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Australia – International legal recruitment gaining momentum

13 June 2014

In the last 12 months, the majority of major economic centres have started to show real interest in lawyers coming from Australia and New Zealand, reports lawyersweekly.com.au. Law firms in Asia, the Middle East, the UK, Europe, and New York are particularly focused on securing top-tier lawyers for their teams.

Due to the lack of local talent, foreign lawyers are becoming more attractive. Previously hard to source prerequisites are being relaxed; such as level, experience, academic level, languages, and working rights, and lawyers who are showing enough enthusiasm and are fast learners are being considered, even if they lack some of the requirements. While some international firms have visited Australia and New Zealand on recruitment campaigns, most firms are recruiting to fill singular active vacancies.

The recruitment boon is primarily due to growth and an increase in work; but firms are not yet speculatively recruiting on the assumption that they will require more lawyers in the future, as per the pre-global financial crisis era.

Corporate clients in all industries are starting to hire again throughout the world, including hard to fill in-house positions. In this space, recruiters are currently busy with Energy & Resources, Banking, Derivatives, Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT), Corporate, and Commercial vacancies in Singapore and the Middle East.

However, gone are the days of expat packages and/or healthy relocation packages, with many companies expecting the successful candidate to cover their own costs of relocating. Lawyers considering an international in-house position are advised that they will initially need to be very motivated to live and work in the region, rather than be solely focused on an increase in remuneration.

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