bckr | Portfolio Career and Retirement Services for Individuals
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Portfolio Career and Retirement Services for Individuals

In addition to the core offering

BCKR offers a bespoke one-to-one service for senior lawyers contemplating their life after law. We provide expert, personalised advice coupled with practical support, all designed and resourced specifically for the needs of those retiring from a full-time legal career.  The service is provided by Nick Aitchison and Marianne Macdonald, both experienced career advisers with particular expertise in the post retirement and non-executive space. In every case, one of Guy Beringer, Tim Clark or Elizabeth Holden also participates.  For some of these assignments, BCKR draws too on the coaching expertise of Liz Adams, also a former lawyer.  They all add depth and breadth of perspective from their own senior legal backgrounds and subsequent portfolio careers.

What does the programme involve?

Nick and Marianne work with each individual in three distinct phases, as desired, each tailored to the lawyer’s personal objectives and their available time during the approach to retirement, and beyond.

Phase 1
Helping the lawyer to explore, develop and refine their post-retirement options and goals.  Usually this is undertaken following the agreement between the lawyer and their firm as to the broad timing of the retirement. This offers some clarity about what the next chapter could hold often, but not always, including trustee or non-executive roles.

We would normally hold two to three intensive meetings with the individual and would agree an initial outline post retirement ‘strategy’.

Phase 2
At the appropriate time, we would help the lawyer refine their strategy, prepare a board CV where appropriate, focused on relevant transferable skills and experience and crucial for the next phase, and commence initial networking activities, in readiness for their later ‘campaign’.

Our input during this phase is often spread over six to eight weeks.

Phase 3
The final phase entails launching and sustaining a concerted and supported programme of activity. As the individual nears retirement (or in some cases after retirement), we help them to prepare and launch their ‘campaign’ and provide them with the necessary tools and skills for success.  Typically, our input includes help with the development of a detailed and practical marketing plan, providing lists of suitable headhunters and other useful contacts, and the most effective ways to approach them.  We offer help with networking and presentations, we coach the lawyers in interview skills and preparation for particular roles, and generally provide bespoke and experienced advice and support to the lawyer, as required, for the balance of the programme.

The length of this phase is usually between three to six months.

BCKR’s career advisers 

Nick Aitchison spent six years as a partner at Stork & May, Europe’s leading board-level career advisory firm, and ten years as a headhunter – seven as a global partner at the international search firm Russell Reynolds, leading its European Professional Services practice.  Marianne brings her recent seven years’ experience with The Zygos Partnership, the leading UK search firm in the non-executive space, where she focused entirely on non-executive appointments across all sectors for listed, private, mutual and family companies and organisations.

In total, Nick and Marianne have advised and assisted more than 150 company directors and professional services partners individually in defining and achieving their future objectives. In their earlier careers, they led more than 300 senior executive and non-executive searches, including FTSE 100 and 250 and Small Cap NED appointments and senior public sector, mutual, family business and not-for-profit roles.

Why use us?

The BCKR service is unique. It is designed by lawyers for lawyers to run alongside BCKR’s strong events programme, and in tandem with thoughtful and high quality career advisers who have particular experience of portfolio careers. To hear more, and find out whether this service might be right for you, Nick and Marianne are happy to meet up to provide a fuller picture of what this service offers and how it might be of help – either to a firm, or to individual partners and general counsels.