July 24, 2020 – Global legal executive search firm Mlegal recently announced that going forward it will be known as Macrae. The firm’s complete rebrand to Macrae, which includes a new website and positioning, reflects its growth from a two-recruiter team in Northern California in 2001 to a transatlantic boutique with a strong and growing footprint in four of the world’s top legal markets: London, New York, Northern California, and Washington, D.C.
“Several years ago we set our sights on expansion beyond California,” said Joe Macrae, founder and chairman. “We envisioned assembling a dream team of recruiters at the top of their game who would collaborate seamlessly to deliver a far more sophisticated and expert service focused on law firm partner recruitment than anything else out there. I’m proud to say we’ve done it. We’re excited to enter our next phase as Macrae, with a new look and a unique business model for which we see growing demand.”
Over the past several years Macrae has attracted some of the most highly regarded recruiters in the legal market, including Natasha Innocenti in Northern California, Melinda Wallman and Andy Russell in London, and Jane Roberts in Washington, D.C. The firm further bolstered its New York and D.C. presence with the recent additions of Robert Delicate and Lauren Drake, respectively.
“Macrae distinguishes itself from our peers by virtue of our boutique size, gender diversity and laser-focus on senior partner moves and government attorneys transitioning to private practice,” said Ms. Innocenti. “However, it’s our philosophy of ‘collective intelligence’ that truly sets us apart and enables us to provide unparalleled service to our clients,” she said. “The way we work together across offices is both extraordinary and refreshing, something I’d never before seen in my two-decade career before coming on board.”
“We’ve invested significantly in creating a robust knowledge sharing system that captures the crucial information our clients care about,” said Ms. Roberts. “Every Macrae team member has this data at their fingertips 24-7, allowing us to convey to clients more real-time detail about the marketplace than any other firm.”
Current Trends in Legal Recruiting Marketplace
Current trends Mr. Macrae has identified as impacting the legal recruiting marketplace include:
- Since mid-March there has been a rise in strategic lateral recruiting activity as well as a notable increase in the movement of large practice groups between firms.
Mlegal expanded with the additions of legal recruiter Lauren Drake and former federal prosecutor Rachel Nonaka to its Washington, D.C., office as partner and managing director, respectively. In addition, Jessica Ellinger joined the firm as knowledge manager. “Along with managing partner Jane Roberts, who launched the office last year, the group forms the region’s preeminent legal search team matching senior law firm and government lawyers with top law firms,” Mlegal said.
- In an era of restricted travel, serving clients’ needs requires a local presence and some firms will consequently set up shop for the first time in new cities.
- Partners – in particular those with large books of business – are increasingly re-evaluating where they are and where they want to be. This is due to COVID-19 exacerbating problems and/or creating new ones for some law firms, including financial weakness, the impact of leverage, practice concentrations, practices enhanced or passed over due to the virus or its impact, and the need for leadership to cope with rapid change.
- Zoom recruiting has proven easier than expected and has the added benefit of compressing the hiring process. Calls can be scheduled and completed with the entire management team of a law firm in one week, effectively replacing in-person meetings that sometimes took months to organize prior to COVID-19.
- “One size fits all” has never applied to law firms, but hiring strategies are more pronounced than ever. Some firms are now focusing on a few specific locations, others are snapping up exceptional talent wherever they find it, and placing “COVID-19 holds” on mid-sized deals has become commonplace.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media