Gishan Abeyratne
Gishan Abeyratne
Senior Associate: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

Game of Thrones

Like many millions around the world, I am borderline obsessed with Game of Thrones. While it’s on TV I am 100% dedicated to watching it on a Monday night. This is usually followed by much talk in the office on a Tuesday morning and gloating about my predictions and theories coming true. I have been a dedicated fan for years, to the point where I find it quite hard to believe people who tell me they are not fans. How can you not love it?!

For anyone unfamiliar with George RR Martin (and HBO’s) masterpiece, allow me to enlighten you…

Set in the fictional country of Westeros we have seven kingdoms made up of many lordly houses. Think of these like the legal centres of the UK. The capital, Kings Landing, is evidently London. It’s where everything seems to be centred but it’s still reliant on support from its fellow cities and houses. To the West we have Casterly Rock, which one might consider to be Bristol; aesthetically pleasing to behold, quite wealthy and easily competing with Kings Landing offering people the chance to live and work in a bustling city with beautiful scenic surroundings on your doorstep. In the Midlands of Westeros we have the Twins, a smaller house of the seven kingdoms but it’s been around for a long time, its dominion is far more spread out when compared to Kings Landing but it is a powerful house and logistically vital to anyone passing from north to south or east to west; the Twins could be considered to be Birmingham. To the north (and slightly to the west) we have Winterfell, a historically important northern kingdom steeped in northern pride and being a capital of the region, here we have Manchester. In between and amongst these four focal points there are of course other smaller but equally important settings. Dragonstone to the north east of Kings Landing would be Cambridge, the Iron Islands to the north of Casterly Rock would be Cardiff, and to the south west we have High Garden which represents Exeter.

Throughout the series’ each of these places plays a vital part in the unfolding storylines. We see victory, tragedy, and romance. We see people move from town to city, trying to find their place in the world. We see loyalty from bannermen in the surrounding countryside to their respective lordly houses, and we see betrayal from others choosing the other side. We meet valiant knights, and mysterious and exotic foreigners. What is the point I am trying to make? Well, doesn’t it sound remarkably like the legal profession in the UK? Let me put it to you this way; while the thought of life in the capital might sound glamorous and appealing, it is a tough place to live. The Red Keep (the City) holds the wealth and the power and while there are opportunities elsewhere, regardless of where you are in the capital life moves at a pace dictated by others. That’s not to say you wouldn’t find success there, but it might not be the glorious picture you thought it would be. See Sansa Stark for further details on this.

You might be surprised at the quality of work and life you could find elsewhere; you might be pleasantly surprised by the people and you might also be surprised to find that staying put is the most sensible and safest decision to make for the time being. Ultimately it very much depends on circumstance. I dare say had Ned Stark come to us for advice before accepting Robert Baratheon’s invitation to be his Hand of the King and move from Winterfell to Kings Landing we probably would have told him not to go. Had Stannis Baratheon come to us when he decided to sail and siege Kings Landing from Dragonstone we probably would have told him not to go. That being said, when Jamie Lannister was offered the opportunity to take his rightful seat at Casterly Rock, we definitely would have told him to go. I haven’t even started on Daenerys and her dragons, Dorne, Bravos, Qarth, Yunkai, Astapor, Meereen, and the Dothraki. I could go on and on about this...

The point is simple: we don’t live or work in Westeros and I have no idea how Game of Thrones is going to end (the suspense, oh the suspense!!!) but we are experts in advising lawyers in private practice and in-house positions through the UK on their career moves. We’re experts in advising private practice law firms and in-house legal teams on their strategic recruitment. Whether you wish to make a life and living under Cersei’s rule in Kings Landing, Daenerys in Dragonstone, or Jon Snow in Winterfell; wherever you want to work and whatever you want to do as a lawyer in the UK, or coming from abroad, the House of BCL Legal is at your service.

For more information contact Gishan Abeyratne at BCL Legal.

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