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  #21  
Old 22.02.2020, 09:37
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Re: UK lawyer working in CH

i meant to add that I found the job via indeed.ch
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  #22  
Old 23.02.2020, 11:30
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Re: UK lawyer working in CH

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Interesting, seeing the amount of foreigners working in Switzerland, that feeling cannot be that widespread.
Agreed. It's also self-selecting, you don't find many foreigners here who couldn't find work here. Not a lot of us marry a Swiss.

In the US my 20+ years of experience opens most doors. In CH my lack of German (which it totally fair) and my lack of a college degree (which is silly given my experience) seems to keep most doors closed.

I also suspect that I come across as a loose cannon to most Swiss managers, which is something the Swiss as a culture do not seem to care for. The US? It's kinda how we roll. ;-)
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  #23  
Old 04.03.2020, 11:52
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Re: UK lawyer working in CH

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just an update from my side- i got a job easily enough in house with big Pharma, initially as maternity leave cover but then made permanent. The job is well paid, interesting work and the company is very employee friendly but my lack of fluent German effectively excludes me from a people management role. So iff this is important then a US employer would be better than Swiss I think.
Could you be interested in a one off side job?
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  #24  
Old 11.03.2020, 11:05
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Re: UK lawyer working in CH

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You have a number of strikes against you. You are female and foreign and therefore second class. You don't have the network and never will because the legal industry (and the country) is stuck in the 50s and is a proper old boys network.

I am particularly intrigued by the above. Is it really true? I have had such thoughts but I refused to let negative thinking take over. But now that you have written it (whilst being in the circle) I am beginning to wonder.
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  #25  
Old 08.01.2021, 21:40
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Re: UK lawyer working in CH

Sorry to revive an old topic, but I am desperate to know the answer to this question as well. I am reading that some people have had no luck for years and some people have been able to find a job straight away. But I can't find what the key differentiator is between those who have and those who haven't.

I am also a UK qualified lawyer, with about 12-13 years of experience. The last 9 years have been in financial regulation law with the regulator here. Are there any jobs with people with my background in Zurich, Basel, etc? Or should I just give up. Would I improve my chances if I moved to a bank or an asset manager for a few years here to hopefully get some broader in house legal experience?

Unfortunately I don't speak German, but I am working on it. I don't have any work permit issues.

I would really appreciate any feedback you may have. I am desperate to know whether this is possible (without ending in boring compliance role) and likely. Or whether this is not something I should be banking on at all. Thanks in advance.
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  #26  
Old 08.01.2021, 21:54
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Re: UK lawyer working in CH

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Sorry to revive an old topic, but I am desperate to know the answer to this question as well. I am reading that some people have had no luck for years and some people have been able to find a job straight away. But I can't find what the key differentiator is between those who have and those who haven't.

I am also a UK qualified lawyer, with about 12-13 years of experience. The last 9 years have been in financial regulation law with the regulator here. Are there any jobs with people with my background in Zurich, Basel, etc? Or should I just give up. Would I improve my chances if I moved to a bank or an asset manager for a few years here to hopefully get some broader in house legal experience?

Unfortunately I don't speak German, but I am working on it. I don't have any work permit issues.

I would really appreciate any feedback you may have. I am desperate to know whether this is possible (without ending in boring compliance role) and likely. Or whether this is not something I should be banking on at all. Thanks in advance.
Well, you do have work permit issues if you're a Brit with no EU nationality because now you come under the non-EU hiring criteria.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...zulassung.html

Basically any employer has to prove why they can't find a Swiss/EU national who could do the job; for law related I would think being a non-EU makes it even more difficult especially if you don't have a Swiss language as well. Your best bet is probably international companies with bases here.
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  #27  
Old 08.01.2021, 22:03
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Re: UK lawyer working in CH

Thanks for the quick reply. I won't have a work permit issue - Swiss partner and possible Swiss citizenship by the time I am looking to move.

I guess my question is, do I have a good chance as in house legal counsel? If not, what can I do to give myself a better chance? Or should I give up now, instead of dedicating next 2-3 years trying to get a particular type of experience that may be more helpful?
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  #28  
Old 26.01.2021, 13:23
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Re: UK lawyer working in CH

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I guess my question is, do I have a good chance as in house legal counsel? If not, what can I do to give myself a better chance? Or should I give up now, instead of dedicating next 2-3 years trying to get a particular type of experience that may be more helpful?
As usual, the answer is "it depends". I'm also a UK qualified lawyer with work experience in Switzerland (now back in the UK and (hopefully) will be returning to Switzerland in 2 years). Financial services is a broad topic. There are quite a few positions in fintech across Switzerland, so if you have experience with DeFi, blockchain etc. finding a job should be possible. You experience might come handy considering Brexit, particularly in large bank working with the UK.

You might check positions offered on Linkedin or other platforms to see what jobs are there for UK qualified solicitors and compare it to you skill set. Credit Suisse has jobs for UK qualified lawyer quite often (maybe 2-3 jobs a year). I would say that spending 2-3 on beefing up you profile is a good idea if you chose the field right.

Good luck!
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  #29  
Old 26.01.2021, 17:16
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Re: UK lawyer working in CH

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Sorry to revive an old topic, but I am desperate to know the answer to this question as well. I am reading that some people have had no luck for years and some people have been able to find a job straight away. But I can't find what the key differentiator is between those who have and those who haven't.

I am also a UK qualified lawyer, with about 12-13 years of experience. The last 9 years have been in financial regulation law with the regulator here. Are there any jobs with people with my background in Zurich, Basel, etc? Or should I just give up. Would I improve my chances if I moved to a bank or an asset manager for a few years here to hopefully get some broader in house legal experience?

Unfortunately I don't speak German, but I am working on it. I don't have any work permit issues.

I would really appreciate any feedback you may have. I am desperate to know whether this is possible (without ending in boring compliance role) and likely. Or whether this is not something I should be banking on at all. Thanks in advance.
I don't think there is any straight answer to this question, I'm afraid. I have several friends who couldn't find any legal work for over 5 years, and eventually left Switzerland to find work immediately in their new countries.

Conversely, I knew of others who found work within 6 months of searching. Although, they didn't exactly find work that was comparable to what they were doing before.

As with any job, much depends on luck, I think. But I think there is generally not many roles for foreign lawyers, particularly since many Swiss lawyers could fill those same roles, plus they also speak the local language.

In my experience, if the hiring manager is Swiss, they generally prefer someone who can speak the local language (whether German or French). The only time foreign lawyers have been hired in my company was when the hiring manager was also a foreigner - even the Swiss lawyers have picked up on this trend!

If your area is financial regulations, I think you almost have to have German or French and possibly even Swiss qualifications, especially for roles that communicate with FINMA. Otherwise, concentrate on roles offered by those companies which have English as the business language.

I don't think you should give up, because you could be lucky ;-) Keep looking and applying for jobs, and if you are at the right place at the right time, the right job will come up for you. Good luck!
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  #30  
Old 26.01.2021, 17:41
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Re: UK lawyer working in CH

FINMA can speak English, no problem. I know that because I know one guy dealing with FINMA regularly who speaks only English

There is a lot of scope in international business and contract law in multinational companies. That's where I would look and if I was not in the country yet, I would be looking at multinational Swiss companies in my country of residence for clues.

Banking, health, big 4, pharma, luxury goods are all good areas to consider.
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  #31  
Old 05.03.2021, 13:46
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Re: UK lawyer working in CH

Dear All,

I am based in Frankfurt with around Euro 100000 per annum. I am planning to get English qualified and work in Zurich for a fund house doing PE product development. I would ideally want to commute.

Any Leads on how is the income range and scope to want to go through the pain of English qualification. I am non EU qualified.

Best,

Asra
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  #32  
Old 06.06.2021, 17:59
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Re: UK lawyer working in CH

Just to add some recent thoughts to this long-running thread for others. I'm UK qualified with over 25 years experience, mainly in Tech and Government roles. My last role was Deputy GC with a Tier 1 tech company managing a team of seven. I have EU citizenship (not via UK) so there shouldn't have been any problems arranging work here. I speak French fluently but no German.

All that experience and background counted for nothing here in Switzerland. I have been looking for work since March 2020. Not even a single interview, let alone a paid role. The closest I got to working was a request to work for free by a start-up about to enter a round of VC funding.

Admittedly, I not only had to fight the intransigence of the Swiss business community, I also had a global pandemic to deal with. Still, I expected at least a sniff of an opportunity. Nothing. I registered with every on-demand provider I could think of - Axiom, PwC, Lawyers on Demand. Nothing. I cold-called via Linkedin. Nothing. I applied to hundreds of jobs via Swiss jobsites and Linkedin. Nothing. I registered with all the relevant UN agencies that might need lawyers/contractors. Nothing. I got desperate and offered to do Customer Support roles for online stores. Still nothing. Apparently, they were worried I wouldn't stay long.

After more than a year wasting time, I decided enough was enough and started building an online consulting business supporting crypto start-ups. I won't even bother with Swiss clients. Arranging Professional Indemnity insurance is admittedly very tricky - the Swiss insurance brokers weren't sure what to do with me but I eventually got some quotes out of them. And it's not cheap.

In short - if you are a foreign qualified lawyer wanting to move to Switzerland and speak no German, I frankly wouldn't bother unless you (A) are happy to be out of work for a very long time, (B) have friends in high places or (C) have a very solid Plan B.
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