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Legal

October – December 2014

Hotspots

Freedom Of Information Officers – Specialist skills in freedom of information continue to be in demand across the public sector. Both Lawyer and FOI experts with solid experience are highly sought after.

Construction Lawyers – Demand remains high for Construction Lawyers with good experience at PAE level for both front and back end roles. Those with projects and PPP (public private partnerships) experience are in particular demand.

Employment/Workplace Relations Lawyers – Demand for Lawyers in these areas is still evident as there is a noticeable shortage of candidates who have solid experience. This demand exists across all areas including private practice, in-house and government. Partners are actively headhunting to grow their teams to support workflow.

Insurance Litigators – There is increasing demand for candidates with specialist skills in defendant work across professional indemnity, public liability and financial lines as insurance teams need to grow in order to keep on top of greater workloads.

Banking & Finance Lawyers – These Lawyers continue to be in high demand due to the lack of qualified people specialising in this area. Transactional and project finance experience are required to help strategically advise on complex transactional matters within banking and finance teams. Candidates are sought for both private practice and in-house roles, especially those with capital markets experience.

Corporate Lawyers – There is a shortage of candidates with corporate experience as these Lawyers tend to be happy where they are and are not looking to change jobs. If they are looking to move, they generally want to go in-house.

Family Lawyers – Demand exists for these specialists since few candidates want to specialise in this area from graduate level. The reasons for this include lower remuneration levels and the emotionally demanding nature of the work.

Property Lawyers – Employers are looking for Property Lawyers with broad commercial property experience due to the increased activity in the property market.

Conveyancers – Increased workloads in smaller practices are creating demand for Conveyancers and Conveyancing Paralegals. Employers are ideally looking for candidates who can run conveyancing files from start to finish with minimal supervision. Those with LEAP experience are also highly sought after.

Commercial Litigators – Litigation Lawyers remain in demand with a particular interest in those with financial services and recoveries litigation experience.

Trends

Demand for Lawyers in private practice is becoming more buoyant as mid and top tier firms grow their teams and practice areas. There is still a lack of good quality mid-level Lawyers. The market is currently flooded with junior Lawyers who have 1-2 years’ post admission experience who are finding it challenging to gain traineeships.

In order to grow revenue, boutique and mid tier firms are seeking senior Lawyers that have a substantial practice and can bring new clients.

Activity has picked up in the in-house market and demand is high for candidates with mid-level experience as organisations try to keep as much work in-house as possible, while only briefing out to firms when absolutely necessary. This is in order to reduce costs.

Within the public sector, we are seeing demand for talented Lawyers with both private and public experience who can immediately add value. Many candidates are interested in moving from private practice into the public sector in order to find a new challenge within a stable environment.
 

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