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
Secondment drive set to dwindle

Secondment drive set to dwindle

The rapid rise in secondment arrangements between firms and their clients that has flourished during the market downturn will dwindle as the economy improves, as less lawyers are left sitting…

The rapid rise in secondment arrangements between firms and their clients that has flourished during the market downturn will dwindle as the economy improves, as less lawyers are left sitting around "underutilised".

Balance Legal managing director Ken Jagger, who specialises in providing secondees to in-house clients, said in the past 18 months, big firms had "sent out more lawyers than they've ever sent out before" on secondments.

Jagger said this was because they had "underutilised lawyers" as a result of the market downturn, which left many firms with lawyers "sitting around", despite having executed redundancy programs in some cases.

As business picks up, this trend will reverse, Jagger said. "The big firms will withdraw as things improve," Jagger told Lawyers Weekly. "If the good times roll again, they won't have the people available to send out."

Big firms have been amenable to secondment arrangements with their clients because of the relationship and subsequent business benefits this should bring, as well as the career opportunities it offers their associates.

However, the arrangements are not financially profitable. "They are losing money each time they send someone out," Jagger said. "Especially if they send senior lawyers, who they may charge out for $500 an hour - they can't get that on secondment. It's only sustainable as a relationship device," he said.

Jagger, who left the Freehills partnership to set up Balance Legal 18 months ago, said the big firms "became competitors" to his business during the downturn, as they sent out more lawyers on secondment.

However, he said "from my experience it comes and goes with the economic times - what dictates it is how utilised their lawyers are," he said. "If the boom comes back, they won't be sending them out to secondments."

- Ben Abbott

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

Secondment drive set to dwindle
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Dec 13 2017
Young humanitarian lawyer California-bound
A young Australian lawyer will be travelling to the US next year for a prestigious nine-month study ...
Jackie Rhodes
Dec 12 2017
Report sheds light on LGBTQI inclusion in law firms
A recent report has revealed the varying perceptions on LGBTQI diversity and inclusion in the Austra...
Women in business
Dec 12 2017
Annabel Crabb headlines Women in Business Forum
Political journalist Annabel Crabb has appeared at the Coleman Greig Lawyers Women in Business Forum...
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 & ...