Nicholas Scott is able to advise on a move to Australia and New Zealand and has built a network of contacts with a range of firms and offices in Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth and will advise you on each step of the process through to relocation.
Introduction to Australia
Despite having a population of only 20 million, and with only 200 years of post-colonial history, albeit set against a backdrop of a rich indigenous culture, a life in Australia offers many an enviable combination of climate, commerce and culture. With each of the principal centres of commerce being located on the coast, access to the great outdoors assumes greater importance in daily life.
Although Australia does offer fantastic quality of life, you will still be expected to work hard. Hours of work will of course vary depending on the nature of the transaction or case which a lawyer is working on. Overall, the laid-back Australian lifestyle means that firms stress the importance of having a life outside of work.
A move to Australia from the UK is one of the easiest moves overseas (especially long-haul) as the major law firms in Australia have a Visa Quota for bringing in key workers from overseas or non-Australian residents and a tax break is offered called the Living Away From Home Allowance.
The Legal Market
The legal market for overseas lawyers is concentrated on a relatively small number of commercial centres: Sydney and Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Occasionally opportunities will arise in other cities, but these are not areas of significant activity for the overseas market. Within this market the ‘Magic Circle’ equivalents number five or six in total, and it will be these, and possibly also the next tier of law firms, that the majority of lawyers considering relocating will be interested in approaching.
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Introduction to New Zealand
With a population of only 4.6 million, the Island of New Zealand comprises of two landmasses, the North Island and the South Island. The North Island is home to Auckland, the biggest city in New Zealand and Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, whilst the South Island is home to the third biggest city, Christchurch. With a vibrant culture and famously beautiful scenery, New Zealand offers a relaxing, outdoors-orientated lifestyle.
New Zealand offers a good quality of life. During the summer months temperatures range from 21 to 32 degrees Celsius. With an array of beaches, lakes and national parks only minutes away from most of the cities, there is plenty to explore. There are however high levels of rain all year round, amounting to approximately 137 rain days a year. During the winter months temperatures range from 1.5 to 15.5 degrees Celsius. The North Island remains relatively mild whilst the South Island suffers the worst of the winter with temperatures reaching as low as -10. The South Island is known for its alpine region and is home to several world class ski fields. A 45-minute flight from Auckland to Queenstown is popular amongst skiers and snowboarders.
The Legal Market
Auckland is the largest legal center in New Zealand and is home to the major domestic law firms, as well as some international firms. As the economy continues to perform strongly there is an increasing demand for legal services. This continuous growth has however resulted in a shortage of lawyers across New Zealand, meaning that skilled migrants are welcomed. Candidates most sought after are those with three to six years PQE, particularly those practicing corporate or commercial law, including construction, banking and finance, M&As and general transactional work. There is also particular demand for Commercial Property Solicitors in Auckland as recent infrastructure developments are driving many new deals in the city.
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