find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Difference of opinion

Difference of opinion

Two recruiters have given contrasting perspectives on the state of the in-house market in Australia.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly from his base in Melbourne, Burgess Paluch director Doron Paluch said that there has been a spike in demand for in-house roles recently in Melbourne and Perth, but it is hard to put a finger on exactly why.

“Companies are looking to reduce their external legal spend and here has been a lot of activity, but I don’t think the movements in-house have any discernible connection to the private practice recruitment scene,” said Paluch.
Paluch said that recently his firm has placed lawyers for Toyota and for Serco, who provide facilities management and support services for the new Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth.

“Many more lawyers want to move in-house than want to go into private practice,” said Paluch. “We get more responses when we run adverts for corporates or the in-house market than we do for any law firm.

“If I ran a corporate ad for a top-tier firm I may or may not get any good CVs, but if I ran an ad for a good company looking for lawyers, I will always get a good response.”

Brisbane blues

The two-speed economy in Queensland, which has seen the resources boom continue apace while the retail sector struggles and external administration appointments continue to rise, has shaken up the in-house recruitment market.

“Something we have seen in our market in Brisbane is that a lot of people in the in-house market are looking to move back into private practice,” said Ryan Webster (pictured), a legal manager with Robert Walters in Brisbane. Webster said that June was characterised by a feeling of “batten down the hatches” as salary reviews were being conducted and private practice lawyers were waiting to see if there would be any inducements or promotions to start the 2012-13 financial year. However, he said that demand was starting to flow into the market from expatriate lawyers returning home.

“We are seeing [that] the reduction in number of people looking in the Brisbane market is covered by an increase in the number of people looking to return home,” he said. “The last two in-house roles that we have placed with clients in Brisbane have been from Australian-qualified lawyers that have gone overseas and are now coming home.

“I imagine that will pick up as the UK heads into winter and the British economy still doesn’t show any sign of turning around.”

Both Paluch and Webster said that demand remained sluggish for in-house roles in the property, construction, tourism and retail sectors.

Webster also noted that as the mid-cap resources companies operating in Queensland get bigger they are starting to look to establish in-house legal teams, which could provide depth to the Brisbane in-house recruitment market in the long term.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Difference of opinion
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Jackie Rhodes
Dec 12 2017
Report sheds light on LGBTQI inclusion in law firms
A recent report has revealed the varying perceptions on LGBTQI diversity and inclusion in the Austra...
Women in business
Dec 12 2017
Annabel Crabb headlines Women in Business Forum
Political journalist Annabel Crabb has appeared at the Coleman Greig Lawyers Women in Business Forum...
Dec 11 2017
Warm welcome for new district court judges
Three practitioners who were appointed as district court judges in WA have been congratulated by ...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...