Independent Belgium Top 3 firm; European 100.
Following a strategic review our client identified three areas for strategic growth in which it wanted to expand and gain market share over a period of 1-3 years. We had concluded that autonomous, incremental growth would, given the market situation and available human capital in the firm, take too long. The client asked us to assist with the onboarding of a number of strong teams that would be able to realize its market potential, would be well-connected to relevant business and commercial networks but would also “fit” the firm’s strong organizational culture.
After defining very specific criteria (personal, professional and behavior), required competences and experience level, our business analysts started by extensively researching relevant business and legal market intelligence, combining it with general market knowledge, available intelligence from specific firms and client feedback and databases like Bloomberg, MergerMarket, Legal 500 and Chambers. This resulted in a complete overview of human talent in the respective markets and industry segments. We then validated this information in discussions with the client which resulted in an adjusted and detailed shortlist of potentially available candidate teams. The next step was to “pitch” the proposition, career perspectives for those involved and business case with candidate teams and arrange for a series of meetings with our client (at leadership level and with those working in the practice areas in which the relationship would primarily be anchored). These meetings were structured around: (a) the personal, cultural and professional “fit”; (b) the client “fit”; (c) the practice “fit”; and (d) the financial-economic “fit”, thereby giving an informed judgment about the portability of existing business, the ability to transfer client relationships and a realistic business case.
By designing a transparent process with clear steps and deliverables for each phase, engaging the client in every step of the process and providing the stakeholders with constant feedback about progress, we were able to onboard top-notch teams in all required practice areas. The process designed ensured engagement and involvement of both the client and candidate teams, which reinforced the relationship building at an early stage. The extensive use of psychometric testing instruments analyzing the motivational drivers of the new joiners/teams and the firm’s main stakeholders (and openly discussing the outcomes) facilitated the integration process. We also designed and implemented tailored “post-onboarding” integration programs primarily focusing on intra-firm collaboration thereby ensuring a coherent approach to the execution of the strategic expansion initiatives of the firm.