Life in law: A case study

Nigerian-born Frank Tuoyo Ejueyitchie, 28, is a lawyer at international law firm Lovells

I was born in Lagos, Nigeria and lived there until I was 18 when I moved to the UK to attend university. I studied law at the University of Reading and graduated in 2000 with a First. I then pursued a Masters in general legal studies, also at the University of Reading, and graduated in 2001 with a Distinction. In 2002, I attended BPP law school and obtained a Distinction in the legal practice course.

I chose a career in law because I thoroughly enjoyed law at university and wanted the opportunity to apply legal knowledge and skills in practical situations by giving advice to clients. I was also attracted by the fact that a career in law pays well.

I wanted to work in a city law firm because their size would ensure a spread of departments and quality clients and I felt I would get much better training than at a small firm. It also meant that during my two-year training contract I could work in very different departments and be able to make a well-informed decision about what area of law I wanted to specialise in.

I was initially put off from applying to big international city firms as I felt that I would not have much chance of getting a place, because I had not attended Oxford or Cambridge as well as being from an ethnic minority. However, I felt that I could not let my perception of city firms' recruitment policies prevent me from trying to follow my chosen career path. I was also initially put off by the perception that life as a lawyer in the city would mean working 20 hours a day with absolutely no chance of family or social life. However, I did some research on this and found that, though it definitely involved hard work, the working hours were nowhere near what I thought they were.

I joined Lovells as a trainee solicitor in August 2003. I decided to join Lovells because it had a reputation for being less hierarchical, with approachable partners and associates. I did six-month seats in financial services, tax, employment law and business restructuring and insolvency. I completed my training contract in August 2005 and then joined the Lovells tax department as a solicitor. I decided to specialise in tax because it is a highly technical department with a vast amount of legislation and case law. The legislation in this area also changes quite frequently, so as a result I am constantly learning something new which makes it challenging, but also interesting and motivating. Though the work may be difficult it is also intellectually rewarding.

My work on a day-to-day basis mainly involves considering transactions clients intend to enter into and advising on the tax consequences of the transaction and the most tax-efficient way of carrying out the transaction. The work also involves making sure that clients fulfil their legal requirements as laid down by tax legislation. My work consequently involves a lot of research to ensure I am aware of the legal requirements of any transaction as well as being able to determine the most tax-efficient way of structuring the deal.

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