Burgess Paluch Legal Recruitment Blog

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We have all heard the statement that people leave their manager rather than the company.  Many of us in human resources roles have spent countless hours thinking about how to develop the qualities in our leaders to combat this.

In terms of a law firm, here are the top 5 qualities we should seek to develop in our partners – what makes a partner someone your young lawyers won’t want to leave?

        1. A good leader is not afraid of being wrong

Imagine a partner who will readily acknowledge that their junior lawyer, while adopting a different view to his or her own, is correct? They would be a genuine and authentic leader.

2. A partner who listens more than they speak

The importance of active listening cannot be underestimated. Imagine a partner who asks lots of questions, including ones about what the junior needs to be better, more productive, more efficient, more satisfied in their job.

3. A partner who supports a positive work culture

A partner who develops a culture of respect, where bullying and gossip are not tolerated; where the focus is on mutual respect, collaboration and teamwork. They lead by example.

4. A partner who appreciates the individual and the team

A great partner doesn’t want the glory for themselves. This partner praises the team, celebrates their success and acknowledges the individual contributions.

5. A partner who is quietly confident in their own ability

Sufficient to instil a level of confidence in them, but not so much as to overpower and control.

Partners who display these qualities will be respected as leaders and liked as people. Their juniors will enthusiastically stay and their teams will be successful and productive.

Susan Comerford is a senior human resources executive with particular strengths in strategic human resource management, business structures, law practice development and operational management. She consults to clients of Burgess Paluch on an hourly, daily or project basis. To discuss our Human Resources Consulting services for law firms contact Susan Comerford or Paul Burgess on 03 8676 0372 or via

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Burgess Paluch Legal Recruitment have a strong record of placing NZ-based lawyers in Australia and beyond. Our Senior Consultant, Thomas Hobbs, will be in Wellington this coming Friday (10/11) and Saturday (11/11) and available to meet lawyers open to hearing about their options in Australia and the UK in particular. To register your interest in meeting Thomas, please email Be quick as spots are filling fast…     

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Burgess Paluch is pleased to announce the addition of Belinda Fisher, an accomplished and senior specialist legal recruiter, to our growing Sydney team. Belinda has over 10 years of experience in legal recruitment, working with leading law firms, in-house teams and government. Belinda works with lawyers from partner level to juniors, and enjoys providing advice to lawyers to benefit their career in the long term.

With her passion for assisting others and her outstanding reputation and networks Belinda will be another key leader in the future growth of the Burgess Paluch brand, and her addition further strengthens our national practice after the successful opening of our Brisbane office earlier this year. 

Burgess Paluch recruits at all levels for both private practice firms and in-house teams.  If you are a lawyer seeking a role, or in need of a lawyer for your business or firm, give Belinda a call today on 02 9216 9016 or email to discuss your options. 

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Burgess Paluch welcomes gun senior legal recruiters Katie Francis and Nina Held to spearhead our Burgess Paluch Brisbane team.  Katie, originally an HR legal manager,  brings more than 12 years specialist legal recruitment experience to Burgess Paluch.  Nina, a British lawyer,  brings her overseas expertise in executive and in-house legal recruitment to the team.  2017 has seen a growth in demand for lawyers across Australia, with the Brisbane market especially positive.  We are pleased to now be able to offer our current local Brisbane and national clients additional expertise on the ground.    

Burgess Paluch recruits at all levels for both private practice firms and in-house teams.  If you are a lawyer seeking a role, or in need of a lawyer for your business or firm, give Katie or Nina a call today on 07 3360 0867 or email or to discuss your options. 

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As a follow on from our seminar on working overseas organised with Auckland Young Lawyers on Thursday, 2 November, Paul Burgess (Director) and Kirsty McNay (Manager) are offering confidential interviews and advice to individual lawyers on 3 November in person looking to take their career overseas at any time in the next 18 months.

Burgess Paluch is a leading specialist global legal recruiter, which actively recruits for solicitors out of New Zealand into Australia, London, Hong Kong, the offshore markets, the Middle East and beyond. If you are considering a move we can advise you on:

  • which market/s suits your skills the best
  • when to make the move
  • how to present your CV and excel at interview
  • how to get a good offer

A Kiwi herself, Kirsty McNay is well placed to advise you on what to expect from your OE and how to make the most of the move, and Paul has over 15 years of recruiting Australian and NZ lawyers in to foreign markets. 

Our lawyers tell us that our pragmatic, results focussed approach works well, and we take pride in assisting you to best market yourself to global employers. Put simply, we get results for our NZ lawyers looking to take their career overseas.

To discuss opportunities email or or call us in Australia on +61 3 8676 0372 or +61 2 9216 9080. If you have a draft CV or LinkedIn profile then attach that, otherwise we can email you our precedent OS CV to get the ball rolling.

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As Australia’s leading specialist legal recruitment agency, Burgess Paluch Legal Recruitment has recently been instructed by a number of boutique, mid-tier, national and global law firms with offices in Brisbane on a wide variety of new roles. We deal directly with partners at these firms and enjoy relationships that have often been developed over many years, so when we recommend a lawyer for interview there is a high likelihood of an interview being conducted.

If you are a lawyer with 3 to 7 years PQE and have experience in property/construction, planning and environment, employment/workplace relations, corporate/commercial and commercial litigation, we are keen to have a confidential discussion about your options. Those with experience outside of these areas or year levels are still encouraged to contact us as we may be able to find you other opportunities with our clients.

Partners with portable practices are always appealing to our clients and we welcome confidential enquiries. We are happy to discuss the state of the market - including changes that have been occurring at some of the mid-tier and larger law firms, and about different financial structures at firms. We are also happy to advise about which law firms may best suit your style and area of practice for the long term.

For further information please email Doron Paluch, Director at Burgess Paluch or call 0438 004 445.

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Burgess Paluch Legal Recruitment has made a name for itself around Australia as being expert in partner recruitment and law firm mergers over the past 10 years. 2017 has continued to be an exciting time for partners seeking new opportunities. As a rule, law firms are particularly interested in partners who can bring work with them. But some national and international law firms have been hiring corporate and litigation partners without any substantial client following, to beef up practices in those areas.

We continue to be instructed by boutique, national and international law firms. Many of our instructions are exclusive to Burgess Paluch Legal Recruitment. There is no consultancy better placed to discreetly advise on market conditions, salary and package negotiations, and partner opportunities than Burgess Paluch.

We are currently acting on instructions, some exclusive to Burgess Paluch, from law firms seeking partners in Corporate/M & A, Commercial Litigation, Commercial Property, Construction, Employment, and Finance. We have a couple of leading boutique firms which are looking for Family law partners. And we are acting for a national “New Law Firm” which offers full support and flexible conditions, and will pay 70% of billings. We are very interested to speak with Partners in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Canberra.

To discuss these unique opportunities and how they may benefit you, call Doron Paluch during or after hours on 0438 004 445.  Altervatively, email a CV to  

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We are well into the new financial year, with performance and salary reviews now finalised (hopefully!) Even if you have happily accepted a pay-rise, have you ever wondered what you are actually worth and whether you are being remunerated in line with market trends?

While there has been a conservative approach to market salaries in Melbourne of late, there are pockets of strong growth and demand. Generally, salaries are pushing up over time, although there is a general feeling of reluctance amongst firms to respond to this. That said, certain firms are moving quickly, and paying well.

So while an attitude of cost cutting still exists, the reality is that bands are moving upwards. Lawyers in the junior and mid-level space (around 2 to 7 PAE) are enjoying more demand in the last 6 months than previously. For senior lawyers with some level of portable client base there is strong demand. Across the board there are some “hot ticket” areas – the practice groups where lawyers are in demand and there is a shortage of good lawyers to go around. At the moment, these areas are property/construction, corporate/commercial and financial services. In the more niche area of IP law, the uncertainty caused by the listings and mergers of a number of major IP firms is beginning to settle and this is becoming an area to watch.

What determines where you sit on the market salary bandwagon? First, it helps to be in the areas of demand – that is, a junior to mid-level lawyer in the corporate/commercial/property space. But regardless of this, you need to be good at what you do, have commercial acumen, a strong business network (whether that equates to a client base or the ability to produce a client base) and minimal movement on the CV (to show longevity in roles).

So, I hear you thinking, how will I maximise my earning potential? It goes without saying that you should be proactive about asking for a salary increase, whether in your current firm or when you move to a new firm (although there are many ways you can go about this). To best prepare yourself to ensure you are being paid what you are worth, call Paul Burgess (Director of Burgess Paluch Legal Recruitment) on 03 8676 0372.

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 Global law firm Jones Day is looking to recruit litigation lawyers for its busy Sydney, Perth and Brisbane practices.

The national head of litigation (John Emmerig) and the national head of HR (Jade Olsson) will be in Adelaide for two days in late July 2017 with a view to meeting prospective candidates to join the Jones Day team. If you have:

  • 2 to 8 years' post admission experience; - strong academic results and an inquisitive mind;
  • a strong commitment to quality, ethics and team-play;
  • a strong commitment to client service; and
  • initiative and are highly motivated to work on high stakes/strategically important litigation for some of the world's leading corporations,

then Jones Day could be the firm for you.

If you are interesting in making an appointment to meet with Jones Day, please email me a cv setting out your experience/expertise and an academic transcript.

You can find further information at - but here's a few extra details that I suggest warrant your attention:

  • The firm is a single and highly integrated global partnership (with approximately 950 partners and 2500 lawyers practising across 5 continents and 44 offices).  Famous for its team culture and unparalleled level of integration, it truly operates as one firm worldwide.
  • Jones Day provides significant legal representation to almost half of the Fortune 500, Fortune Global 500 and FT Global companies.
  • The firm is widely recognised as a powerhouse in the field of litigation: it has one of the largest and most highly rated litigation practises in the world, with many hundreds of partners who practise exclusively in that area.
  • Jones Day's Australian litigation partners include some of the nation's leading and most highly respected litigators.  The practice is in high demand and routinely involved in some of the largest and most complex litigation being conducted in this country;
  • In terms of client service, Jones Day is arguably in a league of its own.  In the last 16 years of the independent BTI Client Service survey of Fortune 1000 company general counsel, Jones Day has ranked No 1 nine times, including in 2017.  An extraordinary achievement;
  • And Jones Day is not just famous for its litigation practice.  For every quarter since 2000, Jones Day has rated No.1 internationally on the Thomson Reuters league tables for the number of M&A deals worldwide (imagine that - 63 quarters in a row!).  You will see other impressive details about the firm's history, culture, people and its corporate, competition/anti-trust, energy and resources, projects/construction and infrastructure, intellectual property, real estate, tax, employment, appeals and issues, and corporate investigations practices on-line.


For a strictly confidential discussion, please call our exclusively retained consultant Kirsty McNay on 02 9216 9080 or 0426 834 852. Alternatively, you can email your CV to

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Over many years Burgess Paluch has developed a reputation as being amongst  Australia’s leading in-house legal recruiters. Over the past couple of years in-house legal roles have been scarce, and when they do come up the roles are still hotly contested. In the past week we have been pleasantly surprised with a mini-flood of in-house roles coming in to us all at the same time. These are the roles we currently have based around Australia:

  • Head of Legal for a high profile sporting organisation
  • Senior Associate commercial role at property development/investment company
  • Mid-level role for projects/construction company
  • 2-4 PQE commercial/corporate role for a large international wine company
  • Senior Litigation/Construction role for a large oil and resources company
  • Commercial/Construction role for a large oil and resources company
  • 2-4 PQE role In-house prosecutions
  • 1-4 PQE commercial role at a tertiary education provider
  • Part-time Senior Associate commercial role
  • Junior Company Secretary role – 3 month contract

For specific details on the nature and location of each of these roles, please confidentially call Doron Paluch on 0438 004 445 or email

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A huge thank you to those who joined us for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 last Thursday. It was great to see you all there and a fun night was had by all (Has anyone got tape??)

Be sure to stay posted about our next event!

The Burgess Paluch and Kaleidoscope team 


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Burgess Paluch Legal Recruitment has made a name for itself as being expert in partner recruitment and law firm mergers over the past 10 years. 2017 has continued to be an exciting time for partners seeking new opportunities. As a rule, law firms are particularly interested in partners who can bring work with them. But some national and international law firms have been hiring corporate and litigation partners without any substantial client following, to beef up practices in those areas.

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Burgess Paluch and Kaleidoscope Legal Recruitment are proud to be hosting their annual movie night this month for Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2!

When is it?             Thursday, 27th April.  

                               Pre-movie drinks 5:40pm

                              Movie starts 6:40pm sharp

Where is it?           Hoyts, Level 4, Melbourne Central

As always, we would love for you to bring other lawyers and legal secretaries so feel free to share the invite with your colleaguesthe more the merrier. As those who have been before know, there are limited seats so it’s first in best dressed.

Pre-movie drinks, choc-tops and popcorn are included.  Not sure what to expect? View a preview of the movie here

RSVP to before Friday,7th April to let us know if you can join us. If you want to bring a guest or guests we need you to RSVP with all of your guests names, email address and place of work/job title.

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To Get Noticed, Get Behind the System

Along with the “digitalisation” of all aspects of our economy, legal job vacancies are now almost always advertised online, together with an online application process. Employers generally like this because:

  • They are likely to have an agreed corporate protocol for recruitment, and, once set up, a templated online recruitment ad allows them to tick a string of boxes in the protocol with the click of a mouse.
  • It enables them to receive and handle large numbers of applications, even if the attention they give to all but a handful of them is cursory in the extreme.

When it comes to actually hiring, though, employers tend to regard online application as just one of many channels that will bring a selection of suitable candidates to their short list.

For the applicant, then, the online application model has some frustrating drawbacks – notably the experience of submitting applications for jobs he or she sees as exciting opportunities, and then hearing nothing back. So the convenience of the online process is also a wall between you and your prospective employer. But there are some ways you can get behind that wall.

As we have seen, while the online process may be the “public face” of any particular job opportunity, that doesn’t mean it’s the employer’s best channel for recruitment.

The ease with which an employer can grow a CV database means that unless they are particularly diligent (in which case you probably WILL have heard back from them, even if in the form of a rejection) a lot of its records will languish uninspected. Your application, unless the employer has a particular reason to pay attention to it, will simply be joining that graveyard.

So what can you do?

In the first place, the online “transformation” is far from complete, and many jobs, including those that are advertised online, are filled by other, more traditional methods. These can include internal placement, informal networking and the use of a recruitment service.  So don’t rely on the online process alone to get you noticed.

Choose the right targets – look for well-written ads that speak clearly to a need for skills that you have. A sloppily drafted job ad is likely to attract a lot of speculative applications, making it even more likely that yours will be lost in the dross.

Research your target - hone your Google skills. Search for news and projects related to your target. Search for information and background on the key players in the field or department you are interested in. Mentioning a paper your interviewer has published shows diligence, particularly if it relates to an achievement in your CV. Check LinkedIn for connections you may have in common, and try to find connections who can give you useful information about key personnel in your target, or perhaps arrange an introduction.

Cold call – it’s very personally confronting, but can, if your research has correctly identified the person you need to approach, and if you genuinely have what the employer is after, be very effective.

Work with a Recruitment Service– good recruiters, well established in your field, will use any and all of these methods to match employees with vacancies. Our stock in trade is the body of relationships we have built up over the years, which offers our employees a short cut through the steps listed above.

At Burgess Paluch we work closely with our lawyers to assist them in achieving their long term goals.  We take the time to get to know you from day one,guiding you through the job seeking process and creating a successful partnership. If you are thinking about a move or just want some advice, contact us to arrange a confidential chat with one of our experienced consultants.

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Latest stats in from the Financial Review on policy trends for work-life balance amongst Partners.

Fin Review Flexiwork

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Celebrating a series win for the Aussie cricket team last Friday at the MCG

Pictured from left: Tim Kernutt (Executive Capital), Doron Paluch (Burgess Paluch), Thomas Hobbs (Burgess Paluch)

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Burgess Paluch has had substantial success securing roles for Australian and New Zealand qualified lawyers in the Cayman Islands and in the Channel Islands. We have recently been briefed by leading international offshore firms in both jurisdictions which are looking for lawyers who can start work in the first half of 2017. Interviews and offers can be arranged via Skype or video conference. Law firms in the Channel Islands and in the Cayman Islands are highly rated and feature in international tables. These firms act for blue chip international clients and financiers and receive a substantial volume of their instructions from Magic Circle UK and other overseas firms.

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In the December edition of the Law Institute Journal Thomas Hobbs presents key advice for lawyers on setting goals for the year to come.

LIV Reset and Refresh

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Each year we field enquiries from lawyers considering a move, but who are concerned that it is too late to start looking for a new role. The reality is that this is far from an issue, and in fact our experience of interviews undertaken by lawyers over the years during November and December suggest the following outcomes:

  • Partners take less leave in November and the first half of December, so all the key decision makers are likely to be on deck.
  • While the silly season hits hard from around 14 December, applications made prior to that are acted on more quickly than normal.
  • Partners/key decision makers are looking to sort out their hires before they take extended leave in January and don’t want to be recruiting when they return.
  • Firms see a mid or late January start as an ideal time to settle in.
  • For lawyers who need to relocate, obtaining a role and resigning in December can provide a handy time buffer.
  • Lawyers who resign in December are often allowed to finish up prior to Christmas, giving them a break before their new role starts.
  • Markets like Hong Kong and London are far less affected by Christmas than cities like Sydney and Melbourne.
  • January is always the quietest month in legal recruitment, so there is no time like the present to make a move.

So what does that mean for you? Well, lawyers with good skills are in demand at present, our consultants are literally flat out setting up interviews, and getting our lawyers offers, and the firms are at their most efficient in terms of making decisions about their hiring. So if you are keen to make a move, call one of the consultants at Burgess Paluch and, like our clients, we will get onto it ASAP!

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On Wednesday the 2nd of November the grey skies and clouds parted and the sun came out once again for the sporting fixture of year, the annual Barrister v Solicitors Victorian hockey mixture. Amongst the decrepit and aging with their old knees and arthritis, there was a strong showing on both sides of younger talent and the standard was the highest seen in years.

The Bar took the lead early, before the Solicitors hit back, and at half time the Barristers were slightly ahead. Despite a good early showing in the second half the Bar came home strongly, with some skilful moves and slick passes resulting in an eventual 5-2 victory. For the first time in history the Bar appeared to have a much younger team than usual, prompting suggestion from the Solicitors that there must be a lot of Readers currently studying for the Bar…

Barrister Andrew Denton won the most valuable player award for his contributions in attack. Both teams looked resplendent in the Blackwood Family Lawyers shirts and enjoyed the beers and BBQ put on after the game by Burgess Paluch Legal Recruitment.

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