New Zealand firm goes on recruitment drive in UK

A LEADING New Zealand firm is dispatching two partners to London in a bid to entice Kiwi lawyers who have settled in the City back to their home country.

The move is a response to the drain of talent in New Zealand caused by the steady stream of young lawyers travelling to the UK.

Rudd Watts & Stone started its recruitment forays to the UK three years ago – and last year it received 70 job applications, interviewed 35 solicitors and eventually took on just three.

Bill Sandston, whose firm has offices throughout New Zealand, said many of its former staff had ended up in City firms such as Freshfields and Slaughter and May. But he said that the practice was not looking to recruit expat Kiwi solicitors exclusively.

He said it had recruited “four or five” English-born lawyers since it had embarked on its recruitment initiative.

Meanwhile, City firms are continuing to look to the Antipodes for recruits. Recruitment consultancy Garfield Robbins has just opened a new office in Australia while earlier this year consultancy Michael Page Legal opened up in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city.