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Exclusive: top 25 attraction firms revealed

Which firms do lawyers aspire to work for? Exclusive research from Lawyers Weekly identifies the most sought-after legal employers in the country.

user iconStefanie Garber 02 October 2015 Corporate Counsel
Exclusive: top 25 attraction firms revealed
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An employer of choice survey conducted by Lawyers Weekly asked respondents: ''Which firms would you most likely approach if you ever decided to leave your current firm?"

Of the 587 legal professionals who answered this question, 23 per cent nominated global giant Herbert Smith Freehills.

HSF's former Australian managing partner Jason Ricketts suggested the firm’s global reach and star-power clients help attract legal talent.


“We offer our people the opportunity to work on some of the most complex, interesting and challenging deals, matters and transactions, as well as the opportunity to work alongside some of the world’s best legal minds,” he said.

Second place went to another global firm, King & Wood Mallesons, which was nominated by 18.7 per cent of respondents.

KWM executive director of people and development Linda Johnston suggested the firm’s Asian identity is part of its appeal.

“Last year from Australia alone, over 40 people transferred to one of our other markets,” she said. “Opportunities such as these are beneficial both for our clients, who are increasingly international businesses, as well as our lawyers from a development perspective.”

Australia's own Minter Ellison ranked third, attracting interest from 17.7 per cent of respondents.

Sydney managing partner Nicole Green believes the firm’s focused strategy and breadth of opportunity are its main strengths in terms of recruitment.

The full list of the top 25 attraction firms is below. Please note that respondents were able to nominate more than one firm.

1. Herbert Smith Freehills – 23%

2. King & Wood Mallesons – 18.7%

3. Minter Ellison – 17.7%

4. Ashurst – 14.7%

5. Allen & Overy – 14%

6: Allens Linklaters – 13.8%

7: Clayton Utz – 13.3%

8: Norton Rose Fulbright – 13.1%

9: Baker & McKenzie – 12.6%

10: Clifford Chance – 11.6%

11: Corrs Chambers Westgarth – 11.6%

12: Gilbert + Tobin – 11.2%

13: DLA Piper – 10.9%

14: Lander & Rogers – 10.4%

15: K&L Gates – 9.5%

16: Slater & Gordon – 9.5%

17: Henry Davis York – 9%

18: HWL Ebsworth – 8.9%

19: Sparke Helmore – 8%

20: Maddocks – 7.5%

21: Gadens – 7%

22: Jones Day – 7%

23. McCullough Robertson – 6.8%

24: Mills Oakley – 6.8%

25: Moray & Agnew – 6.6%

The question was posed as part of the Lawyers Weekly Legal Firm of Choice Survey, conducted during April and May 2015, which yielded a total usable sample of 1,361 legal professionals.

More information on the survey results is available from Will Magee at Lawyers Weekly on 02 9922 3300.

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