Mamed’s LLM leads to success

Name: Mamed Nazaraliyev

Course: LLM International, Commercial and Trade Law

Graduated: 2011

Nationality: Azerbaijani

Employer: State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic

Current position: Legal Adviser

I completed my undergraduate degree at Baku State University in Azerbaijan in International Law LLB with cum Laude (great honour). Following this I was employed as a programme assistant at ‘Caspian Cooperation for the Future’ NGO and was responsible for implementing various legal programmes at schools and universities.

I was still hungry to expand my knowledge and so I applied for the LLM in International, Commercial and Trade Law at Durham due to the excellent reputation of the department and institution. The best features of my course were the interactive teaching process, modern approaches, very practical modules and highly-qualified and knowledgeable academic staff.

While at Durham I was involved in conferences and lectures organised by our department and the postgraduate community. These expanded my understanding and worldview by providing a platform for discussion and debate. The most useful modules for me were Introduction to the Law of Oil Contracts, International Sales Law and International Banking Law. My dissertation covered Dispute Management in Azerbaijan Oil Contracts. I conducted comparative research using examples of foreign contracts to evaluate the practice of the Azerbaijan Production Sharing Agreement and was very happy to receive a mark of 72% (a distinction) for this research.

I am confident that the courses taken and the experience of studying in such a high-ranked University have pre-determined my career success. I am currently employed by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic. I applied while still in the UK and successfully passed several interviews before receiving the job offer. Currently my role involves working with foreign partners of our company. I provide legal support for international projects launched in Azerbaijan and am closely involved in the negotiations with foreign companies. Legal consulting on a wide range of topics is also an integral part of my job.

Durham University is not just about study. There are many opportunities for expanding your horizons through extracurricular activities. My interests centred around football. I played for the Azerbaijan team in the amateur league of County Durham. Durham students become members of a college and I was at Hild Bede. This was a fantastic experience with its formal dinners, college days, concerts and sport events. The staff in Hild Bede College are all fantastic and provide whatever help and support is needed.

I am grateful to all the people who taught and helped me on my academic path. Durham University is definitely one of the best Universities to study and one of the most adorable places to live in. Do take this chance and success will accompany you.


Kerry He – Reed Global Recruitment

Name: Kerry He

Course: LLM International Trade and Commercial Law

 Graduated: 2009

 Nationality: Chinese

Employer: Reed Global Recruitment, Beijing,Shanghai and Hong Kong

Current position: Legal Recruitment Consultant

I first came to England aged 16 when I went to Worthing for summer school to study English at Swandean School of English. I fell in love with the UK and decided to go back for higher education in the future. After finishing high school in Guangzhou, I completed my LL.B in International Economic Law at East China University of Political Science and Law, in the fascinating city of Shanghai. I completed the third year at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, as an Erasmus student. After finishing my study in Amsterdam and Shanghai, I applied successfully to Durham University for the LL.M programme.

The year at Durham passed in the blink of an eye. I submitted my dissertation in September 2009 and started job hunting. It was probably the worst time ever for job hunting due to the financial crisis. Although many of my course mates from outside Europe applied for the Post-Study Work visa to try their luck in the UK, I decided to go back to China, where I could still see lots of job opportunities despite the global financial turbulence.

I was not very sure about my career path as a fresh graduate, so I was open to any suitable opportunity that I came across. I searched and applied for jobs in Hong Kongon a website called jobsdb. I focused on paralegal jobs so I could apply my relevant skills and knowledge. I received a job offer from Henry Wai & Co, Solicitors in Hong Kong as a paralegal after job hunting for two and a half months. My main responsibilities were to assist in the market expansion in Greater China Area, China-related practise, commercial litigation and corporate transactions. After a year, I progressed to an opportunity to work at Yam & Company in association with Boughton Peterson Yang Anderson as a Legal Assistant, where I assisted in China notary, conveyancing and civil litigation. I learnt a lot by working at two excellent law firms for one and a half years. However, I was aware that being a paralegal was not a career I longed for. I was aiming for a challenging and rewarding career that suited my personality. Thanks to the great opportunities in the job market of Hong Kong, I recently joined Reed Specialist Recruitment as a Recruiting Consultant in the Legal Department. I am in charge of private practise recruitment in Shanghai and Hong Kong. According to my own experience, Durham Law School enjoys a very good reputation with employers in Hong Kong. Many graduates from Durham Law School are doing well in international law firms and other organizations in Hong Kong. I cherish my experience at Durham and am very grateful for the education of Durham Law School and the opportunities it has created for me.

Peter’s LLM success

Name: Yudong Zhai (Peter)

Graduated: 2009

Nationality: Chinese

Degree: LLM in International Trade and Commercial Law

Employer: King and Wood PRC Lawyers, Beijing, China

Durham University Law School offers excellent opportunities to learn the most developed theories in the Common Law system. However, the Career Centre gave me great help to find a job. They helped me to improve my CV and prepare for assessment days.  I applied for and attended open days at Norton Rose, Barlow Lyde & Gilbert LLP and Macfarlanes LLP and completed a vacation scheme at Barlow Lyde & Gilbert LLP. I learned about the operation mode and expertise of English firms and decided to use my experience and education to pursue a legal career in China. I believe this enhanced my employability as I was offered a position by one of the biggest law firms in China- King and Wood. Now I am working in the Corporate Team at the ShenZhen Office. Although it has been less than a year since I started working here, I have already assisted in 4 IPO cases and 7 M&A cases. The excellent experiences at Durham and rapid development in China provided me with the opportunity to make my dream come true.