bckr | Individual Career and Retirement Services
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Individual Career and Retirement Services

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.  They add depth and breadth of perspective from their own senior legal backgrounds and subsequent portfolio careers.

What does the programme involve?

Nick and Marianne typically work with clients for one year, although shorter programmes may sometimes be appropriate. Initially we focus on fully understanding and clarifying the lawyer’s desires and goals, before creating the optimal strategy to achieve these. We then provide advice, tools and guidance to execute the strategy.

Our clients often wish to create a portfolio of non-executive, trustee or broader advisory roles in the commercial or not-for-profit sector. However, we also help lawyers to consider and achieve other possibilities which may be open to them. These can include entrepreneurial or investment opportunities, consultancy, academic study, lecturing, mentoring, grass roots volunteering or new (or dormant) hobbies and interests.

While every programme is tailored to the individual, we will often assist in:

  • advising on the creation of a sustainable and enjoyable portfolio of activities over time
  • recommending relevant courses and organisations
  • making targeted introductions to provide greater understanding and opportunities
  • creating a compelling board-level CV, based on detailed discussions, which focuses on the relevant transferable experience and draws out all the appropriate board skill sets
  • creating a detailed marketing plan, including identifying and gaining access to the appropriate UK search firms and
  • interview coaching and preparation.

During the year-long programme Nick or Marianne would normally meet with the individual lawyer twice in each of the first two months for intensive introductory sessions and at least monthly thereafter. The BCKR director joins these meetings when important decisions are required. The lawyer will undertake a range of practical tasks and activities in support of their programme between meetings.

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.