BCKR offers bespoke one-to-one services 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. This offering is provided by Nick Aitchison, a career adviser 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.
Our full programme generally takes place over 12 months, but we often work with individuals for a shorter period to address particular needs or to cover preparatory work until the time is right to take things to the next stage (see our short online offering below). If you think we might be able to assist in any way, do get in touch to discuss.
A preparatory online programme for the COVID-19 lockdown period
We have developed a short on-line programme to allow senior lawyers to undertake much of the necessary preparation with one-to-one assistance, while we await the return of more normal times. The service will be delivered by Nick Aitchison.
The key elements of the online service would allow you, with Nick’s help, to:
- develop your own personal strategy and
- plan and prepare for a campaign that will work for you.
Any lawyer who takes up this service should then be well-placed to commence their search for suitable appointments once the worst of the crisis has passed. It is noteworthy too that while the number of opportunities may be smaller-than-expected for this time of year, the pipeline of roles has not dried up entirely.
Among the topics and tasks covered will be:
- the skills and experience generally sought for Board and Trustee roles (as well as for Board committees) and how your own legal experience can best demonstrate these skills
- understanding the recruitment and interview processes you are likely to encounter, which may be unfamiliar
- developing a well-considered and realistic strategy for developing a portfolio of activities, reflecting your own aspirations and experience
- producing a CV that reflects that strategy and which focuses on highlighting your own ‘board-ready’ experience and relevant transferrable skills
- advice on how you develop and harness your own network of personal contacts that may prove valuable during the ensuing campaign
- assistance with developing the specific skills and approaches necessary for Board-level interviews
- producing a target list of relevant individual head-hunters, in the leading Board-level search firms.
We expect that the programme will require between five and seven weeks to complete. This will entail five discussions (using Zoom) lasting around 90 minutes and both Nick and the individual member will need to undertake various preparatory tasks between these sessions. A further catch-up discussion (as part of this programme) can be scheduled at the time of initiating the campaign.
The cost of this service will be £3,250 (£2,710 plus VAT), payable on commencement.
What does the full programme involve?
When time and distance allow, Nick works 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.
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’.
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.
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 adviser and coach
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.
Nick has advised and assisted more than 100 company directors and professional services partners individually in defining and achieving their future objectives. In his earlier career, he led 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 is 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.