Conferences…are they for you?

If you are one of those people who engage in networking, you will probably have met me and Jane at industry events over the years. We have regularly sponsored and attended various Legal Week, Thomson Reuters, Legal Business, IQPC and Ah! Media conferences as well as The Lawyer and Legal Week Awards ceremonies and The Lawyer Strategy Summit in Europe. Our recent ones include the International Mergers & Acquisitions Conference, The Data, Privacy and Cyber-Resilience Forum, The Insurance Law Forum and The Financial Services Forum.

We love them! As recruiters, we genuinely enjoy getting out there and meeting new people as well as better understanding the issues currently affecting the legal industry. And they can be great for those seeking their next opportunity too.

But conferences aren’t for everyone. A whole day with people you don’t know can be awkward. It is time consuming and not always all relevant. Work can be pulling you back to the laptop or phone and being sat in the one seat all day is uncomfortable! So how can you get more value from these industry events… and possibly even enjoy them?

1. Find the right conference for you

Speak to colleagues, bosses, sponsors and organisers and learn what the content is and who will be attending – the content needs to be good and relevant to you.

2. Know why you are going

What are you looking to get out of the day? Meeting peers, getting advice from experts, finding out what your competitors are doing, training, discussing topical issues, finding out who is hiring and meeting suppliers are typical reasons

3. Share your information

Provide your photo and bio to the organisers and sign up to the app, so that people who want to meet you are able to find you and more likely to follow up with you afterwards.

4. Arrive early

It is easier to speak to people at the beginning, and the people you speak to at this point can be a point of reference throughout the day. The organisers and sponsors will also be free to introduce you to the people you really want to meet at this point..

5. Move

Move seats for each session to meet an interesting array of people. Introduce yourself to everyone on your table and to new members as they arrive so that you have more options of who to speak to and develop an enviable network.

6. Engage

Take part in surveys and round tables. Ask questions, argue your point, share your experiences, make yourself memorable.

7. Talk to people in the breaks

Talk about the content – how relevant it was for you and what you got out of it. Grab the speakers if you get chance. Don’t talk about the content – discuss the journey in, what’s happening at work, whether you have been before, how it compares to other conferences, the food. Try to stay off your phone/laptop and be approachable. And if you look around you won’t be the only one alone.

8. Offer your business card

Ok, so they are not that popular these days, but it might mean that you get a card back, and the direct line of someone who is really good to know.

9. Connect on LinkedIn

Connect with anyone interesting while your conversation is still fresh in their mind. This allows any interesting dialogue to continue and also gives you access to their networks.

10. Stay for drinks

At the end of the day you and everyone else can relax, conversation will be more comfortable and flowing and it will be easy to join a group. It is a good time to speak to key people for a de-brief who might have picked up some useful information during the day.

Remember that strong beneficial networks that enhance your career are built over years. Whilst recruiters hold a lot of vacancies, up to 50% of opportunities, especially at the senior end, never hit a recruiter’s desk but go to someone already known. So maybe we’ll see you at the conferences next year?

5 reasons to choose Fry & Brown

Not all recruitment agencies are the same – believe us. But with so many options to choose from, it can sometimes feel like a minefield out there. When it comes to recruiting in-house legal professionals for financial services, Fry & Brown are here for you. And here are five reasons why you should think about choosing us…

1. Specialist knowledge and expertise

You need to know you can rely on your recruiter for support and advice, don’t you? You need specialist knowledge from the experts.

Here at Fry & Brown, it’s safe to say that we know our stuff. With over 15 years’ experience each, we’ve become two of the top recruiters in our specialist sector – and we promise to put our knowledge and expertise to work for you.

2. You always come first

As a small recruitment team, you can expect a highly personal service. We’ll always have time for you – because we can be as flexible as you need us to be. And that’s certainly not something you get with all recruiters.

You can trust us when we say that we take time to get to know our clients. It really is a win-win, as it means we get to the bottom of your requirements and priorities – and that’s the only way to deliver the results you need. Why would you settle for anything less?

3. Focused and committed

As you’ll know by now, we place legal professionals within financial services – and that’s all we do. We don’t dabble with other professions or industries. This niche has our full attention, enabling us to focus 100% of our time on finding the very best talent. We strongly believe this is exactly what you need to get your next appointment right.

As an added bonus, you won’t need to worry about getting calls saying ‘sorry, your recruiter no longer works here’. We’re committed to our work and to you, so you know we’ll be there when you need us.

4. Connections, connections, connections

Like we said, we have over 30 years’ experience between us. And we’ve worked with both financial services heavyweights and boutique firms over the years. So whatever your niche, we can meet your needs.

It’s only natural that we’ve made connections along the way. But we don’t just keep our established network to ourselves – we put it to work for you, to give you a head start with your search.

5. You’re our partner

With Fry & Brown, it’s not just about getting the job done – we go the extra mile for you. Over the years we’ve focused on developing career-long relationships with people. And whether that means finding your perfect in-house role or helping you hire, we want to be your partner from the word go.

We have your best interests at heart and even if we can’t help you today, we’ll always be on the lookout for opportunities. When we recognise them, you know we’ll be in touch. Why? Because it’s all about finding the best possible fit, whatever it takes.
How can we help you?

If you have any questions or want to find out more about what we can do for you, feel free to contact us.

Please stay in touch

It is now just over 6 months since we set up Fry & Brown and things certainly haven’t been slow in taking off. We have worked on 38 permanent positions within financial services, and helped many lawyers find the next step in their careers. We have agreed terms to work with 2 of the 5 big retail banks, several international banks and asset managers, 3 big insurers, and many more small or start up financial institutions – which seem to be trending as where many of you want to take your careers. We have found positions for lawyers from 2 to 17 years’ qualified, with some standalone and number 2 positions. Although our focus is placing qualified lawyers into permanent roles, we have even managed to place a paralegal and a temporary lawyer too.

But we are aware we haven’t been able to help everyone as yet, and we want to stay up to date and in touch with those of you who are still looking to find the right next role. We’re determined to provide a better service than our industry is known for and we can only do that by communicating with you. So please spare a moment to send a quick reply to let us know whether have found something, or that you are still looking. Also, any comments and suggestions would be welcome – we are aware we might not be getting everything right straight away.

We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received so far, both in terms of giving Fry & Brown a chance for your next hire, or recommendations of colleagues that we might be able to help.

Please stay in touch!

Tracy and Jane

In it for the long run

We like a challenge at Fry & Brown, so we decided to both train for marathons whilst setting up our new in-house legal recruitment business too. Here’s how we got on…

Jane’s Marathon

When I announced in February that I was going to sign up for my first marathon at the end of April multiple people questioned whether I would be able to fit the required training into an already jam-packed life juggling two very busy children and setting up a brand-new business. Fry & Brown took off quicker than we thought and initial projects had come in before we had even launched but completing a marathon was an itch that I knew would not go away, and after all, when is the right time? I had been in training for the London marathon back in 2008 when I fell pregnant with my first child and 10 years later, coinciding with my son’s milestone birthday meant 2018 felt like my year!

I had completed a 100-mile challenge throughout the course of December for a local charity (Please Help Pippa – so prior to entering had been in a good place training-wise. However, illness meant that 2 months before the event I had only managed a couple of 5 milers… only another 21 to go! Luckily being my own boss meant I could choose to run during the day and catch up on work early in the morning or late at night – often when lawyers are more able to talk. With Tracy also marathon training, we both understood the pressures of juggling. The unseasonal March snow didn’t help build up the miles with 2 half marathons cancelled and the fear of slipping slowing me right down. This was followed by a shoulder injury sustained following a fall on a ski trip and another fall, flat on my face, during my last long training run. I was beginning to wonder if this was my year after all!

A longstanding client’s advice – “Nothing to be scared of, the race itself is the party at the end of the training” made me determined to enjoy the day, and that I did! I loved every minute of my marathon, ran it a good deal quicker than expected and surprised myself by not being quite as broken as I expected afterwards. Now… did I run fast enough? Could another marathon be in my future?

Tracy’s Marathon

Having been a keen triathlete for 10 or more years before the children, I have more recently become a keen supporter… until in May last year when I went along to watch some friends and family at the Milton Keynes Marathon. It got me! As the runners entered the MK Dons stadium for the final few hundred metres, the support and atmosphere were amazing. Apart from at the end of the Ironman, I had never done a marathon before and I just couldn’t resist the challenge. Running had always been the strongest of the 3 disciplines for me and I’d always wanted to do a marathon before the peer pressure of learning to swim had set in. Ironically, I don’t actually like running. But annoyingly, I am actually quite good at it. And it is a convenient way of keeping the guilt of not competing anymore at bay. (I would love to be good at a team sport, or even sprinting so that I could get it over and done with, but no- I’m all about the distance and have an ability to just keep going!)

And so, I entered the MK Marathon for 2018. I carried on doing my occasional short runs, not being able to manage much more than 5 or 6 miles, 2 to 3 times a week due to kids’ schedules. The couple of half marathons that I did were terribly painful, and I had no desire to do anymore. A few weeks before the Marathon I did a 20-mile race and actually stopped at 12 miles and started walking home. I knew it was a mental thing, but I just couldn’t get over it. As far as I was concerned there was no need to ever run longer than about 6 miles and I just didn’t want to do it. It was only when I realised that walking was as painful as running that I decided to go back to the route and walked/jogged the rest.

I was ready to pull out. There were plenty of nicer things to do on a sunny bank holiday Monday and having just got back from holiday and with a kid’s party planned for the same day, I didn’t need any more excuses.

But the guilt set in again and I found myself at the start line. The temperature hit 28 degrees and without my phone I had no idea what my pace was, or how I was doing but I was determined to get to 20 miles before I walked, and that I did. The last 6 miles were a walk-run combination, but I was very pleased to make it over the finish line in 3 hours 39 minutes. I can’t imagine what it was like for the runners towards the end who were out in the heat all day. Happy with my result (and finishing!), it was one of those things that I wasn’t going to do again!

Until later that night my partner mentioned that I might be able to get a good for age entry to the London Marathon… Now, where did that mental stamina come from, and could I possibly find it again?

I guess like Jane, I’d planned on doing a marathon years ago and it was a thought that didn’t go away in the same way as the thought of setting up our business together hadn’t gone away. When you’ve waited 10 years for the right time to come you become pretty determined to make a success of it and it is a brilliant feeling when you achieve and make that goal and dream a reality.

Going the Distance

And our business, Fry & Brown is very much up and running and so we are already celebrating successes in work too. Whilst lots of our business so far has come from new contacts and it is great to work with some entrepreneurial and start up financial services companies as well as the larger banks, we have had great support and loyalty from the people who we have helped in the past- many of whom we placed when they were junior lawyers and are now in senior management positions recruiting for their teams. Introductions and recommendations have formed a major part of our success story over the years and I would ask anyone reading this to please put us in touch with any lawyers they think we might be able to help. Like running our marathons, we have really benefited from the support of those who knew we could do it and we feel incredibly lucky to have such strong networks in the industry.

If you are thinking of moving or hiring, or know anyone we might be able to help, please get in touch for a chat.

The Making of Fry & Brown

We’re Jane Fry & Tracy Brown – and we couldn’t be more excited to launch Fry & Brown. In short, we’re specialist legal recruiters for the financial services industry, and you can read on to find out more about how we got here…

How did you meet?

We first met back in 2001, when we were both junior legal recruiters at Badenoch & Clark. In those days, people didn’t stay in recruitment for long – and it’s the same today. But we both found that we shared a real passion for our work, and we loved the challenge of it all. We were in it for the long run. Seven years later, we both joined Barclay Simpson in short succession and this is where our working partnership was really born. As a team, we established the legal division as a brand-new business line, spending ten great years there building the in-house legal desk from scratch.

Why did you launch Fry & Brown?

Over the years, it became increasingly clear that we were a great team and we often talked about taking our specialist expertise and going it alone one day. So, when we decided independently to move onto pastures new at the end of 2017, it felt like the perfect time to do something that we’d pondered so many times before. And that’s when our discussions about launching Fry & Brown came back to life. As two of the leading legal recruiters for the financial services industry, we know we have a wealth of knowledge to share with our clients. But beyond that, we both share a firm belief in providing a personal, honest approach – which is something our clients have always valued, but you just don’t get with all recruiters. This adds up to a quality service that we’re proud to deliver – and so Fry & Brown was born.

We’re a team.

Having worked together for over 15 years we’ve become good friends as well as business partners – and we really do love what we do. What’s more, we’ve been through many big life and career events together, so we have a full appreciation of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We’re both organised, pro-active and talkative – but we’re good listeners too. Tracy is methodical, with meticulous attention to detail and refuses to leave any stone unturned. Jane loves to dig deep and discover little details that indicate people’s motivations. Plus, she has a memory like an elephant. We know each other inside out, yet there’s still always something to learn from one another. And because we’re not afraid to challenge each other, we’re constantly pushing ourselves to improve in everything we do. And that means a better service for our clients.

We’re ready when you are.

With Fry & Brown you can expect industry-leading expertise and a personal approach tailored to you. And we can’t wait to get to work for you. We’re ready when you are – and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

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