BIG CHILL: Anne Beresford rugged up against the cold in freezing Russia.
BIG CHILL: Anne Beresford rugged up against the cold in freezing Russia. Contributed

Legal adventures from Russia with love

SHE was once a smiling little face at Gympie West State School and now she's part of a legal team working in Russia.

Anne Beresford, 31, has swapped the heat of Oz for the chill of a Russian winter as she works as a lawyer for the world's largest intergrated oil and gas company Sakhalin Energy Investment Company.

"I'm living on Sakhalin Island, which is a Russian island off the far east coast of Russia and just north of Japan," Anne said.

While Anne is normally based in Perth, working for Australian law firm Allens, the company's client Sakhalin Energy needed some extra manpower in the legal team, so she was sent to Russia on secondment to lend an Aussie hand.

All up, she will be in the country for four months and is due home in a month.

"It was more a matter of taking an opportunity that came up, rather than wanting to come here," she said.

"I hadn't even heard of Sakhalin Island before July 2013.

"The biggest difference from home is the weather; it has been very cold in the last few weeks.

"On Monday the minimum was minus 32 degrees and maximums are generally around minus 10 degrees.

"In December there was a big snow storm that lasted for three days and resulted in work being cancelled for one day.

"Doing my shopping can also be a challenging experience. Not many shop keepers can speak English and a lot of the shops are very small and you actually have to ask the assistant to give you the product from behind the counter, rather than being supermarkets as we know them."

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