Enjoying a beer overlooking the Swan River recently, I had to wonder why more lawyers from the East Coast weren’t joining the great migration west. In short, Perth offers up a smorgasbord of benefits: the opportunity to be involved in the biggest projects going on anywhere in the world, the prospect of making more money than in any other city in Australia, the real chance to progress to partnership which simply seems non-existent elsewhere, and the utter improvement in quality of life from living in a city with a great outdoors climate, brilliant beaches and a relaxed atmosphere. No doubt you are bored of being told all of the above, but let’s face it, when you’re slogging through years of work trying to get ahead – why not do so in a city where progression can actually be achieved?
This is not pie in the sky marketing rubbish made up by “yet another recruiter”. Look at those who have been promoted this year in the firm you work for, look at those who have moved internally and been rewarded with progression. With the international firms also basing themselves in Perth and the market continuing to demand lawyers in all practice groups it is hard to argue against the reality of a booming and beneficial Western relocation.
Perth is an expensive place to live, ranking 19 on the 2012 Mercer Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, compared with 11 for Sydney and 15 for Melbourne. However, increasingly salaries in Perth are starting to outstrip those being offered in the Eastern states as firms compete over scant top talent in the region. Thus, there is a significant financial upside to those looking to make the move to Perth, particularly for those with a view to progressing.
For those that are looking to grow, joining a team that is not too top heavy is key. Fortunately, for those with progression ambitions, Perth is the perfect place to meet them. With the launch of myriad international firms and the inevitable arrival of more, senior lawyers have been spread thin across the market, resulting in a vast array of opportunities for ambitious lawyers.
In addition to the changing face of the legal market, the growth of work on the back of the resources boom has not diminished. This boom has had knock-on effects for work across all practice areas: employment, banking and finance, construction and major projects, litigation, restructuring and insolvency and obviously, energy and resources. In particular, a glance at the job opportunities in the market show a high demand for senior lawyers and senior associates in these groups.
Finally, Perth really is a great place to live. Nice beaches, cycleways, good footy teams and the Margaret River aside, the city is perfectly positioned for those looking to explore South-East Asia. Living and working in such an easy-going, fast-growing city where you can have a high degree of control over your career is a massive incentive to get moving, so why not take the opportunity?
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.