Law job prospects remain strong in Christchurch as firms move into their new offices in the CBD. However notwithstanding the changes it appears that some firms continue to offer low salary packages, according to Christchurch-based legal recruiter Leonie Queree.
With a strong market for experienced lawyers, particularly in the 3-6 years PQE, Associate and Senior Associate level, as well as strong demand for litigation lawyers across the board, Ms Queree said she remains concerned that pay rates are often being very out of line with 2018 salary guidelines.
“I would encourage employees to be familiar with the current market, the opportunities available and the benefits of using a specialist legal recruiter who is familiar with local conditions,” she told LawFuel.
Many firms are finding it difficult to attract skilled and experienced solicitors, she says. There is obviously a continued demand for those with insurance litigation experience.
“Due to the continuation and review of EQC’s Canterbury Home Repair Programme, it appears insurance litigation work will continue for many years to come.”
However it is not just litigators that are being sought, as those with commercial property and corporate experience are also being sought.
What about other areas, though? Resource management, employment and family law have all seen growth this year, but there is a marked decline in the number of legal executive and secretarial positions being advertised or sought
“At present it is common for well qualified and experienced solicitors to receive multiple employments offers.
“Employers intent on hiring need to act quickly and offer very competitive salary packages to attract high calibre candidates. It is a good time for solicitors and legal staff to explore career opportunities.”
It is for that reason that Ms Queree is surprised by the low salaries being offered. If firms are to attract and retain good staff the salary levels need to meet the market.