This week started with a mega-feature in The Lawyer on one of my favourite topics, partner lateral hiring, in this case talking about how US firms’ stronger financials will mean they can pick off the UK high-flyers with ease (http://www.thelawyer.com/us-firms’-stellar-city-financials-put-uk-high-fliers-in-hiring-line/1007673.article)
The prospect of a welter of flotations of multi-hundred million pound businesses already earning massive profits is already whetting the appetite of many a private equity house and bank in the City, ahead of the final liberalisation of the much talked-about Legal Services Act in October this year which will allow corporate investors in law firms for the very first time.
Nice piece in Legal Week on the role of clients, who seem to be delving ever deeper into how law firms run their businesses. You can find it here: www.legalweek.com/mind-business-clients-telling-law-firms-run-shop.
It’s right on-point, because I can’t think of any other industry (except maybe farming!) where clients like to get so involved with the process of delivery as a method of cutting costs, which is, after all, what it’s all about. But I think the most intriguing comment in the piece revolves around law firm profits and clients’ interest in what lawyers pay themselves, calling the concept ‘strange’.
Legal recruiters come in for a lot of flak from lawyers, and to be honest, many of them deserve it, but having done it for over eight years myself, I can attest that 99% of lawyers I have met would not only hate it, they would be terrible at it.
It is a punishing, often thankless job, where the vagiaries of human decision-making never cease to amaze and where one’s income is always dependent on the whim of others (no hourly billing here, thank you very much…). Whereas the worst recruiters are little more than lying charlatans that give the industry a bad name, the best – and I count many friends among the finest in the market – are talented individuals with the patience of saints, deserving of more respect than they often receive from their candidates.