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
IT a hotspot for cashed-up lawyers

IT a hotspot for cashed-up lawyers

LAWYERS BREATHE a sigh of relief: in spite of threats of a global recession, you’re still in demand, with salary movements on the increase and a market that’s pitched to be a profitable one for…

LAWYERS BREATHE a sigh of relief: in spite of threats of a global recession, you’re still in demand, with salary movements on the increase and a market that’s pitched to be a profitable one for lawyers with IT experience.

But as may have been expected, commercial roles in banking and finance may have hit a small rut. According to Kirsty Spears, manager at Hughes-Castell in Sydney, there’s been a slight drop-off in demand for corporate lawyers — a trend, she said, that may reflect back on the current economic situation globally.

It’s not all bad news for local corporate lawyers though: “Transactional roles are quieter, and they’re increasingly looking at local lawyers rather than being open-minded to overseas lawyers,” she said.

But whether the work is not available, or a shift in movement is affecting the area, remains to be seen. According to Stuart Ablethorpe, Victorian legal practice manager at Hudson Legal, competition may be increasing on the local front because of the desire for Australian lawyers to stay put.

“I don’t think there is less work available than there was 12 months ago in Australia,” Ablethorpe said. “I think it’s more that your Clifford Chances, your Slaughters & Mays, aren’t hiring every Australian lawyer 2 to 6 years PQE anymore.

“Because of that decrease in demand for lawyers overseas, there’s less movement happening locally,” Ablethorpe said.

And it seems, the Australian dollar is also playing its role. “The UK is suddenly not as an attractive proposition,” said Ablethorpe. “That’s impacting on earning power a lot. It still is a rite of passage in terms of experience, but it was also being used by junior lawyers to get themselves a deposit on a house.”

Overall however, while fears of a downturn in work sparked by the current global crisis may well come to the surface in the salary surveys of 2009, it’s clear that the salary trend upwards means confidence has not faltered over the last 12 months or so.

In private practice, the 2008 Salary Guide from Hudson Legal found that demand for litigation lawyers, predominantly within insolvency, has hit a competition high among law firms. Construction and property lawyers are also faring well, an increase Hudson expects to see for some time yet.

A similar report from Hays Legal has put the increased overall salary percentage for lawyers at somewhere between three and six per cent. From there, the survey found that 50 per cent of respondents expect permanent staffing levels to increase over the next 12 months, while only 4 per cent are expecting a decrease.

Julie Grasso, team leader and senior consultant at Legal Personnel, said that while they may have seen some movement in the industry, it’s not a total meltdown. “I’ve found that a lot of firms, while they may have stopped recruiting in growth roles, there are still a lot of essential roles they need to fill,” she said.

Meanwhile somewhere in the resources or technology industries is a good place to be. Hudson found an increased demand for in-house roles within the IT sectors over the last six months, while a strong demand for in-house roles in the mining and resources sectors in Perth and South Australia continued to promote competition for lawyers in the two-to-five year PQE category.

Given the rapid growth pace of the IT industry sector, Ablethorpe believes technology lawyers are well placed for the future. “With IT, you’ve obviously got a lot of start-ups and a lot of growing that’s keeping demand up,” he said.

The opportunities in technology are also varying in size, nature and workload within in-house roles. “You can go anywhere from a company with a few hundred people to an international company with 30,000 people,” he said.

“There is also more demand for part time IT lawyers than there is for, say, part-time property lawyers.”

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

IT a hotspot for cashed-up lawyers
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Dec 15 2017
Timing ‘critical’ in unusual contempt of court ruling
A recent case could have interesting implications for contempt of court rulings, according to a Ferr...
Dec 14 2017
International arbitration and business culture
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the impact of international arbitration on t...
Papua New Guinea flag
Dec 14 2017
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
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 & ...