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Stacey Kerrigan

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Stacey Kerrigan

Consultant - Legal Interim

I have joined Pro-Legal to work within the interim offering supplying temporary and contract legal professionals in private practice law firms.  

I have over 5 years of recruitment experience specialising specifically in temporary/ interim solutions for organisations across the south of England. Most extensively within the legal sector.

I work closely with clients to ensure they are supplied with the right level of experienced temporary staffing to fulfil their needs. I do this by building talent pipelines and ensuring I am in touch with the top professionals in the industry.       
       
Outside of work I enjoy exploring London. I love the theatre and a good pub quiz! I relax at home reading comics. My favourite film is Demolition Man, no explanation needed!

 

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All I Want for Christmas Is a HR Interim Role

Posted by Stacey Kerrigan

Are you a Senior HR professional looking to secure a HR Interim role in the New Year? Why Wait? In the current market, we are increasingly seeing Senior HR Professionals move into the world of interim, new approaches to work-life balance, exploring personal interests, engaging in new challenges and a simple way of experiencing different industries are some of the many reasons. In this short article, I'll look at why it's a good idea to start looking for a HR Interim role before the new year really kicks off and what benefits an interim role can offer. Why Interim HR? Interims are viewed as being specialists in their chosen areas and can come in with a fresh outlook on projects and challenges making them invaluable to organisations. The benefits of working as an interim/senior temp in within HR are numerous, as mentioned above, work-life balance is high on the list along with having the opportunity to select the most interesting projects or the ones that you feel will give you that additional edge going forward. High-level HR interims tend to feel a greater sense of job satisfaction to permanent fixtures as they have more ability to control their working life and have an end goal which suits results-oriented project focused HR managers. Why Apply for HR Interim Roles Now? We are fast approaching the end of 2018 and it can be tempting to think ‘I’ll look in the new year’, this mindset could cause you to miss out on fantastic opportunities to join a new organisation, take on an interesting new project and hit the ground running in the new year, as opposed to joining the many other immediately available, qualified professionals in the race for the right new role in January. Historically January is a quiet time on the recruitment front, people returning from the festive break, settling back into their roles and picking back up on previous personnel requirements meaning the process can essentially start from scratch, if you are already in there, this won’t happen! Now, let’s talk Christmas, it costs a lot of money! There are the parties, the presents, the drinks, the lunches and the travel to organise. Securing yourself a great new interim HR role before the Christmas break means more Christmas spending money, less stress looking for work in the new year and something to look forward to! Interim HR professionals tend to work on the more niche, interesting and challenging roles and with this, comes a higher financial reward. Pro-HR works tirelessly over the holiday period ensuring our clients are fully stocked and ready to hit all their new year goals straight off the bat. Currently working on some great roles and with some amazing Senior Interims. Now would be a great time to get in touch, whether you are looking to explore the interim HR world, looking for your next interim HR role or just want an informal chat about the HR market and possibilities. For more information about this article, or to speak to Stacey about your recruiting needs or interim HR jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696334 or stacey.kerrigan@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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What does it take to be a successful Senior HR Interim?

Posted by Stacey Kerrigan

Are you a HR Director or senior HR professional looking to make the switch from permanent to interim? Interim HR jobs may be a temporary provision of Human Resources but they are far from a stop gap for those working in HR. No, HR interim jobs are usually reserved for those HR heavyweights who have proven themselves time and again. Surviving and excelling as a successful Senior HR interim is a different ball game to being a successful permanent fixture. Interim HR jobs come with the benefits of flexibility, financial rewards and the opportunity to work alongside some very impressive and talented people while taking on challenging and interesting projects. However, it isn't a calling for everybody and this article attempts to help you determine whether you'd flourish or fail in an interim HR job. How does your CV hold up against all the other experienced interims on the market? As senior HR interims tend to earn a higher rate than their permanent counterparts they are expected to be the best in a competitive market. With this in mind, you've got be sure that you stand out. Think about what your key strengths are and how you can match these to a client's needs. Highlight these key skills on your CV and portfolio so that the client can easily pinpoint exactly how you can help them when reading your application. Are you financially independent? It would be great to live in an economy where HR interims are consistently going from contract to contract. Unfortunately, the reality is there are often gaps between assignments. Some of these gaps can even last for a few months so you need to ensure that you have a plan B if interim work slows down. Ask yourself, are you are able to survive if you were to go three months without work? What are your interview skills like? Interviews for interim HR jobs are a much shorter, competitive and urgent than a traditional permanent role interview. You may only have one chance to make a good impression and get people to buy into you and what you can offer their organisation. Would you be confident, mentally strong and physically able to constantly take on a new role and environment every few months? Interim contractors have short notice periods, which means you are quickly and easily replaced. You need to be willing to pull out all the stops and work at your highest possible level to ensure you stay at the top of your game and be seen as irreplaceable. Changing your working environment and the colleagues you surround yourself with regularly can be mentally taxing, all those names to remember! How strong is your network? Good interim roles need good people, the best interim roles you will find will be on platforms such as LinkedIn so make sure you are connected to the right people and consultants who can help you when you are in between contracts. We spoke with an Interim Senior Recruitment and Resourcing Specialist who has been working successfully as an interim for six years throughout charities, educational institutes and regulatory bodies. As a Recruitment Specialist, he works both angles, as a hiring manager and candidate. What advice would you give someone that is looking to start their interim HR career? To understand that it’s not a permanent role and doesn't have the security or benefits a perm would have. You need to be adaptable and flexible (stepping into new projects and quickly get up to speed). It’s a pressurized environment and things need to get done quick. You must be very proactive and not rely on others to give you the answers. Contractors are recruited for their expertise and are relied upon for advice and answers. Be clear about why you want to become an interim and what success would look like, research the market, talk to and listen to recruiters and experienced interims who know your market and the decision makers, understand the IR35 legislation and the tax issues around setting up your own limited company, set an achievable financial plan and most importantly clarify and articulate your USP - what are you selling and how will you differentiate yourself in a crowded market where you will be in competition for work with experienced interims who have a track record. Your first role is crucial to begin to build an interim CV so be prepared to compromise on the money, the role, the location, the sector, the organisation What would you say your biggest challenges are as an interim? The changing demands of the role and working on multiple projects. Currently, I'm working on 6 different projects. When I was starting out it was managing the breaks between contracts and accepting that this is a natural part of being an interim; now it's all about keeping in contact with my network and understanding a changing market in order to adapt my own proposition. Understanding IR35 in the public sector (and its potential impact from 2020 in the private sector) is crucial What do you look for when recruiting interims for your team? Their CV must show they have been contracting for a while. I personally would not recruit someone who has been permanent and now wants to move into a contracting role, unless its a low-level contract. A track record and the ability to remain an objective, independent third-party interim who is prepared to challenge the status quo while at the same time clearly shows an understanding, empathy and (short-term but absolute) commitment to the organisation and the team; also somebody who can articulate what success looked like in previous roles (i.e. outcomes) rather than just listing job description-type functions (i.e. outputs). Moving from role to role and organisation to organisation regularly means that relationship skills are incredibly important along with the ability build trust quickly at all levels you still interested in senior interim HR jobs? Whilst working as a Senior HR interim can throw up many challenges and takes nerves of steel it can be an incredibly rewarding career path for HR professionals. Having read the above, if you feel you have what it takes to make it in an interim HR job then please get in touch with Stacey on the details below. For more information about this article, or to speak to Stacey about your recruiting needs or interim HR jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696334 or stacey.kerrigan@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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10 Things You Didn't Know About: Tracy Madgwick, HR Consultant at Crafnant Consulting

Posted by Stacey Kerrigan

With a 28 year career in Human Resources, Tracy Madgwick has amassed a broad and deep experience of all aspects of HR. A former HR director, she has worked for both smaller businesses and large corporate organisations, including those in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. What three traits define you? Enthusiasm, patience and getting things done. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had? The weirdest job I ever had has to be having to sign off a risk assessment to take some young people on an overseas trip that involved a visit to a crocodile farm. How do you define success? I'd have to say going to bed at night knowing you have done the best that you possibly could that day What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this? If I wasn't in HR I think I'd like to be creating those way marked trails in National Trust properties What is your personal philosophy? It's a classic but it's got to be Carpe Diem – seize the day How do you start your day? I like to start the day with a bit of exercise, really helps get you in the right mindset and start the day off on a positive note. What’s your favourite thing about working for your current company? One of the benefits of working as a consultant is the flexibility. Being able to choose my schedule and clients is a fantastic perk of my work. What are the secrets to good leadership? Having a clear sense of direction; being willing to take feedback and admit you were wrong; as well as a genuine care for the people you lead. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet? Martin Luther King – Because he had the ability to move people without the technology we have today. Who do you most admire in your industry? One person that I do admire within the industry has to be Ken Blanchard, his views on servant leadership are very challenging. For more information about this article, or to speak to Stacey about your recruiting needs, contact her on 02072696335 or stacey.kerrigan@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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Changing opinions of interim recruitment

Posted by Stacey Kerrigan

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. So what are these changing opinions on interim recruitment in the legal market? 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, our industry experts here at Pro-Legal have noted a sustained increase in commerce & industry and financial services requirements on an interim and contract basis, with no signs of it changing. For more information on this article or to speak to our Legal team about jobs in London or Nationwide, contact Stacey on 020 7269 6334 or stacey.kerrigan@pro-legal.co.uk.

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4 top tips on becoming a successful in-house lawyer

Posted by Stacey Kerrigan

What makes a successful in-house lawyer? There are four key elements... Here’s my whistle-stop 4 point summary as to what I think the most important factors are for succeeding as an effective, trusted and valued in-house legal advisor. 1. No fear dealing with the unknown, legally and commercially, on a daily basis. 2. Being able to talk the commercial language of the business specifically, and adapt to and be immersed within each department and business stream individually. 3. Viewing every task and piece of legal advice in its entirety, understanding the history prior to it landing on your desk, following up post-implementation, thereby really getting under the skin of everything. 4. Being willing to make a call, based on solid and robust legal rationale, but aligned with trying to be a commercial enabler whenever possible, allowing ever greater immersion within an understanding of the business. Are you a General Counsel, Head of Legal or generally otherwise involved in the recruitment process for the future expansion of your company’s in-house legal department? Are you an existing in-house Legal Counsel, having recently moved or contemplated a new move? Are you a Private Practice lawyer contemplating your first move in-house? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts? Do you agree?

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The Benefits of an Effective and Robust In-House Legal Capacity

Posted by Stacey Kerrigan

Any company considering an in-house legal function will understandably be making some form of cost-benefit analysis; is it really worth it? Why? how could we be sure to get it right? which lawyers would be best suited to our needs? Here is my 6-step guide to these very concerns: 1. So, what are the benefits of launching or bulking up an in-house team? At Pro-Legal we are convinced that there are many: Significant ongoing internal cost-savings and decreased need for ongoing costly external legal spend - our clients regularly tell us that such cost savings far exceed perceived cost outlays Retention of crucial know-how resources – having the capacity to retain legal work in-house ensures valuable information doesn’t simply walk out of the door again when it’s finished – information is key, and retaining that is of huge value to any company Greater control and transparency over key internal functions such as risk and compliance – a General Counsel at a UK-based multinational for example recently reported back to us that a new internal regulatory legal hire had allowed them to devote significantly more time to their day to day legal issues Crucial streamlining of internal processes and procedures – this allows tighter internal corporate policies to be drawn up and adhered to, proactively and not reactively, of particular significance for example in terms of complying with revamped recent EU Data Protection legislation Ability to more successfully meet vital reporting functions such as company secretarial matters – having in-house capacity to deal with this has been a much increased trend in recent years, as a stand-alone function or as part of a wider legal role 2. Get it right, first time around At Pro-Legal we also appreciate that getting in-house recruitment decisions right, at the first time of asking, is absolutely crucial. We employ Legal Recruitment Consultants with years of experience of having actually practised the law in various in-house commercial sectors. We are therefore ideally placed to fully understand your key commercial needs - we are experts at taking care of the entire 360 degree recruitment process for you whilst also actually fully understanding the in-house legal market. 3. Suitability of candidates for in-house legal roles We believe that silo working is not conducive to a productive and commercially effective in-house dynamic. When speaking to candidates who want to make a move in-house, they often initially tell us that they want to do so as they enjoy ‘understanding how a business works’. We ensure that they really understand what they mean by this and therefore whether they really would be right for any in-house role from the off. 'Understanding a business' is an incredibly all-encompassing process. It necessitates pro-activity, sitting down with each individual team within a business, being willing to speak their language, understand their unique commercial drivers and prioritise workload accordingly. It very quickly involves an in-house lawyer being taken out of their comfort zone, particularly in any kind of wide-reaching general commercial role where any legal issue might arise at any given time. 4. How do we know that one candidate above another would best solve a company’s need? There is an inevitable initial fear factor to be overcome by any new in-house recruit; not to shy away from the initially legal unknown but rather embrace and deal with it sensibly and practically to deal with day to day issues outside of your usual comfort zone be able to successfully work with, and alongside, all internal departments at vertical and horizontal levels – culture and personality fit is key any given day could naturally develop out into working across various individual matters (as in Private Practice) but also switching mind-set across entirely different legal disciplines and areas, some legal, some commercial, some simply discussing what's happening internally within the company and its wider governing industry We drill down into these key considerations in detail when considering the suitability of any candidate for any in-house role. 5. Make a decision Decision-making, and the ability to do so strategically and practically, based upon a solid and robust legal understanding and framework, is a vital skillset for successful in-house lawyers who shouldn’t want or need to be micro-managed on a long-term basis. This is a recurring theme and requirement in-house - be it an instant piece of advice to a colleague in the sales or marketing team or a final recommendation to the board of directors that a particular contract is ready to be signed or confirming immediate instructions to outside foreign counsel as regards an ongoing piece of litigation. We understand that any company or General Counsel would want their new legal hire to demonstrate the capacity and, equally as importantly, the desire, to take independently sensible and correct decisions relatively quickly. 6. Best chances of succeeding in-house An in-house lawyer should be able to prioritise legal and commercial risks for the business and effectively communicate them back to the relevant internal stakeholders. Legal knowledge is, as far as an in-house lawyer’s commercial colleagues are concerned, essentially an assumed given - the more succinct, practical, easy to read and problem-solving an in-house lawyer’s approach, the better. In summary Launching or bulking up an in-house legal team is a big step. It is very easy to get it wrong. At Pro-Legal we have years of expert legal recruitment experience as well as years of experience actually practising law in-house and so we ensure that our clients get it right. For further guidance please do get in touch.

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How to successfully on-board your new legal hires…

Posted by Stacey Kerrigan

Having invested a lot of time, energy and resources into making a new legal hire, the last thing you’ll want is a high early attrition rate. Several studies have shown that this can be avoided by successfully implementing a structured onboarding system. How is this achieved? 1 Culturally invested If a new employee is, from the very outset, clearly guided as to the philosophy, climate and working environment of their new company, role and expected function, a crucial emotional connection can immediately be established. That will make it more likely for that new employee to be actively engaged, on a longer-term, with the company and its ethos. 2 Connecting with internal relationships and networks Building upon considerations concerning the company’s culture, a new employee should be encouraged to build and foster internal relationships across internal departments on a non-silo basis, from the very outset. Non-departmental colleagues also afford a new employee the opportunity to ask questions and further learn the company’s unique characteristics. 3 Compliance with internal guidelines What is expected of a new employee must be clearly established in terms of clear and concise internal policies, guidelines, codes of conduct and rules. This will mostly be led by HR, and ideally should begin on or even before the first day of the new job, via a clear and concise transition plan, and is then typically made more concrete via appropriate line managers. Ideally, a formal structured orientation programme will be put in place, and be consistently implemented and adhered to. 4 Clarity = 1, 2 and 3 combined This involves connecting the circle of each of items 1,2 and 3 above, with new employees to be made absolutely clear as to what is expected of them in their role and what their responsibilities are. Regular milestones should be used to follow a new employee’s progress, e.g. 30, 60, 90 and 160 day milestone updates. At Pro Legal, we understand the importance of finding the highest-calibre lawyers, we ensure we fully understand our client’s culture and inherent ethos and we start the onboarding process from our very first conversations with our candidates.

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