May 26, 2024
Doyle's Guide

Editorial Commentary – Employment, Sydney 2015

It’s been a positive year for NSW’s employment lawyers.  The workforce restructuring work that has been so dominant in most other jurisidictions while prevalent in NSW has been coupled with a perhaps even more steady flow of unfair dismissal and adverse action claims.

Within our law firm rankings there were effectively eight or nine tiers of firms and, as such we’ve basically combined many of these tiers into one.  In short, there are bands within the majority of our tiers and there is some disparity between the top of each tier and the bottom but also a significant gap between the bottom of each tier and the top of the one below it.  More than anything it’s reflective of the sheer number of market participants and the diversity of their various offerings that makes it challenging to pencil in each firm at a particular level.

It’s perhaps this diversity and the plethora of quality specialist/boutique offerings that sees the “mid-tier” firms playing less of a role than they do in other Australian jurisdictions.  There are most definitely quality mid-tier employment offerings in NSW with the likes K&L Gates, HWL Ebsworth, Gadens and Maddocks perhaps leading the way in this regard but their reach appears somewhat limited.

This years rankings also places half of what previously was referred to as the “top-tier” into the Recommended level of our rankings.  King & Wood Mallesons have long scaled back their Sydney offering in employment with Andrew Gray holding the fort admirably on that front.  With Tim Frost now having left Allens to join the fledgling PWC Legal and Clayton Utz struggling to rebuild post Joe Catanzariti’s departure there’s only a handful of firms who sit within our upper tiers.

Firmly amongst our upper level of firms is Seyfarth Shaw.  Since launching less than two years ago the firm has continued to grow in stature and given the demographics of its partnership looks best positioned to thrive in the future.

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