LLM Employability Initiatives and Results

LLM Employability Initiatives and Results

Employability has always been on the top of the agenda of the Shipping and Trade Law Department, College of Law and Criminology at Swansea, aiming at preparing our LLM students for their professional life after graduation.  To that end, every year, the Department of Shipping and Trade Law organises a number of initiatives for enhancing our LLM students’ employability. These include:

  • Tailor-made employability advice by two dedicated Employability Officers—Dr George Leloudas and Dr Theodora Nikaki, who run talks to develop the skills of our postgraduate students and inform their career plans.
  • A series of guest lectures delivered by distinguished visiting scholars and practitioners who share their expertise with our LLM students and give them an insight of the practice.
  • The unique opportunity to get involved in mooting, which aims at developing our LLM students’ transferable skills vital to a career as a legal practitioner.
  • Close links with the legal practice and various elements of the shipping and business sectors. Several of our lecturers (Mr Andrew Beale, OBE, Dr George Leloudas, Dr Theodora Nikaki and Professor Richard Williams) work or have worked closely with international law firms. Also Members of the postgraduate teaching team are delivering professional development training seminars and lectures for a consortium of city law firms, BIMCO, BP and IATA.
  • The annual LLM Careers Fair, which gives the opportunity to our students to meet and discuss their future aspirations with representatives from an array of local and international law firms, specialising in the fields of shipping, trade, commercial, intellectual property, business, finance and insurance.
  • Networking events and visits to leading enterprises within the City of London with a view to enhancing our students’ practical understanding of shipping and insurance practice.

Our Employability initiatives bear fruit and Swansea LLM graduates are sought after in the job market and often secure positions at international law firms, insurance companies, shipping, trade and banking sectors.  Visit 'LLM Students' Destinations' section for more information.

Please see below the testimonials of some of our LLM students who undertook internships in the course of their LLM degree:

 Standard P&I Club Internship

Standard Club interns (2015)Félix  Cahagne (France-LLM in International Maritime Law)

The internship at the  Standard P&I Club, which is one of the Employability initiatives undertaken by the Department of Shipping and Trade Law, has been an outstanding experience for Félix  in many respects. In only one week, this opportunity made him appreciate what working in a P&I Club entails. The internship involved a wide range of activities, such as attendance to a number of presentations on different P&I matters, workshops with our lecturers, as well as shadowing  underwriters and claims managers.  Félix  particularly enjoyed the time spent at Standard  P&I Club  as he gained  first-hand experience on the day-to-day  underwriting and claims work. Moreover, being an intern at Standard was a great opportunity not only because of the standing of this club but also because of  the really nice atmosphere within the club. Félix  had the chance to meet a lot of interesting people and chat with them about the shipping and insurance market over lunches organized for that purpose.

 

Theodora Kostara (Greece-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Theodora was offered an internship at the Standard P&I Club as part of the employability initiatives organised by the Department of Shipping and Trade Law. She found this internship opportunity an extremely valuable experience. The intern week was very well organized by the Standard P & I Club to ensure that the interns had a hands-on experience of how a P & I Club (and Marine Insurance in general) operates in practice. To that end, Theodora attended presentations from all the Departments of the Club (Claims Handling, Underwriting, Syndicates), mentoring sessions, as well as the tour of the Lloyd’s Building and participated in interesting workshops. Moreover, on the last day of the internship, she was invited to make a presentation on a P&I related topic. This opportunity worked as both a motivation for her and as a way for the P & I club to assess how she has progressed through the internship. Theodora noted that her experience in the internship made her more appreciative of how studying an LLM in a reputable University like Swansea builds up your professional career. Theodora is now looking forward to her next internship at Norton Rose in Athens.

 Benthe Menzfeld (Germany-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Benthe attended an internship with Standard P&I Club/Charles Taylor in the Club's offices in London. The internship, which was organised by the Department of Shipping and Trade Law,  gave Benthe a practical insight into the P&I business through several presentations on different aspects of the P&I work, workshops and mentoring hours with employees from the Underwriting and Claims Departments. Benthe made very good use of the modules she studied during her LLM degree, i.e. marine insurance, admiralty law and carriage of goods.  Furthermore, the excellent working environment and the opportunity offered to her to make her own presentation made the internship a highly challenging, but especially valuable experience. This opportunity has certainly helped her appreciate the complexities of the P&I work and understand what lies ahead.

Min Shen (China-LLM in International Commercial and Maritime Law)

Min undertook an internship which was organised by the Department, at the Standard P&I club in London, which proved to be very informative. During this internship, she enhanced her understanding of  P&I Clubs and how they engage with the legal world. The internship included a number of activities such as lectures and workshops which furthered the existing knowledge that Min has gathered throughout the LLM course on a wide range of topics relating to underwriting, claims and so on. All sessions were very practical and useful. In addition, the P&I Club organised a number of social events with employees from different syndicates; who were all happy to share their experiences and give advice on my future career. Also, Min  attended mentoring sessions with mentors from different syndicates. In these sessions, she gained an invaluable insight into the daily work of each department.

Margarita Bartzi (Greece-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Margarita Bartzi

Margarita attended the Swansea LLM Career Fair, where she made useful contacts with representatives of the shipping industry. As a result of these contacts, she was offered the opportunity to do an internship with M Taher & Co Solicitors. Taher & Co is an international law firm based in the Lloyds Building, which specialises in all areas of shipping, aviation, insurance and international trade. In the course of her internship, Margarita will deal with a number of cases involving inter alia European sanctions, a topic she has developed a particular interest in as she is writing her law projects on the charterparty and insurance aspects of sanctions. Margarita finds the internship a very rewarding experience, which will enhance her practical understanding of maritime law.

Karin Garfjeld Roberts (UK-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Karin Garfjeld Roberts (UK-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Karin completed an internship with Holman Fenwick Willan, a leading maritime firm with offices worldwide, in December 2015. During her time there Karin reviewed case files, performed research for one of the partners and visited the Royal Courts of Justice and the Commercial Court. She was also invited to attend a networking event hosted by The Young Maritime Professionals Committee. This work experience gave Karin the opportunity to put her studies at Swansea in context and gave her an insight into the every day workings of a solicitor's firm. 

Tingting Gu (China- LLM International Commercial and Maritime Law)

Tingting Gu (China- LLM International Commercial and Maritime Law)

Tingting thoroughly enjoyed her Law of Intellectual Assets Management & Transactions module, which inspired her interest in Intellectual Property law. To enhance her understanding, she undertook an internship with Greaves Brewster LLP, a vibrant IP practice consisting of a team of UK and European patent attorneys, trade mark attorneys and specialist intellectual property consultants. Tingting shadowed a number of solicitors in the firm and gained invaluable first-hand experience on patent and trademark issues, which she will put in good use in her future career.

Martin Karst (Denmark-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Martin Karst (Denmark-LLM in International Maritime Law

Studying an LLM at Swansea University will not only provide you with an in-depth knowledge of maritime law but it will also enhance your employability prospects. Throughout the year, the Department of Shipping and Trade Law arranged several visits to leading London commercial and maritime enterprises and organisations, invited visiting lectures, held career fairs and put LLM students in direct contact with senior professionals at various companies. The close links the Department enjoys with practice presented LLM students like me an opportunity to apply for a research internship at Watson Farley & Williams, a well-esteemed international law firm in London. This opportunity was unequalled and I was fortunate to be offered a full time internship over the summer. Working side-by-side with a partner in a big law firm on a maritime-related law  project has given me not only a practical knowledge of a new field but also vast experience in general methodology, research and legal writing skills. In addition, I have made personal and professional contacts which would otherwise have been impossible for an LLM student to acquire. A great experience!

Theodora Kostara (Greece-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Theodora Kostara (Greece-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Theodora was offered a summer placement at Norton Rose Fulbright Greece, in Athens, a global legal practice, whose clients include Greek and multinational corporations, particularly in shipping, insurance and renewable energy sectors. During the summer placement she dealt with general matters of maritime law and she was assigned with tasks in the shipping litigation and shipping finance departments of the firm (i.e. drafting and proofreading legal documents and preparing the necessary documentation to be submitted to an arbitration tribunal). No doubt this was a great experience given that she developed her understanding of shipping law from a practical point of view while getting at the same time an insight of how a leading law firm operates.

Vincenzo Olivito (Italy-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Vincenzo Olivito (Italy-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Over the summer, Vincenzo interned with one of the leading international maritime law firms in Italy, namely Studio Legale Zunarelli e Associati (Bologna offices) where he was given the opportunity to work with some prominent lawyers in the field. This internship provided him with valuable experience in dealing with cases involving insurance and international trade law, two of the subjects he undertook in the course of his Swansea LLM. Vincenzo’s performance and breadth of maritime/trade law knowledge was so impressive that he was offered a chance to cooperate continuously in one of its foreign offices. He was also asked to contribute a chapter on maritime law in a book edited by Massimiliano Musi.

Munhak Pahk (South Korea-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Munhak Pahk (South Korea-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Munhak is invited to participate in a number of internships with international maritime law firms in London (Stephenson Harwood, Mays & Brown Solicitors, Tatham Macinnes LLP) and Newcastle (Mills & Co) over the summer and beyond. These internships will give Munhak the opportunity to work closely with solicitors dealing with different maritime cases. No doubt he will gain invaluable hands-on experience on issues related to marine insurance, carriage of goods, charterparties and admiralty law, which are some of the subjects he studied during his maritime LLM at Swansea.

Florian Schacker (Germany – LLM in International Commercial and Maritime Law)

Florian Schacker (Germany – LL.M. in International Commercial and Maritime Law)

During his LLM studies, Florian applied for internships at More Fisher Brown and Ince & Co and, after the written exams in May 2011, Florian spent a week at More Fisher Brown and two weeks at Ince & Co. At MFB and Ince & Co, Florian worked closely with the wet and dry-shipping teams and did research on the carriage of goods and piracy in the Gulf of Aden. At Ince & Co, Florian further assisted a partner in determining where a vessel can be arrested for non-payment of insurance premiums and assisted in tracking the vessel to determine when she would call port next. Following the internship at Ince & Co, Florian was offered a training contract by Ince & Co and started his training contract in September 2014.

Min Shen (China-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Min Shen (China-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Min undertook an internship with Coscon UK (formerly trading as Cosco (UK) Ltd), a wholly owned subsidiary of COSCO Container Lines Europe GmbH and Coscon Shanghai which owns and operates over 120 container vessels totalling over 300,000 Teus. She thoroughly enjoyed the time she spent interning at different departments of the company in London and found the entire experience really rewarding. In the Claims Department, Min had the opportunity to see a number of cases involving cargo and container damage and learned how to handle cargo claims, how to liaise with all the relevant parties, as well  how to apply the legal knowledge acquired from her LLM to cases. In the Commercial Department, she dealt with invoices and bill of ladings, whilst in the Sales and Marketing Department, she gained invaluable experience in calculating quotations for customers. In addition, Min was invited to attend social events organised by the company, which gave her the chance to get in contact with captains, chief engineers, brokers and operators and discuss the practicalities of shipping. Her internship also included a trip to Felixstowe, where she saw how a port operates.  Following the completion of her internship at Coscon UK, Min will start another internship  in the IMO Headquarters in London.

Rusen Zhao (China-LLM in International Commercial and Maritime Law)

Rusen Zhao (China - LLM in International Commercial and Maritime Law)

Rusen was offered the unique  opportunity to undertake an internship at Aon  PLC,  the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage. He interned at the company's offices in Beijing, where he had the chance to see how the insurance and reinsurance sector operates, as well as what the job of a broker entails. This internship opportunity has enhanced Rusen's employability prospects and he is confident that it will be an additional asset when looking for a job in the insurance sector after graduation.

Aida García de Diego (Spain-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Aida García de Diego (Spain-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Whilst working on her dissertation, Aida was offered an internship at Meana Green Maura & Co (MGM), the oldest and most respected maritime law firm in Spain. During her five month internship, Aida was involved in high profile shipping cases brought before the Spanish courts. As her Swansea LLM has opened her the door to a wealth of professional opportunities in this fascinating sector, she strongly encourages future students to study at this institution which provides shipping lawyers with the necessary tools to succeed in the exciting field of Maritime law.

Marine de Geofroy (Switzerland – LLM in International Maritime Law)

Marine de Geofroy (Switzerland – LLM in International Maritime Law)

Just before completing her LLM studies, Marine was offered an internship at Metinvest International SA, a trading and distribution company-- part of steel and mining group having facilities in Ukraine, Europe and the US, and exporting its steel products to over 1’000 customers located in more than 75 countries through its broad international sales network. According to Forbes, Metinvest is the largest company in Ukraine and occupies the 4th place among the largest companies in Central and Eastern Europe. During her internship, Marine made good use of the knowledge she acquired during her LLM degree. In particular, she was given the opportunity to apply the principles she learnt while studying International Trade Law on a number of occasions, e.g. she was assigned with the task of drafting and reviewing sales contracts for steel and iron ore transactions, as well as purchase contracts of coal--all governed by English law--  and she contributed to the development and improvement of clauses incorporated in sales contracts, such as Force Majeure, Sanctions and Indirect losses, Consequential Damages Exclusion clauses  etc. Moreover, she put into practice the knowledge she acquired at her Carriage of Goods by Sea, Land and Air and Charter Parties courses as she had the chance to deal with a number of legal issues arising out of multimodal transport contracts (i.e. rail and sea carriage) of products sold by Metinvest.

Her internship led to a permanent position as Legal Counsel at the company’s Head Office in Geneva.

Shengyi Jiang (China-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Shengyi Jiang

In the course of his LLM at Swansea, Shengyi had the chance to attend internships with Holman Fenwick Willan LLP and Willis, one of the world's largest professional services firms specializing in insurance brokerage and risk management. He found that his internship opportunities enhanced his practical understanding of shipping and insurance law and have definitely assisted him in getting a job with COSCO South East Asia in Singapore as Shipping Executive.

Martha Kazantzidou (Greece-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Martha Kazantzidou (Greece-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Martha was offered an internship with Zaiwalla and Co Solicitors, a London Law firm specialising inter alia in shipping law. In the course of her internship, she was assigned a wide range of tasks relating to different aspects of maritime law. In particular, she drafted and lodged lawsuits related to shipping law, prepared the necessary documentation to be submitted to the courts and also attended trials. She also dealt with general matters of maritime law, such as ship sales and purchases and vessels’ mortgagees and auctions. Martha found her internship an invaluable experience which gave her the chance to put into practice the knowledge she gained during her LLM.

Callistus Ojukwu (Nigeria – LLM in International Commercial and Maritime Law)

Callistus Ojukwu (Nigeria – LLM in International Commercial and Maritime Law)

Callistus was offered work experience with Holman Fenwick Willan “HFW” (London) a leading and reputable Law Firm founded in 1883 with headquarters in London and offices all over the world. The firm specializes in international commerce acting for shipping organisations, insurance companies, commodity and energy companies, airlines, investment banks amongst others. While at HFW, Callistus was with the Shipping Department and had the opportunity to assist some of the partners with legal opinions on various topical issues such as: the state of English Law in the event of substantial damage occasioned independently by a vessel to a loading arm at an off-shore terminal considered to have depreciated over the years to a zero value; the modalities of a deliberate disposal at sea of a vessel (considered to be a total wreck) pursuant to the London Convention of 1972 amongst others. The work experience afforded him the opportunity to apply English law to real life situations and also to establish invaluable personal and professional contacts.

Ole Ollmann (Germany – LLM in Oil and Gas Law)

Ole Ollmann (Germany – LLM in Oil and Gas Law)

Whilst working on his dissertations, Ole was offered an internship at Hapag-Lloyd AG, one of the oldest and most respected shipping companies in Germany and a leading globally operating container line. During his three month internship, Ole was involved in the day to day bunker procurement and bunker trade practice in the bunkering department. Ole was offered valuable inside into oil markets, trading and hedging practice as well as procurement strategies of a large container line. He procured bunker fuels for ships, prepared the necessary documentation and also dealt with bunker claims. In addition, he dealt with general matters of the relevant law, such as general terms and conditions of sale and charter party terms pertaining to bunker fuel. Ole found his internship a great experience which gave him an opportunity to put into practice the knowledge gained during the LLM program. After completion of his intership, Ole moved to  a permanent position in the chartering / operations department of a specilized tanker owner and operator.

Carlos Cid Parras (Spain-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Carlos Cid Parras (Spain-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Carlos attended an internship with Goñi & Co. Abogados (Madrid), a reputable law firm with over 50 years´ experience as an internationally recognized/respected firm that specializes in the field of Maritime Law. During his internship, he assisted Mr. Fernando Goñi, Mrs María del Amor Miranda and Mrs Carmen Codes in cases involving different aspects of shipping law, such as cargo claims, charterparties, salvage and maritime arbitration. For example, he was tasked to assess documents and expert evidence reports relating to marine cargo claims and also draft cargo claims letters or interpret different charterparty terms and elaborate on the validity of charterparty claims. Carlos thoroughly enjoyed interning at Goñi & Co. Abogados, as this opportunity enabled him to make good use of all of the practical knowledge he acquired in the course of his maritime LLM in Swansea. He then undertook another internship with Waltons & Morse LLP in London, in the course of which he dealt with a variety of maritime cases.

Daniel Adriel Septiano (Indonesia-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Daniel Adriel Septiano (Indonesia-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Daniel undertook an internship with Marsh Marine in London, the biggest insurance broker in the world, with a highly visible presence in the London insurance market. He was first introduced to Marsh when he attended a seminar on the role of insurance brokers in general at the company's offices  in London. The seminar was organised by one of the LLM  Employability Co-ordinators,  Dr Leloudas who made good use  of his links in the market. During his internship, Daniel observed the work of brokers at Marsh's offices. Everybody at Marsh was very friendlyand  keen to show him what a broker’s job  entails and also answer any questions he had. Daniel also gained hands-on experience of how the Lloyd's market operates. Daniel really appreciated this invaluable internship opportunity, which gave him the chance to get an insight into the practicalities of insurance brokerage.

Sebastian Agustin Trigub (Argentina-LLM in International Maritime Law)

Sebastian Agustin Trigub

Sebastian undertook an internship with Navarone S/A, a Greek based company which owns over 35 bulk carriers trading all around the globe. In the course of his internship he split his time between the company's operations and claims and insurance departments. At the operations department, he got first-hand experience of how the company operates its vessels, i.e. receiving and processing the employment/voyage instructions, discussing them with the masters, how it follows up the ships and what the  dynamics between the different departments, such as, Crew, Technical, Supply, are. While interning at the claims and insurance department, he had the opportunity to see how claims are discussed  internally, as well as with theinsurers and third parties. Also, he observed the process of renewals for both H&M and P&I policies, including the review of the company's records and negotiations with brokers/insurers. Sebastian found this placement very exciting as it gave him an invaluable insight as to how a shipping company operates, which will certainly be useful in his future career in the shipping sector.

Renxiao Zhang (China- LLM in International Commercial and Maritime Law)

Renxiao Zhang (China- LLM in International Commercial and Maritime Law)

Renxiao undertook an intership  at PPM International (London) Ltd, the UK subsidiary of a Chinese group company. His duties as Compliance Staff  involves conducting  legal research in the area of IP and international trade law, providing legal advice on commercial contracts and intellectual assets management. He also deals with legal affairs related to investment in West-End musicals. He found the courses he studied at Swansea very helpful for the legal practice he is involved in.