Recruitment giants to return

Two of the most influential legal recruiters of their generation are separately gearing up to launch new businesses in London.

Joe Macrae, who founded the ZMB business (which is now part of Hays), will be setting up a UK branch of his Californian search business Mlegal once his restrictive covenants expire in October this year.

Meanwhile, Gareth Quarry, who founded QD (now subsumed into Hudson), is understood to be actively exploring various options with a view to relaunching in London.

Confirming his plans, Macrae said: “In the last three years we’ve built one of the top two legal search firms in the Bay Area. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to bring the Mlegal business model here to London with the goal of establishing a top three position.”

Quarry did not return repeated calls for comment; however, sources familiar with his plans say that he is considering a new headhunting operation, possibly in tandem with an existing London recruiter and with a view to acquiring a number of recruitment businesses around the world.

Five years ago Quarry sold the QD business to global recruitment company TMP Worldwide, now known as Hudson. At the time, The Lawyer revealed that TMP had paid £45.4m for QD, netting Quarry a total of £31.8m, £15m of which was in cash.