Our account management philosophy is simple – “know your client; know your candidate”.
We are passionate in our belief that successful recruitment is about really listening to what our clients and candidates want – and applying this in a targeted, selective and intelligent way.
We are extremely proud of the fact that the vast majority of our clients and candidates come to us through referrals and recommendations. This allows us to be responsive, personalised, intelligent and fully comprehensive. We are lucky and able to give senior attention to those clients and candidates with whom we work regularly and closely.
Over the last few years, the TV and film industry has undergone a surge in M&A activity- with a number of smaller and mid-sized independent UK companies being bought by/merged with the larger global Entertainment icons. With the success of high quality, homemade dramas continuing to define the UK market (and export extremely well overseas), many of the studios and super Indies are investing in scripted film and TV drama. As such, there has been a real driver to ensure that Legal & Business Affairs teams are pivotal to these businesses and often showcased as “centres of excellence”.
The success of the industry, combined with salary hikes driven by US parents, has resulted in an ever diminishing pool of top calibre scripted lawyers at the senior level who are ready and willing to move. This has been made more challenging by a candidate driven market place where everyone wants the same thing, or in our case, candidate.
Despite these challenges, we have been highly successful in building relationships with key people across the industry and have benefitted from long standing, trusted relationships with our clients and candidates. This has enabled us to quickly identify the right type of people and to find other referral candidates through our loyal network.
Our most recent mandate for a Head of Legal & Business Affairs position required us to adopt a combined approach of search, where we head-hunted appropriate people and a full overhaul of our existing network to contact candidates who were more passive in the market place. We spent considerable time mapping out where the best TV and film production lawyers reside (both in-house and within private practice) and this yielded some great results – we secured a top tier candidate who was an exact match to the client’s brief. Ultimately, our market knowledge and due diligence has meant that we have placed over 35 senior roles in this space in the last 12 months.
We have successfully completed a number of such assignments and we enjoy partnering with our clients each step of the way. Often, recruiting a first in-house lawyer really means building a new “function”: this needs to represent value for money but also be fit for purpose in order to support the business through future challenges and growth milestones. Finding the perfect candidate in such cases is always more than simply matching a skill-set to the vacancy: the right attitude, personality and cultural fit are crucial to a successful appointment and to the future success of the business itself. Our experience shows that in recent years, advertising and reactive database recruiting on its own is not enough. We now include pro-active searching and headhunting methods as standard in the vast majority of our projects.
Over the last few months Kinsella Legal has recruited new Heads of Legal for VC-backed E-commerce, Fintech and Adtech businesses. Using a combination of advertising (branded or anonymous) and headhunting, we created varied and on-point shortlists. The clients were in a position to choose between very accomplished and senior partners from private practice, experienced General Counsel and ambitious and aspirational lawyers already in-house and ready for the next stage in their development. Often, it is not seniority or private practice credentials that have driven the most successful appointments but relevant industry savvy, prior in-house experience and a passion to grow along with the business.
Newly appointed Heads of Legal are now using Kinsella Legal’s services to build their own teams, which fully integrate within the business and take a front seat in preparing for exits, listings, expansion into new markets, rolling out strategic initiatives, etc. In all cases, we have built strong and long-standing relationships by our results-driven service which is both professional and highly personal.
This has particular significance when we are instructed to recruit multiple lawyers to join a client’s legal team. Our recent success stories include the recruitment of three lawyers for a premier league football team and multiple hires to assist a General Counsel in the revamp of the in-house team structure for a listed energy company. Both clients retained Kinsella Legal and we devised a tailored on-line and print advertising and headhunting campaign for each company.
These two mandates resulted in nine candidate placements. During this process, we invest heavily in getting to know a client’s business and the key players in the legal team and business divisions they support. Recruitment is often a very fluid process, set against tight deadlines that might need to coincide with an incumbent’s departure or new project starting; and all against a backdrop of sometimes lengthy interview processes and notice periods.
As with most team/multiple hires, each role was completely different in its specification/requirements; including varying levels of PQE, different legal skills, office locations and salary ranges or benefits. Most of the recruited roles were permanent but two required a quick turnaround of temporary lawyers and another was a part-time opportunity. At Kinsella Legal, not only do we work efficiently to fulfil our client’s instructions, we are results driven and solutions oriented to ensure that we always find the right candidate for the right team.
Team/multiple hires are not the everyday in in-house legal recruitment but when instructed on them, it is absolutely critical to get the recruitment process right to ensure that we end up with a successful outcome for both client and candidate. This is something that we excel in at Kinsella Legal!