Alternative legal services provider enters recruitment market

Hayter: Quicker than recruitment agencies

Global alternative legal services provider (ALSP) Axiom has entered the UK in-house legal recruitment market, both for permanent staff and for ‘interim to permanent’ positions.

Daniel Hayter, vice-president and managing director of Axiom London, described the legal recruitment market as a “little bit broken”, and said Axiom was launching its new service not to be the cheapest but because it “had the ability to recruit the best”.

Mr Hayter said the nature and scope of the work of in-house legal departments had become more complex and clients had asked for the new service, just as some of its lawyers were interested in finding a permanent role.

“It’s about choice for clients and legal professionals. The recruitment process as it currently stands is a little bit broken.

“Do HR professionals understand the legal world? It’s very difficult to understand and recruit into. That’s where we come in.”

He went on: “It’s not about being cheapest or most expensive but about finding specialist talent for in-house roles.”

Mr Hayter said Axiom would only be recruiting in the legal sector: “What is missing at the moment is having the experience in place to identify the right people to hire and do it quickly.”

Axiom said it could find current clients direct permanent placements in “just a few days or weeks – instead of the months it takes traditional executive search firms and HR teams”.

Meanwhile, fee-share law firm Temple Bright has launched a new flexible resourcing offering called Source for clients.

Co-founder Tim Summers said he believed Temple Bright was the first “new model” law firm to make the move.

He said Temple Bright, based in London and Bristol, was “deliberately very selective” about who it took on. “We feel that we can apply the same rigour to the selection of flexible lawyers to the panel and the same rigorous standards.”

Peter Workman, chief executive of Source, ran flexible resourcing businesses for both PwC and KPMG as a partner in their legal divisions.

He would not give numbers of lawyers that Source was aiming to recruit to its panel, but said “the focus was on quality” and “we are ambitious and looking to grow a large offering”.

Mr Workman said that in his previous roles he would speak to clients who thought they needed a permanent role for three to six months, while in fact they needed someone to work flexibly for 10 hours a month.

He said that clients tended to be larger in-house legal teams, but there was a growing demand for a “fractional GC or in-house counsel model”, where they worked on a part-time basis.

Mr Summers said Temple Bright was “distinctive in the market”, with its senior lawyers “much more affordable” than City law firms.

The improving economy meant that “deals were up”, but the demand for flexible legal support was “growing anyway”.

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