Foreign lawyers are becoming more attractive to local firms, write Karlie Connellan and Jenny Bermheden from Taylor Root.
In the last 12 months most major economic centres have started to show real interest in lawyers coming from Australia and New Zealand. Law firms in Asia, the Middle East, the UK, Europe and New York remain focused on securing top-tier lawyers for their teams. Key hiring areas are banking, projects/construction, energy & resources, TMT, corporate, insolvency/restructuring, litigation, funds and real estate.
Due to the lack of local talent, foreign lawyers are becoming more attractive. Previously hard to source prerequisites are being relaxed (level, experience, academics, languages and working rights) and lawyers who are showing enough enthusiasm and are fast learners are being considered, even if they lack some of the requirements. While some international firms have visited Australia and New Zealand on recruitment campaigns, most firms are recruiting to fill singular active vacancies.
Recruitment is typically due to growth and an increase in work; however, we have not yet seen firms speculatively recruiting on the assumption that they will require more lawyers in the future, as per pre GFC-style international recruitment. Most international firms offer competitive rates, relocation packages and, in some cases, sponsorship.
Corporate clients in all industries are starting to hire again throughout the world, including hard to fill in-house positions. In this space, we are currently busy with energy & resources, banking, derivatives, TMT, corporate and commercial vacancies in Singapore and the Middle East. Gone are the days of expat packages and/or healthy relocation packages, with many companies expecting the successful candidate to cover their own costs of relocating. We tend to advise lawyers considering an international in-house position that they will initially need to be very motivated to live and work in the region, rather than be solely focused on an increase in remuneration.
Karlie Connellan (pictured top right) and Jenny Bermheden (pictured left) are Associate Directors at Taylor Root, International.
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