While it’s no secret that the legal industry is evolving, the question of where the good legal roles will actually come from in the future was highlighted at the Association of Corporate Counsel national conference, held earlier this month.
Speaking to Lawyers Weekly about the event, Peerpoint Asia-Pac managing director Tony Corcoran said there are distinct areas of work which are set to present more opportunities to legal professionals than others moving forward.
“We’ve got a proliferation of start-ups,” Mr Corcoran said.
“A lot of those start-ups will produce fascinating work for lawyers but the start-ups themselves won’t be able to support the cost of a lawyer.
“Platforms like Peerpoint facilitate roles for in-house lawyers where you have multiple clients and that way you have a very interesting and varied career.”
Peerpoint is an offshoot of Allen & Overy, born out of a need for financial institutions in the UK to upscale their restructuring and litigation capability in the wake of the GFC.
Having launched in the UK three years ago, Peerpoint is approaching its first anniversary here in Australia, all because it’s flexible lawyer model has been hugely successful, according to Mr Corcoran.
Initially A&O reached out to former employees to do fixed pieces of work. Now, the platform attracts lawyers from all stages in their career and has been launched globally, with 150 consultants in London alone.
Mr Corcoran said its cross-border capability sets Peerpoint apart from its competitors, making it an attractive offer for legal professionals both now and in the future.
“It’s the opportunity for us to capitalise on the international experience that they have which, frankly for a lot of lawyers that come back to Australia, it’s not something that’s readily deployable,” he said.
“The other positive of it is that you’re able to have a reach back to a sponsoring partner, if you’re working on assignment and you get questions that might be outside your immediate specialism.”
Interestingly, Mr Corcoran said Peerpoint isn’t after the traditional lawyer anymore, instead picking up many lawyers who are trying consulting for the first time.
“What’s become really apparent is they need to have an entrepreneurial streak,” he said.
“[They need to] understand that the work will [go through] ebbs-and-flows [and] they need to have interests outside of pure law.”