find the latest legal job
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
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
In-house recruitment outlook for 2016

In-house recruitment outlook for 2016

Dan Stirling

The coming year holds a number of opportunities for lawyers looking to shift into a corporate role, writes Daniel Stirling.

2015 was a very busy year for the in-house legal recruitment market with the highest demand seen for several years. This was the case across most sectors and levels, though it remained relatively quiet at the senior end.

In separate research that we have recently undertaken covering NSW, we found that only 15 per cent of general counsel or heads of legal changed role in 2015. This relates to a turnover of these positions approximately every six to seven years. 

Many of our clients and candidates have asked us to provide an outlook for 2016 so we again interviewed a range of GCs and legal heads across numerous sectors including financial services, insurance, infrastructure, transport, IT/Telco, FMCG and travel. We discussed their recruitment plans and the biggest challenges and changes on their agenda at present.

Recruitment

When asked whether they plan to increase the size of their legal function this year, 35 per cent said that they intend to increase or may potentially do so. This was up slightly from last year (29 per cent), which in turn was up from 2014. Interestingly though, only 20 per cent of those polled actually increased their team size last year so it may be that there is some deferred activity there.

As mentioned above, last year was a busy year for recruitment, despite the relatively small number of teams that increased headcount, as most roles are created by lawyers moving roles either internally or externally. So it appears likely that this year will continue to be buoyant and provide a range of opportunities in the sector.

Challenges/changes

By far the most common response in regard to biggest challenges for the year ahead related to efficiencies or doing ‘more with less’. Essentially coping with larger workloads with the same or lower resources while maintaining or improving the levels of quality and service and demonstrating value.

GCs are considering different approaches to combat this issue, several are looking at new information management and documentation systems, reviewing operations, implementing LEAN processes, seeking greater value and training from external firms and developing new cost/retainer arrangements with firms. Others are looking to increase resources through secondments and contract resources that are, where possible, funded by the business or project budgets.

The next most common challenge was seen as coping with increased regulation or ‘regulatory assault’, with regulators switching from regulatory change to enforcement and investigation that is more resource intensive.

This has resulted in some teams providing more compliance training and/or implementing new global compliance programs and reviewing risk profiles. In particular, several highlighted that anti-bribery and corruption compliance are seen as a growing issue. 

Others have concentrated their efforts on ensuring that they are recruiting and developing as effectively as possible within their teams. This includes focusing on engagement of their lawyers in order to best challenge and retain them through investing in learning and high performer programs and providing career progression and internal secondment opportunities. Other issues include cyber security, executive restructures, market conditions (both positive and negative changes) and increased litigation.

Daniel Stirling is the director of legal recruitment agency G2 Legal.

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


In-house recruitment outlook for 2016
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Nov 23 2017
Education a passion for YL president
Promoted by University of Melbourne. Melbourne Law Masters student Phoebe Blank is successfully j...
Crowd
Nov 23 2017
Anti-radicalisation programs playing ‘second fiddle’ to terrorism laws
Several academics have questioned the balance between Australia’s counterterrorism legislation and...
 William Ah Ket
Nov 23 2017
‘Bamboo ceiling’ thought piece wins inaugural law prize
A paper that explores the idea of affirmative action to achieve greater diversity among members of A...
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 & ...