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Why won’t you relocate, to Spain or anywhere else? 

At Fellows and Associates we run numerous international and domestic campaigns that require a move of geography.  Sometimes this goes very well, other times it can be really difficult.  And it can be unpredictable.  A couple of years ago we had no trouble finding electronics and engineering patent attorneys to move to Australia or New Zealand but biotechnology was near impossible to source. And yet at the time there were lots of electronics/engineering jobs in the UK with no one to fill them and biotech candidates were a little more available.  We found ourselves in the strange position that it was easier for us to recruit for electronics patent attorneys from the UK into New Zealand than it was to move someone within the UK.  And yet no biotech attorneys we spoke to who couldn’t find a new position here would contemplate a move overseas. At various times we’ve found that some projects have been much easier than anticipated (IP Business Development recruitment in Japan) and others have been much more difficult, such as sometimes recruiting for Ireland.  We all love Ireland here and are usually pretty surprised when someone doesn’t want to move there.  Luck plays a part, there have been times when we happened to have someone wanting to move to say, Manchester, at the same time as a firm calling us about a position in Manchester and sometimes in a small market like IP, candidate movement is static irrespective of geography.   

For international moves I wonder if attorneys worry about the impact on their career?  If they’re moving country will their long-term options become more limited? Or perhaps it’s remuneration, childcare, cost of living or language. I think sometimes these perceived obstacles feel much bigger than they actually are or that they’re an excuse for not considering something more radical.  However, firms are very much aware of this and the overwhelming majority help tremendously in making a transition as smooth as possible.  From providing short term accommodation, helping arrange schooling, contributing to the cost of moving and providing links to an ex-pat community most organisations, particularly where they recruit from other jurisdictions relatively regularly are very well set up to make a move super smooth.   

In respect to career options well yes that depends on circumstance, but I would say that it’s much more likely that an international move will enhance a career than not.  A broader network and a wider range of experience is incredibly commercially valuable.  And if a firm are investing in you to move jurisdiction they are highly invested in your success.   

All of which brings me to a piece of international recruitment we’re currently involved in.  We’re looking for a trade mark attorney or trade mark lawyer (depending on the jurisdiction) who is on the EUIPO register and interested in moving to Alicante, Spain.  The role is in some respects typical of what I have been outlining in this article.  The firm are heavily investing in its success and will provide a great deal of support in organising accommodation, schooling, whatever you need.  In addition, as a firm that is truly international in its makeup with lawyers from all around the world, you are likely to feel part of the team quickly.  And your career will thrive there, there’s plenty of examples of that.  Even people we’ve spoken to who have left have been glowing about their time there.  So get in touch with us about this opportunity at BomhardIP or get in touch with us about moving geography more generally.   

We understand relocation can be daunting, uprooting your life but it doesn’t mean starting again.  It just means continuing somewhere else, you know, with better beaches.   

 Pete Fellows

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