Commercial litigators and insurance specialists in high demand for 2021

COVID-19 is expected to continue to play a role in determining the legal skills Australia needs in the new year

Commercial litigators and insurance specialists in high demand for 2021

Commercial litigators and insurance specialists are among the most in-demand legal practitioners heading into 2021, global recruiter Hays has found.

“Litigation was a highly buoyant area pre-COVID-19, and is expected to grow rapidly in 2021 as individuals and business owners fall into contractual or company disputes due to pandemic-induced financial pressure,” Hays said in a report released on Wednesday.

Insurance practices have seen much activity in 2020 as a result of factors like COVID-19-related claims, construction and weather issues. Hays said that the market continues to seek legal experts in the field “for both the public sector and law firms who can work on child and sexual abuse claims following outcomes on Royal Commission investigations and subsequent historical abuse claims.”

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The recruiter also revealed that strong experience in insolvency and commercial property – particularly in relation to acquisitions, disposals and leasing matters – is attractive in Australia’s legal jobs market.

“Demand for these key skills is high, especially those deemed critical to project delivery or business operations. Also ranking highly are jobs that allow organisations and people to perform at their peak,” said Nick Deligiannis, Hays’ Australia and New Zealand managing director.

A recent report released by Corrs Chambers Westgarth revealed that things are set to look up in the area of M&A as well in 2021, with an uptick expected in deal volume and value. Herbert Smith Freehills has echoed the positive outlook, with M&A specialists Tony Damian and Andrew Rich predicting that the three “sectors to watch” are property, financial services and resources.

Deligiannis said he had observed an increase in vacancy activity in several industries as “organisations return to growth and look to protect their future.”

“In terms of the balance of temporary and permanent roles, while contract remained resilient throughout 2020, permanent vacancy activity is bouncing back as business confidence increases,” Deligiannis said.

The Hays report compiles about 100 of the top skills required across a wide range of sectors in 2021, including accountancy and finance, IT, marketing, insurance and construction. The report showed that other sought-after roles include qualified accountants, residential estimators, cloud engineers and CRM managers.

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