LAW firm Allens Arthur Robinson will pay $20,000 in referral bonus for employees brining new lawyers to its office in resource-rich Western Australia. For recruiting a lawyer to its Sydney or Melbourne office, it is $10,000.
China's demand for Australia's minerals is forcing law firms and investment banks to take a look at where they base their staff, a story broken by the Wall Street Journal last week reveals.
The $20,000 finder's fee was introduced in October last year.
A partner at Allens Arthur Robinson, Nic Tole, who sits Rio Tinto as one of his clients, said "this year you've got the most intense resurgence in investment in resources".
Australia exported $37.2 billion worth of goods and resources to China in the seven months ended in January, up 55 per cent from the year before. Iron ore is a major export to China, as is coal and copper, the WSJ reports.
But for law firms setting up in Perth to make the most of this burgeoning market, the difficult part is finding staff to do the work. The demand for employees has bolstered bonuses and paychecks, and referral fees.
Perth is only second to Sydney in pay for financial services professional in Australia, according to PayScale, a compensation-data provider.
"The reality is, there are fewer people over here that have top-level corporate advisory experience," said Trent Lisle, a Perth-based director at M&A advisory firm Lazard. "And you do need a local because you want people who are familiar with the company and familiar with the sector."