is the capital city of Germany. With a population of 3.5 million, Berlin is the country’s largest city, and the second most populous city in the European Union.
is the largest financial centre in continental Europe, being the home of the European Central Bank, the Deutsche Bundesbank and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Frankfurt city’s population is 0.7 million, however, metropolitan area surrounding it has a population of 5.6 million.
It is the leading UK-based international and Magic Circle firms who are firmly established in Frankfurt (the biggest of these being merged German firms), together with a number of leading US firms and a fair proportion of lesser known German firms. Some of the leading firms are also based in Berlin, and niche international firms are starting to open Media related practices there.
Principal Areas of Demand
Whilst there is obviously most demand for German qualified lawyers, a handful of the leading UK-based Magic Circle firms and US firms have a definite and growing need for Common Law qualified lawyers in the following areas (although it is usually a pre-requisite that you have fluent, or at least very advanced, German language skills):
- Banking and Finance (Capital Markets)
- Real Estate
Remuneration & Benefits
With such a strong economy, the salaries in Frankfurt and Berlin are very good and very similar to, if not slightly better than, what you would expect from US or UK-based firms in London. German firms also pay well, but, on average, less than their foreign counterparts. As the cost of living and accommodation is very much lower than in London, you should find that your hard-earned money will provide a very comfortable lifestyle.
Outside the Office
Although Frankfurt is not renowned for its beauty, it offers a lot. If you want to escape from city life, Frankfurt is extremely well situated for day and week trips. Besides visiting the famous Rheingau wine region and the surrounding beautiful and quaint towns and villages, you can also easily venture further afield to Amsterdam, Bruges, Zurich, Northern Italy and many more popular European destinations.
Berlin has one of the most diverse and vibrant nightlife scenes in Europe, being home to many nightclubs, bars and restaurants. The city has several annual carnivals and parades, and is also well known for its jazz festivals. Culturally, Berlin has theatres, museums and galleries to rival anywhere in the world.