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RAS in partnership with the British-Kazakh Society – networking opportunities during my Vacation Placement

During my Vacation Placement at Pinsent Masons at the ‘Russian desk’, I attended various networking events with the Litigation team. I was fortunate enough to be invited to one such event on the second day of the scheme – a networking event organised by Pinsent Masons and the British-Kazakh Society at which the Ambassadors to Kazakhstan and Iran were in attendance. The event was also attended by lawyers from other departments within Pinsent Masons, clients and potential clients and other law firms.

The evening was filmed and was broadcast on Kazakh television – I actually made the cut!

The theme of the networking was the Caspian Sea agreement which concerns the division of the second biggest oil and gas region after the Gulf of Mexico. The Caspian Sea is actually not a sea at all – it is surrounded by land on all sides: by Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Azerbaijan. The agreement has been the work of twenty years of negotiations between these countries and the borders have finally been agreed, with a shared area in the centre of the Caspian Sea for general use by all countries. Ecological and environmental concerns, such as the protection of sturgeon, have also been addressed.

The evening was introduced by Michael Fenn, a Litigation and Regulatory partner at Pinsent Masons. He talked about the importance of the agreement and the relationship between the United Kingdom, Kazakhstan and Iran and the opportunities for Pinsent Masons to act for clients from these countries.

Following the panel discussion with Their Excellencies Erlan Idrissov (Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the UK) and Hamid Baeidinejad (Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the UK), there was a chance for everyone to network.

It was a really great experience to have right at the start of my placement with the firm. Business development is hugely important to bring in new clients for Pinsent Masons and the department is very active in this area – in the two weeks I was with the firm, there were four networking opportunities, which I was keen to get involved with.

The Litigation team were really keen to invite me to the events: we also attended a Russian cultural evening at Rosstrudnichestvo (an organisation that encourages collaboration between the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation); a morning meeting at the Law Society with the Minister of Justice for Uzbekistan; and a summer gala evening at the Uzbek Embassy.

These events, along with the very interesting and stretching work that I was given during my two-week placement, all helped to get a real flavour of what working life would be like as a trainee and qualified lawyer at Pinsent Masons – very dynamic, with challenging work for high-profile, international clients.

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