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Outsourcers: considering your first legal hire in the UK?

The legal function plays an increasingly important role in the success of outsourcing projects, so in-house legal resource can offer significant cost, time and process benefits.
The UK is increasingly being viewed as a global market leader in the consultancy sector (according to a poll conducted by the National Outsourcing Association and in 2012). Skills, experience and knowledge, time zones, commuting distances and access to finance all combine to ensure that nearly half of those surveyed believe the UK can become a "global strategic hub for outsourcing".

The growing role of legal

Historically, responsibility for outsourcing deals was divided quite neatly:
  • The sales director sells the deal
  • The finance director leads the pricing
  • The consultant formulates the service levels, the pricing model and the project and implementation plan
  • The lawyer drafts and negotiates the outsourcing services agreement and the outsourcing transfer agreement
However, in recent years we have witnessed the lawyer increasing his/or her ‘value-add' by moving into the arena previously occupied entirely by the consultant. They are taking a more collaborative approach, working in conjunction with the consultant to provide project management skills, advise upon wider commercial imperatives, and fundamentally act as a ‘business facilitator'.
At Michael Page Legal, we have a proven track record of helping businesses in the outsourcing sector to make their first UK legal hire and increase the size of their existing UK teams. Please see below for a case study of how we have tackled this type of legal recruitment challenge.

Case study

We were approached by an award-winning management consultancy in 2011 who were considering making their first legal hire. They believed that bringing legal matters in-house would improve efficiencies and cut costs, but the business had little idea about how best to initiate the process or about the state of the market or calibre of candidates available.
We arranged a face-to-face meeting to develop an understanding of the organisation and their requirements and to clarify:
  • The best process for the assignment 
  • Timescales
  • Preferred background (a ‘head of' to set up a legal function from scratch or a lawyer to take care of a relatively straightforward contract workload)
  • Budget
We utilised techniques including database and LinkedIn searching, marketing-mapping, advertising and headhunting to conduct a thorough search of the market. Within a fortnight we provided an initial ‘long list' of 10 candidates for our client to consider. Full interview notes were included on the suitability of each (including alignment with company values, sector experience etc.) This list encompassed a range of PQE levels to enable our client to determine the level of experience most appropriate for the position.
Five candidates were selected for first interview and two candidates were progressed to a second interview stage. Initial interviews were conducted by the HR manager and a partner and the second round interviews were handled by two partners. The process, from first interview to offer acceptance, was completed in a month.
The successful candidate, a senior lawyer from a global consultancy and outsourcing business accepted the role. The salary package was agreed with ease as we'd helped negotiate it from the outset of the process. Over a year later, the legal and commercial manager we helped to appoint is still in place and has successfully streamlined our client's legal processes, saving significant costs and reducing risk and exposure across the board.

How Michael Page Legal can help

We work in partnership with our clients to design bespoke campaigns and recruitment programmes to recruit outsourcing lawyers to supplement existing teams or start a function from scratch. We implement our proven recruitment methods for different situations, for example:
  • Database search for temporary solutions and expedient market insight
  • Advertised campaigns for complete market coverage
  • Retained assignments to ensure maximum control over process
We work with a wide network of experienced commercial lawyers with particular expertise in information technology outsourcing, business process outsourcing, legal process outsourcing and knowledge process outsourcing. Our clients choose to partner with us because of our recruitment pedigree, market knowledge and our understanding of the outsourcing industry.
Please get in touch with Ashley King to discuss how our track record could make a difference to your legal recruitment process:
T: 020 7269 2405
M: 07785 407 663