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Major, Lindsey & Africa: The Case for Outsourcing Legal Recruitment


Bob Graff of Major, Lindsey & Africa, a sponsor company at the upcoming marcus evans Legal Support Services Summit 2011, on outsourcing legal staff recruitment.

Interview with: Bob Graff, Vice President - Business Development, Major, Lindsey & Africa


Internal recruiting and Human Resources departments are not typically good at finding lawyers, according to Bob Graff, Vice President - Business Development, Major, Lindsey & Africa. Finding the right candidate, someone who will add value to the organisation, is best left to those who understand which law firms and schools are the best in the market, he adds.

Major, Lindsey & Africa is sponsoring the upcoming marcus evans Legal Support Services Summit 2011, taking place in Montreux, Switzerland, 9 - 11 October. Here Graff shares his thoughts on legal outsourcing and why it might be a good idea to outsource legal staff recruitment, even in difficult economic times. 

Why should legal staff recruitment be outsourced?

Bob Graff: General Counsel will have access to a higher quality candidate pool if they outsource recruitment. Search firms reach out to potential candidates and do not simply wait for them to check job boards and apply for positions. We can actually go after the very best candidates for the position.

This also helps General Counsel save time and be more efficient.

In tough times, isn’t recruitment one of the responsibilities that should be done in-house?

Bob Graff: A number of large companies, in the US at least, have internal recruiting departments. However, internal recruiting and Human Resources departments are not typically good at finding lawyers. They do not understand which law firms and schools are the best in the market. Lawyers are such a small percentage of the overall workforce; EUR 2-3 billion companies might have only 10 lawyers at most. In difficult economic times, it would be a wise decision to outsource this part of the job in order to find the best candidates. 

What are legal professionals looking for?

Bob Graff: Most lawyers who work in in-house positions are looking to get closer to the business side of things and become more directly involved than they could while working in a law firm.

The challenge is that there are not as many career opportunities in-house, so they look for companies that are growing and might provide additional opportunities. Managing attorneys and getting involved in mergers and acquisitions, business development or compliance, are additional ways in which lawyers can grow and develop.

In a competitive business environment, how can General Counsel ensure they stay ahead?

Bob Graff: In most businesses today, the challenge is to do more with less. In this case, in-house lawyers are a cost centre, whereas in law firms they are a source of revenue.

General Counsel should talk to their peers, benchmark and compare the performance of their in-house legal group with that of law firms. A good strategy would be to develop metrics to see how efficient it is.

In-house legal departments are spread so thinly, especially in a recession, that they can barely get the work done let alone have time to think strategically.

What are some of the other opportunities that General Counsel can take advantage of today?

Bob Graff: There are more and more choices in the legal services market today. The trend is to bring as much work as possible in-house, but the number of outsourcing choices is also increasing.

Near-shoring and outsourcing to India or the Philippines, where the legal rates are a lot less, are attractive choices today. There are middle tier law firms in smaller markets, firms with top lawyers that charge less because they are based in smaller markets.

Any final comments?

Bob Graff: Be aggressive with your outside law firms. Push them to improve, because if you do not, no one will.

On the inside front, work with your lawyers to develop their careers, even if that means you lose them at some point. You have to put their long term career interests at the forefront of your discussions.

Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian
Press Manager
marcus evans, Summits Division
Tel: + 357 22 849 313

About the Legal Support Services Summit 2011

This unique forum will take place at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, Montreux, Switzerland, 9 - 11 October, 2011. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on the opportunities and challenges of global legal services markets, the make-or-buy decision-making processes and available LSS delivery models.

For more information please send an email to or visit the event website at 

marcus evans group - legal sector portal

Complementing our summit format, the Legal Network – marcus evans Summits group delivers peer-to-peer information on strategic matters, professional trends and breakthrough innovations. Lend an ear to fellow experts and live news from our events on our LinkedIn and Twitter accounts!



Please note that the summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

About Major, Lindsey & Africa

Major, Lindsey & Africa is the firm to contact when hiring the best lawyer makes a difference to your organisation. With 21 offices worldwide it is the largest and most experienced legal search firm whose clients are the leading corporations and law firms in the United States, EMEA and Asia.

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About marcus evans Summits

marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-to-one business meetings. For more information, please visit

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