Giulia Costa is a junior associate in our shipping & transport practice.
Giulia, tell us about how your passion for maritime law started and how BonelliErede helped you transform that passion into a profession.
I was introduced to maritime law through an optional course I took on the subject while getting my law degree at the University of Genoa, in my hometown. At first, it simply piqued my curiosity, but it soon developed into a real passion – and I ended up choosing it as the subject of my thesis a few years later.
What I really like about maritime law is how multifaceted it is: not only does it almost always involve foreign jurisdictions and thus take your practice of law beyond national borders, but it also gives you the chance to delve into a huge variety of topics and face different challenges every day! The dynamic nature of this area of law is something I really treasure.
After graduation, I was eager to enter the world of work and put what I had learned in the classroom into practice. One month after finishing my degree, I joined BonelliErede, where I was immediately given the opportunity to experience the kind of multidisciplinary approach to law that had so intrigued me during my studies. At first my work included corporate and bankruptcy law matters – especially in relation to transactions and cases involving shipping companies. When the firm established its shipping and transport practice in 2019, I jumped at the opportunity to focus full-time on maritime, transport and insurance law.
What is it like to be a maritime lawyer at BonelliErede?
You get to explore that multifaceted approach I mentioned before: Because you’re part of a team spread across several countries, each assignment finds you working side by side with professionals who usually operate in other jurisdictions. So every day you have the opportunity to learn from your colleagues’ approach to the law and to the profession in general – not to mention analyse cases from multiple angles.
Working at a firm like ours, which has professionals specialised in so many different areas of law, means that I often get to see the same case from different points of view: on a given day, for example, I might be in court to discuss the liability issues arising from an accident at sea, assist with the related insurance aspects, and rush to file a request for the arrest of the ship involved.
Another thing I love about my job – and this is especially true for the Genoa office – is the close relationship that trainees and even the youngest associates have with partners. Working with experienced professionals right from day one is certainly a challenge, but it’s also a unique training opportunity!
That said, life at the office is not all about work: we make sure we find the time to socialise and have fun, too – whether it’s going out together for a cultural activity (like taking in an exhibition at one of the city’s museums) or simply grabbing a drink at the end of the week.
Before diving into your daily routine at BonelliErede, how do you start your day? And what do you like to do in your free time?
I’m a morning person: I like to get up early and carve out some time for activities that I know will help me start off my day at the firm on the right foot.
As soon as I wake up, I catch up on world news, including by listening to podcasts on current affairs. I also attend an early morning pilates class twice a week before heading to the office.
In my free time, I travel to Zurich whenever I get the chance – my twin sister lives there, and though we might appear to be completely different (I am a fan of the classics and a lawyer, whereas she’s a science buff with a degree in statistics and mathematics), we love spending time together hiking around the Swiss lakes and mountains.