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School of Law

Souria Maroua Touihar, Energy and Natural Resources Law LLM (2020)

"I appreciate the intellectual stimulation found in the program, but also the openness to the world with the possibility of studying with lawyers from around the world..."

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Year of graduation: 2020
Name of programme: Energy and Natural Resources Law LLM
Country: Algeria

I am a French-Algerian Energy and Natural Resources Law LLM student; I graduated with a Masters Degree in International Business Law from Lyon III University, a program based at the university’s Vietnam campus.

Lawyers today are constantly asked to adapt to the evolving market environment. This is the reason why I chose to leave my comfort zone and move to Ho Chi Minh City, one of the most dynamic cities in South East Asia.

In addition to evening classes, I completed a full-time 8-month internship at YKVN, one of the largest firms in Vietnam. I was very lucky in that I had a great mentor at YKVN, Eli Mazur, Managing Partner of the Project Finance practice. He gave me the opportunity to focus mostly on energy projects, which is a subject I was always curious and eager to acquire more experience in. I also had the opportunity to work at the legal department of KPMG Vietnam, where we advised a broad array of international clients on market entry and gave regulatory analysis on business structuring.

After working on various energy projects, in particular in the electricity industry, which is booming due to power demands in Vietnam, I quickly realized how challenging it was to bring these project to financial closure in a “shaky jurisdiction”. Regulation in Vietnam is still in development and so there are extreme differences between the intentions of the lawmakers and how the law is applied in practice. The LLM also offers practical and concrete, industry-sought skills, that will help me to develop and gain the knowledge and skills required to play a key role in the coming years in the energy sector. I am currently taking modules such as International Energy Transactions, International Arbitration and Energy and also Renewable Energy Law.

Everything meets my expectations. The courses and the professors are incredible. I appreciate the intellectual stimulation found in the program, but also the openness to the world with the possibility of studying with lawyers from around the world. The way classes are organised through seminars with open discussions and debates on all subjects, is really stimulating. I was also extremely happy with the guest lecturers we had the chance to receive in our classes and during the Friday lecture series, such as Lawyers from Norton Rose, Dentons and BP, to name just a few. Being able to exchange and learn from lecturers and lawyers with extensive experience and expertise is a great opportunity for me to strengthen my personal and professional competencies. I am able now to speak out more confidently but I have also learned how to master another legal system.

I would like to continue to grow both as an energy lawyer and also as an individual in the years to come. I want to push myself out of my comfort zone, by getting exposure to different practice areas in the energy sector, which will hopefully provide me with a better sense of where I truly wish to concentrate down the road. I also want to stay involved as a Queen Mary Alumna and share my experience with upcoming LLM students.

Would you be willing to share your Testimonial? If so, you could help a prospective student to make an informed choice to study at Queen Mary. (Class of 2020 and 2021 only).