Frequently Asked Questions
Why Taylor Root?
At Taylor Root we have a team specialising exclusively in the recruitment of partners. The team is made up of some of the most experienced recruiters in the industry with an average of over 10 years' experience. We work as a team and between us have significant exposure and knowledge of the majority of commercial law firms in London both UK and US.
Whereas a headhunter may call you up with one idea, Taylor Root can cover the wider market for you, providing a comprehensive service making sure you are considering all your options so you can ultimately make the right decision about moving.
By co-ordinating your search, we are able to ensure that you run a number of meetings at the same time so providing a choice at the end of the day.
In general terms we:
- Take all the administration away from you.
- Introduce you to appropriate law firms.
- Help produce your CV and business plan (including typing if appropriate).
- Will inform you of appropriate positions available based upon our specialist market knowledge.
- Organise meetings.
- Explore law firms, often on a no-names basis to ascertain levels of interest.
- Help negotiate remuneration levels.
- Help advise on resignations.
- Provide/assist when it comes to making decisions based on extensive knowledge of the market.
- Provide recommendations on employment lawyers if appropriate.
Why other recruiters?
This will largely depend upon your background and what you want to achieve.
For example: If you are a finance lawyer with a decent client following wishing to explore the larger UK/US law firms, you would not need to use any other recruiter than Taylor Root. With our contacts we would be perfectly placed to co-ordinate your search amongst all the quality firms in London.
However, if you were a commercial litigator with a limited client following and a desire to work for a smaller law firm, then we would suggest to broaden your net. There would not be many openings for you and we would suggest talking to 3, maybe 4, firms so that you were covering the market.
We are a very professional organisation and if you are in doubt, please do not hesitate to ask us. If we feel it is in your interests to talk to other recruiters, we will tell you.
Headhunter Vs recruiter?
Headhunters call you when they want to.
You should move when you want to.
In order to be in control of your move, it would be highly inefficient to decide that you want to move and then wait for a call to come through.
You should be aware that headhunters will call you about one role. If you are making a major move it would be very sensible to see a number of alternatives in order for you to make an informed decision. So, if you are unhappy where you are or simply wish to explore your market options, do not wait to be headhunted.
We can sit down together and can look comprehensively at all the options (UK, US or regionally) and with our knowledge of clients' current needs, we could devise a strategy of who is worth approaching. With senior level contacts with the vast majority of firms, we are perfectly placed to discretely approach the market on your behalf.
The demand for Partners?
This is not as straight-forward a question as you may think. It will largely depend upon your area of specialisation, how much in demand the area is, what your following is, where you want to work etc.
If you have a substantial client following and have realistic expectations on partnership earnings, then there will be large numbers of law firms who would be interested in meeting you. They may be specifically looking or they may simply be opportunistic law firms who see your hire as being a business case worthy of consideration.
In today’s market, if you are a London partner, it is always worth considering looking at the regions as there are law firms all around the country that handle excellent quality work and the probability can often surprise people.
So in answer to the above question, there are opportunistic roles as well as strategic roles and the number available will be different for everyone. We would be happy to meet people and discuss what roles are specifically available for you.
Preparation for meetings
As much as possible. Talk to the recruiter concerned. If it is Taylor Root, we would inform you of as much information as we know on the firm, its history and future plans as well as give you details on the individuals you are seeing.
You should always be prepared for all meetings even if you’re slightly sceptical about the firm. If unprepared for such a meeting and you decide half way through that you’re quite keen, you may have already jeopardised your position by being so badly prepared.
Most law firms have comprehensive websites which is an obvious starting point. It is also useful to search various legal publication websites for latest deals, recent staff hires or defections, potential mergers etc (again if time constraints apply this is something we can do as part of the service offered by Taylor Root).
Should I prepare a CV?
In the first instance, which will normally be at a meeting with ourselves, it is not essential to have prepared a CV as the first conversations will be very general in nature. However, it will help us to ascertain what your marketability is if we have a basic outline of your background. This need only be a chronological list of organisations you have worked for, some basic detail on your academic background and details on your specific experience with an emphasis on your most recent experience.
Preparing a CV early will certainly not be a waste of time as it will almost always be needed when compiling a business plan at a later date.
What is a following?
In the vast majority of cases, the subject of your client following will arise during the interview process. Rather that appearing uncertain or unclear with respect to this question, it is advisable to clarify your thoughts before a meeting.
There is, unfortunately, no absolutely accurate answer to this question. All you can do is provide potential new partnerships with a guide to the level of anticipated fee levels based on past billing activity and your own understanding of clients’ future activities and the likelihood of them using you.
In our opinion, the best method of producing a paper on this subject is to:
- Write down all the clients you know and mark each one down as being a) guaranteed to follow. b) likely to follow, c) may follow and d) not likely to follow but a client worthy of attention, e) institutional relationship.
- Write down the activity and billings associated with each of the above clients during the previous three years.
- Write down the activities and potential billings that you are led to believe may be appropriate for each client in the future.
- Based on all the above make a professional assessment of your following by quoting a potential band, say £750,000 - £1.5 million.
You need to be positive without being overly so. If you are completely negative and come up with a figure of zero (because who can totally guarantee anything exactly) then you will not be able to move easily. If you are overly positive and say you expect a £1million following and then produce £200,000 then you will most likely disappoint and lose some trust within your new firm.
Be realistic. Law firms are becoming quite smart at analysing potential followings and if you are looking at a long-term move, you need to develop trust amongst your new partners and being accurate and honest in this area stands to your professional integrity.
Most law firms will discount the figures you produce.