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Market Analysis: Corporate & Commercial


It comes as no great surprise that with a very quiet year for corporate activity, the volume of partner moves in the market is approximately half of what it was the year before. In the year to November 2012 there were 45 partner moves in the corporate and commercial sphere. In the year to November 2013 there were only 23.

The overwhelming feedback that we have received from corporate partners spoken to over the last year was that it was better for them to stay where they are in such uncertain times. The confidence of a partner to say that a client and corporate work would come with them was not commonly found. This lack of confidence was found in partners at international, national and boutique level although. That said, there were certain firms in the market that seemed to have a continuous strong pipeline of corporate work and in these cases, partners were making the most of the work.

However, with increased confidence and activity in the corporate arena and a number of IPOs in the pipeline, it will be interesting to see whether this leads to an increase in partners with itchy feet. What we tend to see when corporate law teams are busy and making money, is that they have it so good that they don’t want to leave.

In terms of other trends or patterns to be found, as with the previous year, more partners from international law firms joined national firms rather than other international firms. Once again, more than half the corporate partner moves occurred in Sydney.