A move to the Channel Islands: Advice for a Newly Qualified Solicitor

A move to the Channel Islands: Advice for a Newly Qualified Solicitor

A move to the Channel Islands:

Advice for a Newly Qualified Solicitor

"With net NQ starting salaries up to 60% higher than in the regional market, it’s easy to see why an ever-increasing number of trainees are beginning their legal career in the Channel Islands.”

Securing an NQ position in the Channel Islands

Leading international offshore law firms are looking for bright, ambitious and personable newly qualified lawyers to join their offices in Jersey and Guernsey.  Starting salaries for 2020 are expected to be around £62k, which when combined with the lower rate of tax, means an NQ earning £38k on the mainland could expect a 60% higher take home pay.  Even those earning the higher end of the regional NQ salaries at £52k could achieve a 23% higher take home pay in the Channel Islands.

The Channel Islands offer newly qualified regional lawyers the unique opportunity to practice in a different jurisdiction and work for clients that include Magic Circle law firms and multi-national corporations, without the drawbacks of life in the City.  You will also be part of an international network of offices spanning the major offshore financial centres of the Caribbean and Asia.  This invaluable offshore experience, gained early in your career, opens the doors to very lucrative moves to these jurisdictions later in your career.


  • NQ solicitor, qualifying in 2020 in England & Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand;
  • Training contract completed with a City, International, or leading regional law firm;
  • At least one relevant seat - corporate, M&A, funds, real estate finance, general banking & finance, dispute resolution/ commercial litigation.

The vacancies:  Openings exist annually in Corporate/ M&A, Banking & Finance, Investment Funds and Dispute Resolution/ Litigation.

The Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey can offer junior lawyers the best of both worlds.  Joining an elite offshore firm, you will enjoy exposure to high-value cross-border work whilst benefitting from a lifestyle that is simply unattainable at an equivalent onshore firm.  We regularly receive excellent feedback from lawyers who have relocated as NQ’s in previous years, many of whom have gone on to build successful and highly lucrative careers offshore.

These roles offer:

  • NQ salary of £60k-£65k (20% tax rate) + generous bonus + benefits;
  • Relocation package – cash expenses, flights and one months’ accommodation on arrival;
  • Genuine responsibility with exposure to high-value and complex international transactional work;
  • Active involvement in client management and business development from the outset;
  • Comprehensive induction and ongoing training throughout the ‘settling in’ period;
  • Collegiate team-focused working environments;
  • The opportunity to work closely with senior market leading lawyers, many of whom are ex-City;
  • Transparent expectations for career progression and mentoring to help you to achieve it.


Offshore law firms promise a consistent diet of high-end work and a level of client contact that is rare for a junior lawyer in a top-class firm.  You will find yourself advising on some of the biggest matters, in one of the world’s pre-eminent offshore financial centres, often working closely with senior level partners.  As a result, you will have the opportunity to build your career quickly, gaining experience that is highly valued across the offshore and wider international markets.

Jersey & Guernsey

Island life is poles apart from the mainland.  Work-life balance is better, even at the top firms, meaning you will have plenty of time to get involved in everything they have to offer.  NQs here enjoy a busy social life, whether it is after work drinks with colleagues, one of the numerous sports clubs, or taking advantage of the stunning coastline to try surfing, sailing or just lazing on the beach.  When you need a city fix, you can be in London in an hour.  Find out more with our Origin Legal Guide to Living and Working in the Channel Islands

Career Platform

We have been helping NQ lawyers relocate to the Channel Islands for almost 20 years.  Without exception, the feedback has been positive.  Some settle and remain there for the long-term, some build experience before making a highly lucrative move within the offshore sector (e.g. to Cayman, BVI or Hong Kong), and of course some return to the onshore market, and when they do, they go to good firms.  Recent examples of firms joined by lawyers returning to London after gaining NQ experience in the Channel Islands include Addleshaw Goddard, Clifford Chance, Clyde & Co., CMS, Dentons, Eversheds, Macfarlanes, Norton Rose Fulbright, Simmons & Simmons, and Travers Smith.  What better proof can there be that experience from a top offshore firm provides a great platform for your long-term career?

Contact our International Team:

Jason Horobin: 01206 233 514 / email: [email protected]/


Charlotte Hooper: 01206 233 515 / email: [email protected]


Connect with us for a confidential discussion or more information on current live vacancies


About The Author | JASON HOROBIN

Jason has specialised in international legal recruitment since September 2000 and leads the international team at Origin Legal.  He has helped hundreds of lawyers, from NQ to Senior Equity Partner, to make career-defining and life-changing moves to more than twenty jurisdictions worldwide.

[email protected]

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