Sebolelo Majozi-Motlogeloa in London
"Sebolelo Majozi-Motlogeloa is currently in our London office for 6 months on our International Seat program."
I have had the great privilege of being sent on secondment to the London office from September 2015 to March 2016, I am currently halfway through my secondment and the experience has been fantastic thus far. Having studied in London I was keen to experience the city from a new angle as well as catch up with old friends.
Bayo Odubeko, my supervising partner, handles most (if not all) of the African cross-border work. This involves mining, infrastructure and commodities transactions acting on mainly the investor side (mostly for private equity funds) we do a lot of acquisitions and disposals etc. He is well respected in the market and I feel lucky to have seen him in action.
So far I have been involved in drafting simple agreements such as board resolutions, minutes and deeds of adherences. I have participated in numerous closings and attended client meetings, proof read, liaised local counsel, assisted with pitches, got involved in research tasks and worked closely with other departments (such as IP, banking and tax).
The apartment I live in is located in Aldgate East, which is where a lot of the other trainee secondees from other firms are situated.
It is a 20 minute walk from the office and a 15 minute walk into Shoreditch, a great hang out spot for young people in London with plenty of great bars, shops and restaurants (there is even a Nandos) and on the weekend there is Spitafields market - a shopping haven for cute and unique additions to your wardrobe. Borough market is close to the office and is open on Saturdays for an amazing global culinary experience.
On a more practical side most of the flats have two bedrooms and two bathrooms and are shared (but never unisex). I have a lovely roommate from Hong Kong called Ada and we hang out quite often on the weekends either doing yoga together or having brunch at the Breakfast Club on a Saturday or having drinks at a local Jazz café on a Sunday evening.
The apartment is serviced by Portland Brown cleaners (the real estate agent) once a week where towels and new linen is provided. You can get a free Fitness First membership organised through Portland Brown and they are generally quite responsive if there are any issues. There is also internet and all other required appliances.
London is a very busy and vibrant city where there is a lot to get up to, with lots of restaurants, museums and theatres to keep you occupied during weekends and (if lucky) during the week too. There are plenty of places to go shopping and good public transport to take you anywhere you desire. Some of my highlights were seeing Jane Eyre at the National Theatre and an exhibition on Audrey Hepburn at the National Portrait Gallery. I have also dined at the popular Duck & Waffle which has an amazing view of London.
For my birthday weekend, I went to Dublin and had a great time exploring Christmas markets, drinking mulled wine and doing some whiskey tasting at the original Jameson factory. Over the Christmas break I also travelled to Brussels in Belgium, Germany (for Christmas) and France (for NYE). One of the things I love about being in Europe is how easy it is to travel from one country to another.
In the corporate team there is a drinks trolley (almost monthly) and if you arrive around Christmas time there are various Christmas parties (trainee/ team lunch/ firm wide). The firm wide Christmas party this year was themed the “all that glitters ball”, which was quite fabulous and fun! The trainees in London are also very friendly and sociable and tend to meet for drinks on Fridays.
London is known as a great place to get good work experience, there is an abundance of work (particularly at a firm like ours) and the opportunities to learn are endless. You will be pushed very hard but you will be all the more better for it and I would highly recommend doing this as your final or at least third set as so as to get the most out of it. Work hard and play hard is the motto here and my only advice would be carpe diem!