Nicola Jaccarini

What were you doing before the MCL?

Prior to commencing my studies at the University of Cambridge, I completed my Doctor of Laws degree at the University of Malta, graduating in November 2014. My Maltese law studies spanned six years: three years to obtain a Bachelor of Laws degree and a further three years to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws. As part of my Doctor of Laws studies, I wrote and defended a doctoral thesis based on the Maltese courts’ interpretation of the company recovery procedure. Additionally, I completed a number of extra-curricular courses based in tax law and trusts law as well as a correspondence course in creative writing. Concurrently with my Maltese legal studies, I undertook a three year traineeship with a Maltese law firm. This was primarily based in the firm’s corporate and commercial law departments, which exposed me to the practical aspect of corporate law and enhanced my desire to deepen my knowledge and experience of corporate law in the boardroom as opposed to just simply the lecture hall.

Why did you take the MCL?

The MCL degree appealed to me for two main reasons. First, it has always been a dream of mine to study at an academic institution like the University of Cambridge, a top-ranked global university which is steeped in history and prestige. Second, the MCL represented the only postgraduate law course which in my opinion combined a perfectly balanced practical as well as academic approach to the study of corporate law. Together with the small number of students which comprised each year’s intake, I felt that taking the MCL would help me develop as a well-rounded and business-minded corporate lawyer with a solid foundation upon which to enter into the professional legal world.

What were your impressions of the MCL?

From the onset I was struck by the close relationship which was forged between the academics and practitioners who lectured on the MCL and the students. We were given ample opportunity to network and get to know both our lecturers as well as legal professionals from the City. Doubtlessly aided by our small cohort, this definitely gave the MCL an edge of over postgraduate law degrees as it moved beyond being simply an academic degree and became a means for students to gain exposure with international law firms. I was also impressed with the Deals Course, which is unique to the MCL and perhaps one of its most attractive features. The course not only helped students develop oral and written presentation skills but also provided the opportunity to learn corporate law from some of the foremost corporate City lawyers.

What are your post-MCL plans and have they changed due to taking the MCL?

Studying the MCL and being at Cambridge has given me a taste of the types and nature of corporate deals which are being transacted continually in London. As a foreign qualified lawyer, my route to entry into the professional legal world in London is not completely straightforward. However, I am now working as a corporate paralegal in the Corporate PSL department at Herbert Smith Freehills in London, working mostly in the areas of private and public M&A, private equity and joint ventures. I have just passed my Bar exam in Malta and am now looking into the possibility of working as a lawyer in London. The MCL definitely gave me more of an international outlook, both in my knowledge of corporate law as well as in my professional plans and aspirations.