Connie Tregidga

Graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Commerce in 2006

“I work as a legal counsel in the European Operations legal team at QBE European Operations, focusing on corporate work. My role is providing corporate legal advice – this includes advising on mergers and acquisitions, debt issues, Lloyd’s of London funding arrangements, insurance industry-specific transactions and general company law and corporate governance advice.

“After I finished my university degree in 2006 I completed a summer clerkship and then worked for two years (first as a law clerk, then as a solicitor) at a New Zealand law firm, Bell Gully. I decided to make the move to London in 2008. I applied for and was offered Associate positions with two London law firms – one with a magic circle* firm and one with Norton Rose LLP, which I accepted.

“I applied for the roles and completed interviews via video conference from New Zealand, so was then in the lucky position of arriving in London with a job already secured.

“I then moved in-house to QBE in 2010.

“When I was applying for jobs in the UK I didn’t feel that any of the firms had any reservations about my Otago degree – in fact, law firms from the City of London frequently go out to New Zealand and Australia to recruit Antipodean lawyers.

“I think that having a New Zealand degree puts you on a par with the best from the UK. New Zealand qualified lawyers end up working alongside Associates with Oxbridge degrees and certainly don’t feel at a disadvantage with their New Zealand qualification.”

* ‘Magic Circle’ is an informal term used to collectively describe what are widely regarded as the five leading UK-headquartered law firms, and the four or five leading London-based commercial barristers chambers.