Arla Foods UK – Set up in-house Legal Team
Arla Foods is home to some of the UK’s leading dairy brands and supplies a full range of fresh dairy products to major retailers and foodservice customers and engaged us, to set up an in-house legal team from scratch to support the UK business.
Prior to our involvement, the business had been looking to recruit a suitable senior legal counsel for a number of weeks but had unfortunately not managed to fill the roles. Miguel Florit was then recommended to Arla, by one of his senior law firm contacts and a former colleague, as a potential alternative legal recruitment source.
The roles formed a part of Arla’s long-established global in-house legal team based across Denmark, Germany, Sweden and the UK, with reporting lines into the UK business and the VP/General Counsel in Denmark.
The main challenge in endeavouring to set up the new in-house legal team was how to recruit 2 senior in-house lawyers at a similar PQE-level, simultaneously on one assignment, with one of them taking on a head of legal role and the other taking up a senior legal counsel position from the outset. The outcome of such ‘multiple hire’ projects can be difficult to predict.
A meeting with a senior Arla UK’s talent acquisition manager allowed us to take a full brief on each role and recommend an appropriate solution designed to fill both roles, match the candidates to the organisation – and to each other – and establish the new in-house legal team as quickly as possible.
A legal search assignment and prominent Arla-branded advertisement in the legal press and media attracted around 80 candidates onto our long-list with a shortlist of 12, and 2 appointments were made after a 3-stage interview process including psychometric assessments.
Retained search: we placed 2 candidates from our existing network of contacts in established in-house legal teams in the UK.
Speed: the roles were filled within 6 weeks, following a previous unsuccessful attempt by the client.
Appointees: experienced commercial lawyers, both with in-house retail and food sector experience and Top 50 UK commercial law firm training.
Location: Leeds, UK.