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Our legal team operating within financial service focus on senior level and leadership appointments. Working globally with a focus on England and Wales qualified lawyers within funds, capital markets, banking and wealth management. Our clients range from startups, through to some of the most established FTSE 100 businesses.

We are experts in what we do and each consultant demonstrates a clear knowledge and understanding of even the most technical legal roles, always ensuring that we fully understand the needs of both our candidates and clients.

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The future of in-house legal for 2021
The future of in-house legal for 2021

Teaser

Financial Services

Content Type

General

03/02/21

Summary

It was a quiet start to the year in 2020 for in-house legal recruitment as law firms were offering cheaper fees with secondment opportunities competitive to the cost of hiring. This choice was favoured throughout the year, leaving recruitment quiet. Although we expect this model to change because of the hidden costs of instructing external solicitors. With the impacts of the virus arriving in Q2 the market froze, with a wake up call in the later part of Q3 and Q4 where we saw a hiring pick up in fintech and payments. This was down to start-ups receiving funding, where investors saw a "safety net" in place internally taking the form of a legal, risk, or compliance professional. This unfortunately did not turn into direct hires for legal professionals still leaving them to the wrath of external firms (as mentioned above), and an abundance of time wasting recruitment processes prevalent in the uncertain market of 2020. Looking Forward to 2021  We are not out of the woods with the pandemic (by any stretch) and we will still be feeling the strain of future uncertainty when making decisions on technical and expensive hires. Although most businesses are comfortable with offering positions under newfound working from home capabilities; in a lot of cases, businesses haven’t been making hires where there has been company demand (due to uncertainty). This has manifested as a strain on the successful growth of businesses and we are hoping this will be rectified through 2021.  Brexit on the other hand has had a positive impact on the in-house legal market, as businesses have been putting their contingency plans in place (establishing themselves geographically within the EU). We have seen great opportunities for in-house counsel and this could continue through 2021. The potential growth and change of regulation that Brexit will bring could see an emergence of Brexit specialist lawyers, much like the GDPR in 2016.  In 2021 we expect the backlog of roles, put on hold during Coronavirus, to rear its head. " This demand should grow over the coming months, and below we look at how this might manifest by industry sub sector and position: Financial Services - Like the market itself, benchmarking salaries and predicting areas of hiring is very tough to do. The following is based on regular candidate and client conversations and explores the main areas of practice applicable within a few core sub-sectors of the in-house legal and the financial services market.General Counsel, Fintech & Payments - the position of general counsel became exceedingly popular in 2010 and has continued to rise in popularity throughout subsequent years. Changes in regulations and business management styles have led to companies hiring in-house lawyers at very early stages of company growth. This is particularly true in the payment and fintech market, where we have seen notable growth over the past few years, where cost saving proves to be a choice when looking to hire in-house legal counsel at early stages rather than outsourcing legal work. With this in mind, it’s important to note that key commercial attributes are required for general counsels in the start-up and scale-up markets, another key skill is risk management. I predict this area to pick up in the coming months.Company Secretary, Financial Administration and Outsourcing businesses - the typical in-house company secretarial appointments have been in decline over the past few years, with fewer limited companies choosing to make this instruction and more businesses offering excellent ‘outsourced’ co-sec services. With this in mind, I’d predict that the businesses we predict continued growth for company secretarial positions in financial administration companies.Legal Counsel, General Commercial (low-mid PQE) - hiring at this level is often a favourite for heads of legal and general counsels across all of the in-house FS market. Taking the view that candidates who’ve had a great technical grounding at a top 10 firm will be able to directly transfer their skills to the commercially minded in-house teams. Though this strategy often works, it certainly has its pitfalls. Q1 2021 will see a push on hiring from private practice as technical skills become more desirable. Though the real battle starts when marking sure the incoming candidates have the commercial acumen needed to succeed in-house. Brexit Lawyers (Global) – as mentioned above, the impact of Brexit on the in-house legal FS market can certainly be seen as a positive, especially as more businesses start expanding their teams to include specialist lawyers within separate legal jurisdictions. We expect to see this impact take several years to fully establish around what the requirements will be. With this in mind, cross-border counsel and dual-qualified lawyers could be in higher demand through the year.Final wordsPositively, it’s going to be a good H1 for in-house lawyers, certainly in comparison to all of last year. In a nutshell, the pending market growth will be down to an uptake of confidence about hiring amidst the pandemic, meaning the recruitment market will be able to pick up on the roles put on pause through 2020. In light of a hopefully improved market, where will we be focusing our attention?In Q1&2 will be focusing on senior positions in the start-up/scale-up markets and the consumer-focused fintech market. We will also be focusing on low to mid-level PQE commercial lawyers looking to step out of the practice environment. Armed with this knowledge, we will continue to be reactive to the market as we proactively provide our recruitment and search services to our clients and candidates, and offer career advice to anyone looking to move roles or expand on their teams - find out more on our legal team here. 

Teaser

It was a quiet start to the year in 2020 for in-house legal recruitment, as law firms were offering cheaper fees, with secondment opportunities competitive to the cost of hiring.

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Angus Denny

by

Angus Denny

Angus Denny

by

Angus Denny

How to impress the C-Suite: General Counsel interview tips
How to impress the C-Suite: General Counsel interview tips

Teaser

Legal

Content Type

General

30/09/20

Summary

A good interview is often overlooked by experienced lawyers, with the view that they are somewhat straightforward. For example; my client has seen my candidates CV thus my candidate knows that they’ve got the skills required. This seems simple, but it isn’t always the case, particularly as more and more businesses are choosing to bring their legal function in-house.They need to get it right the first time, interviews can be lengthy and tough for the candidate and expensive for businesses. With this in mind, I’ve penned my top tips for candidates interviewing for GC positions. Though these tips apply to anyone, they’re most relevant to General Counsel and Head of Legal when interviewing with C-Suite and non-legal stakeholders. Research goes a long wayThis goes without saying. You need to know everything you can about the business you’re interviewing for, your recruitment consultant will put some literature together for you, although it’s important to do your own research. For example; what’s the strategy of the business and do they have an existing legal function? Who’s interviewing you and what’s their background? Recent trading history and are they currently raising capital or going through M&A? All of the above will help you brush up on any particular technical areas that may arise. As ever, the more you research, the better prepared you’ll be. Showcasing your technical skillsYou’ve made it this far in your in-house career and it’s clear that your technical capability is going to be on-point. Nonetheless, you can fully expect to be thrown a curveball in an interview. Most of the time (when being asked a technical legal question by a non-legal stakeholder) their line of questioning will be influenced by recent activity or communication that they’ve had from their overpriced external counsel. So, how do you prepare for this? It’s a simple one,  a large part of preparing for an interview is to research your potential new employer’s recent trading history. This will give you some big clues as to what legal advice they’ve taken. Perhaps they’ve been involved in some tricky M&A work, maybe the not-so-recent changes in GDPR had a delayed impact or they’ve expanded their business to operate overseas. All of the above can be easily researched and a consultant will put together information for you to reference, making your research much easier.One key skill you should be learning TODAYIn my opinion, the following skill is one of the most important attributes of in-house counsel, a skill that you’ll learn early in your in-house career and one that will never leave you. This is your ability to respond to a scenario with three options, varying in risk, and advise on which option will yield the best outcome. Your interviewer may choose to present you with a scenario, wanting your advice. This is a great opportunity for you to exhibit your excellent and eloquent verbal communication capabilities (incredibly important to C-Suite).What to provide:Provide the interviewer with three succinct responses to their scenarioTheorise each response advising on the levels of risk associated with each. Then advise on your preferred routeThis applies to EVERY ad hoc advice you’re asked to provide throughout your career.  I’m so confident with how impressively important this skill is, that in some cases, I advise creating your own scenarios to display your advisory and reasoning skills. " Show how you can add valueIf you're being interviewed by a CFO, you will need to show the interviewer that you’re going to represent a huge saving versus the rates the existing external law firm is charging them. There are multiple ways of doing this:Look back at a time in your career where you’ve provided advice that would have cost your previous employer in external feesGive an example of noticing a change in regulation that would have resulted in a fine or having to instruct a specialistTalk about your value add in a business capacity, it’s likely that you’ll be stepping away from providing technical advice and that you’ll be working in a strategic role, much like a COO.Having an extra head in an operational sense adds exponential valueThe main thing to remember here is; QUANTIFY! Put a monetary figure by each of your examples. This massively lends perspective to your interviewer and can look very impressive. Interpersonal skills are keyThis is often overlooked as an important skill in an interview, as some lawyers rely on their immense IQ to carry them through an interview process. However, GC’s can regularly become one of the most talked to people in a business. As all streams of an organisation may choose to contact you for ad hoc advice. Being able to quickly build a rapport with your interviewers will be a good representation of your ability to do this across the business and may be what sets you apart from others interviewing.For more general interview advice visit our career advice hub.

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A good interview is often overlooked by experienced lawyers, with the view that they are somewhat straightforward.

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Angus Denny

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Angus Denny

Angus Denny

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Angus Denny

Will IR35 affect your business?
Will IR35 affect your business?

Teaser

General

Content Type

General

20/09/20

Summary

Employees in the United Kingdom can be categorised as full-time, part-time, casual, freelance and contract workers, with the self-employed bracket now making up 15% of the entire working population. The number of self-employed workers jumped from 3.3 million in 2001 to 4.8 million in 2017, with a corresponding fall in the unemployment rate showing the overall boost in jobs growth from the rise in self-employment. However, the attractive market for freelancers and contractors has been hit with some uncertainty in recent times, thanks largely to the 2018 Autumn Budget’s announcement of IR35 tax reforms. Here’s what the new IR35 rules could mean for you and your business: What is IR35? IR35 is a piece of legislation originally introduced to the UK in 1999. Its purpose is to differentiate between those workers who operate as genuine contractors and those who work as ‘disguised’ employees to avoid paying tax. It came about to challenge contractors who were taking advantage of the tax efficiencies of working through a limited company, with the aim of defending both the Exchequer from lost taxes and protecting workers’ rights from unscrupulous employees. However, the IR35 has proven to be ambiguous for many, with some contractors taking advantage of loopholes and a lack of clarity. Hence, the new IR35 rules aim to tighten up the contractor market and ensure tax avoidance loopholes are closed. How does IR35 work? There are three principles that can help to determine employment status and whether a contractor falls inside or outside IR35: Control (the degree of control the client has over the work a contractor does and how and when they do it) Substitution (whether the worker needs to do the work themselves or if they could send a substitute in their place) Mutuality of obligation (whether the employer is obliged to offer work and the contractor is obliged to accept it). Additionally, the contract type, provision of equipment and whether a worker is “part and parcel” of a business can all help to determine whether someone falls inside or outside IR35. The change in IR35 rules shifts the responsibility to determine tax status away from the contractor and onto the business that takes them on. Until now, contractors have been able to self-determine their status, however as of April 2020, when the new rules come into effect for the private sector, companies will risk being fined if they don’t make the correct assessment.  How will IR35 impact contract workers? It’s anticipated that many contract workers who have been enjoying the tax benefits of working outside IR35 will fall under the legislation when employers are tasked with determining their status. This will see more contractors having tax and National Insurance contributions deducted from their pay. However, if you operate as a legitimate small business and are determined to work outside of IR35, you will not be affected by the rule changes. How will IR35 impact employers? The major change for businesses is that they will now be responsible for determining the IR35 status of any contractor working for the company. The new rules will only apply to medium and large sized businesses, so contractors who work for small businesses can continue to set their own IR35 statuses. Those businesses that the IR35 rule changes do apply to will face paying back taxes and fines should they be found to be noncompliant. What should I do to prepare for IR35? Contractors may wish to speak to an accountant or personal finance expert to determine whether IR35 will impact them and if a move to permanent work may prove to be more beneficial after the rules come into effect. For many, contracting will remain appealing regardless of increased tax responsibilities, however it’s important to factor in any change in income that IR35 may bring about. Businesses are being warned not to make blanket assessments that cover all their contractors, as this can leave workers without a fair assessment and risk them paying unnecessary taxes without equivalent employment rights. Instead, businesses should consider IR35 status on a case-by-case basis or they may risk losing out on top talent. The HMRC has released a consultation document for businesses to prepare for the IR35 changes, recommending identifying and reviewing current contract workforce status and putting processes in place for taking on new workers. At Marks Sattin, we pride ourselves on keeping abreast of all industry legislation, updates and changes that affect our candidates and clients. Speak with us about how we can help you. References: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44887623 https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/trendsinselfemploymentintheuk/2018-02-07 https://www.contractorcalculator.co.uk/what_is_ir35.aspx https://www.axa.co.uk/business-insurance/business-guardian-angel/how-ir35-changes-will-affect-freelancers-and-self-employed-contractors/ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/ir35-rules/new-contractor-tax/ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/ir35-rules/how-will-new-rules-impact-business/ HMRC consultation document

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Employees in the United Kingdom can be categorised as full-time, part-time, casual, freelance and contract workers

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Pres Pillai

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Pres Pillai

Pres Pillai

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Pres Pillai