Charlotte Newton
Charlotte Newton
Senior Associate

Articles From the Team

How do you know if an agency is reputable, and how do you decide which agency to work with?

I was asked this question on the MTSG Legal Insights Podcast a couple of months ago (, and I think it’s a really good question! The market is saturated with recruitment agencies across the North West; how do you know which agency to work with? We would strongly advise you to work with one, at most two, reputable agencies, so choosing the right agency is crucial. But, how do you know if an agency is reputable? Well, there are a number of things you should consider when choosing an agency:

How well established is the business? If the business has been established for a long time, the businesses, and the consultants in it, will have developed a reputation within the market, and this can be very advantageous for you. If your CV gets sent to a firm by a reputable agency this will stand your application in good stead from the outset. BCL Legal turned 18 this year and, in that time, we’ve developed longstanding relationships with Partners, and law firms, and they trust us to present them with good candidates. That’s 18 years of building relationships, and 18 years of clients using us to help them recruit lawyers! We’ve been established for so long that candidates, whom we placed in their NQ roles, have since become Partners and clients themselves!

Does the agency specialise in legal recruitment, and what’s the benefit of working with a specialist legal recruitment agency? A specialist legal recruitment agency, like BCL Legal, only focuses on legal recruitment and so has a more in-depth understanding of the legal market. All our resources are focused on legal recruitment - that’s what we do, and what we want to do well. At BCL Legal we break down the market into geographical locations and then, even further, into disciplines. This means we can really get to know our markets and become true specialist in those areas, able to provide you with the most up-to-date market information. The focus on geographical location and disciplines means we have more time to develop relationships with firms and Partners. This is evidenced by the fact that we’re on the preferred supplier list for most international, national and regional firms within that region, so we’re instructed on jobs first or, in some cases, entirely exclusively.

I would encourage you to research the consultants - look at their backgrounds. How long have they worked in the industry? How well do they know the legal market? 60% of our team at BCL Legal come from legal backgrounds so we understand the law and genuinely understand what you’re going through. You want to make sure you’re working with consultants who know how to represent you and have experience helping other lawyers, at your level, to secure new roles. Experience and market knowledge is crucial in being able to advise you on: the right roles for you; interview preparation; and offer management.

Another way to gain insight into what an agency is really like is to look at their candidate and client testimonials. Read other people’s experiences - you wouldn’t go to a restaurant without reading the reviews first, would you?!

Have a look at some of our candidate and client testimonials:

You’re the most professional recruiter I have come across. I have chosen to only use BCL over the last 6 years and feel that you really understand what I want and you have never approached me with unsuitable roles. I’ve felt supported and that you have genuinely worked with me to secure me the best role and salary. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend BCL.
I saw the job advertised on LinkedIn by Clara Rogers on the Monday -and was offered it by the Friday! Clara was informative and kind throughout the process. She kept me up to date throughout the whole process. She called me the night before my interview with tips for the firm I was interviewing at, as well as after my interview and on the day I was handing my notice in to make sure I was ok and happy with everything. I'd never got a job through a recruiter before and I am so glad I did! I have already recommended her to my friends.
 Because Raj Sidhu is an absolute star and a lovely, lovely person who helped me hugely.
 Friendly and personal touch to communication.
 I find BCL very helpful and honest. They tell you everything you need to know about the role. They are great with contact also.
 In an age when recruiters don’t seem to have the courtesy of keeping candidates in the loop, Jo kept me abreast at every stage of the journey with updates and fought for me. That level of support and understanding went a long way to help with the uncertainty surrounding many ‘unemployed’ or furloughed jobseekers.

And from the firms we work with….

 The BCL team really work hard to get to know what's important to the client. Values, expertise, history and achievements of candidates are important to us.
It's a skill to match a candidate with a firm based on more than just a job title.
I love working with the team... it's like an extension of our firm!

Although the number of agencies in the market can seen overwhelming, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re working with a credible agency:

1.    Work with an established agency;

2.    Work with a specialist legal recruitment agency; and

3.    Work with experienced consultants and read the reviews.

I know I’m biased (!) but I firmly believe BCL Legal is a great agency. We have an excellent reputation, we’ll provide you with honest advice, and we genuinely want to help you.

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