Make the Move: Working as a Lawyer in Perth
Dylan Morrison, Legal Search Consultant
Western Australia’s capital is a rare gem that boasts some unique lifestyle and career offerings. Perth’s geographical isolation has largely helped shield the city from much of the Covid pandemic. Its shared time zones with Singapore and Hong Kong have also allowed Perth to act as a gateway to Asia, resulting in increased opportunities across a wide range of practice areas.
If you’re a lawyer and looking for a fresh opportunity with the lifestyle perks to match, here’s why Perth should be on your radar…
In what has been a hectic year for most cities around the world, Perth’s isolation has left the city relatively unscathed from the effects of Covid. This has meant that Perth’s citizens have continued to enjoy simple, everyday pleasures such as concerts, sporting fixtures, and general office culture.
Perth has maintained 14th place in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Rankings since 2018. A truly cosmopolitan city nestled on the banks of where the Swan River joins the Indian Ocean. The city boasts an abundance of sandy beaches and bushland.
Sitting just offshore, Rottnest Island is a protected nature reserve streaming with marine and birdlife, not to mention the quokka, a small wallaby-like animal. Also, in relative proximity, residents from Perth can drive to the Margaret River, which boasts over 200 wineries and produces more than 25 per cent of Australia’s premium wine. Heading north, world heritage sites such as the Ningaloo reef allow those to explore thriving coral reefs, dive with migratory whale sharks, surf, paddleboard, cast a line or simply take in the pristine surrounds.
Cost of the Living
According to the latest REIA Housing Affordability report, Western Australia has been the most affordable state to buy and rent in for five years in a row. The proportion of income required to meet loan repayments in the state sits around 23%, whereas, in Sydney, this is about 43% of an individual’s total income. Whilst lifestyle expenses remain cheaper in Perth than the other Australian cities, it’s worth noting that lawyers’ salaries tend to mirror that of the Melbourne market, even paying higher in certain key areas.
Location & Transport
In 2018 the world’s first direct flight from London to Australia landed in Perth. Now the Qantas Dreamliner offers a regular service from across the 14,498km between London’s Heathrow airport to Perth, achieving this in a mere 17 hours. International flights to Singapore average around 5 hours, while passengers can travel to Hong Kong in under 8 hours.
The airport operates 24/7 and services many fly-ins, fly-out (FIFO) workers that make up a whopping 55% of the workforce in the energy and resource sector. The main benefit of this is that flights to other states and territories are regular and relatively cheap due to the constant demand.
Significant economic growth has seen the Perth legal market expand dramatically, particularly within the last decade. We have seen many major international, and national law firms invest heavily in recruitment in Perth. We have also observed the rise of specialist boutique firms, with many of them capitalising on the recent influx of top legal talent who have returned home from overseas after the uncertainties caused by the pandemic.
Political shifts in Hong Kong have seen several UK and US-owned firms look to retract and redistribute their presence away from the region. Naturally, this has seen an influx of displaced talent in the Asia Pacific legal market. Along with Singapore, Perth’s shared time zone make it a logical hub for legal operations in the APAC region. Depending on the political situation of Perth’s Asian neighbours, we expect this to be a steady growth factor in the coming years.
Perth’s legal market has traditionally been driven by the mining, energy, and construction sectors and many of our clients continue to recruit lawyers who specialise in these areas. Significant public & private sector investment into renewable energy is also leading to exciting opportunities for lawyers who are experienced and/or interested in renewables.
Outside of these key sectors, increased regulatory oversight and issues that have arisen out of Covid-19 have led to an increase in disputes. Consequently, firms have been looking to recruit aggressively across various contentious practice groups, including Insurance, Employment, Insolvency, and Commercial Litigation.
Are you interested to learn more about working as a lawyer in Perth?
For a no-obligation discussion about the next steps in your legal career and to see what opportunities we have available in Perth get in touch with Dylan Morrison at Dylan.email@example.com