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
Property Lawyer
Category: Property Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· 12 Month Contract · Diverse Work
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
Global merger, global jobs

Global merger, global jobs

If the merger of Deacons and Norton Rose is an early indication of what the Australian legal landscape might look like in the next five to ten years, then Australian lawyers may need to get…

If the merger of Deacons and Norton Rose is an early indication of what the Australian legal landscape might look like in the next five to ten years, then Australian lawyers may need to get reacquainted with globetrotting

When Don Boyd, managing partner of Deacons, told his staff the firm would merge with international law firm Norton Rose, he said he was met with plenty of eager faces.

"There was a great deal of euphoria around the firm," he told Lawyers Weekly, when the deal was announced last month. "It means a lot if you are a young lawyer. There is now enormous potential for secondment to other offices now."

That potential could open avenues for Australian lawyers to seek more opportunities in the 29 worldwide offices of Norton Rose- including London, Dubai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta and Tokyo.

Deacons is not alone in having considered the prospects of a merger with a global law firm. Clifford Chance and Mallesons have discussed the prospects of a merger, while other firms are expected to make more solid considerations of such moves in the future.

Edward Andrew, managing director of EA International, predicts that these expectations will be met within the next decade, as Australian law firms look to gain from relationships with global law firms.

"The biggest question mark over the entire international recruitment game for Australia is if, in 5 to 10 years' time, or whatever it takes, the UK and US firms have joined forces with the leading Australian firms. Then that changes the dynamic," says Andrew.

"If Norton Rose and Deacons can put it together and they can move to full-mode integration then, obviously, there has got to be scope for other firms."

For Australian law firms that have traditionally suffered the drain of their talent to opportunities in larger cities such as London or New York, such global amalgamations could actually mean that Australian lawyers - if given the necessary opportunities to gain international experience - might stay with their employers on a longer basis.

"It may change the way we do business, but it means the Australian lawyers will be part of international global law firms and will be pretty happy to work around the world within their law firm," Andrew says.

But Jonathan Marsden, director of the London office of Marsden International, predicts such mergers would have only a minor impact.

"The question is 'Will the lawyers from Deacons come off the international recruitment market because they have options to go to Norton Rose?' We've seen that with international mergers that hasn't had much of an impact," he says.

"We'll still get approached by Deacons lawyers wanting to go to Slaughter and May or Clifford Chance and not go to Norton Rose. Or we'll still get Norton Rose lawyers wanting to go to Mallesons or Allens. So there will definitely be more internal transfers, but a lot of the Australian firms have been doing informal transfers for years between them and their 'best friends'."

The grass may always appear greener elsewhere, but, if managed accordingly, there's reason to believe that the presence of truly global law firms in Australia could make it all the more enticing for lawyers to stay with one firm for the long haul.

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

Global merger, global jobs
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
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. ...
Nov 16 2017
From lawyer in law firm to senior governance professional
Promoted by Governance Institute of Australia As a law graduate, Kate Griffiths never imagined...
marriage equality
Nov 16 2017
Legislation the next hurdle for marriage equality
Lawyers have underscored the importance of ensuring same-sex marriage legislation does not limit ant...
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 & ...