The Lawyer Management: Eversheds
22 October 2012 | By Lucy Burton
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Angus MacGregor has been the HR director of Eversheds since November 2009, when he joined the firm from Barclays Bank. While at Barclays his roles included group head of HR legal and HR director for the group centre. He is also a qualified lawyer, having worked in private practice at both FreshfieldBruckhaus Deringer and McDermott Will & Emery.
What are the key elements of your role?
There’s people strategy, which covers talent, reward, employer brand and global integration, and then I’m responsible for the Nordic offering, so I look out for our Denmark office and overall Nordic strategy on behalf of the executive.
I’m also head of professional knowledge and of our career development teams.
What are the most significant external issues that have an impact on your role?
A pick-up in work leads to more market movement and more opportunity to grab leads.
There’s also the misperception of our brand - people think we’re a commodity shop when we’re really a high-quality firm doing some great global work.
What impact are changes to the legal market having on your firm and your role?
They have made us look closer at our resourcing and operating model, getting HR to own it and drive quality and costs.
Our operating model is a classic lawyer one - partner and associates vs a central hub that unbundles work and goes through paralegals, administration and so on, where appropriate.
What’s in your in-tray?
People strategy, equity partner promotions, trainee numbers, reviewing laterals, some key senior hires and some client work.
What was the most pressing item you faced on the operational side last year and how did you resolve it?
Getting our processes and policies to be effective in the Middle East and Asia. I went there to form relationships and hire some people, so I had to tailor policies to ensure they were ‘Evershedian’.
What have been the key ways in which you have improved the efficiency of the firm?
We’ve reduced our dependence on agencies, slowed replacement recruitment and outsourced some functions to lower cost locations.
What are the primary ways in which you source the suppliers?
We use a range of suppliers, some already known to us and our clients, some from partner introductions and some we put out to tender. More and more the latter, as we professionalise.
How many people do you have in your core team?
There are around 60, the key people including the heads of business partnerships, projects, reward and performance, international and recruitment and MD Copenhagen.
What are your team’s core responsibilities and which board do you sit on?
I sit on the business services directors board.
Who do you report to?
What is the most important lesson your role has taught you?
To win over key stakeholders and influencers. I’ve learned that relationships are everything.
Give gifts to key partners, show expertise to them and pick key influencers, and you’ll find everything becomes a lot easier.
Net profit: £80.6m
Average profit per equity partner: £632,000
Bottom of equity: £307,000
Top of equity: £1,159m
IT: Open text for DMS; PMS - elite from TR, integrated to matter management
Interaction: CRM by Lexis Nexis.
Responsible for the firm’s Copenhagen office and the Nordic region for the LLP, MacGregor’s job isn’t limited to the UK. “I have to think about what legal services and sectors we want [in the region] and how we position the brand in the country to both local and international clients. “I’m responsible for hiring and the branding, getting a handle on what the right platform is by speaking to both key lawyers and clients.”