Living and working in London

22 January 2015 Laura Barratt


The opportunity of living and working in London,  in my opinion, is one not to be missed especially if you have experience as a lawyer, paralegal or legal secretary.  Having made the move from Australia to the UK myself, I can honestly say I reflect on those memories as some of the happiest in my life and know wholeheartedly that it’s my experiences of living in London that have gotten me to where I am today.  Embarking on a working holiday to the UK used to be almost an institution or rite of passage for most people working in the Australian legal market.  However with the global financial crisis of 2008 and the recession in the UK that was to follow, we saw a dramatic decline of jobs available which resulted in almost a cessation of the Aussie and Kiwi traveler.

The picture now could not be more different!  London is once again booming, quite literally.  When I was there in October 2014 I was amazed at just how much construction was going on in the city.  There are new buildings going up everywhere from Bank St to Liverpool St and around the buzzing legal district at the Old Bailey and St Paul’s Cathedral.  Whilst, yes, this construction does make for a much noisier walk around the streets, you can’t help but feel encouraged by the development going on around you and the clear confidence from these big businesses now once again in a position to spend money.  What does that mean for you? Jobs, jobs, jobs!!!

We literally have clients asking us on a weekly basis for more and more candidates. When it comes to the roles of legal secretary, paralegal and various areas of lawyer roles, they want to know where the Australian and New Zealand candidates are. UK law firms are well renowned for seeking out Australian and New Zealand candidates with legal experience in their home markets, as they are known for not only outstanding skills and experience but a solid work ethic and great attitude.

What would you need to do in order to be considered?  Not much to be honest!  You’d need a valid work visa or UK/EU passport if you are a support staff member.  Qualified lawyers will potentially have the option to be sponsored by firms, however this is dependent on the needs of the firm and can be discussed with you on an individual basis.  Most support staff will travel on a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa which can be applied for online.  Once you have your rights to work sorted, all you need to do is book a flight and let us know when you are going!!  We will consult with you in the lead up to your departure, with the aim of having interviews set up for you shortly after your arrival.

As I said earlier, my experience of living in London is something that has helped shape the person I am today and is an experience that I definitely don’t regret.  But what we want to do is share with you some stories from other people who have been there before; what they did, how they did it and why they feel it benefited them.  Over the next few months we will share interviews with these people to help give you an insight to life in London and hopefully help you figure out whether this is something for you.

We hope to be helping you move to London at some stage in the near future!