Case Study

Legal support while recruiting an in-house lawyer
International Rail Business

Ortolan Legal’s sister company, Ortolan Group was instructed to recruit a new in-house lawyer for this multinational business operating in the rail sector.  As the recruitment process got underway the business realised it would need legal support well before a candidate was in place.  Ortolan Legal was asked to make available a commercial lawyer to fill this need.

Within days of the request being made we had introduced one of our senior commercial lawyers to the business and he was in place at the client’s offices working on a wide variety of pressing matters.  Ortolan’s other lawyers were used on an as-needed basis to provide additional support in other areas including employment and corporate law.  The work involved what every in-house lawyer would recognise as a typical mix of advice ranging from updating of standard terms of business, the negotiation of long-term and high value supply chain and outsourcing contracts, commercial disputes and transactions.  We agreed a transparent, predictable and extremely cost-effective pricing structure which enabled the client to budget accurately for their costs.  The engagement lasted for 10 months.

  • The inevitable time it takes to recruit a new in-house lawyer did not result in an unacceptable backlog of legal work accumulating during the recruitment process.
  • Due to our experience working in-house with businesses, we were able to quickly develop a good relationship with senior management, winning their confidence and providing them with the commercial and legal support they needed to achieve their tactical and strategic objectives.
  • When other areas of legal expertise were required, we were able to fully brief and deploy our specialist solicitors to support the business as required without the need for costly and time-consuming background briefings to bring them up to speed with the issues.
  • Having stepped back at the conclusion of the engagement, Ortolan Legal has now become the first port of call for external legal advice when the in-house legal team need additional ad-hoc support.  As well as strong professional relationships we have developed some genuine and enduring friendships with our colleagues at this client.
  • Ortolan Group successfully recruited a new in-house lawyer and we were able to give them a comprehensive and insightful handover due to our involvement in the business.
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I’ve personally worked with Ortolan Legal’s managing director on a number of transactions. Their legal advice doesn’t come wrapped in multiple caveats; it takes account of the commercial realities businesses face. Technically, they are really capable and they’re also highly personable people to work with. They represent real value for money.

John Neill CBE, Chairman and CEO Unipart Group
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