From lawyer to recruitment

Christian Brown

Christian Brown began his career as a solicitor before making the move into recruitment with Robert Walters. He quickly found success working as a consultant within the legal recruitment team and was soon promoted to senior consultant and then manager within a short space of time. He now manages our professional services division in Auckland.

“After graduating from Otago University in New Zealand with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce, I began working at Russell McVeagh, within the corporate advisory mergers and acquisitions team. In 2007 I completed the College of Law legal exams and was admitted to the High Court of New Zealand as a barrister and solicitor. After two and a half years at Russell McVeagh I made the move to the UK in search of a new challenge.

I moved to London in 2009, just as the recession hit. Law firms weren’t hiring new staff and competition for jobs was fierce. I didn’t want to start from the bottom of the ladder again and realised if I was going to become a success in London I would have to reconsider my options.”

The transition from law to recruitment

Christian decided to research a potential career in recruitment and found Robert Walters stood out for its international reputation, well-established brand and culture of collaboration.

“Several of my friends worked in recruitment in London and I was impressed by the fast-track career progression and autonomous work environment that Robert Walters offered. I joined as a consultant in September 2009, and with a legal background, made the natural move into legal recruitment.

Although it was nerve-wracking starting a new career, I soon realised I had made the right decision. I immediately enjoyed the freedom of taking ownership of my own desk and relished the sense of achievement I got from managing an end-to-end process. My legal background has proven invaluable, as it means I can easily relate to both law candidates and clients. My knowledge of legal terminology has also enabled me to gain the trust and respect of those in the industry."

International opportunities with Robert Walters

"After four and a half years in the UK, I was given the chance to relocate back to New Zealand with the business. I knew I’d like to come back to New Zealand eventually so one of the reasons I chose to work at Robert Walters was because of its strong global presence and opportunities to move internationally.

One of the great things about working for Robert Walters is that your hard work doesn’t go unrewarded. The culture of recognising individual potential and a dedication to keeping staff engaged is what sets Robert Walters apart.

The Group gave me a great deal of support with my move and helped me with all of the practical aspects of relocating. I now manage the professional services division in our Auckland office, covering a variety of disciplines including legal, procurement and human resources."

Advice to those considering a career in the recruitment

“One of the most important things I’ve learnt in my time at Robert Walters is that even though I chose to divert from my original career path, the skills I gained during my time as a lawyer have impacted greatly on my career in recruitment. One of the unique advantages of this industry is that you can utilise your personal strengths and diverse experience to fuel your success. I would urge anyone in search of a challenge and progressive career development to consider a career in recruitment at Robert Walters."

Interested in a career change? Please send an up-to-date CV to, our internal recruitment manager for Australia and New Zealand

Set up a targeted
job alert

Read more »