CAFE AND STYLE CAPITAL OF AUSTRALIA AND HOME OF CORPORATE & FINANCE POWERBROKERS
Melbourne is a unique Australian city. Instead of the typical surf, beach and sun culture, Melbourne is known for a more intense, almost European, vibe where design, architecture, designer clothing, food, cafes and bars abound. For many, it is a compelling lifestyle mix. In particular, for lawyers relocating from other parts of Australia and New Zealand, Melbourne is often the city of choice, given the combination of the quality of life, the cultural richness and depth of work available.
Melbourne is home to many leaders in their fields within the Australian marketplace in Corporate, TMT, Litigation, Intellectual Property, Industrial Relations, Construction, Taxation Law and Insolvency. This is in part due to the fact that Melbourne University is at the forefront of Australian legal education, as the leading post-graduate university of choice for lawyers in the country. As such, lawyers have myriad opportunities to work with the top partners in the country and garner invaluable experience.
The Current Market
The market in Melbourne in 2012 has been soft, due in no small part to the waves of redundancies hitting the finance, manufacturing and construction sectors in the city. An unsurprising consequence has been relative growth in areas like industrial & workplace relations, as well as insolvency. That said, select high quality opportunities are always available in Melbourne for strong lawyers in most of the key practice areas and at the moment Project and Property Finance, Tax, Corporate M&A and Intellectual Property are areas where leading firms are recruiting.
International firms with sizeable Melbourne offices include Ashurst LLP, King & Wood Mallesons, Baker & McKenzie, DLA Piper and Norton Rose. Freehills, which is shortly to merge with Herbert Smith, has a large Melbourne office, as does Allens – a firm newly strengthened by a global strategic alliance with Linklaters. In the mid-tier, Melbourne offers a wide range of options – many of whom have an Australia-wide presence – including Middletons Lawyers, HWL Ebsworth, Johnson Winter & Slattery and Gadens Lawyers, to mention only a few. Melbourne also boasts a number of true boutiques that operate at the top of their fields in diverse areas including Construction Law, Corporate and Resources, Insolvency, Workplace Law and Insurance.
Thus, although the Melbourne market has real depth and breadth, at present the market is relatively slow moving, and if you wish to make a move to Melbourne, be prepared that it may take a little time for the right position to arise. If making such a move is on the cards for you, get in touch with one of our Senior Consultants on +61 2 9266 2900 as soon as possible for a confidential discussion about the legal market.