Life as a dual-qualified lawyer: the difference between Germany and the UK

June 26, 2023
Anthony Tur


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Anthony Tur, a Banking & Finance, Restructuring & Insolvency, and Intellectual Property & Dispute Resolution Partner at gunnercooke, is dual-qualified in Germany and the UK (England & Wales). He has been a lawyer since 2014 and has had a unique journey to becoming a Partner.

Anthony recently shared his insights into life as a dual-qualified lawyer.

Why did you decide to become dual-qualified?

I hadn’t planned it, but life is always full of surprises and opportunities! I am a dual national and bilingual, however my plan was always to leave Germany and live in England. I met my wife, who is German, in Manchester after I had just completed my Bar Professional Training course and wanted to take a year off from law to decide what I really wanted to pursue. I was torn between practicing and lecturing at a university.

My wife and I moved back to Germany, but I decided to move my practice to split my time between London and Berlin. This paved the way for me to become dual-qualified. I decided to train myself in German Law whilst working as an English qualified barrister under EU-Regulations in Germany.

After 3 years of practising German law, they “called me” to the German Bar as a Rechtsanwalt (Lawyer) just in time before the Brexit cut off.  

How does working at gunnercooke allow you to continue working in both regions?

Working as a practicing UK Barrister and German Rechtsanwalt became very complex and complicated after Brexit and Covid, especially as a sole practitioner. Wolfgang, the Managing Partner of gunnercooke Germany, contacted me to discuss moving my practice to gunnercooke.

I built my firm from the ground up with not a lot of help and support from contacts in the legal world. The opportunity to join gunnercooke meant that I could potentially achieve more in both regions and receive a wider array of clients and matters within the UK and Germany. I still need to get my practice and availability known to partners and groups in England, but I am on my way.

What’s the benefit of being dual-qualified lawyer in your practice area?

As I am confronted very often with disputes that can be commenced either in the UK or in Germany, it helps my clients to have a “one stop shop” as I can offer advice and representation in both jurisdictions without having to instruct another lawyer or counsel.

What is the hardest thing about being dual-qualified?

For me it was being accepted in either jurisdiction as a “competent” lawyer. I still have to fight against the view that some more traditional lawyers have that I am not ‘in their league’ or not as capable as them. I still have to fight against the stigma. In terms of my legal practice, the hardest part of being dual-qualified is remaining up to date with the changes in the law in England & Wales and Germany. The best way to manage that is to regularly read into my areas of practice and specialise in certain aspects.

Have you had to change the way that you operate to account for cultural differences?

During my training in London, I experienced a very modern approach in communication, that is far less traditional than the German system. 

I always tried to bring that very modern approach from England into my firm and gunnercooke Germany has also managed to capture this modern approach.  For me it is a core value that no one is special in the legal world – everyone must be treated equally. The German way of training lawyers teaches trainees that they are above others. I believe that must change and that the cultural change must come from the Law Firms in Germany. I believe that gunnercooke as a major player can and must set such an example.

Do you have any advice for lawyers who want to dual qualify?

Every person who wants to dual qualify will need perseverance.  A dual qualified lawyer is something great and special and to an extent unique. However, it depends in which jurisdiction this dual qualification applies to. Being dual-qualified will give you an advantage over other lawyers. It will provide you with skills to better understand the other side and to find and negotiate a better deal.

gunnercooke has 18 dual-qualified lawyers with expertise across multiple regions and continents. To find out more about Anthony visit his profile here. Find out more about gunnercooke Germany here.

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