Commerce & Industry
The Commerce and Industry, in house legal market within Continental Europe differs from country to country. Perhaps the most internationally led market is to be found in Switzerland where for many multi nationals, the first language is English and so much of the (legal) work is drafted in English. This of course makes it a far more accessible market for overseas lawyers to work within and with salaries being far higher than other Continental European countries as well as offering such an excellent all round quality of life, makes Switzerland the first choice for many in house lawyers. The in house legal departments within other Continental European countries do tend to be far more local and thus harder for overseas candidates to move to.
In terms of legal work, the most common skill set that an in house department would seek from a lawyer is similar to the UK in house teams, general commercial. Whilst specialised areas such as IP or Corporate is also quite common, especially with the Life Science organisations within Switzerland, it is far more the exception. Skill sets such as employment or litigation is in many cases outsourced to local counsel given the specialist nature of the work.
Countries such as Germany, France or Spain would tend to recruit lawyers with more of a generalist background as the work is shared around the department. Perhaps the most common sectors where in house legal teams are prevalent in Continental Europe are Pharmaceuticals/Life Sciences and FMCG (ie: food manufacturers / distributors and drinks companies).