Our client, the assistant general counsel at a global auto manufacturer, also served as lead counsel for the captive entity that provided financing for its customers to lease their automobiles. When he approached us, an increasing amount of his time was taken up by tracking the patchwork, multi-state regulatory environment that auto finance is subject to. This prevented him from focusing on other areas where he could have a more strategic impact on the operations of the company. He needed another lawyer on his team with a strong regulatory background to track the federal and state regulatory environment applicable to originating and servicing auto loans and leases. However, with a lengthy corporate process for adding headcount, he knew it could be a year or more before headcount would be approved, if at all.
After consulting with Interim Legal Talent, our client decided that the best approach to getting the immediate help he needed was to bring in an interim legal resource for several months. This was covered under the budget for outside legal counsel and did not impact headcount for the legal department. At the end of this initial period of several months, if the case for adding headcount could be made to corporate, then the interim legal resource could be converted to a full-time, permanent employee or the client could conduct a separate search for a permanent employee. The possibility of the full-time conversion would be shared with candidates during our search process to make the opportunity more attractive and to incentivize performance.
Within seven business days of our first conversations with the client, we conducted an extensive local search and identified and screened three lawyers with four to five years of relevant experience. One of the candidates was currently working in the department of consumer finance for a state government. While all the candidates impressed our client and the general counsel during their interviews, our client offered this attorney the role and she accepted.
The interim attorney we placed received positive reviews from our client, the general counsel and other senior members of the legal team. Additionally, our client has been able to focus on more strategic objectives since he no longer spends as much time monitoring the patchwork of multi-state regulations.
Due to the global pandemic and a resulting hiring freeze, the transition to a full-time role for the interim attorney we placed has taken longer than anticipated. However, our client has been transparent with our interim attorney about their intent to convert her and the timeline during this process. Recently, our client was promoted to general counsel of the newly formed legal department of the captive entity. He plans to make our contract attorney his first official hire in the department when the approval to add headcount is received.