Where can you see yourself next?

Are you considering an international move?

Are you considering an international move?

Considering an international move? 

With offices in London and Sydney, we are a one stop shop for those looking to make a move across the world, and are there to assist when the time to move back home comes around.

Post-pandemic, we saw the market boom. Commonwealth-qualified transactional lawyers were able to get jobs with no problem as international borders opened and hiring increased after a period of no hires.

As a result, we’ve seen unprecedented numbers of overseas-qualified lawyers looking to make a move to London in the past 12 months. But what is the reality if you’re planning a 2023/24 move?

State of play

Macroeconomic factors over the last 12 months (rising inflation, geopolitical tensions, three changes of government, and market fluctuations) have hit the UK legal market hard. Our clients are law firms; lawyers are risk-averse by nature; and when there are so many unknowns, sadly the first thing to go out the window is lateral international recruitment.

This year, we have seen many Australian and NZ-qualified lawyers making the move to London without a position, in an attempt to continue their job hunt on the ground. While we understand the logic (kind of), the best advice we can give you is to hang fire.

In reality, there are far fewer roles than candidates on the market at present, with firms often looking for individuals who are either UK qualified or have UK experience.

Not only are internationally qualified solicitors struggling; so too are newly qualified solicitors. A positive is that retention rates are higher this year, but external roles are limited, creating a struggle for NQs to secure roles.

Looking forward

It’s not all doom and gloom, however, so don’t let the state of the market stop you from reaching out to us. At Montgomery, we are focused on building long-term partnerships with candidates and client firms. We won’t push you towards roles that are unsuitable. More importantly, we know when to advise playing the long game (spoiler alert: it’s now!).

Get in touch, have an initial conversation with us let us know what your work currently looks like, and what matters most in your job search whether it be work quality or firm culture? As we saw after the pandemic, a period of little to no hiring results in hiring going crazy for months after. By talking to us now, you can be prepared to target these roles as soon as things inevitably pick up (hopefully later this year).

If you’re already in London, then meet us this September for a coffee (we’re buying). Three of our team members – Glenn Johnston and Emma Barron from the UK office, and Matt Harris from the Sydney office – will be in London to address your inquiries, including insights into the Australian and UK markets and the best ways to make a successful transition.

Light at the end of the tunnel?

Despite the tough market, there are still some high priority roles we are looking to fulfil. If you think any of the following opportunities fit what you are looking for, then please reach out to your local Montgomery contact to discuss in confidence:

  • Speciality Finance – 3-5 PQE
  • Competition Law – 1-5 PQE
  • Corporate – 2-5 PQE
  • Energy/Projects/Infrastructure/Construction – 1-7 PQE
  • Funds – 4+ PQE
Glenn Johnston

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