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Trainee on secondment: Merry Christmas from a Brussels secondee!
19 December 2017

Boyes Turner trainee Tamasin Dorosti is in Brussels on a secondment to the UK Law Societies' Joint Brussels Office as the third seat of her training contract, we have asked her to write a blog about her experience...

The last month or so has been a busy one, with a trip back for the Boyes Turner Christmas party (which was a very fun evening), a visit to the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg, our team away day and the CCBE Training Day, amongst the normal office activity of monitoring legal and political developments across the EU.

And speaking of which, a Brussels blog wouldn’t be complete without at least some acknowledgement of the big news in the office - the European Commission and European Council’s agreement to move Brexit talks onto phase 2. The main role of our office at the moment is to constantly monitor the Brexit negotiations and lobby in the interests of the profession. In the last few weeks, a ‘deal or no deal’ paper drafted by one of the policy advisers here was submitted to the House of Lords as written evidence in its EU Select Committee. It was great to see first-hand the valuable contribution the office can make to politics and the impact it can have.

On 11 and 12 December myself and the cohort of trainees on secondment in Brussels took the train to Luxembourg to visit the CJEU. We had a fantastic programme organised for us which started with a case briefing by one of the court’s trainees. This concerned the Telefonica competition case T884/16 and the hearing which we observed in the General Court was for an application from Multiconnect seeking an annulment of the Commission’s decision.  

After the hearing we had a discussion with Advocate-General Sharpston who gave us a rundown of how the court works and her role as Advocate-General. Following this we had a meeting with Mrs A Melesko, a legal secretary in the chambers of Judge Forrester (one of the judges assigned to the hearing we observed). I think afterwards we all had to pinch ourselves as we couldn’t quite believe where we were and who we had just been having a relaxed and friendly chat with! Following lunch we were given a tour of the court and visited the Grand Chamber, the robing room, the library, saw the Golden Towers and generally browsed the corridors which were filled with paintings of previous judges. This experience was definitely one of the highlights of my legal career so far.

I am also extremely pleased to say that our office’s flagship publication the ‘Brussels Agenda’ has been nominated for the Best Association Magazine or Publication Award as part of the European Association Awards 2018. Having worked on this as editor for the past 2 months and seen the work which goes into it, I can see how deserving the office is of this nomination and I feel privileged to have been afforded with the responsibility of editor. You can find this month’s issue on the theme of gender and equality here

After a day of strategic thinking and future planning at our away day, our Head of Office Helena Raulus hosted the office for dinner where we also swapped secret santa presents. Helena wanted to say thank you to the team for its hard work and it was great to spend some quality time with my (not so new anymore!) colleagues in a social setting. 

Out of the office I also went to Cologne for the Christmas markets for the day by bus which was 18 Euros – a bargain and only a 3 hour trip each way (!). I hadn’t realised how easy and cheap it is to travel around Europe from Brussels. I will have to make the most of the next couple of months by squeezing some more trips in!

Tamasin will be tweeting throughout her time in Brussels and you can follow the Boyes Turner trainees twitter feed here.

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