Student sets sail for career in maritime law

Margarita Bartzi A law student is setting sail for a career in maritime law after winning first prize in a law competition and securing an internship with a major international law firm at a University employability initiative.

Thirty-three year old Margarita Bartzi from Athens, Greece, has been awarded a LLM with distinction in International Maritime Law at a Degree and Award Congregation for Swansea University’s College of Law held in the City and County of Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall today (Monday, January 26).  She will be joined at the ceremony by her husband, MardyrosTsakirian, who also achieved a LLM with distinction in the same subject.

Margarita had previously studied Economics at the University of Piraeus before going on to do a Masters degree in Marine Policy in Cardiff University before coming to Swansea in a bid to fulfil her ambition to work in maritime law.

She chose to study at Swansea due to the high calibre of the course and took part in the many employability initiatives run at the Department of Postgraduate Legal Studies. Margarita said: “The course is well linked to legal practice as the lecturers that have previously worked in the industry, combine their excellent academic research skills with their practical experience. Swansea University also offers career advice that really helps students as to what steps to follow during their job-hunting time and arranges various employability lectures and mock interviews that students can benefit to enhance their employability. Another reason that I choose Swansea University was its approach regarding the final project which falls far outside from the established and ordinary thesis that other universities offer.”

It was while she was at a Career Fair that she secured an internship at M Taher and Co Solicitors, an international law firm specialising in shipping, aviation, insurance and international trade, based in the Lloyds Building in London. Her internship experience developed an interest in inter alia European trade sanctions and a subsequent project based on the subject won her the Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law (IISTL) prize for best law project for 2013/14.

Margarita, who is currently based back home in Greece with her husband, now plans on developing a career specialising in Protection and Indemnity for the shipping sector or in the legal or chartering department of a ship-owning company as she believes that in this way she can combine the overall academic and work experience she has gained throughout the years.

She said: “The overall experience at Swansea University is unique and valuable for me in every aspect of my life. I came at Swansea newly married with my husband and we both took the course, both achieving Distinction. The guidance I got from the University will lead my way in my future career steps and my time in Swansea as a city will always be among my best memories.”

Commenting on Margarita’s achievement, Dr Theodora Nikaki, Deputy Head of the Department of Postgraduate Legal Studies, said:  “Margarita is a determined and hard-working individual who has managed to develop her legal understanding considerably in the course of her LLM studies at Swansea. She is a quick-thinker and problem solver and I have no doubt she will adapt herself to the shipping practice with ease, joining the elite class of Swansea LLM Alumni which is spread all around the world”.