On secondment in Mongolia

One of our associates, Elizabeth Cowley, talks about her time on secondment in Mongolia.

Tell us about your secondment to our Mongolian office?

I spent just over four months in the Ulaanbaatar office. I had accepted the secondment opportunity mainly to get international legal experience and to spend time in a country I’d never visited before.

The matters I worked on while I was there involved financing, company law, employment issues, and much more meaning I was exposed to a much broader range of work than what most of us handle day-to-day in Australia. I quickly discovered that the breadth of knowledge and expertise required to be a MinterEllison lawyer in Ulaanbaatar is very impressive.

Practising law in Mongolia seems more complex than in Australia - why do you think that might be?

Undertaking my role in Mongolia involved different challenges to those I encounter as a Brisbane-based lawyer in the E&R team. Initially, there was my unfamiliarity with Mongolian law (which my Mongolian colleagues assisted to educate me on). There was also the difficulty of having to give advice based on an English translation of the legislation, coupled with the fact that laws are constantly changing. I was able to navigate this challenging legal environment with the help of our great team on the ground in Ulaanbaatar, including translators and Mongolian-trained lawyers. Most of the clients are also foreign companies, so I experienced first-hand the many challenges of cross-border transactions.

What will you remember most about your visit to Mongolia?

I will remember most meeting and working alongside our colleagues in the Ulaanbaatar office. They helped make the transition to life in Mongolia (both inside and outside the office) very easy and they really helped to make the whole experience very rewarding for me.