A Spotlight on Crisis Management: COVID-19

10 Mar 17:00 by Samantha Knowles


At Laurence Simons Search, we understand the value and importance of effective crisis management and minimizing business risks for our customers across the legal and compliance community. In light of this, Samantha Knowles Director of Research, shares her opinions and insights on what she is seeing in the market especially in these heightened times around the Coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

“You can’t switch off from it. It seeps into every conversation, news feed, crisis meeting –  COVID-19 virus. We know - pure folly to ignore it so let’s address it head on and minimise risk. My mantra is ‘keep calm and carry on’ taking all precautions of course!

As a legal and compliance search business operating across global markets we have strong touchpoints with multiple business functions, notably legal, compliance and legal operations. Over the years we have witnessed legal and compliance functions undergoing significant change;  professionals who can operate as credible business partners with a pragmatic approach and commercial viewpoint are common denominators which ring true across all our clients’ hiring mandates… and these fundamental core requirements were required well before COVID-19 took hold.

Change, in its many guises, manifests itself more visibly (and frequently) nowadays and candidates who are gifted in implementing new processes and engaging multiple functions through crisis and strategic shifts stand out.  We observe how businesses are preparing for the potential wider spread of COVID-19 and the daily reality of what this means commercially. Of course, as a legal or compliance business partner, continuing to add commercial value and tangible contribution are must-haves, but it is also legitimate for companies to question whether in the long term it makes sense to move their legal functions away from contract review and more towards risk management be that legal, regulatory and financial. A smart business will recognise this shift needs to happen and will support its in-house legal and compliance function in this transition, be that hiring in professionals with the relevant skills from the external market or seeking to develop these skills within an existing function.

As business leaders, you will have different experiences of what crisis means for your business and your response to this. From my conversations with senior leaders in the market, I am hearing how businesses must critically assess the manner in which legal services are delivered and how this is fed back up to the C-Suite. Ultimately the C-Suite need to know the risk, how to quantify the risk and what workable, pragmatic solutions can be actioned. Especially on the back of COVID-19, I ask if a move towards implementing more focused business-facing legal operations teams, project managing this rapid transformational change and delivering metrics to the C-Suite for effective decision making, is the panacea.

At Laurence Simons Search, we are taking daily instructions from clients as to how their respective companies are moving forward with COVID-19 and feeding this back to our candidates in process. We are advocating the use of video conferencing technology wherever required. If you are one of our candidates and you have any questions or queries please do get in touch with your search consultant.  It is very much business as usual for us!

If you are looking for a career change and would like a confidential discussion please do get in touch and one of our research consultants will be in contact.