find the latest legal job
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
In-House Legal Counsel (Mid to Senior)| Regulated Markets (Energy and Gas)
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Full PD on Request · Exciting High Impact Role
View details
Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law | Location: Eastern Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Boutique Firm · Great Reputation
View details
Infrastructure Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Perth WA
· We'd be particularly interested to hear from you if you were a lawyer who knows your way around the infrastructure and energy sectors.
View details
Aussie firms poaching NZ lawyers in talent drought

Aussie firms poaching NZ lawyers in talent drought

A HOT legal recruitment market in Australia is leading recruiters not only to lure New Zealand lawyers across the Tasman, but to intercept them on their return from the UK, say New Zealand…

A HOT legal recruitment market in Australia is leading recruiters not only to lure New Zealand lawyers across the Tasman, but to intercept them on their return from the UK, say New Zealand recruitment consultants.

“Australian firms are poaching our lawyers,” said Carla Wellington of Hughes Castell. “They’re recruiting aggressively down here.”

New Zealanders are also being picked off on their way back from the UK experience. “One of the biggest things that I’m seeing now is that people are coming back to New Zealand and then they’re going off to Australia because the Australian market is very hyped, it’s very busy at the moment, and New Zealand lawyers are in demand,” said Penny Hay, manager of Legal and Accounting Recruitment Ltd.

“The Australian talent shortage is creating huge openings for New Zealand lawyers — especially if they’ve come from London and they’ve got London experience.”

Wellington described how late last year a Dolman employee sent an email to what appeared to be every lawyer in every large firm in New Zealand advertising the company’s facility to recruit people to New York.

But Dolman’s Amanda Bear rejects the idea that poaching is something the recruiting firm should have to justify. “Why would we pretend that we are not searching in New Zealand?” she said. “We have been head hunting New Zealanders, albeit selectively, out of the country for ten years.” The firm regularly places Kiwis in legal firms in the UK, USA, Europe and the Middle East. “It’s an active, buoyant market, and lawyers have to come from somewhere.”

Bear said that the alarm in New Zealand stems from other recruitment companies stepping on the New Zealand bandwagon in the last year or two.

The step-up in poaching comes as New Zealand faces the most stringent talent drought in a decade. “The current talent shortage is the biggest gap I’ve seen between the number of jobs available and the number of candidates available, during the 11 years I’ve been in legal recruitment,” said Legal and Accounting Recruitment’s Hay. “You look at a top-tier firm and it’s still got a list of jobs it’s been trying to fill for six months.”

The shortage itself is nothing new. What is new is the length of time for which New Zealand lawyers are extending their overseas experience.

“The biggest problem is that they don’t just go to London and do two years, they’ve been doing four or five years, and then they come back here as seven- or eight-year qualified lawyers,” Hay said. “There just isn’t the same need for that level of lawyer as there is for the three- to five-year level — hence the gap.”

See the New Zealand Report, starting on page 17.

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

Aussie firms poaching NZ lawyers in talent drought
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Law Council of Australia
Nov 21 2017
LCA calls for urgent adoption of ‘game-changing’ recommendation
The Law Council of Australia has urged for the immediate adoption of a key recommendation put forwar...
Sally Wheeler
Nov 20 2017
ANU College of Law appoints new dean
A distinguished legal academic and the former head of law of a higher education institution in Irela...
Nov 17 2017
It's time for politicians to commit to eradicating domestic violence
The national shame of domestic violence cannot be left unaddressed, writes Christine Smyth. ...
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 & ...