People walking

In-house lawyers are strolling into private practice

The Insource platform shows that of the known lawyers hired by New Zealand’s top six firms in the third quarter of 2021, a quarter of them were from in-house.

Another quarter has ended and another Insight into the hires of the top six New Zealand firms has been written.  And not to toot our own horn too much but it’s a fascinating read!

Most of the known new hires into the top six firms have come from in-house roles (7 candidates), so no change from the second quarter.  However, sourcing from other top tier firms (5 candidates) has come in at a close second, a change from the second quarter where overseas returnees tied for first place.   Interestingly, only one of those hires from in-house and top tiers is an alumnus of those firms.  There is also still clear movement within New Zealand as the top six firms sourced talent from CBD and boutique law firms (4 each), national firms (3 candidates) and a regional firm (1 candidate).  Finally, there was only one from overseas and one from an unknown source.

The shift away from overseas hires is to be expected with the difficulty in returning to New Zealand due to the limited MIQ spots.  But it’s curious that these firms are consistently hiring in-house lawyers to fill their vacant roles.  It’s historically been a little difficult to move from in-house into private practice.  This is because how you work is so different (from a lifestyle perspective) and more senior lawyers have not developed a client base to take with them.  It’s also more difficult to move when a candidate has been in-house for an extended period.  

We’ll leave you to make your own assumptions about what that says regarding the current lawyer recruitment market.  

This Insight is obviously high level, but if firms want to take a more detailed analysis into where their competitors’ new hires are coming from then the Insource platform is the ideal tool.  For example, (where publicly known) firms can ascertain how long candidates were in-house for, whether they are moving from being a client of a firm to working for that firm (where you have independent knowledge of a competitor firm’s clients) and whether a new hire is actually an alumnus of their new employer. 

Please get in touch to see a free demo of the platform and/or to discuss your recruitment needs.  

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