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The global job market for NZ lawyers

The global job market for NZ lawyers – Looking Good, But With Reservations - The Law Jobs and News Wire

By Iain Rainey, for How the current market trends are affecting New Zealand lawyers looking to work overseas.

Working in London as part of “The Big OE” remains as popular with New Zealanders as ever. The attraction of high salaries, international work and the opportunity to live in a diverse, multi-cultural city proves irresistible to many and has now become almost a right of passage for 25-35 year olds. It is an opportunity to earn excellent salaries, work on international transactions and further your career whilst at the same time having the UK, Europe and the Mediterranean on your door step.

The attractions are obvious but there are new challenges arising. The global economic market is suffering the greatest period of uncertainty that it has experienced in recent years. How will these changes affect the aspirations of New Zealanders looking to work in London?

Changes in economic climate mean changes in demand

The well documented “credit crunch” has meant that the local banks are less willing to lend to house buyers and the long predicted deflation in the British housing market has arrived. This is most likely to be a rational cooling of an overheated real estate market built on overextended credit. For the legal sector this has meant a change in direction rather than a slow-down. The legal industry is a very robust sector of the job market and there is more a change in demand rather than no demand at all. The three sectors experiencing or expecting to experience the most change in the near future are commercial property, corporate law and litigation.

Commercial Property

This sector is the obvious loser of the current market. Houses are not being sold and large scale developers are cancelling their plans to embark on projects, at least for the moment. Property is the main focus for job cuts in the legal sector. For New Zealand property lawyers looking to move to the UK then the outlook is difficult. Even those applicants from the very best law firms will struggle to land jobs within London’s law firms. There are roles within “in-house” legal departments, the public sector and charities but NZ applicants will be competing for those roles with British applicants with local experience.

Read full details at, the legal news and job website.


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