Australian lawyers turning to freelance for more freedom and flexibility

by | Aug 7, 2018

Flexible legal hub Vario, part of international law firm Pinsent Masons, has surveyed the lawyers added into the bench since its launch last year and has discovered that freedom and flexibility remain the top motivator for those switching to freelance work.

Of those Varios questioned, 74% cited freedom and flexibility, with 46% appreciating the variety of work. The quality of work offered to contract lawyers in Australia is also a driver, with 37% selecting this option (more than one option was able to be selected).

The survey also revealed that more experienced lawyers are being drawn to freelance lawyering, with 91% of the newly recruited Varios being 11 years + PQE.

The majority of the Varios recruited so far reside in the major cities where Pinsent Masons also have offices – Sydney, Perth and Melbourne.

“It’s been a busy year, and we’re pleased to be well on our way to our target of 50 Varios,” Matthew Kay, Director of Vario, said.

“Rather than rushing to recruit, it has been important that we took our time. Adapting the model for the Australian market was vital and we needed to make sure it was a more tailored and culturally-relevant service for both our clients and our Varios.

“We worked closely with business psychologists to develop bespoke personality tests which are an integral part of our recruitment process and I am pleased to say that we’re really up and running -seeing lots of demand from clients and lawyers alike.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Kay added: “Freedom and flexibility topped the list of motivators for our Varios, which was interesting, as in contrast, the variety of work offered was the main driver for lawyers in the UK. We’ve seen a real desire from Australian lawyers to transform their work-life balance and be more in control of their career day-to-day.”

“More experienced lawyers are also, perhaps unsurprisingly, drawn to freelance legal work, as it allows them to take a step back, spend more time with their families or on passion projects, and get stuck into a wide variety of quality legal work without the other responsibilities which are inevitable when working for a traditional firm.”

Vario continues to expand, launching its model in Singapore earlier this year, led by Kate Cauldwell-Hunt who has been working closely with Vario Australia to engage with organisations operating within and into Singapore, whilst building the local network of consultants.

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