Growth in Home Values Flat in September 09

Could this be the end of the current cycle of home price increases? Nationally for the 12 months to August 09, house values increased 6% and units 8.3%. But this trend appears to have ended with a thud in September 09 with a national increase of only 0.1% for the month [Source RPData]. Commentators refer to the end of the first home buyer wave and the changing interest rate cycle as possible explanations. This is only one month and the coming months will be keenly watched.

NSW – In the Under 35 Age Group Female Solicitors Now Represent 62% of the Profession

The Law Society of NSW recently released statistics showing that overall female solicitors at 1 July 2009 represented 45% of the profession. The percentage of female to male solicitors has been increasing steadily over the last two decades but the rate of increase has picked up in the last few years. The under 35s statistics provide a sign of the gender composition of the profession in the decades ahead.

Federal Government Acting to Increase Competition in the Home Lending Market

Competition setbacks in the banking industry include Westpac’s takeover of St George and CBA’s takeover of BankWest. Also, due to the credit squeeze, the major four banks have almost entirely pushed all other players out of the home lending market. Now the Federal Government is pumping an extra $8 billion into the mortgage market to “support competition”.

The American Lawyer has released its annual list of the top 100 firms in the world by revenue and by profit per equity partner

Five Australian firms made it in the top 100 revenue list. Rankings in brackets: Mallesons Stephen Jaques (74); Freehills (86); Minter Ellison (87); Clayton Utz (89) and Allens Arthur Robinson (90) To get a perspective on the size of Australian firms, the combined revenue of these five firms is still less than the individual revenue of any of the top four in the list.

National – News from the 36th Australian Legal Convention in Perth

Read about Federal Attorney-General Robert McLelland’s  outbursts criticising the legal profession and current state of regulation, a new role for consumers of legal services and about New South Wales’ Lawcover itching to compete nationwide for the PI insurance pot of gold. Read the text of the Chief Justice of Western Australia’s speech on “The future of regulating the Legal Profession: Is the Profession Over Regulated?”