Postcard from… Monte Carlo

In the latest in our Postcards from… series, Lawrence Graham partner William Easun discusses the highs and, er, highs of legal life in Monte Carlo.

Postcard from... Monte CarloIn the latest in our Postcards from… series, Lawrence Graham partner William Easun discusses the highs and, er, highs of legal life in Monte Carlo.

I have lived and worked in Monaco for nearly 30 years. I qualified as a solicitor in a criminal law practice in London but put none of that to use before starting out as a private client lawyer in Monte Carlo after life working in Paris and studying law in Aix en Provence, France.

My day starts with opening the blinds of our apartment to look up out over the old port and palace, where the Grimaldi dynasty have reigned for over 700 years. We look down beneath us at old and new buildings, offices and apartment blocks and onto what becomes the circuit of the Grand Prix each year. A three minute walk up the hill overlooking the super yachts in the port reminds me of what great wealth brings, but which will always be beyond any of us who service it.

The LG office takes up a floor in an office block very near Casino Square where we have been for over 20 years – each room with a clear view of mountains or sea. Work is a mix of private client and financial services law for foreigners or institutions resident in Monaco, or in nearby France. It’s forever fascinating.

If not a walk to the office, morning starts with a bus ride with my three children – all born here – to the beautiful school with its Christian values taught, on the Rock, near the Palace, with many other parents and children all heading their too. It reminds me that real families, with all that entails – education, healthcare, sport, culture, love of and respect for the Royal Family – abound in this tiny space that is the Principality. It would fit neatly into Hyde Park.

Monaco also boasts crime free streets; a great social life; the proximity of France and Italy (which I look out at from my office windows in the centre of Monte Carlo); and skiing only a short drive away.

Eating out and going out in Monaco capture all the superlatives. Music, ballet, opera, circus and cinema of world class quality on our doorstep. Sailing and diving aren’t for me but there is plenty of sport to watch – French League football in Monaco and rugby in Nice – and the children love their pools and tennis courts, which abound.

I favour a great Italian restaurant near the office, Il Terrazino, but if someone else is paying the Michelin-starred restaurants in the Hotel de Paris and the Metropole are legendary. Later I like “Moods” – the best Jazz club I have visited anywhere.

Weekends are spent in the market with great produce from nearby, or travelling on the Coast (one of the most beautiful in the world, between Monaco and Nice), or in our French farmhouse, or to beautiful Italian cities or back to Aix en Provence, my favourite French city.

It is Monaco’s luck and ours to be perfectly situated, surrounded by the best of France and Italy which we can enjoy, and then return home to the quality of traditional values and the rigour of an extremely wel-run, safe, generous and gentle country.

In truth, I hanker for nothing of the country I left forever in 1979. The light in the morning and the smiles on my children’s faces at night tell me why.

William Easun is a partner at Lawrence Graham.