The annual Top 25 Attraction Firms ranking was based on the results from one question in the recent Momentum Intelligence Legal Firm of Choice Report 2016, which asked: ‘Which firms would you most likely consider a move to if you ever decided to leave your current firm?’, with respondents able to select more than one firm.
This year’s report was conducted between 27 June and 18 July 2016, recording the views of over 700 respondents – an increase of 22 per cent on last year.
Herbert Smith Freehills took out the top honour for the second year running, being declared Australia’s most attractive firm.
Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, HSF joint regional managing partner Sue Gilchrist said the firm’s ability to successfully implement key strategies around attracting and retaining talent has helped secure its position over the past 12 months.
“I think outside HSF, people see us as professional and committed to excellence but also friendly and authentic,” Ms Gilchrist said.
“We’re always striving to do more. In a market where there’s so much going on and it’s so competitive, we feel like internally we need to focus even more on making sure that our people are engaged and are performing at the exceptionally high levels that we and our clients expect.”
In second place, also for the second year running, was King & Wood Mallesons.
“We constantly evaluate what will attract top lawyers to KWM,” said Sue Kench, chief executive partner, Australia.
“This starts with graduate recruitment, where we invest a lot of time talking to future lawyers from a wide range of different law schools and backgrounds to understand why they feel KWM could be a great place to commence and grow in their legal career, and we tailor our approach to suit their career and personal aspirations accordingly.”
Allens snagged third place in this year’s Top 25 ranking – an increase of three places from last year.
Managing partner Richard Spurio put the jump down to Allens’ focus on diversity and presenting staff with an array of opportunities.
“We have invested time in looking at the diversity of our team, with a view to build a more diverse workforce through different approaches to recruitment,” he said.
“[We] empower staff to take ownership of their career so they can achieve their professional goals, with a mentoring program to ensure ongoing dialogue and support.
“We are also focused on creating a flexible working environment to support our people to achieve their work and personal goals.”
MinterEllison was ranked fourth on this year’s Top 25 list, after implementing an improved performance and development approach.
“We have a clear strategy focused on growth, capability and innovation, and our people know what they need to do to contribute to achieving those goals,” said Mary Lyras, chief talent officer.
“We also understand and value the importance of open communication throughout the firm, of encouraging people to focus on their natural strengths, and of being flexible in how and from where people work.”
Rounding out the top five was Ashurst.
Phil Breden, head of Australia, said the firm has continued its focus on maintaining an environment that allows its people to deliver to their full potential, whatever their career aspirations are.
“The firm provides them the opportunity to work on clients and matters at the very top end of the market, in a supportive and flexible environment,” he said.
“We have found our staff really engage with that proposition.”
The Top 25 Attraction Firms are:
1. Herbert Smith Freehills
2. King & Wood Mallesons
6. Gilbert + Tobin
7. Norton Rose Fulbright
8. Allen & Overy
9. Clayton Utz
Tied 10. Baker & McKenzie and Clifford Chance
12. Henry Davis York
13. DLA Piper
14. Corrs Chambers Westgarth
15. K&L Gates
16. PwC Legal
17. KPMG Legal
18. Gadens Lawyers
19. Lander & Rogers
20. HWL Ebsworth
Tied 21. Jones Day and Clyde & Co
23. Mills Oakley
24. Hall & Wilcox
25. Deloitte Legal