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Interview Marie Gabiano: From Paris to Barcelona

Learn the experience of Marie Gabiano, Associate at Andersen Tax & Legal in France during four months in a secondment program in the Barcelona office

From Paris to Barcelona

Learn the experience of Marie Gabiano, Associate at Andersen Tax & Legal in France during four months in a secondment program in the Barcelona office.

  • How did the opportunity came up?

Marie Gabiano: Since my first day in Andersen Tax & Legal in France, I have been curious about Andersen Global. Regularly during my yearly assessment interviews, I explained my interest in making a secondment in another Andersen Tax & Legal European office. The lawyers at the member firms of Andersen Global have the chance to share the highest standards and common values all around the world. I truly believe that working in team with skilled staff of different nationality helps us proposing comprehensive advises to our clients. Last year, Delphine Bariani proposed me to work for 4 months in Andersen Tax & Legal in Barcelona in order to build a common project with this office. I immediately accepted!

  • In which practice area did you work at?

Marie Gabiano: During my secondment in Barcelona, I worked with the corporate team on various areas: financing, corporate, securities regulation, merger and real estate. I had the opportunity to meet Spanish clients having business in France in order to present them the French office and its areas of practices. I also prepared and presented a professional training about the French securities granted in M&A deals to Spanish banks teams. France being one of the main business partner of Spanish companies, they were really interested in understanding what type of security is the most efficient according to French law, depending on the operation planned.

  • To what extend do you think this experience will help you in your professional career?

Marie Gabiano: Improving my Spanish and English skills is not the sole achievement of my secondment. Working with lawyers having strategies adapted to another law system gave me the opportunity to analyze situation with a different perspective. I could take a step back on the French corporate and M&A regulations and explore new solutions to be brought to specific law issues. I also improved my technical skills by explaining French law concepts to Spanish lawyers and clients. Sharing my office with Carlos Salinas, partner of the corporate team, I learned a lot on our daily conversations about practicing as a lawyer in Spain but also about the evolution of a lawyer’s career, from associate to partnership.

  • How do you evaluate the overall experience?

Marie Gabiano: This experience was amazing. Having learned Spanish at school, I discovered a new language and its related culture during my secondment. Barcelona is a wonderful city with a dynamic cultural life that I had the chance to discover with lawyers of Barcelona corporate team. I met great professionals, involved in they work with their clients and ensuring the delivery of best-in-class services. Andersen Tax & Legal in Barcelona is a very dynamic office acting as a key player of the local economic environment. On a more personal point of view, I shared great moments at the office with the whole team, such as breakfasts, after works and of course, the traditional Christmas party. At the end of my secondment, I felt like a member of the family!

  • What is your main piece of advice for those who are considering an international secondment?

Marie Gabiano: An international secondment is an amazing chance to learn. As you are leaving your habits behind you, you have to the opportunity to get used to your new environment. So, my main advice would be to learn from everything: the language, the culture, the meetings, the law issues… Each difference you discover is a way to ask questions and to solve problems differently. If you accept to open your mind and stay aware, it will change your way of thinking and you will be able to use all of this in your day to day law practice back home.

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