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A Global career


Meli Besse

For my very first seat at the firm, I have been seconded to HFW's Monaco office, as part of the shipping litigation team. As well as being an internationally renowned superyacht hub, Monaco is an attractive location for some of the biggest names in the commercial shipping sector, and the Monaco office is well placed to represent this diversified portfolio of industry players. This leads to incredibly varied work, with contentious matters ranging from complex, multi-party charter party litigation to representing clients in disputed contracts in the high-value arena of superyacht sales and purchases.

Much like the country itself, the office out here is small but dynamic. A large caseload divided between few means it is all-hands-on-deck, providing fantastic learning opportunities for a trainee, and giving me a great deal of responsibility. It also means a tight-knit office environment: the team is incredibly social and friendly and we will occasionally all share a lunch together as an office at one of the local eateries.

Monaco itself is of course in an idyllic location, sandwiched between the chic French and Italian Rivieras. My journey into work currently involves sun-drenched mornings taking in the sea views as I stroll past Monaco's main port – I can only imagine returning to the TFL commute will be a bit of a shock to the system!

You'd be forgiven for thinking the world's second smallest country would be somewhat discreet and subdued. Rather, Monaco is constantly abuzz with events attracting people from all over the world, making it a veritable melting pot of cultures. We have just concluded Classic Yacht Week, hosting some of the world's most elegant traditional wooden boats, and now – out with the old and in with the new – the port is welcoming superyachts of up to 100+ meters for the Monaco Yacht Show. Never a dull moment!

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