Flybe – Legal Search


Flybe was recommended to our Florit Legal’s MD by the Chairman of another public company which had successfully used our recruitment consultants to hire a PLC company secretary via previous legal search assignment.

The company was unfortunately losing its then general counsel and company secretary. So, following a competitive tender, we were exclusively instructed to undertake a retained legal search to find a replacement.

In addition to all the wider personal qualities a role like this demands, the ideal candidate profile was to be a qualified solicitor with:

  • corporate and commercial experience;
  • a commercial law firm training and PQE;
  • at least 4 years’ subsequent experience of working in-house; and
  • ideally, experience of having worked as a PLC company secretary.

In addition, candidates needed to be local to or willing to relocate to Exeter, and have experience in the travel sector and/or another retail or regulated B2C industry.


A considerable challenge was presented on this legal search, by 3 limiting factors. Firstly the location, but also the requirements for candidates to ideally have both industry experience and successful time served as a PLC company secretary. There are undeniably excellent commercial law firms with a presence in the South West, giving rise to no shortage of individuals looking to work in-house. However, the in-house lawyer market in the South West is much smaller than London or bigger regional cities like Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. An experienced PLC company secretary with all the other attributes sought was most likely to come from another part of the country. Additionally, very few retail, travel or B2C companies are located in the region.


Following a full brief from the then CEO and Head of Group HR, we commenced a legal search project on the client’s behalf. An initial long list of over 80 candidates produced a shortlist of 8 people. Initial interviews were held with the top 4, and second interview, OPQs and presentations to board members rounded off the project. References were taken from other travel industry contacts of ours, before a successful legal search appointment was made.