Mark Levine
Mark Levine
Managing Director: In-house

Articles From the Team

‘Please reply by COP’… there are small tell-tale signs from lawyers looking to make a move in-house that make us question their suitability for the move to the ‘other side’

My colleague’s just received an email from a private practice lawyer asking her to reply with some answers to his ‘general’ questions by ‘close of play’. This is not someone attending an impending interview somewhere – they don’t need the information in any great hurry.

When someone – a potential candidate – communicates in a way that’s likely to be inherent of their current role, but isn’t how most people communicate, it makes us consider how they’d get on outside of the law firm environment. I’ve been assisting UK businesses with their recruitment of in-house lawyers for the past 16 years and not once have I been asked by HR, Finance, CEO contacts or even Heads of Legal to respond ‘by close of play’. Of course deadlines are imposed to get CVs over and offers accepted, but usually, a time and date are set as a requirement to avoid a negative knock-on effect to the process/someone else’s diary.

To arbitrarily ask for a reply by ‘close of play’ fails to take into account the person you’re communicating with and their ability to respond in the timescales you’ve set. In writing this, I guess my concerns are twofold:

  1. This person sees themselves as all-important; in a position to request information in a timescale that suits them with little consideration for the other person
  2. Perhaps they’re too ‘corporate’ in their communication style and this will be picked up at the interview. Most individuals would write something along the lines of: ‘please can you get back to me with the information.’ No specific time demand necessary.

For more information please contact Mark Levine at BCL Legal.

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