Latest news – Most firms to give pay hikes; Gong for top young lawyer; 5 findings about remote work  

[Australasian Law Management Journal,Finance & Accounting,General Management,Marketing & Business Development,People Management(HR),Strategy & Leadership] July 11, 2022

Salary hikes on the agenda at most law firms

Nine out of 10 legal employers are planning to increase legal salaries following their next reviews, according to the FY22-23 Hays Salary Guide.

Not surprisingly, a skills shortage is the key reason behind the looming salary rises, with 69% of the employers who took part in the survey identifying lack of access to talent as the big issue. The guide, based on a survey of more than 4400 organisations, including law firms, reveals that the vast majority of workers across different sectors believe that their performance and the demand for their skills now merits a salary increase of more than 3%.

In the legal sector, 57% of the professionals surveyed have grown bolder in asking for raises. Competitive salaries have become the main reason professionals seek out new jobs, beating out lack of opportunities for advancement and unfavourable management or company culture.

Solicitors and paralegals focusing on the fields of commercial property and insurance/personal injury are in demand, as are lawyers skilled in commercial, family and corporate law.

In other key findings across all sectors, the guide shows:

  • Employers hold a positive outlook: 77% of employers expect business activity to increase in the year ahead, up from 72% last year, and 43% expect the economy to strengthen in the next six to 12 months.
  • Hiring intentions rise: 61% of employers intend to increase permanent staff levels in FY22/23, up from 47% last year.
  • Benefits increase to attract candidates: 35% of employers have improved benefits and working practices to entice more staff. Flexible working continues to evolve, with 64% of employees looking for an adaptive hybrid approach.


Floro wins prestigious environmental lawyer award

The Law Council of Australia has announced that Matt Floro is the 2022 Mahla Pearlman Australian Young Environmental Lawyer of the Year.

He is a Special Counsel advising on environmental, planning, climate change and administrative law at the Environmental Defenders Office. Floro has conducted litigation in the High Court, Federal Court, NSW Court of Appeal, NSW Land and Environment Court, Queensland Planning and Environment Court, and South Australian Supreme Court.

Law Council of Australia President Tass Liveris says Floro demonstrates the impact lawyers can have. “Mr Floro has been involved in a series of leading-edge climate law cases. These include the Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action v NSW Environment Protection Authority, where the court required the EPA to develop policies to protect the environment from climate change, and KEPCO Bylong Australia Pty Ltd v Bylong Valley Protection Alliance, in which he defended the Independent Planning Commission’s refusal to allow the Bylong Valley coal mine to proceed.”

Passionate about the community, Floro has led Out for Australia Victoria, the Australian Law Students’ Association, and his university law society. He currently serves as President of the National Environmental Law Association and National Vice-President of the Asian Australian Lawyers Association.

“He has also made a significant contribution to the legal profession through his commitment to educating younger lawyers and mentors volunteers at the EDO,” Liveris said.


What remote work means for employee productivity

A survey of more than 2400 professionals in the US by consulting firm consulting firm Robert Half reveals five productivity trends that have taken shape since the shift to remote work.

1. Productivity peaks early in the week

Employees get the most done on Monday and Tuesday, whether at home or in the office. Results are consistent with a similar survey conducted in 2019, before the rise of remote and hybrid work.

2. Professionals have defined power hours

Most workers hit their stride in the late morning (9am to 12pm) and early afternoon (1 to 4pm), regardless of where they sit. Very few tackle their to-dos during lunch or evening hours.

3. Meetings are getting in the way

When asked to share what most impedes their productivity, the top response was unnecessary calls and meetings (35%), followed by conversations with colleagues (25%).

4. Home is where it happens

While one in five professionals (21%) say they’re equally productive wherever they work, 35% reported accomplishing more at home. Those commuting to the office perform best in a private space (43%) versus a collaborative one (16%).

5. Concerns about flexible work are waning

Two-thirds of employees (66%) feel their boss cares more about their contributions to the company than when and where they work. Separate research from Robert Half shows 27% of managers don’t mind if their direct reports put in fewer than 40 hours a week, as long as the job gets done.