Due Diligence

The team at Fides really understand lateral partner recruitment. Their attention to detail, forensic approach and ability to turn things around quickly really stands out’.
Head of Lateral Partner Recruitment International Law Firm

What differentiates a successful from a failed lateral hire? There are some obvious measurable impacts such as cost, time misspent but these do not even begin to take into consideration longer-lasting adverse effects on culture and reputation in the market. Fides’ Due Diligence offering is designed to validate an already well-run recruitment process via the means of an impartial assessment of the chosen candidate.

Why Due Diligence?

  • Our solution provides a tool which seeks to de-risk the hiring process, and in turn help our clients make informed decisions around lateral talent, saving them time, money and last but not least, their reputation.
  • We provide clients with an analytical and thorough assessment of the target lateral.
  • Due Diligence is a tool designed to support stakeholders and client leadership teams by offering a greater level of certainty, derived from a rigorous assessment of information gleaned on a candidate, by dint of our network.
  • It is not designed to block hires – quite the opposite, it is geared towards exploring the true extent of the lateral partner or team offering, financial performance, credentials and cultural fit.

What is important?
What do we assess?

No two Due Diligence processes are the same, hence why we focus on the individual and seek to understand them through the lens of seven crucial indicators:

  • Relevant Market Insights – the context behind the investment
  • Legal Skills & Technical Ability
  • Business Development Skills
  • Leadership and Management Skills
  • Value Add and Wider Firm Contribution
  • Personality/Culture
  • Potential Integration Issues/Recommendations

The Process:

Stage 1. Client briefing and evaluation of business plan (day 1).

Stage 2. Schedule meetings with sources (day 2-5).

Stage 3. Engage with said sources.

Stage 4. Relay initial findings at the half way mark.

Stage 5. Complete conversations with sources (2 – 3 weeks)

Stage 6. Analysis and presentation of the Due Diligence findings. Barring major obstacles, we typically aim to complete the process 3 weeks from instruction.

When should you instruct DD:

We take on Due Diligence mandates where we have not been the search partner involved in procuring the relevant candidate/ team or where the firm has run a process with the relevant candidate/ team directly and requires our input in order to arrive at a more informed decision.

We are usually instructed after the candidate has submitted their Lateral Partner Questionnaire or Business Plan and the hiring partner or sponsoring partners have completed all internal business planning requirements. It is important to stress that a Due Diligence process usually takes around two to three weeks to complete and needs to be factored into the recruitment process.

The candidate:

We encourage clients to include Due Diligence as an integral part of the lateral partner recruitment process, such that candidates expectations are primed from the outset to understand that a law firm must protect its partners and business. We find candidates are more likely to be receptive to Due Diligence if it is carried out in a discrete and professional manner and it is undertaken by a third party.

We also request, as part and parcel of the Due Diligence process, that candidates profer their own suggestions of referees who we might approach directly. These can be former colleagues, peers, or clients.

Fides DD Solution 1:

Designed for non-equity partners, senior lawyers (GCs, Counsel, Directors etc) or candidates where there is a high degree of existing awareness around the candidate.

Features – the candidate offers up at least 3 referees who are cited in their business plan as intended clients, with whom we may undertake discrete conversations. We sound out a further 6 or more individuals in the market who have knowledge of the candidate, be that as former colleague or client. Our findings are presented verbally. Verbal briefings ordinarily last 45 minutes but can take longer.

For more information please contact Edward Parker

Fides DD Solution 2:

Designed for when Option 1 has raised concerns which warrant further investigation or where the investment is such that more internal stakeholders will need to be briefed.

Features – the candidate profers at least 4 or more referees cited as intended clients and with whom we conduct discrete conversations. Additionally we will sound out a further 8 or more individuals in the market with knowledge of the candidate, be they either former colleague or client.
Our findings are presented verbally and in the form of an executive summary which can be
shared with internal stakeholders.

Fides DD Solution 3:

Where the partner or team represents a significant investment, or Option 1/ 2 have raised concerns which warrant a more forensic approach.

Features – the candidate profers 4 or more referees who are intended clients and with whom we conduct discrete conversations. We then go to market to sound out a further 10 or more individuals who are familiar with the candidate, be they former colleague or client. Our findings are presented verbally and in the form of an executive summary, for wider internal distribution purposes. Additionally we will produce a highly confidential, detailed report for the benefit of the primary stakeholders and decision makers to consider.

For more information please contact Edward Parker