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Secondment in New York while working on the Twitter case against Elon Musk

Why did you choose to be seconded to Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York?

“Gorrissen Federspiel has a large international network, but it’s no secret that a secondment to WLRK was at the top of my wish list. For a law geek like me, it was a unique opportunity to peek into the WLRK engine room and see how they operate at one of the world’s most prestigious law firms. And of course, it was great that the office is in New York, which is a fantastic city.”

What were your personal and professional objectives for the secondment?

“This summer I’ll have worked at Gorrissen Federspiel for nine years. A change of scenery was really healthy; an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and throw myself into the deep end. It was extremely rewarding to travel to the other side of the world and realise that the basic training at Gorrissen Federspiel has equipped me well and enabled me to contribute on an equal footing with my American colleagues. We can easily blend in – even when the level is very high. Personally, it’s given me a huge boost.”

Which matters were you involved in?

“Among other things, I worked on the Twitter lawsuit against Elon Musk. It’s funny, because I remember sitting at home in Copenhagen reading the news that he had bought Twitter, and a few months later I was working on the case in New York. WLRK represented Twitter in the case, which essentially sought to commit Elon Musk to complete the acquisition at the agreed price. It was a fast-track case and I was therefore lucky enough to be involved in the case almost from the beginning until the acquisition was finalised. I was part of both the discovery and deposition track and had the opportunity to draft a few procedural submissions. The first two tracks were particularly exciting from a Danish perspective, as we don’t have a discovery or deposition system in Danish law. I spent a lot of time in San Francisco, where I helped prepare senior managers for their depositions. It was awesome, fun and a bit frightening to do witness preparation with members of Twitter’s management team. I’ve done a lot of witness preparation at Gorrissen Federspiel, but this was different. It went really well and, as I said, it just confirmed that even if you don’t know the legal system in another country, you can still fulfil a role in a team and do important work.”

What does it mean to you that Gorrissen Federspiel supports the development of your international experience?

“Our international network is something we value highly at Gorrissen Federspiel. My secondment to WLRK gave me the opportunity to contribute to and further develop that network, and I’ve built personal relationships both with my American colleagues but also with other international visiting attorneys during my secondment. Recently, I was looking for an American expert for one of our major court cases and I called someone from WLRK to help me out. I hope to return the favour one day when my international colleagues need a Nordic or European perspective.”

What was it like to live in New York?

“It was fantastic. We stayed in the centre of Manhattan on 6th Avenue; the same street that WLRK is on. We joked that I could live my whole life on 6th Avenue – working, living, exercising, shopping and so on. It took me 22 minutes to walk to work in New York, just like it does in Copenhagen, yet there was a world of difference. Walking there with all the New Yorkers who were also on their way to work in the morning was very special and unique to be a part of. I travelled there with my husband, and although we’ve travelled a lot together, it was a great experience to have a daily life together in a foreign country. My husband writes a lot in his spare time and took a lot of writing courses in both New York and Portland, so it’s been a great experience for him as well.”

What is your best advice for colleagues considering a secondment abroad?

“Do it. It’s an amazing experience. You go through the whole emotional spectrum on a secondment, and I’ve grown enormously – both professionally and personally. I’ve gained much more from it than I could’ve possibly imagined. In any case, don’t let the fear of whether you can contribute in an unknown market hold you back, because you can. You may not know all the contexts when you find yourself in a new place, but if you’re willing to work hard, you’ll succeed.”

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