For reasons both historical and current, English law and UK law firms have a truly international reach, and in an age of globalisation, this puts such firms at the forefront of international recruitment. Fox Rodney Search is a specialist legal executive search firm. We focus on partner and associate searches, general counsel and head of legal and compliance roles, due diligence investigations, law firm office openings and mergers and acquisitions. We were named the UK’s number one Legal Search Boutique for three consecutive years (2012-2014) in Executive Grapevine’s ‘UK Retained Executive Search Industry Report’. Our international outlook, involving offices as far afield as Paris, Dubai, New York, Washington and Hong Kong, means we are perfectly placed to analyse the growing global market.
As more and more clients work on a global scale, so the law firms which serve them are following. As a true World City, London is seen as being a hub for law firms which can offer this global perspective. The technological advances which fuel globalisation – i.e. 24 hour communications, cloud-based data storage and sharing etc. – allied to the relatively recent emergence of global economic powerhouses such as the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), soon to be joined, according to some experts, by the MINT countries (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) mean that more and more clients are looking for law firms who can provide an international reach and the ability to understand and work within emerging foreign markets.
Our position in the industry means we are able to spot trends early and advise our clients accordingly. Many law firms, for example, now seek to identify the talent in other parts of the world and import it to work in their own markets, bringing the knowledge and perspective earned through practical experience of the globalisation of legal services. Those firms wishing to gain access to foreign markets have three basic options open to them; open an office from the ground up, merge with or take over an existing law firm or form a loose alliance or more formal partnership with several local firms.
The fact that English law is generally regarded as the main international trade law, allied to the reputation for diligence, professionalism and expertise established by UK law firms over many years has helped to drive demand around the globe. According to a survey published by the Royal Bank of Scotland earlier this year, some 60% of UK law firms have plans to expand into overseas territories during the next twelve months. This is driven by a combination of an increasingly competitive domestic marketplace and a wish to either serve existing clients who are expanding globally or attract new local clients. Here at Fox Rodney, our expertise means that we are regularly involved in hires and office moves taking place in multiple jurisdictions. We make it our business to be on top of trends around the world and to spot opportunities as they emerge. Our research into the Middle East, for example, revealed that:
- 38.33% of US and UK firms have offices in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, 45% have offices only in Dubai and only 8.33% have offices only in Saudi Arabia
- Seven US/UK law firms have opened in the UAE since 2013 and there are numerous other US and UK firms with their sights set on launching an office in the Middle East
- Since 2011, the number of new offices has averaged 10 per year, a trend which looks set to continue in 2014
- Energy supply continues to be the driving force in the Middle East and is the most searched area by law firms seeking top quality partners