It's certainly been a lot quieter on the movement front during 2009, as many lawyers - who two to three years ago may had the luxury of picking and choosing their law firm - came to grips with the fact that they might be lucky to have a job at all.
The appointments notices haven't exactly been flying through the Lawyers Weekly inbox this year. However, our "movers & hhakers of the year" special, featured in the final issue of Lawyers Weekly hitting desks today, demonstrates that no matter the state of the economy, competition will always be running hot for the best and brightest of the legal profession.
In previous years, the movers & shakers pages tended to show lawyers moving between top-tier firms, or moving from a smaller firm to an upper mid-tier or top-tier firm.
There has been an abrupt u-turn in this regard during 2009, as this year's Movers & Shakers report demonstrates. With opportunities for movement in the top-tier ranks rapidly drying up, a number of small, boutique and mid-tier firms pounced on the opportunity to selectively recruit, picking up lawyers who may have previously considered themselves exclusively "top-tier", and they'll be going into 2010 will some very high calibre legal talent under their belts.
Another trend evident in the market throughout 2009 has been the movement of lawyers from overseas onto our shores, with a number of firms picking up top talent from the US, the UK and Asia. Perhaps this is an inevitable consequence of the increasingly international nature of the law and the growing number of cross-border transactions. Or perhaps - with Australian economy proving remarkably resilient in the face of the GFC - the Australian legal market has emerged as in increasingly attractive employment destination for overseas lawyers.
Find out who were the top movers & shakers for 2009, from page 18 in today's edition of Lawyers Weekly. Click on the cover below to read our ezine, or click here to read the our pick of the top 12 moves.