By Ellie Langley – Senior Consultant at Errington Legal Recruitment
In-house work is an attractive career option for many lawyers. The opportunity to work very closely with one client can be highly appealing; lots of the in-house lawyers we work with at Errington Legal tell us that they enjoy being able to truly get to know a business and to really understand its objectives. Additionally, working in-house allows lawyers to see the results of their efforts; as an integral part of the organisation, an in-house lawyer is able to watch things come to fruition as the business achieves its commercial aims, rather than perhaps seeing just one part of the process/transaction as one might in private practice.
As you are likely already aware, Cambridge is a fantastic location for lawyers interested in in-house work. The presence of its world-famous university, and the associated intellectual tradition of the city, make Cambridge a natural place for cutting-edge businesses to set up home. With one of the fastest growing economies in the UK, the variety of companies based here, and the continued growth mean that there are a range of opportunities in Cambridge for current/prospective in-house lawyers.
Errington Legal work for a wide variety of exciting clients across all different sectors in the market – these include technology, pharmaceuticals, scientific research, education, and FMCG. We have seen a good variety of roles come through this year, from entry-level positions for those taking their first step into the in-house environment; to part-time sole-counsel opportunities; to General Counsel roles in international businesses.
“My consultant was there at all times; the service was efficient, and the guidance given much appreciated. I very much felt that my consultant was there for me and looking after my interests and was actually taking those into consideration along the way. I would very much use Errington Legal again when either looking for a role or trying to find an employee.”
Group General Counsel – Cambridge
Our role in any recruitment process is always to support both client and candidate and ensure that everybody’s needs are met. When recruiting for in-house roles, whatever the business in question, there are a few common threads in terms of what our clients usually consider important (aside from relevant technical knowledge and experience of course).
- Firstly, it is essential that legal teams strive to enable the business. Whilst any lawyer should of course have a strong awareness of risk, when working in-house it is vital to have a commercial and pragmatic outlook which allows the organisation to drive towards its goals. It is of course important that the legal team are seen as part of this process, rather than any kind of impediment to it!
- Cultural fit is also very significant. Whilst this is always a factor when recruiting for a role, arguably it is even more important within the in-house sphere, as the lawyers are so integrated within businesses. Both clients and candidates need to feel comfortable in this respect in order for the working relationships to be as productive and enjoyable as possible for all parties.
- Communication and interpersonal skills are also vital. In-house lawyers are usually required to interact with a wide range of employees within the organisation – depending on the nature of the business this may mean working with engineers, R&D scientists, board-level stakeholders, sales teams, international colleagues, etc. Many of the personnel within a company may not have any legal knowledge, so the ability to communicate with everybody in a clear and concise manner is essential.
Whether you are already working in-house, or interested in exploring a move into that sphere, please do drop us a line at Errington Legal if you would like a confidential chat about the market or prospective roles. We speak to many candidates some time before they are looking to change roles, with a view to helping them making that career move when the right job comes in. Through a confidential discussion with candidates about their career objectives, we are able gain a good understanding of what kind of opportunities might appeal and offer guidance throughout every stage of that process when the time comes.
“Errington Legal were absolutely brilliant throughout the whole recruitment process. I initially approached them with a view to getting some advice about making the move to in-house legal work. They were reassuring, honest and helpful in suggesting which roles I would be suitable for and helping me to secure my dream job. I cannot thank them enough.”
Legal Counsel – Cambridge