Having observed the changing legal landscape in Perth during the past 13 years, the growth and development in that city has been remarkable.
It speaks volumes that international firms like Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Squire Sanders have all recently chosen to open offices there. Recently there has been more caution shown by law firms, but companies in Perth are still hiring staff at a greater rate than in other cities.
Reports the resources boom is over have affected the Perth recruitment market, as have reports coming in from Greece and Europe.
But Perth is seen as a gateway to Asia, and the resources boom over the past five years has created and continues to create more legal opportunities than in any other Australian city.
The reported resources slowdown has engendered caution in recruitment, and firms and companies are taking longer to make decisions. Firms and companies also need to be more confident that there are business cases for recruitment before hires are approved.
Many top-tier law firms are not recruiting at all in M&A (which is unusual in itself), but firms are still happily generally recruiting. Areas like litigation, insurance, and employment law are still as busy as ever.
Perth firms and companies are completely comfortable hiring lawyers from other cities. In fact, it is not uncommon for lawyers to be sponsored from overseas jurisdictions like the UK.
Perth firms and companies do need to be confident that a lawyer has legitimate reasons for wanting to move to Perth, and that a lawyer is genuinely committed to the move.
Added to this, salaries in Perth have regularly matched and sometimes surpassed east coast salaries.