From Cayman to Jersey: Ridhiima Kapoor's experience of secondment with Ogier
Ridhiima Kapoor, who was born and raised in the Cayman Islands, is an associate in Ogier's investment funds and corporate team in the Cayman office. Ridhiima joined Ogier in 2012 as an articled clerk and was subsequently admitted to the Cayman Islands Bar in 2014. Her work largely centres on advising clients on the establishment, launch and maintenance of investment funds and she also advises on general corporate and commercial matters. Ridhiima has extensive experience living abroad – having studied in both the UK at the University of Nottingham and in Italy at the United World College of the Adriatic. In this interview, Ridhiima details her experience of her six-month secondment to Ogier's Jersey office from a professional and personal perspective, and shares her career advice for young Caymanians.
How would you describe your overall experience of secondment?
For me it was a really positive time. Having been with Ogier for over five years, it was great to experience first-hand how global we are as a firm and to meet and work alongside people I previously had only communicated with by email or phone. Six months was a good length of time too – this time period works where you don't want to be away from home for too long, but you do want enough time to get a deeper understanding of life and work in another office and jurisdiction. Of course each office has its own feel but I liked how at home I felt in the Jersey office - It was the perfect blend of the familiar and the new.
What were the main challenges?
At the outset, there were a few issues with re-locating, however Ogier's HR team is very supportive and experienced in this area, so they were able to guide me through the practical challenges that arose.
One particular challenge was going from having a solid background in one legal system, in my case Cayman's, and having to learn another one from scratch. Although I was moving from one offshore jurisdiction to another, the funds' regulatory system in Cayman is quite different to the system and products offered in Jersey, so there was a bit of a learning curve.
It can sometimes be challenging to accept your limitations in a new jurisdiction and legal system because you can't always help as much as you'd like to however that said, the partners in Jersey got me involved with matters straight away, and after gaining some experience I felt more comfortable with the work and was able to provide more support to my team.
What did you enjoy the most?
There were a number of highlights. The team I was working with was really friendly and it was great to see how the head office operates. The partners in Jersey are as approachable and friendly as the partners in Cayman.
Some highlights included playing on the firm's softball team in the Jersey Softball League and being part of a team that went out to paint Elizabeth Castle. As part of Ogier's Corporate Social Responsibility the investment funds and corporate team were tasked with painting the Governor's House in St. Helier, which was once home to Sir Walter Raleigh and Charles II – not a typical day's work!
What advice would you give to someone going on secondment?
I would highly recommend going on a secondment, it is a great opportunity to experience a different jurisdiction and culture. It provides great perspective on how other offices operate in a global firm. The major advice I would give is to be open minded to the new challenges, experiences and opportunities that form part of the secondment experience.
What would you advise young Caymanians who are currently considering their career options?
When considering career options, I would strongly recommend obtaining internships within the industry that you are interested in. Even if the internship is for a short period of time, it is a great way to learn about the field of work, meet new people and learn about the culture of the particular firm. In addition to internships, consider reaching out to someone directly within the particular area of work that you are interested in. It may seem daunting to contact the person, however you may be pleasantly surprised with how approachable people can be when providing career advice and guidance.
Lashonda Powell joined Ogier as an articled clerk after receiving the 2016 Ogier scholarship
"Ogier has given me the opportunity to obtain my Masters of Arts in Legal Practice and has also given me the tools to become an excellent lawyer. I would advise young Caymanians thinking about their future career to find what they are interested in, define their goals and make a plan."
Interested in finding out more about opportunities at Ogier in the Cayman Islands? Visit our careers page here.