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Sebastian Ferreyra Romea

Making a difference

During more than eight years with Argentine law firm Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal, Sebastian spent six months of 2013 sitting with our antitrust, competition and trade practice in the Brussels office. He joined Moody’s, the credit ratings agency, in 2014 and is now a senior regulatory analyst for Latin America.

I loved every minute of my time at Freshfields.Marval is a StrongerTogether firm so, when I was there, I was aware of its relationship with Freshfields. But I didn’t really know much beyond that. The secondment was a great opportunity to find out how a big international law firm thrives and how to work with colleagues sitting in multiple jurisdictions.

Everyone –regardless of seniority – was very approachable both personally and professionally. My mentor was Thomas Janssens, whom I was delighted to hear was recently appointed global head of the ACT group. My tutor, Angeline Woods, was very supportive and offered some great career advice. I also became friends with Joanna Kay , recently promoted to principal associate in Brussels, Diogo Santos Pereira, an associate who’s now in London, and Tom Morgan, a principal associate now in Berlin.

Freshfields gave us the opportunity to spend time on charitable causes. I wasn’t there for long but I helped some Belgian organisations run sporting activities for local kids. It was great fun and it was also inspiring to see some of the partners involved. While with Marval, I did pro bono work for some Argentine charities. And Moody’s takes volunteering and social responsibility seriously. I regularly help out with community projects, such as providing housing and alleviating child malnutrition. I’m also volunteer for a couple of charity organisations directly. For Fundación Microjusticia Argentina (FMA) I visit Buenos Aires’ poorer neighbourhoods and give legal advice to low-income families. And I’m leading the effort within the FMA to establish a legal unit for the Fundación Margarita Barrientos, which provides social, educational and medical services as well as meals to more than 2,000 adults and children each day.

I’m a big believer in continuing education. My parents have had a big impact on my life and work ethic: both come from low income families in rural Argentina, but through effort and further education they became successful professionals in the fields of medicine and law. Having completed my graduate and postgraduate studies at two prestigious local universities, I thought it was time to give something back to my community.

With two young children I don’t have much time for anything else beyond my day job and volunteering but I get great satisfaction from it and can’t imagine not sharing my time.