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
Mid-level transactional lawyers in demand

Mid-level transactional lawyers in demand

Matt Harris, Taylor Root

The GFC, global demand, and a focus on retention are contributing to the current lack of mid-level lawyers in transactional practice areas, according to the Australia manager of Taylor Root.

Speaking with Lawyers Weekly, Taylor Root Australia manager Matt Harris (pictured) said that there are three main reasons the legal sector is seeing an undersupply of mid-level transactional lawyers at the moment.

Firstly, Mr Harris said most law firms stopped hiring and training junior transactional lawyers between mid-2011 and early 2014 due to the GFC.

"There was very little transactional work being undertaken and the firms simply stopped investing in that sector of the market," Mr Harris said.

"Banking, corporate, real estate, projects and infrastructure work fell away and we’re now faced with a hole in the market around the two to four-year mark that reflects that era of uncertainty."

Secondly, he said firms are focused on retaining whatever mid-level transactional lawyers they do have, making recruitment difficult.

"The transactional lawyers that do exist at this level are a precious commodity and the firms recognise this," he said.

"Huge efforts are being made to retain junior transactional lawyers as they're so hard to replace."

Thirdly, he said that every market around the world needs talented transactional lawyers and many are recruiting out of Australia.

"One of the biggest issues facing the local market is the ongoing brain drain as domestic lawyers are tempted away to firms overseas able to offer international work, exciting travel opportunities and, due to the current exchange rate, much higher relative earning potential," he said.

"A generation of transactional lawyers are leaving Australia at the moment."

The lucky few?

For the mid-level lawyers who do work in these practice areas, they are often being over-worked but well rewarded, according to Mr Harris.

"In my experience, they’re squeezing the lawyers they do have harder. It’s commonplace to hear of lawyers, entire teams sometimes, being at 110,120, 130 per cent utilisation," he said.

"They’re being very well looked after from both a career opportunity and financial perspective. It’s important to note also that this generation of lawyers have access to plenty of good quality work and a healthy pipeline."

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

Mid-level transactional lawyers in demand
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
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....
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...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
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 & ...