Last month, Glenn in our London office co-hosted a webinar for UK-based lawyers keen on a move to Australia.

The discussion covered the state of the Australian legal market (which has been resilient throughout the pandemic, especially when compared to the UK), as well a discussion around Montgomery’s position as a leading legal recruiter and what a typical international candidate should expect (and plan for) when considering an overseas move.

Despite the fact that Australia’s borders remain closed to foreign-qualified lawyers for the short-term, it was encouraging to see 50+ lawyers on the call, many of whom have committed to planning a long term move to Australia in partnership with Montgomery. The view taken by many was that there’s no time like the present to put wheels in motion for a future move!

Some key action areas were:

  • Setting up an initial call with Montgomery to outline a long term career plan
  • Updating CV & deal sheet
  • Proactively seeking out new matters that match long term practice goals
  • Taking advantage of the lead in time by picking up extra qualifications or getting involved in new BD initiatives
  • Considering a strategic “upward” lateral move domestically to use as a launchpad for a future overseas move

Any UK-based lawyers who missed the webinar or would like more information should contact Glenn directly – he would be happy to discuss the mechanics of a medium term move, or indeed a short term move within the UK to give the best possible platform to make the jump in future.

Moving to (or within) the UK

With the UK’s immunisation program beginning to pick up speed, it certainly feels like the legal market has kicked back into gear. In recruitment terms 2020 was a non-starter, with uncertainty around the long-term impact of the virus being reflected in most firms’ lack of confidence in making lateral hires (with several going as far as to instigate year-long hiring freezes).

The one constant in the market, however, was the sheer amount of work that most firms still had in the pipeline. We are seeing most of our clients now returning to a semblance of “business as usual”, with particular demand for lawyers across Banking & Finance, Corporate, TMT and Financial Services practice groups.

While it is undoubtedly trickier at present for international arrivals, many firms remain open to sponsorship for the right candidate. Candidates who already have a visa in hand can effectively be treated as domestic candidates (once they have cleared 10 day quarantine).

UK based lawyers considering a lateral move should contact Glenn in London, while Australian/NZ based candidates can reach out to any of the Sydney team.