The second-smallest continent and the third-most populous, Europe is densely filled with a rich variety of cultures, people and languages. With an estimated nominal GDP of US $13.4 trillion, the European Union is the world’s largest economy.

Legal Market

Business in the European Union operates seamlessly across national borders. In recent years, cities such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Milan and Paris have developed thriving banking, consulting, IT and telecommunications industries. Major UK and US firms perform a broad range of high quality international work here. Lawyers with experience in banking, finance, international arbitration, project finance and competition law will find themselves in great demand.

Remuneration

Lawyers working for UK based firms will earn slightly less than their London counterparts, however, they will benefit in equal or greater measure from the lower cost of living.  Lawyers working for US firms in the EU will generally earn US equivalent salaries.

Visas

The situation is similar to that in the UK; unless you have EU citizenship or ancestry rights, a work permit will be required. Most firms will provide the necessary sponsorship and assist you in obtaining the required permit.

Please note that this is a brief overview and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Re-qualification

While the formal requirements vary from country to country, in many cases, overseas lawyers will be practicing in international finance and the rules governing that are based on UK or US principles, so requalification is often not required.

Lifestyle

Without a doubt, the main attraction in Europe is its cities, beauty and diverse range of cultures. With a wealth of historic sites, architecture, design, festivals, fashion, museums, galleries, fine wine and cuisine, it’s hard to know where to begin. Travel within Europe is inexpensive and increasingly simple to book over the web. Last minute flights can often be found for incredibly low prices and of course it doesn’t take long to travel between destinations. If trains are more to your taste, the rail system in Europe is excellent and a very efficient and social way to travel.