The long-standing general counsel was approaching retirement, and our client needed to not only identify a successor but also navigate the first leadership change for the legal team in 15 years. The timing of the GC announcing his retirement, however, coincided with the promotion of a new CEO, so the leadership team was eager to keep the GC on for a longer tenure. The GC felt strongly about the need for a new legal leader with an understanding of technology and legal operations. The first challenge our client faced was getting used to the idea of the GC leaving; the second was finding the right successor.
Members of Major, Lindsey & Africa’s In-House Counsel Practice team in EMEA had a long-term relationship with the GC who reached out for help leading the search and guiding through the change in management. Together with the retiring GC, the CEO and the COO, we created a profile of the ideal candidate, one who was not only multi-lingual and had gravitas but was also more technology focused, would bring fresh ideas and was able to manage an established team. We made sure to manage leadership’s expectations of what the candidates who fit this profile really looked like regarding experience and their preconceived understanding of this type of role.
We performed a global search, presenting a great talent pool for a very appealing job. The wide candidate pool introduced our client to candidates from all over the world. We truly offered the best people interested in the role. In the end, the client chose a Singapore-based German-qualified lawyer who is French speaking and was willing to relocate to Europe. We were able to introduce them to a candidate who is bringing a legal operations mindset to the team and showing our client the value of the legal team.