Australia and New Zealand
Australia is the largest island continent with the majority of its population inhabiting the temperate southeast region, in cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. It is seen by many as a gateway to Asia and offers much in terms of sport, adventure and cultural activities.
It is one of the most sophisticated financial and business centres in the Asia Pacific Rim and is home to a world-class legal industry. As an important international financial centre it hosts an array of the world’s leading investment banks, fund managers and insurance companies as well as highly reputed national and international law firms.
Most demand for lawyers and finance professionals centres around Sydney and Melbourne and opportunities to be involved in cutting-edge international transactions as well as niche specialisations are exceptional. This demand is expected to increase in line with a strong economy boasting very low rates of inflation and unemployment and very high levels of recent and predicted economic growth.
Remuneration for lawyers and finance professionals are considered very high for the local market. While salaries may not compare to those available in cities such as London and New York, the cost of living in Australian cities is typically significantly less and the net effect is therefore very positive indeed.
New Zealand has a population of almost 4 million and consists of two islands - the North Island and the South Island. Auckland is the largest city and main legal and financial centre of the country however Wellington is the country’s capital.
New Zealand is also a popular destination for lawyers and finance professionals from many locations and because many New Zealand lawyers and finance professionals see Australia as an attractive alternative to home, this creates a domestic demand for international professionals.
For lawyers the majority of opportunities exist within private practice. The economy in New Zealand is relatively small and most foreign companies tend to set up regional offices in Australia rather than New Zealand, resulting in fewer opportunities for in-house lawyers.
Private Practice in New Zealand consists of 6 major commercial firms, 3 in the top tier and 3 in the middle tier. They are well regarded and provide top quality training.
For Finance professionals, the domestic financial institutions generally offer the best opportunities. Remuneration across the board tends to be lower than alternate overseas locations but this is offset by the relatively low cost of living.