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April Update For Private Practice

April Update For Private Practice

Since the tentative return to recruitment we witnessed in mid-2020, the private practice market in Australia has quickly reached fever pitch once more.  From its beginnings in Sydney, the urgency has quickly reached Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra, and the stress cracks have begun to resurface at many firms.

All practice areas are busy with corporate leading the charge.  Disputes, technology, banking and projects are close behind with every firm back at the table and new roles being released sometimes twice in a day.  We have seen salary being wielded as a weapon again and sign-on bonuses are once more a fairly regular deal clincher.

Candidates are firmly back in control of their destiny and they have an abundance of choice – choice which is now no longer constrained by Australia’s borders.  There is a new spectre on the horizon set to add an additional layer of challenge to firms seeking talent – London and New York (and San Fran) are back and Australian lawyers are already making their way over.

It remains to be seen how quickly our home-grown talent decides it’s time to head overseas but with travel plans being thawed out, significant financial inducement on offer and the fact the traffic will only be one-way – Australian law firms are in for a challenging time as their demand for staff continues to grow.

Matt Harris

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