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A photo of the Story Bridge in Brisbane city at dusk

Why Brisbane is So Hot Right Now

(And no, we are not just talking about the weather.)

It’s no secret that the legal market in Brisbane is booming. Over the last 18 months, there has been an unprecedented demand for lawyers in Brisbane across the majority of practice areas. Happily, this demand is being answered by an escalation in interest from lawyers from across the country and internationally. Now with the Queensland border finally open, the phones at Peppercorn Recruitment are running hot. Queensland is welcoming newcomers at an unprecedented rate – in the 12 months up to September 2021, the Queensland population grew faster than every other state combined and Brisbane’s population is now over 2.5 million. In case you’re not on the bandwagon (yet) and still scratching your head, here are the top five reasons why we think Brisbane is “so hot right now” (cue Zoolander).

Brisbane has the work

By now, you should be aware that Brisbane is hosting a fairly big event in ten years’ time. Although the 2032 Olympics are still a decade away, work is already underway on a raft of infrastructure and development projects. With the Olympics expected to deliver about $8 billion of economic and social benefits to the Sunshine State, the Queensland economy is expecting long term benefits and the demand for skilled workers will only increase.

The Olympics present some obviously special opportunities, but the Brisbane legal market was heating up even before Brisbane won the bid. Brisbane already has a raft of projects on the go including Cross River Rail ($6.8 billion), Northshore Hamilton ($5 billion), Queens Wharf ($3.6 billion) and Brisbane Live ($2 billion). Queensland’s epic population growth will only lead to more infrastructure investment, economic growth… and demand for lawyers.

At Peppercorn Recruitment, we are seeing an unprecedented surge in law firms and businesses looking for lawyers in pretty much all areas. While the biggest areas of demand are infrastructure, property, construction, employment, litigation and property, there are roles available for all! In-house opportunities in Brisbane have flourished in particular post-COVID. Gone are the days of in-house work being centred on the mining and resources sector only. Brisbane now offers a diverse range of in-house opportunities. Peppercorn Recruitment has recently taken roles in aged care, early childhood education, renewables, rail, technology, property, finance, insurance, tourism & hospitality, not-for-profit, mining (of course) and many other areas.

Brisbane is no longer an outpost

When the pandemic hit, businesses and law firms were forced to adapt quickly. One of the key changes to come about because of social distancing and lockdowns, was that remote working (including work from home arrangements) became much more widely accepted and practised. With the acceptance of remote working and prevalence of video/phone conferencing in place of face-to-face meetings, it really is not as critical that lawyers be physically situated in the same city as their clients. This means that a Brisbane lawyer can easily service a client in Sydney or Melbourne (or elsewhere).

We have also found that, in many firms, remote working has encouraged more interaction between practices and teams so that a Brisbane lawyer might easily report to a partner interstate (or split their work between an interstate partner and a local partner), therefore reaping the benefits of a wider range of available work.

Gone are the days of Brisbane being a sleepy, backwards cousin of Sydney and Melbourne. A large number of international firms are now established in the Brisbane market and the quality of work in most practice areas is as good in Brisbane as you will find anywhere else.

Brisbane salaries have caught up

Don’t think that a move to Brisbane will be a significant hit to the back pocket. Brisbane salaries have caught up in most areas, with significant increases of 20-30% not uncommon. Brisbane businesses and law firms are crying out for talent and many are willing to pay top of market to secure the right people.

Brisbane is (comparatively) affordable

Like the legal market, the Brisbane property market is also booming. With factors in play including an unprecedented influx from southern states, the price of housing in Brisbane is definitely increasing, but the average cost of living in Brisbane is still well down on that in Sydney and Melbourne.

A move to Brisbane represents an opportunity to invest in 2021’s best performing city, with over 25% growth in the real estate sector driven in significant part by employment growth and strong interstate migration. With population growth showing no signs of slowing down, Brisbane real estate value increases are expected to keep pace.

Have we mentioned the beaches yet?

Yes, Brisbane does get “hot” in that other way too! Brisbane enjoys a subtropical climate and an average of about 260 days of sunshine per year. The Brisbane River snakes its way through the city, making for plenty of picturesque spots to enjoy the cooling river breezes. The beautiful beaches of the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast are only about an hour away (north and south) and have water temperatures that actually make them comfortably swimmable. Brisbanites love the beach so much, a beach has even been built right in the middle of the city at Southbank! We’re not pretending to be travel agents, but it is clear that Brisbane is an ideal base for exploring the many varied offerings of the rest of Queensland too.

Brisbane these days is brimming with lifestyle precincts; hobbies and interests are all well catered for and the foodie scene is going from strength to strength. Living in Brisbane will really not see you miss out on much. In fact, we truly believe Brisbane is the place to be!

Check out our current vacancies or give us a call if you think a move to Brisbane might be for you.