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Did someone say “holiday”?!

Did someone say “holiday”?!

I can’t say I have ever felt like people need more of a break than what I have observed over the past few weeks.  Fatigued, some broken, even the once enthusiastic chorus of staff looking to celebrate a Christmas Party (or two or three), a single, typically team-based Christmas Party, is now met with a look of indifference.

It has been reported that while Australia dipped into a recession, the legal sector (like it always seems to do…) experienced a profitable year. Helps if you have a diversified full-service law firm, as anecdotally at least, not all law firms have had such a bumper year.  The Government’s financial support package, while assisting many, has prolonged the expected period of distressed companies looking for help.  Or has it?  By all accounts, 2021 is shaping up to be a year of increased activity.  I am certainly hoping so!

It was good, and refreshing, to recently read and hear that a number of firms are “repaying” their lawyers with holiday initiatives, extra leave days and innovation bonuses.  Look after your staff, they’re kind of important…

Looking at the country from state to state over the past month, we have certainly seen an uptick in activity in all major business hubs.  As we reported in our last Monty Monthly, Victoria has experienced a spike in recruitment activity.  Joining the increase in in-house opportunities, law firms have been steadily briefing us on new positions – most notably in construction, corporate, finance, employment and litigation.

Queensland, now open to “foreigners” continues to be buoyant.  Pretty much every firm with an insurance practice is recruiting.  Other practice areas that are active include property, planning and environment, employment (of course!) and tax (which is interesting, because I haven’t seen a corporate tax role in Sydney or Melbourne for a while).

There has certainly been an increase in recruitment activity in Western Australia as confidence returns, and we have opportunities in most practice areas including corporate!  Speaking of corporate, we now have a notable number of new positions in New South Wales for lawyers in M&A, equity capital markets and private equity.  If that is not a good sign, I am not sure what is.

We are busy.  Not too busy to take a break though!  That said, we will only be closed from Christmas Eve until 4 January.  Who needs a holiday?!

Andrew Rees

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