Cost cutting measures, including promotional freezes, are plaguing the market but mid-tier firms are seeing the economic climate as an opportunity to snap up senior lawyers to bolster existing practises, writes Ruth Salamon
All we seem to read about is the doom and gloom of the market - including redundancies, salary and promotions freezes, reductions in work flows and other cost-cutting measures. There's no question that these have all been realities of late, but what you may not know is that, flying in the face of all of this, some law firms are thriving and are actually seeking growth.
Many senior lawyers have had their career paths put on hold as a result of the GFC. Their firms just cannot accommodate more partners under the current circumstances. However, practitioners with a strong client base, a dynamic and entrepreneurial approach and a good name in the market are finding more partnership opportunities opening up for them within the mid-tier.
A number of highly respected and well known mid-tier firms see the current environment as a golden opportunity and are actively seeking out senior practitioners who have a transferable client base, with or without an accompanying team, to bolster their existing practices.
These firms have recognised that with the discontentment of reduced work flows in the current market, now is the time to snap up good senior talent. Many senior associates and partners have either had their career development put on hold, or are looking for a more supportive and dynamic environment, often with greater profit margins due to lower overheads. This facilitates further growth for the firms and leaves them ready to attack the market with full force when things do improve.
These firms offer competitive salaries, sizable marketing budgets and a genuine interest in the growth and success of the incoming team.
Just because we're in a bear market, doesn't mean that everyone out there is experiencing doom and gloom. There are some excellent prospects in the mid-tier and there may never be a better time to take advantage of them!
Ruth Salamon heads up Laurence Simons Australia and has extensive experience in senior level legal appointments.