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July - September 2014



Construction Lawyers – Mid tier firms are looking for Construction Lawyers in response to the project driven market.  Candidates with construction experience and a client following are most highly sought after.


Banking & Finance Lawyers – This is a niche market and there is a shortage of candidates with relevant experience, particularly in Western Australia.  


Corporate and Commercial Lawyers - Demand remains for Corporate and Commercial Lawyers with two to five years PAE.


Estate Planning Lawyers – There is an ongoing shortage of candidates in this area since most graduates gravitate towards corporate law.


Family Lawyers – Again there is a shortage of candidates as this is a very intense area of law and does not appeal to everyone.


Employment/Workplace Relations Lawyers – These Lawyers remain in high demand given the shortage of their skills. There are few specialist employment and workplace relations teams and thus fewer candidates available in the local market.  Candidates

at the four to eight year PQE level are in particular demand.


Partners with client followings – Demand is evident for Partners with client followings across all disciplines. Employers look for a client following of at least $500,000-$750,000 in terms of transportable fees. Mid-tier firms with an entrepreneurial edge and strong marketing and business development capabilities in particular are recruiting such candidates.


Conveyancers – Given increased workloads, particularly in smaller practices, we are seeing demand for Conveyancers and Conveyancing Paralegals.


Commercial Litigators – Demand continues for candidates with between two and four years PAE. 


Corporate Governance and Company Secretarial – Entry to senior level Assistant Company Secretarial candidates are in demand.


Risk & Compliance – Employers prefer to recruit candidates with a legal background in response to ongoing regulatory reforms and the complex regulatory frameworks that are involved in risk and compliance.




Private practice employers have been making lateral hires at the senior and partner level. Candidates with transferable practices have been sought in order to increase revenue. As a result, fewer senior associates have been promoted. 


Employers are however recruiting Senior Associates in response to improved market conditions. Vacancy activity is greatest in transactional areas such as corporate/M&A, construction, property and financial services.


In the in-house market, employers are recruiting more contractors to support upcoming projects, or assist with day-to-day workloads.


Within the public sector, the release of new financial year budgets should lead to increased vacancy activity.


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