Brussels Update - ‘Life in Brussels’
Burnetts' trainee solicitor Ross Galbraith has secured a six month secondment at the Law Society’s office in Brussels as part of this training. In this months article, his 2nd in a series of monthly updates, Ross discusses his recent work on the Brussels Agenda as well as the debate on the UK - EU relationship.
Life in Brussels
It has been nearly 3 months since I arrived in Brussels and I’m starting to settle into the Belgian way of life quite nicely. To my surprise I’m finding that my French is improving; mostly with the help of my two French flatmates, Jo and Marine; although half the time they end up bursting into fits of laughter whenever I wrongly pronounce something.
Work has been busy with plenty going on in Brussels as we approach the summer break; apparently Brussels becomes desolate in July and August with MEPs and institution staff taking their holidays.
Work of particular interest over the past few months has been my role in producing and editing the Brussels Agenda. The Brussels Agenda is a monthly EU newsletter which has over 6,000 subscribers consisting mainly of practitioners and legal professionals across the UK and Europe. As a trainee, I play an active role in deciding the content of the newsletter together with assisting in writing articles. Writing articles allows you to get to grips with several areas of law at once; not to mention improving your article-writing skills (a skill you may not get to master in private practice but a valuable skill I can bring back to the firm).
If interested, the Agenda is a worthwhile subscription as it gives you the opportunity to keep abreast of EU legal developments and the necessary tools to further research specific areas of EU law.
In the past month I also had the opportunity to work for two days out of the Law Society’s London office; this again was incredibly informative and I had the chance to attend several high level meetings with leading practitioners on various developments in EU legislation. It was also great working from the Law Society’s legendary ‘Chancery Lane’ office!!
In terms of news stories coming out of Brussels, the debate on the UK-EU relationship has been gathering momentum recently as it has been in the UK. This has been incredibly interesting to follow from a legal perspective (together with all the political wrangling taking place). On this topic, I particularly find discussing and gauging opinion from my colleagues at the different national bars highly interesting and it will be fascinating to see how the debate develops over the coming weeks.
As for next month, I will be spending a few days in Luxembourg visiting the European Court of Justice. The visit, which the Law Society arranges for all trainee solicitors in Brussels, will involve sitting in on a hearing, having lunch with a sitting Judge and a tour of the Court building itself; an experience I am very much looking forward to.
Most importantly, to celebrate the mid-point of my secondment, I will coming home to the sunny North of England where I will be able to catch up with family and friends as well as visiting the firm to deliver a presentation on the work I have carried out thus far.
Over the remaining 3 months I will be writing legal briefings on various areas of EU Law including a further update on the Common Agricultural Policy, Public Procurement, Data Protection, Insolvency and proposals for the reform of the Trademark system. If you are interested in receiving these updates, please email Brussels@burnetts.co.uk.