find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Poll: Libs will do little for the legal market

Poll: Libs will do little for the legal market

A Lawyers Weekly poll has revealed that most lawyers believe the global economy will have a greater impact on the bottom line of law firms than any Abbott government policy.

A Lawyers Weekly poll has revealed that most lawyers believe the global economy will have a greater impact on the bottom line of law firms than any Abbott government policy.

The poll, which attracted more than 2000 responses, asked: Do you think law firm profitability will pick up in 2014 under the current Liberal Government?

Around 35.5 per cent of respondents claimed other factors, including the global economy, will have a bigger impact on firms’ profits than political decisions.

The second highest response was ‘Yes’, attracting 28 per cent of the vote, followed by ‘No’ (26%) and ‘It’s impossible to say yet’ (10.5%).

Speaking with Lawyers Weekly, Holding Redlich’s managing partner Chris Lovell (pictured) said he was surprised by the results.

“The global economy can have something to do with [firm profitability], but traditionally Australia has been fairly independent ... I would have thought government policies will have the most to do with it.”

The head of Charterhouse’s in-house division, on the other hand, was not surprised that so many lawyers singled out the global economy.

The spate of global mergers over the past few years has shifted the legal market’s focus from local to international issues, Daniel Stirling told Lawyers Weekly.

The legal market is also generally more interested in what’s happening globally since the GFC, which Stirling said demonstrated just how vulnerable Australia is to downturns in overseas economies.

“Even when things are going well here, people can be concerned if things are looking less positive in Europe or the States,” he added.

 

Where the action is

Stirling revealed that the volume of legal work, particularly in M&A and banking & finance practices, picked up in the last quarter of 2013, and the first quarter of 2014 is shaping up to be even busier.

He could not say, however, whether the increase in work was triggered by the change in government.

Lovell, on the other hand, is not convinced that the boost in corporate activity late last year is translating into work for law firms, claiming the market for legal services in Sydney and Melbourne remains flat or is decreasing in certain areas.

“There are all sorts of reasons private practice is finding it tough and it’s not just the economy,” said Lovell. These include the growing number of in-house lawyers absorbing legal work that would traditionally go to private practice firms, he added.

 

Crystal ball gazing

While Lovell said he is not inclined to make “crystal ball” predictions, he does foresee work for lawyers coming from the Abbott government’s planned sale of government assets. However, he added it is unlikely that any sell-off will be announced before the federal budget in May.

Similarly, government infrastructure spending will generate work for lawyers, but Lovell said these sorts of projects won’t get off the ground until later in the year.

“At the moment, I would say there’s not a lot of additional work that has been driven by the Abbott government ... there may be in six to nine months time, but at the moment it’s not coming through,” he added.

The only immediate impact of Abbott government policy on the legal profession is its Royal Commission into union governance, according to Lovell.

“What will make a difference to the legal profession is if the government keeps calling Royal Commissions, because where there’s a Royal Commission, there are lawyers,” he said.

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

Poll: Libs will do little for the legal market
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microphone
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
protest
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Blocked
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
APPOINTMENTS
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'...
opinion
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...
Help
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 & ...