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Case Study. Fortune 100 IT – Paris – Multiple Legal Roles

Client

A multinational business, one of the biggest IT companies in the world headquartered in the US with 400-strong global legal and compliance team.

3 Roles

The legal team originally reached out with just 2 vacancies. However the company made an offer to both outstanding finalists for one of the roles. EMEAR Legal Director made the decision to restructure the team in order to secure our outstanding talent in France – unprecedented in company’s hiring history.

Positions filled: Junior Corporate Counsel, Corporate Counsel, Senior Corporate Counsel

Profiles

The team required dynamic personalities able to work at high pace and often making independent decisions supporting a confident and driven sales team; individuals mature enough to work at senior level along VP’s Sales and VP’s Legal of company’s customers – major international organisations.

Location

Paris, France.

Challenges

Lack of Talent with Private Practice Background in France

This client’s hiring managers have especially high expectation about the talent joining the team. Historically they had found it challenging to hire lawyers in France who met their high standards and passed their stringent drafting test. The team had established that lawyers who were able to pass their drafting test usually came from private practice background.

However in France there is shortage of in-house lawyers who previously used to work for a law firm. In order to practice, in-house lawyers in France do not need to be admitted to the Bar – they just require a Master’s degree. In fact, order to practice in-house in France a lawyer has to be unregistered from the bar to avoid conflict of interests. So individuals choosing in-house as their career path usually do not to take the Bar exam because it would only serve to work in private practice.

As to private practice lawyers, they are not as open to moving in-house, as for example in the UK, having made this conscious career choice and invested time, energy and effort into being admitted to the bar.

Roles known to the market

To add to the challenge, the roles had been advertised by the company online for several months. As it became clear later during our search, many of the suitable candidates chose not to apply assuming that “something must be wrong if they can’t fill the role for so long”.

Solution

As the client was recruiting in a scarce market, we made sure to engage both passive candidates (employed but open to the right opportunity) in our network as well as active candidates on the market with the relevant experience.

A structured search was run using our database, professional social media and specialist legal networks. The role was also advertised in niche online media. Both sets of efforts targeted French speakers and drafters with private practice experience based across the UK, Canada, UK and France.

Outcome

EMEAR Legal Director made the decision to increase the headcount and restructure the team in order to secure this outstanding talent for their French team – unprecedented in company’s hiring history.

Candidates placed:

Senior Legal Counsel
A 14 PQE Canadian lawyer with full fluency and ability to draft in both English and French, admitted to the NY Bar with a major US law firm background and in-house experience with a Fortune 10 company.

Junior Corporate Counsel
A 6 PQE native French and English drafter and negotiator with top law firms training and in-house experience with an internet company. Experienced in complex high value negotiations, drafting commercial contracts as well as data privacy matters, pre-litigation and litigation.

Corporate Counsel
A 8 PQE Canadian lawyer with full fluency and ability to draft in both English and French and working knowledge of German who previously worked both in private practice and in-house. A tech savvy lawyer with a varied technology background including mapping, virtual reality and Web services used to engaging at high level both in Sales and Legal.

A year later, the new team members are still happily employed by the business evoking excellent feedback from the managing Legal Directors and internal business clients. The Senior Legal Counsel has been included into the succession planning and leadership mentoring scheme.