Hannah McGown, Solicitor, Ashfords

In November of last year I was very lucky to have the opportunity to spend a week at Cocuzza & Associati of Milan as part of the Junior ADVOC placement scheme in conjunction with the firm hosting the European Junior ADVOC meet up of 2018.

Everyone at the firm was very welcoming, particularly considering my limited grasp on the Italian language.  I was given plenty of opportunities to involve myself with the property work at the firm and in particular worked on presentation materials in connection with development growth in the city and the introduction of green leases in Italian shopping centres.

During my time at Cocuzza & Associati I had the opportunity to visit the  Politecnico di Milano where Giulia Comparini and Thomas Mambrini (both of C&A) were giving a presentation to international students on Zoning and Urban Real Estate Law. It was really interesting to draw comparisons between how planning law functioned in Italy in comparison to England and Wales, particularly in relation to urban redevelopment. It was also clear to see that the firm was considered highly by the Politecnico.

I was joined by my colleague Carli Hooton at the latter end of the week who flew out to attend the European Junior ADVOC meet up of 2018. Attending the meet up was a fantastic way to network and to get to know other junior lawyers within the ADVOC network; representatives attended from a breadth of ADVOC members across the continent. The meet up involved a practice group meeting followed by dinner and an evening experiencing the Milanese night life! Saturday also saw us taking guided tours of the Duomo Cathedral and Museo del Novecento.

During the practice group meeting  we had the opportunity to attend two seminars. The first of which was a seminar on liability during contract negotiations. Each Junior ADVOC member representative presented on the topic in relation to their legal system. As part of this process Carli and myself presented to the group on pre-contractual liability under the law of England and Wales. I believe it was particularly interesting for the junior lawyers present to reflect on the differences between the common law and civil law legal systems. The second seminar was given by Giuseppe Galliverti, a neuro marketing expert. Giuseppe talked to us on “Why your customer becomes your customer” and the engaging presentation offered some good insights into how to market to the customer. 

The Junior ADVOC placement scheme was a truly rewarding opportunity and I would recommend other junior lawyers within the network to take up the chance of a placement. I returned to the UK not only with better networking connections and a larger Italian vocabulary but also with fresh ideas on how  to approach the management of a firm and property law concepts in general.