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Norton Rose Fulbright

Employee profile

George Sismey-Durrant


What course did you study and where?

I studied a BA in Geography at St Hilda’s College, the University of Oxford, graduating in 2014.  I focused mainly on physical geography, climate change and environmental geography.

How did you get your job?

Once I decided I wanted to convert to Law, I did a lot of online research of the various law firms to decide which firms I wanted to apply to.  I then attended several open days/evenings and other events at various law firms which gave me a shortlist of which to apply to. Once completing training contract applications and having various interviews or assessment days, I was lucky enough to be offered a training contract with Norton Rose Fulbright.

I then went to law school for 18 months (with a 6-month break in the middle) and started at Norton Rose Fulbright in August 2016.  During my training contract I sat in project finance, environment, safety and planning, banking in our Milan office and corporate insurance.  I qualified as a solicitor in the in September 2018 into the environment, safety and planning department.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I think it would have to be the people that I get to work with.  Being a large international law firm, you get a diversity of people at Norton Rose Fulbright; from different cultures and generations.  Especially when you have long hours in the office, it is good having people around you that you appreciate and are interesting.

I also like the fact that I get to see into different clients’ businesses and how they operate.  Whenyou are advising different companies, which have their own strategies and intentions, you are always dealing with different people, with different business goals so you have to be flexible and tailor your advice.

In what way is your degree relevant?

Geography is famous for giving you a ‘broad set of transferrable skills’ but is, in the most part, relevant for a career in the law.  However, having focused a lot on climate change and environmental geography in my degree, I am naturally interested in renewable energy and similar environmental initiatives like energy storage technology.

I spent 6 months working in the renewable energy project finance team at Norton Rose Fulbright and my work during that time included drafting articles on the global battery storage market and climate finance and working on various wind and solar projects in really interesting places.

Now, having qualified into the environment, safety and planning department, I feel that the relevance of my degree is obvious – contaminated land issues, the effect of renewable energy projects on endangered species and deal with decommissioning oil rigs, to name a few.