and negotiate contracts • Manage transactions

  9. Becoming a lawyer in England • Becoming a barrister • 1 year of BPTC (Bar Professional Training Course) • 1 year of pupillage (working at a barrister firm) • Becoming a solicitor • 1 year LPC (Legal Practice Course) • 2 years of training contract (working at a law firm)

  10. Career and work of a lawyer – Education and training • 2 ways to get into law: • Traditional route: • 3 years of law at university • Alternative route: • 3 years of any degree at university • 2 years of GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law) • Followed by: • 1 year of LPC / BPTC • Pupillage / training contract • Qualify as barrister / solicitor

  11. Career and work of a lawyer – Education and training • Differences between Poland and England:

  12. Career and work of a lawyer – Education and training • NOTE – no division between advocates, prosecutors, judges • Barristers are advocates and prosecutors • Barristers are appointed judges – MUST first train as barristers • NOTE – no separate notary profession • Notarisation not a legal requirement in England • NOTE – bailiffs • Separate profession but not considered a strictly legal profession • Must only obtain a special certificate • Different status than that in Poland

  13. Career and work of a lawyer – Differences between law firms • Magic Circle – Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters, Slaughter and May • Silver Circle – Ashurst, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Herbert Smith Freehills, King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin, Macfarlanes, Travers Smith • Other firms: • American law firms • Niche firms • In-house counsel

  14. Solicitor – career progress • Trainee solicitor – 2 years • Newly qualified junior associate – 2-3 years • Associate – 2-3 years • Senior associate – 2-3 years • Partner • Law firms are limited liability partnerships (spółkakomandytowa in Poland) • No salary, owns part of the business (akin to shareholder in a company)

  15. Solicitor – type of work done by lawyers • International firms – e.g. Allen & Overy LLP – 43 offices in 30 countries worldwide (including Warsaw) • Clients are international – work has cross-border aspects • One transaction almost always involves two or more offices • International opportunities • Secondments – international and client

  16. Solicitor – type of work done by lawyers • Reviewing financial statements, balance sheets and profit and loss accounts • Calculating financial ratios • Reviewing and drafting due diligence reports • Setting up companies • Drafting board minutes and shareholder resolutions • Assisting companies in IPOs (Initial Public Offering) / floatation on stock exchange • Checking if prospectuses and offering circulars conformto legal requirements

  17. Solicitor – type of work done by lawyers • Drafting contracts for financial instruments – bonds, derivates, swaps, etc • Negotiating contractual terms • Reviewing and drafting leases • Registering security • Giving tax, employment, banking, corporate, etc advice • Assisting companies during their insolvency • Issuing legal opinions

  18. Questions?