en
Jobs

Let our industry specialists listen to your aspirations and present your story to the most esteemed organisations in the UK, as we collaborate to write the next chapter of your successful career.

See all jobs
Services

The UK's leading employers trust us to deliver fast, efficient hiring solutions that are tailored to their exact requirements. Browse our range of bespoke services and resources.

Read more
About Robert Walters UK

Since our establishment in 1985, our belief remains the same: Building strong relationships with people is vital in a successful partnership.

Learn more

Work for us

Our people are the difference. Hear stories from our people to learn more about a career at Robert Walters UK

Learn more

New Zealand to London – managing your international legal career

Are you a New Zealand qualified lawyer looking to transfer your career to the United Kingdom? Home to hundreds of international legal professionals from several jurisdictions, London continues to attract overseas lawyers looking to experience the bustling lifestyle of the capital.

Rosamund More, Senior Consultant for Legal in-house recruitment at Robert Walters, is a qualified lawyer from New Zealand and has 4 years recruitment experience across the New Zealand and UK markets.

We speak to Rosamund who shares her thoughts about why now is a great time for New Zealand legal professionals to make the move to London.

UK businesses and Law firms continue to expand

For transactional lawyers – those predominately specialising in corporate (public and private equity)/commercial and banking/finance lawyers, London provides an opportunity to move in-house in a market that is vastly bigger than New Zealand.

Rosamund comments "in-house mandates stretch from large international corporations head-quartered in London, to smaller boutique and start-up businesses. Some of the world’s largest banks and FTSE-listed companies are headquartered in the city, where the opportunities to move in-house are extensive. According to Forbes, private equity fundraising in London has reached record levels in 2018 and the number of new businesses launched has continued to hit unsurpassed highs. This provides unparalleled opportunities that will likely never be seen in New Zealand.  

"On the private practice front - corporate (public and private), finance and specialist litigation lawyers have had particular success in the London market.  The sheer complexity, volume and abundance of matters worked on in each area provides NZ qualified lawyers with an incredibly fulfilling experience. Magic circle and top US law firms that launched in London in the early 2000s also offer significant salary increases for those lawyers wanting to get on the property ladder sooner rather than later."

Those worried about arriving and needing to find work immediately, there is a steady flow of contract and document review roles in both in-house and private practice to bridge the gap before finding permanent roles.

New Zealand’s legal professionals highly valued in UK market

Rosamund continues "thanks to the common law jurisdiction, most areas of law are easily transferable to the UK market. New Zealand lawyers coming from the country’s top 10 law firms are well-placed to get positions as these firms are internationally recognised for producing high calibre lawyers.

"New Zealanders also provide a great alternative for London-based companies who are looking to hire immediate-start contractors, as most UK lawyers at this level are in permanent roles with 3 month notice periods. We estimate that 35% of the London legal market is on a temporary contract, and pressing projects, such as the new GDPR regulation has seen hiring managers only consider lawyers that are immediately available.

New Zealand lawyers have also developed a great reputation in the London market for their strong work ethic and diverse skill set they bring with them

 

"New Zealand lawyers have also developed a great reputation in the London market for their strong work ethic and diverse skill set they bring with them. We often have clients comment on the positive effect New Zealand Lawyers have on the culture of their team; making a real effort to immerse themselves in the business, whether it be in a permanent or contract role."

A seamless transition

Transitioning to the London legal market, from New Zealand, tends to be fairly seamless once you have your visa and a confirmed arrival date.

Rosamund highlights "we find that New Zealanders have much more success in securing roles once they have arrived in the country. This is particularly true for the in-house market, where hiring managers prefer to meet candidates face-to-face to ascertain personality and cultural fit.

"On the private practice front, we have seen candidates primarily from the top tier firms in New Zealand secure positions before arriving in London. However, discerning candidates find they have more success when they have arrived and have had the opportunity to meet with firms in person before making an informed decision" says Rosamund. 

"Here at Robert Walters, we offer initial assistance and guidance to New Zealanders looking to make the move. Experts within our London and New Zealand offices are on-hand to offer key market intelligence as well as the latest job opportunities - helping you gain an insight of the London market before even arriving in the UK."

Shannon Stewart, Legal Counsel at Wagonlit Travel speaks about her involvement with Robert Walters

 “My experience with the Robert Walters team was fantastic. Shortly after arriving in London I met with Robert Walters to discuss my career interests, the different types of roles to consider and the UK legal market in general. It was clear from the advice they provided that they had expert knowledge of the industry. In less than two weeks after meeting with Robert Walters I started in a contracting role, which turned into permanent employment shortly thereafter.

Throughout the process I found all members of the team to be very efficient, helpful and enthusiastic. What also set them apart from other recruiters I’ve met with was how genuine they were – I felt they truly cared about helping me find a great role. Overall Robert Walters made a stressful part of my transition to the UK a lot easier!”

 

 

Share this article

Useful links

Sign up for job alerts
Salary Survey
Career Advice
Get in touch

Find out more by contacting one of our specialist recruitment consultants

Related content

View all

Legal In-House Roles: 6 Questions To Ask At Interview

In this article, we speak to Bryn Thomas (solicitor and independent legal consultant with many years’ experience as an in-house lawyer) on the importance of the questions you at interview with 6 examples to maximise your impact on potential employers. "Candidates’ questions will indicate to the inte

Read More

Five tips to become a Partner by 35

Despite being more afflicted by economic and political uncertainty over the last decade, partnership at a law firm is still very much an attainable goal for millennial legal professionals wanting to forge a long and illustrious career in the sector. Are you a hard-working aspirational lawyer looking

Read More

Legal In-House Roles: Interview Questions and How to Tackle Them

In this article, we speak to Bryn Thomas (solicitor and independent legal consultant with many years’ experience as an in-house lawyer) who offered his insight and top tips regarding 7 Commonly Asked Interview Questions, below: What can you tell me about the role you are applying for? "On the face o

Read More

I'm Robert Walters Are you?

Come join our global team of creative thinkers, problem solvers and game changers. We offer accelerated career progression, a dynamic culture and expert training.