NZ Legal Jobs Slowdown Begins To Bite

LawFuel – The Law Jobs and News Wire – The economic turnaround has already been felt in the legal market with lawyers being made redundant by some smaller law practices, according to sources spoken to by

A survey of recruiters in the legal arena shows that lawyers, particularly in the property sectors, are already being made redundant in recent weeks. Further, the subprime mortgage crisis has also created a slowdown in international markets, places like London and New York, where New Zealand lawyers frequently head for work. This has resulted in fewer local lawyers being able to find work abroad – or at least work is not as readily accessible as it has been in recent years when international law firms have enjoyed boom times.

LawFuel’s survey of recruiters, for its forthcoming “Law Report” (due in April) has shown a clear increase in work in areas like property litigaton, construction litigation, resource management and employment law. Competition law has also been a standout area for increased work.

Recruiters are clearly preparing for a legal downturn, but are not necessarily pessimistic about the opportunities ahead, which will be substantially reflected in a change of legal work, rather than an overall reduction.

“Small practices will find it difficult in some areas,” one recruiter said. “Their property work will seriously diminish and they are not necessarily well placed to restructure their practices into the new growth areas like insolvency and litigation.”

The legal market has generally been a buyers market – or a candidate-friendly market – but that is almost certainly changing with employers better able to choose their legal staff from a growing pool, assisted by the local and the international slowdown and the distinct threat of recession.

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