Business services functions in UK-based law firms are among the best in the world. The UK’s legal sector comprises some of the most respected global brands – which have also grown rapidly in a relatively short amount of time. To support that development, business services functions have grown in both size and sophistication too, and none so much as BD and marketing.

Since January, we have been busier than ever here at Totum. We have seen a consistent flow of BD & marketing roles coming in at all levels of seniority and with all sizes of firm, but particularly in London where many firms are headquartered.

Reasons to move


This is a tempting prospect for international candidates interested in relocating. London is a vibrant and culturally rich city in which to enjoy new life experiences. But this is also an important hub for leading UK and US law firms, which in turn offers huge career variety and opportunity for ambitious BD and marketing talent.

Roles may be specialised, allowing candidates to develop significant expertise in a sector, industry or practice, or become masters in skills like pitching, client management or digital marketing. Others have broad remits and/or offer serious leadership responsibility, often with a global remit. Those heading up BD & marketing teams in UK law firms typically have board-level responsibility, representing the status and high value accorded to these functions.

Law firms here are also competing hard for great talent. The demand for good BD and marketing candidates outstrips the supply currently available from within the sector. This means that firms are keen to appeal to international candidates who have the right credentials, particularly if they can bring with them some prior law firm or professional services experience.

As recruiters, we have similarly had to take a more global view of the talent market to meet these rising demands. We were delighted last year, for example, to agree a formal alliance with Australian recruitment firm Seldon Rosser, which specialises in BD and marketing recruitment in law. Between us, we work with law firms and candidates spanning the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia. We support each other’s businesses in terms of referring candidates to each other and facilitating the international relocation process – for instance, helping Australian candidates move to the UK or vice versa.

Case study: Melbourne to London


A recent example of how we work together came when Seldon Rosser recommended an excellent candidate Joy Wang, who was interested in relocating from Melbourne to London. She had two year’s BD experience in a legal background and had great potential to progress. We were delighted to meet with Joy and subsequently placed her as a BD Specialist in the London office of a global law firm.

We were able to support Joy throughout the process, including managing the more complex logistics of long-distance recruitment. After Seldon Rosser passed on Joy’s details to us, we conducted a call with her to gather information and started to send her CV across to opportunities. Joy had several Skype interviews from Australia, followed by face-to-face interviews when she came to London for a two-week holiday. The firm was then flexible around start dates allowing Joy time to complete her notice and relocate – and we followed up with Joy after the move to ensure she was settling in okay.

Previously, Joy worked in a global 40-office-footprint law firm in Melbourne, moving to London to join a global 20-office-footprint firm. ‘I am much happier in my current role, I consciously chose to transition to a smaller global firm, in the hope that would allow me to dive deeper into projects, have greater responsibility and work more closely with partners and senior managers, which has been the case.’

Joy describes the move to London as a great opportunity to experience a completely different place. ‘Your resilience may be tested but isn’t that a good thing?’ she says. ‘I’ve undeniably had a whole lot of fun along the way, and you cross paths with people who you’d otherwise never have had the chance to meet. That kind of experience can only add to your personal and professional growth.’

Firms are supportive and keen to embed relocators into London life because they want to attract good talent into their businesses – talent that can really make a difference in a fast-changing profession. There may be no better time to seize the day for an international adventure with serious career perks.

Click here (or on the image above) to view the article as it appeared in the summer issue of Centrum, PSMG's magazine. 

If you would like to know more about Totum’s specialist business development and marketing team, contact Rebecca Ellis at [email protected]


Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.