Conyers Dill & Pearman associate Chiara Nannini puts a lot of her success down to keeping an open mind and always having confidence in her abilities. In this article, she talks about her career path and offers advice to young Bermudians entering the legal profession.
Having graduated with a BA in political science and Italian from the University of Virginia in 2003 and obtained an LLB (Hons) from the London School of Economics and Political Science three years later, I decided to go into the legal profession.
I trained to be a barrister and completed the Bar Vocational Course at the Inns of Court School of Law in 2007, and was then called to the Bar of England and Wales, and then the Bermuda Bar.
I joined Conyers Dill & Pearman four years ago, completed my pupilage and elected to do corporate law.
I moved to the Corporate Department in September 2008, where I was exposed to a variety of different practices and projects.
In October 2009, I started a secondment with Chartis (formerly American International Group) where I focused on in-house insurance, covering everything from regulatory filings to due diligence projects and transactional work.
I was grateful for the opportunity to gain invaluable knowledge, confidence and experience during my time at Chartis, which helped me prepare for an even bigger career step.
In October of 2010, I moved to the Conyers’ São Paulo, Brazil, office to assist managing partner Alan Dickson in advising on Bermuda, British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands law.
The fact that Conyers is willing to expose young Bermudians to international experience through its 10 overseas offices is a great opportunity and a win-win situation for everyone involved.
I have been getting on well in my new role in Brazil, where I have been now for just under a year. I have settled in well to life there, making the most of my exposure to a range of international people and practices.
Brazil is experiencing an economic boom at the moment. Being in São Paulo, the financial hub of Brazil, it’s amazing to see the growth, activity and the business culture evolve.
Additionally, as we practise Bermuda, Cayman and British Virgin Islands law from the São Paulo office, I’m constantly broadening my legal knowledge.
As well as gaining work experience, becoming accustomed to the cultural particularities of Brazil and Latin America as a whole is an integral part of the job.
Understanding how culture impacts the way business is done in Latin America is part of the process. This sort of experience can only be obtained by being on the ground.
I think that it will help me greatly in becoming a well-rounded attorney.
In the future, after my Brazil secondment, I plan to return to Conyers’ Bermuda office.
My advice to any aspiring young Bermudian thinking about following in these footsteps is to work hard, stay positive and try to obtain as much experience as possible.
My experience at Conyers has taught me that although you may not have the answer, with a little bit of work, you can learn it.
I took that lesson to Brazil. Learning Portuguese was not particularly easy but as long as you have an open mind and are willing to learn, you can do anything.
Attend law seminars, do work experience placements, apply for scholarships and attend student legal-related events, as many as you possibly can — any work you put in, you will benefit from.