About

At Arnold Bloch Leibler, we believe great minds think differently. We are committed to investing in the meaningful professional development of each of our graduates. Our single practice group experience will provide the breadth and depth of exposure you need to think outside the square and excel in the law.

Arnold Bloch Leibler is the commercial law firm clients turn to for advice and support on their most complex legal matters, high stakes transactions, litigation and commercial decisions. With a reputation built on a long history of success, our lawyers are often at the centre of law reform and regularly advise on landmark matters.

Our firm advises entrepreneurial family-owned businesses, ASX listed companies, private clients and international corporations. We enjoy long-standing relationships with a select group of other professional advisors − including accountants, hedge funds, insolvency practitioners, private bankers and equity firms and overseas-based specialist law firms.

We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver innovative strategic guidance and solutions to complex problems related to our clients’ commercial interests, legal position and reputation.

What distinguishes ABL from other firms?

At Arnold Bloch Leibler we relish our exposure to a wide range of interesting and challenging matters that enable our lawyers to draw on their expertise and intellectual potential.

We encourage them to bring their whole selves to work each day, recognising that diversity of thought, background and life experience all contribute to our distinctive culture and the solutions we deliver for each of our clients.

Our internal structure is also a little different to our competitors. Our lawyers are trained to be ‘generalist specialists’ – able to straddle a range of different legal matters, as opposed to only being super specialised in a narrow field. Working in a broad based practice group this way, you’ll work across the full range of matters that the group deals with.

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For example, you might choose to be a finance lawyer and work across corporate finance, property & development finance, restructuring and insolvency. In addition to core finance work, you’ll also be exposed to broader commercial transactions like shareholders and joint venture agreements, equity transactions, fund management and financial services – instead of specialising in just one of these areas.

This allows our lawyers to maintain a client-centric focus which is at the core of what we do. What’s the downside? Hard work and the ability to think differently. You have to cover more ground and be attuned to a larger range of issues. The feedback from our lawyers is that, while it’s more challenging, the satisfaction that comes from achieving excellent outcomes for our clients is unique. In fact,they say it’s pretty incredible.

From a client perspective, our aim is not to service our clients for all of their legal needs − rather, we position ourselves as the lawyers to go to when everything is on the line, where strategic imperatives are invoked, and when commercial thinking that’s out of the box is required. The people we hire are the best and brightest, who want the most challenging, complex work in the market.

Graduate Experience

When you join Arnold Bloch Leibler as a graduate, you will immediately experience our firm’s point of difference.

From your very first day, you will work alongside thought leaders in the profession on important and complex cases that will provide opportunities to flex your thinking, offer direct input and gain in-depth knowledge. Your opinions will be respected and you’ll be given autonomy to progress matters. Your contribution will be valued and you will be supported in your personal and professional growth.

As is the case with all leading law firms, now and then you will experience periods of intense work that require long days, long nights, and sometimes weekends. But rest assured, we don’t expect people to remain in the office at the end of the day for the sake of being seen. We want our people to enjoy their life outside work – after all it’s our diversity of thought and experience that binds us, produces our collegiate culture and ensures our success.

Over time with Arnold Bloch Leibler, you will gain professional breadth of experience across practice areas, depth of expertise in your chosen field, and skills you will draw on for the rest of your career. In essence, you will develop a brilliant legal mind.

Clerkship & Graduate Program

Clerkship Program

In Victoria, Arnold Bloch Leibler offers three clerkship intakes each year to coincide with the university holidays (November/ December, January/February and June/July). Within the LIV’s ‘priority offer’ system, we then take graduates who have clerked at the firm.

In NSW, expressions of interest are available year-round on our careers page.

At Arnold Bloch Leibler, your clerkship experience is an insight into the unique experience you’d have as a graduate. You will quickly become immersed in our culture, and from day one, work on active matters and be given real responsibilities. You will have direct contact with partners and clients in meetings, calls and court hearings.

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During your clerkship, you will be invited to attend a number of extra-curricular activities including dinners with our current graduates and lunches with different groups across the firm. You will also experience a day with one of our clients, providing a valuable opportunity to learn more about their work, why they choose Arnold Bloch Leibler and what they look for when they come to us for legal advice.

Throughout your clerkship, you will be allocated a supervisor and a buddy who will be your go-to support people for any questions that arise day-to-day.

Graduate Program

At Arnold Bloch Leibler we believe success comes from investing in personal and professional growth. That’s why we’ve stepped outside the square to provide a unique in-house graduate training program.

Rather than attending an external course, as a graduate, you will learn on the ground, from our best and brightest partners and senior associates – leaders in their respective fields who provide supervised training and continuous mentoring.

You will be assigned to a practice group and a supervising partner who will invest in your development and get you involved in a wide variety of matters throughout your graduate year. You will benefit from real work experience and direct client contact that sets you apart from your peers in the profession.

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Your engagement is our focus – while we have a single practice experience, we have an optional six month rotation system where we touch base with you at your six-month review to make sure we’ve found you the right home inside the firm where you can thrive. If you’re not sure where that is, we work with you to explore the options across all of our practices.

Testimonials

  • My graduate year was challenging and at the same time extremely rewarding. Like all graduates at ABL, I had direct contact with my supervising partner on a daily basis and I was trusted to work on meaningful tasks with real responsibilities. I wondered what it would be like not having rotations like my peers at other firms but I am now convinced that ABL’s graduate model allowed me to fast track my development well beyond what I had expected. I am continually encouraged
to think outside the square and contribute my ideas and I’ve surprised myself with how much I’ve learnt in just 12 months. KELLY SEO Lawyer, 2016 Graduate Banking & Finance and Commercial

  • I have loved my time with ABL. Everything the firm markets about itself is manifested in the way that the people here go about their work. There is a great energy, people are motivated and engaged, and there is a real sense of identity and culture that plays out throughout the firm. I have loved the collegiality, the way in which people are always willing to take the time to help, and the quality of work is incredible. I have been amazed at the intelligence and humility of the people who work here, which I think is in part attributable to the culture that the firm perpetuates. Summer clerk, 2016

  • I found the work very interesting and challenging. I was able to work on a diverse range of matters and tasks. It was rewarding to be able to undertake tasks ranging from research, writing letters and attending court/meetings. It gave me a good insight into the different types of work undertaken in the litigation department. I felt that I was given real tasks related to cases and not simply given work to keep me busy. Winter clerk, 2016

Great Minds Have Global Reach

ABL may be located in Australia but we have substantial global reach. We are renowned for advising entrepreneurial businesses all over the world and possessing influence within legal, business and political circles. These are some of interesting matters from the last few years:

1. Singapore

Square Peg Capital: Launch of $200m VC fund and acquisition of shares in PropertyGuru, SE Asia’s leading online real estate classifieds.

2. South Korea

carsales.com Limited: $120m acquisition of 49.9% of SK Encar, South Korea.

3. China (Hangzhou)

Fonterra: advised on its $174m joint venture with China’s Beingmate.

4. NZ

RCG Corporation: $200m acquisition of New Zealand company, Accent Group Limited.

5. Hong Kong

SEEK: $206m acquisition of a 60% stake in SE Asian online employment business, Jobs DB.

6. Japan

Icon Co: sale of a majority stake in Australian construction company, Icon Co, to one of Japan’s largest builders, Kajima Corporation

7. UK

IDP Education: $56m acquisition of Hotcourses, a UK based digital marketing and online student recruitment company.

8. US

IPAR rehabilitation: 70% sale to global private equity firm, Riverside Partners.
SEEK: $140m sale of 80% of THINK Education Group to Laureate International Universities.

9. Norway

Ekornes ASA: $94m acquisition of Norwegian company International Mobel Group.

10. Argentina

carsales.com Limited: acted on its acquisition of DeMotores, the operator of automotive classified websites in Argentina, Colombia and Chile.

11. Chile

carsales.com Limited: advised on its investment of a controlling shareholding in Chileautos, the number one automotive classifieds website in Chile.

12. Mexico

carsales.com Limited: on its acquisition of a 65% shareholding in SoloAutos, a leading automotive website in Mexico.

Application Process

What do we look for?

At Arnold Bloch Leibler we look for graduates who are seeking, and can contribute, something extraordinary. We value good grades and a sharp intellect because our work is complex and intellectually challenging – but our shortlisting process doesn’t end there. We like people with life experience, lateral thinking, commercial acumen, resilience, imagination and a passion for the law. We appreciate people who use initiative and can accept shared responsibility for their career development. We’re also real people and love candidates with a willingness to learn and a sense of humour.

The list above will tell part of the story, but we want to know more… we want to know why you are interested in us… and why/how you have a great mind that thinks differently.

The application process

We keep the application process simple and straight forward, so you’ll need to make an impact right from the start.

Your application will require you to submit a covering letter, a copy of your CV and an academic transcript. Because of the simplicity of our application process, the emphasis on a considered covering letter is critical. It’s a real opportunity for us to get to know you, how you’re different, and why you’d like to work at ABL.

The interview

Like our application process, we keep the interview process simple – we hold one interview with two partners and a member from the human resources team, for about half an hour. Our interviews are informal and positioned in a way for us to get to know you, figure out what motivates you and what you’re looking for. It’s a two-way dialogue, not an interrogation. Our interview with you reflects the type of firm we are, and the value we place on you being an individual.

Following your interview, we will invite you to have a coffee with one of our graduates or junior lawyers. This is an ideal time for you to find out more about our culture, our work and your potential future with Arnold Bloch Leibler.

FAQ

  • What are the prominent areas of our practice?

    We organise our practice groups to allow our lawyers to be broad generalists, our groups are split between transactions and disputes.
    From the client perspective, our services cover:

    • banking & finance
    • competition
    • corporate & commercial
    • dispute resolution & litigation
    • native title & public interest law
    • property & development
    • reconstruction & insolvency
    • taxation
    • technology & intellectual property
    • workplace advisory.
  • Where is Arnold Bloch Leibler located in Australia?

    We have offices in Sydney and Melbourne, however we embrace technology and service clients nationally and internationally.

  • How many partners does Arnold Bloch Leibler have?

    We have 33 partners nationally; 26 in our Melbourne office and seven in Sydney.

  • What is Arnold Bloch Leibler’s approach to pro bono work?

    Giving back to the community, by making a real and valuable contribution, has always been one of our core values. We have a stand-alone pro-bono practice group, and all of our lawyers are given the opportunity to be involved.

    The firm engages with many not-for-profit and charitable organisations that are active in communal, social, health, research, religious and environmental sectors.

    During the 2015/16 financial year, lawyers at ABL collectively carried out 7,895 hours of pro-bono, public interest law work – close to double the national average.

    Over a third of all pro-bono hours were provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities. This was recognised in 2017, when we were awarded the prestigious Lawyers Weekly Pro Bono Program of the Year for our unparalleled work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organisations. The firm is deeply committed to indigenous constitutional recognition and reconciliation.

  • What are the key dates of the seasonal clerkship and law graduate recruitment process?

    Seasonal Clerkships:

    Applications open: Monday 8 July 2019
    Applications close: Sunday 11 August 2019
    Offers: Thursday 10 October 2019

    Law Graduates:

    Priority offers will be made on Tuesday 6 August 2019

  • How many clerks does the firm take, and when do the clerkships take place?

    In Victoria, we have three clerkship intakes that coincide with university holidays (November/ December, January/February and June/July). To maximise the career building opportunities for each clerk, we accept approximately 15-17 clerks in each intake.

  • Will the firm accept non-penultimate applicants?

    ABL is a proud signatory to the LIV guidelines for applications in Victoria. To ensure you’re at a level that you can really get the most out of your clerkship, we only consider students in their penultimate year of study. In NSW, our preference is also for you to be in your penultimate year, however you can apply at any time for a position in our Sydney office via our careers page.

  • What is the application and interview process e.g. how many rounds of interviews, style of interview?

    We keep the application process simple and straight forward, so you’ll need to make an impact right from the start.

    Your application will require you to submit a covering letter, a copy of your CV and an academic transcript. Because of the simplicity of our application process, the emphasis on a considered covering letter is increased. It’s a real opportunity for us to get to know you, how you’re different, and why you’d like to work at ABL.

    Like our application process, we keep the interview process simple – we hold one interview with two partners and a member from the human resources team, for about half an hour. Our interviews are informal and positioned in a way for us to get to know you, figure out what motivates you and what you’re looking for – and vice versa. It’s a two-way dialogue, not an interrogation – our interview reflects the type of firm we are, and the value we place on the individual.

    Following your interview, we will invite you to have a coffee with one of our graduates or junior lawyers. This is an ideal time for you to find out more about our culture, our work and your potential future with Arnold Bloch Leibler.

  • How do I choose a department once I’ve secured a clerkship position?

    Along with your offer, you will receive a practice group area preference form. Our human resources team will allocate you to a practice group based on your preferences and the needs of the firm.

    Most clerks receive their first preference and if not, the human resources team will work closely with you to allocate you to another suitable group.

  • How many graduates does the firm take, and when does the graduate year start?

    We take around 20 graduates each year. The graduate year commences in early March.

  • Does the firm go directly to market for graduate offers?

    In Victoria, we use the “priority offer” system set out by the LIV to provide offers to candidates who have clerked with us. We only tend to go directly to market for our Sydney graduate program.

  • Does the firm offer deferment of a graduate offer?

    Yes

  • If I clerked in the Melbourne office, am I able to apply for a graduate position in the Sydney office?

    Yes, definitely. Many of our people either clerked, or commenced their careers in one of our offices before relocating to our other office.

  • How many rotations does a graduate undertake and for how long?

    At ABL, we’re a no-nonsense firm, we touch base with our graduates regularly, and we’re focussed on helping you develop your skills quickly, both in terms of quality and breadth. We also really want you to find your best fit – because that’s where you’ll thrive. We have an optional 6 month rotation system where at the six month mark, we’ll engage with you to consider rotating to another practice group. We won’t force you to move, but we’ll give you the option, and help you to decide.

  • Is a graduate offer for a particular department?

    No. You will receive a graduate offer and like the clerkship process, a practice area preference form. You do not need to select the practice group you clerked in and the human resources team will work closely with you to obtain your first preference, pending the needs of the firm.

  • What is the firm’s approach to continuing learning and career development?

    At Arnold Bloch Leibler, continuing professional development is part of our DNA. We believe in life-long learning and continuous improvement, in both a formal and informal way.

    The firm schedules three, six and nine month catch ups with graduates to ensure their transition from university to work life runs smoothly, and to identify any need for further support. Annual career development discussions and regular performance reviews are also opportunities to identify any needs. The firm considers these vital to help graduate trainees excel as lawyers.

    Our graduate training program is distinctly different – your training is provided in-house by partners and senior associates who are leaders in their fields. The content is practical and hands on, and something that our graduates genuinely enjoy about their first 12 months at the firm.

    In respect to continuing education, much of the training is hands-on and practical, because that is the way people learn best. Law graduates, for example, are assigned to a partner who is primarily responsible for that person’s progress. The partner helps to develop your technical and legal skills, ensures quality of your work and encourages you to thrive.