What were you doing before you began the MCL?
After graduating with an LLM from Leuven University, I became an associate in the Capital Markets and Banking Group of Linklaters LLP in Brussels. My practice mainly included banking, acquisition finance, structured finance and derivatives. I was also active in financial regulatory matters. During this period, I remained affiliated with Leuven University as a junior researcher and co-authored a book chapter on the drafting of force majeure and hardship clauses under Belgian law.
Why did you take the MCL?
Having been regularly involved in cross-border transactions with international clients, often with a strong English law dimension, I firmly believed that it was important for me to expand my knowledge of English corporate finance law and to gain a better understanding of the commercial drivers of market participants. The MCL was my programme of choice to achieve this because it was designed to be very practice-oriented, combining a rigorous academic approach with a strong focus on the commercial background of corporate decision-making in a financial context. Finally, I also sought the personal enrichment that comes from living in a foreign county for one year. The historical setting of Cambridge, with its vibrant and diverse student population, offered ample opportunities for stimulating conversations and new friendships.
What were your impressions of the MCL?
I am very happy to have participated in the MCL. I feel that this programme has enhanced my legal knowledge, strengthened my technical skills and provided me with valuable insights into the global financial market and its participants. The MCL modules and full-year courses are uniquely structured to improve students’ understanding of various facets vital to transactional lawyers. The limited student intake of the MCL, the international composition of our class and substantial exposure to private practice provided the foundation for many thought-provoking debates, both inside and outside of the classroom.
What are your post-MCL plans and have they changed due to taking the MCL?
I came away from the MCL with an enhanced passion for the field of corporate and financial law. After the MCL, I will return to Belgium and resume my practice as a finance lawyer in Brussels. Because I also enjoy conducting research beyond the direct scope of my transactional or advisory work, I will also be continuing my academic activities as a research assistant. I am confident that, in time, my MCL experience will prove to be a platform from which to build an intellectually fulfilling career as a legal practitioner. While the MCL has to this point merely strengthened rather than changed my prior professional plans, it has nevertheless prompted many new travelling plans to visit the far-away friends which I had the pleasure of meeting during my year in Cambridge.