Welcome to Austin Hanley

Austin Hanley was established by Richard Pooley and James Pfahl to be the most trusted and successful legal search business in Australia.

As a privately owned, independent business we are flexible in our approach and are not accountable to external shareholders, internal sales targets nor conflicted by extensive off-limit restrictions.

We have facilitated some of the most notable mergers, team moves and lateral partner acquisitions in Australia.

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What Clients Say

I would like to extend a special thank you for your excellent service. Is has been a great experience. You provided excellent support and feedback. Thank you!

Directors – Richard Pooley & James Pfahl

Fresh from an Honours degree in Business, I landed my first job in recruitment as a graduate recruiter in London’s square mile. It has been an unexpected but rewarding career that has taken me from the U.K. to Melbourne, then Perth, Sydney and most recently to Brisbane.  It also introduced me to Renee my former colleague and now wife, and an array of fascinating clients and candidates.

Over the years, I have enjoyed progression into practice leadership and a more senior suite of executive assignments across Australia. Personal highlights, include increased boardroom experience and managing international search mandates for C level roles within professional services and ASX listed companies.

After 15 years of executive search professional development working under industry leading mentors, I wanted to fulfil a personal vision for establishing an outstanding boutique legal search firm which partners with our global and domestic premier law firm clients.

While Brisbane is currently home along with an army of pets, I still thoroughly enjoy my nomadic role consulting from east to west coast while fulfilling my Englishman’s dream of, well, living the Australian dream.

Connect with Richard on LinkedIn

Recruitment was supposed to be a stopgap option when my rather unrealistic dream of being a professional tennis player didn’t work out.  However this turned out to be a career choice that has taken me from the UK to Australia and allowed me to meet some truly impressive individuals along the way.

After working in legal recruiting roles in London, I moved to Melbourne in 2001 and embarked on a rewarding decade of developing my networks and progressing up the management ranks for several large and specialist recruitment agencies.  I also managed the national recruitment function for one of Australia’s top tier firms, gaining valuable experience of the inner workings of a law firm.  Over time I developed a hunger for something more entrepreneurial and founded Austin Hanley with Richard Pooley in 2013.

I have witnessed many changes in Australia’s legal market and I am keen to explore the opportunities presented by the current market and help firms shape their legal practice for the future.

I live in Melbourne, with my wife and three young children and as a passionate foodie, I enjoy the great culinary experiences that Melbourne has to offer.  We’re looking forward to teaching the kids to play tennis too.

Connect with James on LinkedIn