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Tamara Salem

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Tamara Salem

Senior Consultant - Legal

I focus on the recruitment of qualified solicitors across all commercial practice areas into permanent positions within Private Practice. I place an importance on building long-term relationships with my clients and candidates based on trust, excellence and consistent delivery. 

My clients range from leading US and UK international firms through to a number of West-end and boutique practices.

I have obtained experience within a boutique legal agency and with an international recruitment company, focusing on permanent positions into leading firms in the London market. I have worked with a range of White Shoe US firms and leading International firms in the London market.

I endeavour to provide a full consultative service with a focus on strictly adhering to both the candidate and the client's requirements and having a full understanding of the legal market. Through this approach, I am able to offer advice and expertise for a candidate's future progression as well as working for those actively seeking a new role. 

Outside of work, you can find me exploring London and trying to squeeze in weekend trips around Europe.

If I wasn’t in recruitment, I would love to be a travel photographer – or a luxury resort reviewer! 

tamara's latest roles

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What people say about Tamara

Tamara is an excellent recruiter - I have used her for both of my moves in London, and would not go to anyone else. She provides phenomenal support at every stage - proof checking CVs, mock interviews, information on interviewees, etc etc. I felt very well supported, and trust her advice. She's veryresponsive , and never tries to push roles that are not the right fit. I cannot recommend her highly enough! 

Tamara is a sharp and bright individual who helped me find a new role. She is extremely knowledgeable, well-connected and was able to identify potential employers within the London City market. She was also always available and ready to answer my questions. Also, an excellent coach in terms of interview preparation. I can highly recommend Tamara for her professionalism.

Tamara is incredibly professional and market-savvy and goes the extra length for her candidates. I came from Australia thinking I would have a really tough time finding work, and thanks to Tamara I was in a fabulous associate role within 3 weeks. Thank you so much for all your assistance, in particular the thorough mock interview and prepping throughout the process! 

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Companies Tamara has worked with

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This White Shoe US law firm offers market-leading legal salaries and has a strong reputation within the Private Equity space. 

This Magic Circle firm has a leading reputation in the London market, offering excellent work,  institutionalised  clients and excellent levels of training for legal professionals.

This West-Coast based US law firm has been growing considerably in London over recent years and offers a balance of quality work and an enjoyable working culture for legal professionals.

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tamara's articles

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What Options are Available to You as a Newly Qualified Lawyer?

Posted by Tamara Salem

The decisions you make in the lead up to completing your training contract to qualify as a lawyer and the steps you take in the run-up to qualification will determine your future career path. So, what options are available to you as a newly qualified lawyer? Many newly qualified lawyers (NQs) will decide to stay with and progress within their current firm, but the internal process may take a long time to complete and may not have roles open in the area you wish to qualify in to. In the meantime, it’s important to keep your options open and make decisions that reflect your desired long-term career path. Our specialist legal recruiters have put together advice to help you make an informed decision! Firms When deciding where to accept a role for when you qualify, you can choose between different-sized law firms, an in-house role, overseas or perhaps a position within a government body. When it comes to law firms, there are many options for you to choose from. In terms of the UK legal market, your main decision will be choosing between joining a US law firm, a Magic Circle or Silver Circle firm, a leading international firm or a smaller West End firm, and timing can mean everything when it comes to applying for roles for a newly qualified lawyer. In regards to salary, US firms sit at the top of the legal market but they are newer to the London market so typically, these firms tend to have smaller trainee pools. This means that when it comes to hiring NQs, they often need to look externally. US firms will typically begin to hire first in the London legal market, with most US firms currently interviewing and some have already offered jobs to their next pool of NQs - their search start date gets earlier every year, so it’s important to get advice from recruiters as soon as possible if you are looking to work for a US firm! On the other hand, large UK firms like those in the Magic Circle, Silver Circle and leading international firms have bigger internal trainee pools and they tend to prioritise retaining their own trainees once they qualify, understandably as they have already invested time into training and developing them as rounded legal professionals. It is around June that the internal recruitment processes come to an end within large UK and international law firms and it is often at this point that these firms begin to look externally for NQs. There is a similar timeline for smaller West End firms, who generally start their hiring process and seek out NQs around June and July. The better the market conditions, the earlier you can look, but as a general rule, it is always best to start looking earlier rather than later to ensure you don’t miss the boat. We would suggest that September-qualified candidates should start looking for roles around May, and March-qualified candidates from November. There are benefits to each of these types of firm. If you are looking for a smaller team feel with a higher level of client contact, a US firm might be a good fit for you, whilst firms in the Magic Circle have great training and development programmes in place. Ultimately, it comes down to what you are looking for from your career. Practice area When deciding on a practice area to pursue, it’s important to choose what you enjoy most! Always consider the long-term and your career goals, and have a back-up practice area that you would also be interested in working in. There are particularly busy practice areas, usually transactional areas, so if this is well-suited to you, consider looking for roles in areas such as Corporate, Banking, Funds or Tax. Some areas have very few external roles for NQs to move into. These are generally the most popular areas for people to qualify into, including Disputes and Intellectual Property, and these are typically filled by the firm’s internal trainees meaning that practices within these areas very rarely need to look externally for NQs. Carry out research to find out which firms have the best reputation in your preferred practice area and take advantage of the expert market knowledge from recruiters here at Pro-Legal! Ideally, you will land yourself a position at a market-leading firm within your chosen practice area, however, don’t be disheartened if you don’t right away - it may be that you need to gain skills and experience and work towards the firm you want to end up in. It's not impossible to change specialisms down the line, but most lawyers will develop and progress within the practice area they qualify into. There a number of factors to consider when deciding on a practice area to specialise in, but the most important thing is to make sure you enjoy the work and can see yourself progressing within this practice area. There are so many options available to NQs, and the decision you make running up to qualification will shape your future as a lawyer. We work with many leading US, Magic Circle, international and West End firms, and have placed many NQs into roles in a variety of firms and practice areas. Speak to one of our specialist legal consultants for a confidential discussion to help you make an informed decision that’s right for you at this critical stage of your career. For more information on this article, or advice on the current legal market and the prospects available to you as a newly qualified lawyer, contact Tamara on 020 7269 6368 or tamara.salem@pro-legal.co.uk.

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February 2019: Legal Movers and Shakers

Posted by Tamara Salem

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the legal sector. Here are the key movements in February: Tristan Ward, Partner at Macfarlanes has left to join BDB Pitmans, which merged last year. Tristan was the head of Macfarlanes’ private client property group and is a rare loss for Macfarlanes. Christopher Kandel has joined Morrison & Foerster to strengthen their growing London office. Kandel has until now, co-chaired Latham & Watkins’ global banking practice. Tim Maxwell and Rudy Capildeo, have joined Charles Russell Speechlys from Boodle Hatfield, to launch a new practice focusing on issues concerning the art market on an international level. Neil Ferguson has joined Latham & Watkins from Jones Day, to strengthen Latham & Watkins’ focus on real estate private equity. For more information about this article, or to speak to Tamara about your recruiting needs or Legal jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 0207266368 or tamara.salem@pro-legal.co.uk

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Why are lawyers increasingly joining the Big 4?

Posted by Tamara Salem

The last few years have seen many changes in the legal landscape, with law firms having to be more competitive than ever. Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC have invested heavily in their legal services arms in recent years – particularly in Europe – and now collectively employ about 8,500 lawyers globally. With the gap closing between Magic Circle and City law firms, the ‘Big 4’ accountancy firms and their legal teams truly stand out for offering a unique tailored service to clients. Not only do they hold great power in their brand that instantly opens doors, they offer a complete end-to-end solution for their clients – one that cannot be matched by a traditional law firm. A multidisciplinary service is provided by the Big 4 legal teams by combining their skills and knowledge with the firm’s world-class business advisory services, enabling them to work at the heart of every client and their business. Together with their global presence and ability to provide a one-stop-shop, the nature of the work is often not only international and cross-border but of extremely high calibre. So how does this benefit Lawyers? Personally, having successfully helped many Lawyers transition into the Big 4, the environment is commonly described as private practice but without all the politics. The setting in a Big 4 is incomparable, creating almost a halfway house between traditional private practice and in-house. What does this mean? You’re still offered the opportunity to work with multiple clients, ensuring that your remit is broad and involves varied work, but also taking a different approach to business development and utilising the vast internal network opposed to the traditional external business development – A much easier way to build your practice! Client secondments both in the UK and overseas are also frequent and encouraged. Key attractions for the Big 4, specifically for Lawyers coming from a Magic Circle firm, are their capability to provide a genuinely flexible approach to working from home/remotely as well as providing in-depth technical and professional training, whilst maintaining a high calibre of work. While the Big 4 have historically focused on practices that complement their audit and tax advisory businesses, such as tax, labour and employment, and immigration, the report finds that they are increasingly branching out into other areas, including M&A. Particularly busy and areas of growth include; Corporate, Banking, and Finance, Data Protection, TMT, Intellectual Property, Real Estate, Employment, Private Client. If you are considering a potential move into the Big 4, or for any of your Legal recruiting needs, contact Tamara on 020 7269 6368 or email tamara.salem@pro-legal.co.uk.

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Changing opinions of interim recruitment

Posted by Tamara Salem

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 Tamara on 020 7269 6368 or tamara.salem@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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Using a recruiter to your advantage

Posted by Tamara Salem

There is a certain notoriety when it comes to the recruitment industry. Scrolling through LinkedIn usually tells a very sinister story! Undoubtedly there are some shocking stories out there but there are things you can do as a candidate to make using a recruiter work for you. Transparency On occasion, candidates will be very reluctant to divulge certain information that is essential to help them. Think about it, you are asking for a recruiter to approach people in your industry and represent you as the best candidate possible. We're going to be intrusive, want to know every last detail about your career and your requirements. How else do you expect us to represent you in the best possible light to prospective employers without this information and to ensure we approach relevant firms? This is your career we are talking about and to support you I need to know as much as possible. Think of where we add value Fundamentally we're here to provide a service to you. We help to make you better at applying to jobs. This is a crucial message I try to deliver as a recruiter when I talk to any candidate. For example, some of the key areas where I can add significant value to your job process are: Market Expertise – Working across a specialised marketplace, I can give you inside knowledge on what the market has to offer from an employment perspective. Who pays best? Who offers most flexibility? Where are you going to reach your career pinnacle? Managing Processes – I'm able to manage all your applications and your diary for interviews whilst ensuring you have one point of contact, processing everything in one call rather than five. This saves you a huge amount of time and makes sure distractions to your current working commitments are kept to a minimum. Negotiations – Negotiating can be difficult and stressful, especially when it's your personal finances at stake and when you don’t know who you're negotiating with. As a recruiter, I can manage this on your behalf. We use our relationships with the employer to your advantage to get you the best possible outcome, removing all unnecessary stress. Exclusivity I'm confident that anyone reading this has their own “nightmare recruiter story” will, in a number of cases, have used a number of agencies rather than one. Exclusivity is, in my view, the best approach. Having said that, don’t just pick anyone, believe it or not, we are not all the same! Exclusivity prevents duplicate applications, prevents multiple phone calls and prevents the “tug of war” scenario where you don’t know who to believe when considering multiple options. I’ve been there myself, I know it’s an absolute nightmare but learning that lesson could well be costly career wise! Find out about your recruiter You are going to enter into a world full of different people, offering conflicting approaches and contrasting methods of finding you your next job. Yet when I speak to candidates for the first time, it’s very rare they ask questions about myself or my firm. Ask your recruiter questions, find out what they have to offer, how they intend to approach the market, what their opinion is. That initial phone call is essential to assessing the credibility, competence and talent of the person you're entrusting your professional future with! Form a job search strategy with them, see if they understand what you're looking for and be selective in who you work with. A good recruiter will instil confidence that they are the best person to help you with your next career move. Make sure you assess them thoroughly! Summary These are just some key points that I know from experience, on both sides of the fence, has helped make a candidate journey with a recruiter effective and beneficial rather than disastrous and damaging. The fundamental theme comes down to trust, respect and honesty between all concerned. This is the fundamental starting to point to any successful business relationship, isn’t it? There are poor recruiters in our industry but tell me an industry that doesn’t have bad people/firms operating within it? Take the provisions from the start to make sure you work with the good recruiters and receive the best service from them!

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5 Signs That One of your Team is Considering a Move

Posted by Tamara Salem

Every manager dreads that conversation with a valued team member, often pre-empted by the email that reads ‘can I have a word?’ We have done a lot of research at Pro-Legal to help our clients retain their best people and being able to spot the tell-tale signs of dissatisfaction so that you can proactively manage the situation. I am not going to be so facile as to list: short notice leave requests, dubious “Doctor’s appointments” (people rarely book a Doctor’s appointment for the middle of the afternoon, by the way) or furtive whispered conversations on their mobile in a meeting room with the lights off or in the stairwell. These are all signs that someone is at final interview stages and in most instances, that’s too late. As an aside, if you are on an interview, never take or make calls in a stairwell, impaired lines of sight and how far sound travels in a stairwell are the perfect ingredients for being overheard by someone you don’t want to overhear you! But I digress… For the purposes of this article, I am going to focus on those very initial stages when people are considering a move. How can you spot a festering dissatisfaction at an early enough stage? Not wanting to talk about their career aspirations If a team member is evasive or non-committal when asked about their career aspirations, they are starting to feel that you might not be a part of their career aspirations. Lawyers are ambitious virtually without exception. This is not to say that they all want partnership or to be a GC but they all want continuous development. Bland appraisals and one-to-ones I am always amazed by the number of times I hear something along the lines of, “The resignation came out of the blue, we had his/her appraisal about a month ago and he/she said he/she was everything was fine…” I have never known EVERYTHING to be fine! If we as managers are honest with ourselves, we often suspect that we are being fobbed off but we are scared of pushing the point and hearing something that makes us uncomfortable. No manager has a monopoly on reason or good ideas and consistently asking your team members what they would change about the current set up will open up the possibility of them suggesting improvements that could really make a difference and give you the edge. It also enhances communication and their feeling of enfranchisement. It will also give you an early warning of them losing their commitment to your cause. They are ambivalent to change Lawyers are, generally speaking, a risk-averse bunch. They will meet any change, such as those to working practices, strategy, policies, reward structures or hierarchical structures, with scrutiny. That scrutiny will result in them concluding that it is a good or bad thing for them and reacting accordingly. If the reaction is ambivalence they are not considering the change to be something that will affect them for very long. They have booked a holiday for a few months’ time but not booked the time off The situation here is quite advanced; they (possibly subconsciously) have an exit timeframe in mind. You have no choice but to confront them about this but do it in a way that will precipitate a meaningful, productive conversation. “You’re an important member of this team and experience tells me that when someone books a holiday without booking annual leave, they’re checking out…” They have had the same job function for over 18 months and there is no sign of it changing in the next 6 months 64% of lawyers we surveyed said they would consider a move but that number rises to a whopping 86% when just surveying those who have been in their current role for over 18 months. If we exclude the lawyers who are currently in practice and want to move in-house, the most common reasons for leaving are to get more seniority, responsibility or complexity. In short, if an individual isn’t progressing internally roughly every two years, they start to think about looking externally. It is all well and good to be able to spot these signs but dealing with them is another matter. It is important to remember that a) you may not be able to change their mind and b) the sacrifices you might have to make to change their mind may not be worth it from a commercial or personal perspective. It is also worth remembering that prevention is better than cure and that there is no panacea for the broad spectrum of staff disquiet. Moreover, nothing will eradicate staff turnover entirely but being able to spot these things will help you prevent departures in some instances and be it will prepare you for departures and enable to plan accordingly in other instances. For more information about this article, or to speak to Nick about your recruiting needs or Legal jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696328 or nick.allen@pro-legal.co.uk

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