24 Oct Private Practice Update
Welcome to the October edition of the Monty Monthly, pleasingly our first for some time written free from lockdown and, for me at least, with a haircut that reveals my ears once more.
It’s been an interesting month, one that saw active candidate numbers decline noticeably as the lock down bit deeper and made most people pause their plans to move. Conversely, the lockdown had zero effect on the appetite of the law firms to recruit and, across Australia, from the top-tiers to the boutiques, there remains an insatiable hunger to recruit across all practice areas.
However, writing this on October 22nd (welcome back Victoria!) there is a noticeable change in the wind, we’ve felt it and some of our clients have noticed too. This last week, the first since the lockdown eased in NSW, there are already the first green shoots starting to show. We’ve had a number of new enquiries from prospective job seekers, we’ve had increasing responses to our online advertising and our candidates are more enthusiastic, keen to have a chat and intrigued by what we think will happen next.
From our client’s perspective, there’s an expectation that a storm is brewing as we (hopefully) move from the shadow of COVID permanently. These next few months will see a burst of activity as confidence is restored and those lawyers with a pent-up desire to make a move, put their plan in motion. We’ll see ever more lawyers heading to London and the US as those markets continue to tempt our lawyers away, but we’ll also see far more aggressive hiring strategies employed locally to win battles over talent . We’ve heard of firms considering out of cycle pay reviews, we know some firms are offering retention bonuses to lock down key team members and, for those lawyers making a move, the only salary guidance we can give is that it’ll be far more than you expect and will likely come with a sign-on bonus.
There’s an enormous game of musical chairs about to begin and, unless some new global catastrophe* is uncovered, there’s very little chance the music is going to stop this time.
*Future Matt apologises if this comment doesn’t age well.