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  • Writer's pictureAlex Gotch

LawyersWeekly – Impact of Lockdowns on Legal Markets

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

Article by Lauren Croft of LawyersWeekly – November 2022

Alex Gotch comments in this LawyerWeekly article discussing the impact of lockdowns in 2021 and 2022 on the legal markets in Sydney and Melbourne.

Post-pandemic, these recruiters reflected on how COVID-19 — and statewide lockdowns — affected two major Australian legal recruitment markets.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic and extended, government-mandated lockdowns, the legal recruitment market has been — and will continue to be — significantly impacted moving forward, as candidate expectations change and the war for talent is likely to continue into 2023.

Additionally, the Sydney and Melbourne recruitment markets experienced increased turmoil coming out of statewide lockdowns, with many legal candidates jumping ship to move either interstate, or, when travel restrictions eventually lifted, overseas.

As the legal profession — and the world — return to post-pandemic normalcy, Lawyers Weekly spoke to three legal recruiters for their take on how lockdowns may have impacted different markets and changed candidates’ priorities.

Beacon Legal director Alex Gotch echoed a similar sentiment — and confirmed that he has also seen the Melbourne and Sydney markets in particular impacted by COVID-19.

“The most significant factor was that due to numerous lockdowns and especially without clarity as to when they would end, once the borders reopened, droves of lawyers left Australian shores to head overseas. This was particularly relevant in 2021 and the first half of 2022, once London and the US reopened and Australia was still experiencing restrictions,” he quipped.

“In 2021, we also saw more lawyers than we would expect relocating from Melbourne to NSW and Queensland, which was due to Victoria’s handling of the pandemic and the severity of the lockdowns which they faced.

“Australia is a market which is always susceptible to losing lawyers who are looking to experience life in bigger cities and earn more money, notably London and the US. Australia’s net immigration rate for lawyers is negative and far lower than most global markets, for this reason.”

You can read the full article here


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