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Case Study: International Move from NZ to the UK

Case Study: International Move from NZ to the UK

Last year, we assisted Commercial Lawyer Emily Tombs with a move from Wellington to London.  Here’s what Emily had to say about the experience:

Where are you currently working? 
I work at Osborne Clarke as an Associate in the Commercial Team. I’m based in London.

Tell us about your background.
Prior to moving to London, I worked in the Wellington office at Dentons Kensington Swan. I was an Associate (Senior Solicitor) in the Corporate and Commercial Team.

What was the catalyst for the international move to London?
A few things! Amongst the usual suspects of the work opportunity and ease of travel, I was also super keen to build on the technology side of my practice and London is a brilliant marketplace to do just that. I was supported by a few excellent colleagues and friends who also encouraged me to make the move.

What was your greatest fear in making an international move?
Definitely taking a step into the unknown — and particularly when that step means I’m so far away from my wonderful family and community in Pōneke Wellington.

What have been the greatest challenges you have faced since moving to London?
Getting set up in a new country was a lot more challenging than anticipated. It felt like we were encountering difficulties every day as we navigated new systems with our tricky to understand accents! But this is a path so well trodden by my peers, so we always felt like we had someone to lean on. The time difference between UK and NZ (currently 13 hours) can make connecting with friends and whānau back home pretty tricky! And I really miss easy access to some NZ treats – particularly Fix & Fogg peanut butter (a colleague recently brought a jar back for me after a holiday in NZ – legend).

What are some of the highlights both personal and work-related since moving to London?
I’ve loved meeting a whole new bunch of smart, kind, and welcoming colleagues and supporting great clients with challenging and novel legal issues. I’ve also been lucky to experience a client secondment. Beyond work, living here has been an absolute blast – being able to see world-class theatre on a random Tuesday is still pretty hard to get my head around. We’ve been so lucky to tick off some travel bucket list items as well.

How did Montgomery support you throughout the interview process?
Both Laura Lal in Sydney and Glenn Johnston in the UK were very easy to work with.   I had a clear idea about the type of firm and team that I was keen to work with, and I felt that Laura and Glenn were considerate in their advice about how to make that happen. While they helped identify a variety of roles to make sure I understood what was available, I also found that each of them understood what I wanted. They were quick to respond to my questions, thoughtful in their comments, and personable in their approach. I particularly appreciated having support in both hemispheres as I undertook interviews from New Zealand.

Laura Lal

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