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Mark Bailey

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Mark Bailey

Principal Consultant - Legal

I connect qualified and non-qualified legal professionals with in-house Commerce & Industry opportunities. While I specialise in providing solutions for contract and interim roles, I also work with Nick Allen on permanent vacancies, having successfully managed permanent processes on behalf of candidates and clients, throughout my career.


My network and recruitment knowledge includes Commerce & Industry, Not-For-Profit and public-sector contacts and clients. Within these areas, I have developed great relationships with clients and candidates in areas such as technology, energy, transportation, manufacturing, charities, central and local government bodies.


As I’m fortunate enough to live in London, I keep myself busy with anything and everything, whether that’s at a museum, the theatre, food markets or one of London’s cat cafes.


If I wasn’t in recruitment, my dream occupation would be a kid’s TV presenter, a modern-day Andi Peters, and I would need my own sidekick like Edd the Duck.

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What people say about Mark

Mark was super helpful and supportive during my job search.  He treated me as an individual, which I really appreciate.


I’ve only had positive experiences with working with Mark and so, now with Pro Legal. 


Mark was very efficient and helpful throughout the process. I had a couple of other options going on at the same time and Mark made this easier


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Companies Mark has worked with

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mark's articles

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Introducing Pro-Legal's Interim Team

Posted by Mark Bailey

Pro-Legal is pleased to announce a dedicated interim team, to dovetail with the existing permanent legal team. With our clients and candidates regularly asking for interim solutions and offerings, we have created a team with talented, experienced Legal consultants to serve your needs. The team will be focusing on a range of projects providing, experienced legal professionals as solutions for short to mid-term projects. There are many benefits to hiring an experienced Legal professional on an interim basis, such as completing a project on time for your clients, avoiding any apparent risks by providing you with a knowledgeable specialist, encouraging innovation and, ensuring quality control and standards are kept high, to compliment your leadership strategy. Pro-Legal’s Interim team contains over 18 years of experience, with your main contacts being Mark Bailey, Stacey Kerrigan and Claire Browne. Mark Bailey Mark has more than 10 years’ experience within interim Legal markets, covering public law, regulatory projects, data protection and IP matters, corporate and commercial law. He has partnered with clients to appoint Senior Solicitors and create teams with exceptionally talented individuals. Stacey Kerrigan Stacey has worked within the London legal field for over 4 years, specialising in the ever-buoyant interim market, assisting Magic and Silver Circle firms, US firms and West End firms. She is an expert in securing top talent for exciting opportunities that include: maternity covers, project based-heavy workloads and consultancy work. She has a great pool of available professionals to cover corporate, commercial, litigation and employment. Claire Browne Claire specialises in hiring qualified Solicitors and experienced Paralegals for not-for-profit bodies, regulatory organisations and regulatory bodies, alongside Mark. Her clients and candidates appreciate the skills she prides herself on most; her honesty, market knowledge and tenacity when sourcing and selecting talent for solutions. For more information about how our Interim team can help with your recruiting needs and interim legal jobs in London, please speak to Mark on 02072696365 or email mark.bailey@pro-legal.co.uk

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The 6 Biggest CV Mistakes

Posted by Mark Bailey

Writing a CV can be a daunting task on the face of it. You have to concisely summarise your entire working life into a few short pages and hope that your personality shines through enough that the HR manager will pick up the phone. With so much time and effort going into covering every single detail and crafting that perfect paper representation of you, are you missing the bigger picture? Our expert recruiters breakdown the six most common CV mistakes that may be killing your chances at success. 1. “I have good attention to detail” Ahh, one of the most frequently used terms in a CV when describing personal attributes, and what a great attribute to have! However, word of warning, if you are going to use this term make sure there are absolutely no typos in your CV. There’s nothing worse to be claiming to be something you’re not when it comes to applying for jobs. Always proofread your work, then proof it again and then get another set of eyes over it. Simple mistakes say a lot about a person and a huge 43% of hiring managers said they dismiss a CV because it contains typos! 2. Order, Order! It’s always a great idea to put the order of your previous jobs in chronological order, even better when you date them so it’s obvious where you worked, when and how long for. What’s confusing is when there is no order or reason behind the ordering of the past experience. It instantly sends out a bad message and reflects badly on your organisational and communication skills and almost immediately disqualifies you from progressing further. 3. Me, Myself and I One of the biggest bugbears that hiring managers have when looking at CVs is the use of I. Your name is at the top, it is implied that the document is about you and nobody wants to go through the repetition of “I did this” or “I did that”. It’s a surefire way to getting the reader to dismiss your CV almost instantly. Your CV is a factual representation of you be sure to keep it impersonal, concise and accurate. Instead of using “ I automated the hiring process...” opt for “Automated the hiring process…” 4. Tailor Made When writing a CV it’s always a great idea to tailor it to the role or firm that you’re applying to. Unfortunately, when it comes to CVs, one size doesn’t fit all. Whether you’re using a CV template or writing a CV from scratch, to really maximise your chances you need to really spell out the reasons why the hiring manager should choose you and the best way to do this is to match your experience up with the ideal candidate specification. Although it may seem like this may take a long time it is definitely time well spent. 5. OTT While it’s fine to show a bit of personality in a CV do not go over the top. Nearly 40% of respondents in a YouGov poll put poor design down as a reason to disqualify an applicant. So what counts as over the top? Unusual fonts for one. Stick with Arial, 11pt in black. Easily read, smart and formal it’s always a winner with recruiters. What paper should you use? Easy, white A4, that’s it. Do you need any snazzy borders to jazz it up? Absolutely not. Remember this is a professional document with the aim of selling you in a few seconds. You’ll definitely stand out using unusual formats, fonts and colours but not in the way that you want. Bullet points are your friend here. They’re to the point (no pun intended), easy to read and are great for people who are reading in a rush. 6. Honesty is the best policy Nobody likes being lied to. However, with one-third of CVs and job applications containing falsifications, it seems that the majority of applicants feel it is permissible to embellish their experiences to some extent. Now, by no means are we here to judge you, no, no, no we would just strongly advise against it for these reasons. Applicants tend to big up their CVs out of fear that their experience is not impressive enough. However, dishonesty is always risky, whether it is a small fib or a whopping great lie, chances are you will get found out. Companies usually carry out their due diligence and more often than not your white lie is uncovered and your reputation is left in tatters. Who wants to hire an ousted liar? If by some chance you don’t get caught out and get the job you now have to perform at the standard you perpetuated on your CV. This can get extremely awkward and embarrassing… There we have it if you are already avoiding these mistakes you're a CV superstar. If not, then why not? If you’re able to follow these simple steps your CV will be infinitely better. Remember if you need help or a professional point of view then our expert recruitment consultants are always happy to give you a few pointers.

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Phone Interviews - 10 Foolproof Tips

Posted by Mark Bailey

Phone interviews are a great tool for saving time and are very different to being able to read body language in a face to face meeting but, with phone interviews around for the foreseeable future, it’s still wise to prepare for the preventable. While some of these points seem obvious, it’s still surprising as to how often a client or candidate’s feedback has mentioned an unfortunate misstep. 1. Location Avoiding anywhere noisy may sound obvious but if you’re taking a call at lunchtime and the only place to do it is in a coffee shop at peak time, you may not have the interviewer’s full attention and vice versa. Noisy pets and family members are also worth taking into consideration. Consider a meeting room, a quiet room at home or even a (parked) car. 2. Consider the signal That black spot can always be useful when receiving unsolicited calls but avoid talking in locations that you are particularly bad for reception. If a landline isn’t available, phone a friend or a member of your family beforehand, just to ensure the signal is at its strongest. Should you wish to keep it confidential, call your mobile phone company and say you just wanted to check everything was all okay with the signal in your area. 3. Familiarise yourself with the role and company While we are all adept at multitasking in our day to day lives and at work, you are putting yourself at risk by trying to read the company website and/or job specification at the same time as interviewing. Unfortunately, with only your voice to focus on, a seasoned interviewer is able to easily spot when they do not have your full attention. 4. Make sure you are ready early You may be expecting a call at 3 pm so be ready at least 5mins beforehand. With the possibility of both parties’ timepieces being slightly out of sync, you could easily miss that initial phone call and, while hitting redial takes no effort at all, you run the risk of ruining that first impression. 5. Do not answer immediately Allow yourself 2-3 rings to compose yourself, the interviewer will be doing the exact same thing. While answering immediately shows you are keen to talk, it can also be slightly startling to the person calling you, leading to a moment of hesitation or fluster. 6. Expecting urgent, life-changing news or a knock at the door? Tell this to the interviewer at the top of the call. It’s much better to make them aware (if you did not have time to ask for the call to be rescheduled) than cutting someone short out of the blue, to take an all-important call or answer the door for a long conversation. 7. Avoid cutting the interviewer off We all have a tendency to get over-excited therefore talking over one another happens more frequently on the phone (we all do this when we talk to friends and family, don’t we?). Be aware that this behaviour over the phone comes across as much more abrupt and aggressive. 8. Ask questions An interviewer will always ask if you have any more questions; ensure you have a few to hand as opposed to ending the conversation with a “no”. This is your chance to show how interested you are if you like what you have heard so far, otherwise, it’s quite an anticlimax for the interviewer who has taken time out of their diary to discuss the role with you. Even better, have a notepad ready to jot down notes to refer back to. 9. Allow an extra 30-45mins after the scheduled interview time Should the conversation flow, having the opportunity to further affirm your interest and leave a deeper impression on the interviewer, can only be a positive. Those extra few minutes could make all the difference, showcasing your ability to build rapport. However please ensure you don’t stray towards filling the conversation, just to keep the interviewer on the phone. 10. Practice As obvious as all the points may seem, sit down and work with your recruiter in a mock interview scenario. Having to spend a lot of time on the phone interviewing people, we can help you avoid pitfalls such as “dead air”, construct concise yet informative answers and ensure you are getting as much out of the conversation as an interviewer would expect to. Find out more about how Mark Bailey can help with your recruitment needs by contacting him on +44 (0)20 7269 6365

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How to Handle Interview Questions Like a Pro

Posted by Mark Bailey

While the following list isn’t exhaustive, it will serve as a good starting point when it comes to the kinds of questions you will more than likely be asked in an interview. Where possible, we will always advise you as to what questions may arise before your interview. 1. What do you know about us? While this may seem like a simple question, the number of people we speak to on a regular basis who are unable to answer this will surprise you. Do your research. A great way to answer is to give a very brief overview of the area they specialise in and, how the legal team or particular department fits into the company or firm’s plans. If you have researched the interviewers you are meeting, you can tailor your answers to focus on their expertise and experience. 2. Why are you interested in us? While you may have answered what the company does, do not confuse this with why you’re interested in them. Employers want to understand what it is about their organisation specifically that appeals to you. Simply telling them you are interested in the sectors they are involved in, for example, is not going far enough. What is it about this company or firm that sits apart from their competition? A great way to show interest in a potential employer is to relate your interest in the work they do back to your work history and personal experience. 3. Why are you looking to leave? Be honest. While it is never wise to be overly-negative towards your current employer, if there are certain things you’re not happy with, you need to ensure you don’t end up in the exact same situation in your next role. Most negatives when phrased correctly can be framed as a positive. For example, if you’re unhappy because you haven’t had a promotion in several years, a much better way to answer this is to discuss the lack of opportunity for you in your current job to develop and take on more responsibilities. 4. Where else are you interviewing? Most people will ask simply to get a better understanding as to what timescales you’re working to. If you’re interviewing at several places, it’s better to keep all parties involved on the same page; it gives each organisation a fair opportunity to complete their process with you in a particular timescale. Furthermore, if and when an organisation misses out on hiring you, as long as you were honest throughout the process, you may well have the opportunity to revisit the role/organisation in the future should the chance arise. 5. Does your current employer know that you are looking? In the majority of cases, this is likely to be a no. However there are a number of reasons a current employer may well know this; the most common reasons tend to be due to a change in role, lack of opportunity for progression, an office move, the need for a new challenge if one cannot be offered or redundancy. If you are able to have a conversation with your employer, that’s great - if it’s a positive conversation at least you will know you are leaving for the right reasons. Potential employers will be impressed by such a positive conversation with your current employer, so do not be put off discussing this in an interview if the circumstances around it can be seen in a positive light. 6. What questions do you have for us? Ensure you have paid enough attention during the interview to ask related questions about the role and organisation. Having done your research beforehand, if you feel something has not been covered in the interview, ask for clarification. As well as the interviewers testing you, this meeting is your chance to discuss your responsibilities, the wider team and culture of the organisation, so make sure you leave the meeting with a good understanding of this. Matters to avoid are questions about salary, working hours, perks and a breakdown of the benefits package. While they all play into our decision making, you do not want to distract from the reason you’re sat there. These conversations can be had via your recruitment consultant and the HR department. Always make sure you have asked enough questions to know how you would feel if they were to offer you the job. Here at Pro-Legal, our consultants have a great deal of experience preparing candidates for interviews, therefore if you would like a confidential discussion on any of the points raised above or the market generally, do please get in touch.

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Changing opinions of interim recruitment

Posted by Mark Bailey

Where legal departments were typically filled with permanent employees in the past, more and more legal professionals and organisations have seen the benefit of an interim solution. Where before there was a stigma regarding lawyers working for several companies over a period time, the experience and autonomy these same candidates can offer has proven invaluable. If, as an organisation you have a sudden increase in work, the workloads and stress can be immediately alleviated by someone with a wealth of knowledge and an excellent set of skills, whose training requirements only stretch to company systems and the health & safety induction; the same rules apply when hiring someone on maternity cover too. And of course, once the work is complete, not only will a level of consistency be achieved, organisations may have benefited from a “fresh pair of eyes” providing innovative ways of solving problems, based on a culmination of problem-solving situations they have been a part of. Lawyers that are currently in or are looking to move into the interim market will see the merits of having a varied career path; such as gaining insight into multiple industries, working on a variety of projects, increasing their legal network and gaining skills they may not be afforded from working within one organisation for a long period of time. People who have taken long-term leave, whether due to illness, travel or maternity/paternity leave have also felt the benefits of being able to work on a more fluid basis that suits their needs and requirements. There is also the benefit of being able to take regular breaks in between contracts or work on a part-time basis, leading to an easily manageable work/life balance. While there are of course risks on both sides, for instance, a party choosing to part ways before the end of the contract, with there being a huge increase in quality lawyers choosing to work on an interim basis and an increase in opportunities, there is always a solution readily available. Having specialised in legal recruitment for many years, both Nick and I have noted a sustained increase in commerce & industry and financial services requirements on an interim and contract basis, with no signs of it changing in 2018. If you are interested in having a confidential discussion about interim and contract opportunities, do please get in touch.

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