Law firm offers $25,000 home deposit to lure top talent

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A regional NZ law firm is offering recruits a $25,000 home deposit in a bid to attract top talent to the region.

C & F Legal wants to convince young lawyers that Nelson has many opportunities for career progression.  Associate director Andrew Shaw said the firm is trying to attract top legal talent with the misconception that the success of their legal career relies on living in a large city.

“All industries have difficulty in attracting top talent and there is always competition when you are looking to attract experienced, ambitious and talented people,” Shaw told Australasian Lawyer.

“There does appear to be a perception amongst our senior colleagues in the large city centres that they cannot advance their professional and income aspirations in a city such as Nelson.  In my view such perceptions are wrong.”

The firm’s job advertisement for two senior lawyers last week included perks like a car park, a gym membership and a $25,000 deposit on a home in Nelson.

Shaw himself said he thought his legal career would develop in a big city but after moving to Nelson five years ago, found a small city offers many of the same opportunities.

“I have found that Nelson provides all the major benefits of a large city centre in terms of challenging and complex matters but without the usual big city gripes such as long commutes and unaffordable housing,” he said.

“Local practitioners and court staff are very collegial and of course the region just happens to be one of the most beautiful parts of the country with an excellent climate.”

According to a report by, Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency chief executive Bill Findlater said the home deposit is a novel approach.

“I think it's important to be attracting professionals to the region whether they're younger or whatever age they are,” he told Stuff.

“We're taking steps to make sure that people will see Nelson as an attractive place to live and work.”

Shaw said the firm is looking for ambitious people who want to commit to a life in Nelson.  The home deposits would be paid after employees had been at the firm for six months and binds them to the firm for five years.