simpson thacher mla recruiter pinocchio

"Hi J-dog, yeah, the family's well thanks." 

A legal recruiter has been caught pretending to have a phone call with a big-hitting partner at Simpson Thacher.

The director at Major, Lindsey & Africa, whom RollOnFriday is not naming to spare his blushes, messaged lawyers over LinkedIn last Friday about an "Exclusive Opportunity" in the team of Jason Glover, the London Managing Partner of US firm Simpson Thacher and head of its funds team.

"I have just come off the phone to Jason Glover", the well-connected recruiter told lawyers. "He has instructed me on an exclusive role".

"He is looking to hire an associate with your exact background - might this be of interest/are you free to discuss this further?" Solicitors who thought the job market was dead rushed to dust off their CVs.

legal recruiter simpson thacher message

But after the weekend, they received another message from Major, Lindsey & Africa. This one issued from Brent Harris, MLA's Vice President of EMEA & APAC, and he was less enthusiastic about their chances.

"I am writing to clarify that MLA has not been exclusively instructed on this role", he wrote.

In fact, "nobody at MLA spoke with Jason Glover, the head of Simpson's London Funds team", Harris admitted. 

Harris thrust himself further onto his sword, presumably in terms dictated by Simpson Thacher, to clarify that the recruiter's InMail "was not sanctioned by Simpson Thacher" and "was entirely an error on the part of MLA".

simpson thacher recruiter email

It's been a while since RollOnFriday heard about legal recruiters being economical with the actualité, and it's good to know that the old ways - fantasy phone calls, invented relationships - are still being practised. A source suggested the director had "gone a bit rogue over the weekend".

In an email, Harris told RollOnFriday, "This incident was highly unusual for us and very much a one-off". He said Simpson Thacher “is aware of what happened and the matter has been dealt with".

Harris explained that “an overly enthusiastic junior associate failed to follow well-established protocols".

When he was informed that RollOnFriday was aware the rogue recruiter was a director, Harris replied, “we are a US-owned company and, as such, have US titles. [The director] is not a company director of MLA and has no managerial responsibilities”. It is that sort of polishing that can really bolster a résumé.

Tip Off ROF


Anon 31 July 20 09:25

Quite impressive that they sent out a follow up message.

Wonder if that’s because they thought it was wrong, or they were approached by the law firm in question!

Anon 31 July 20 09:27

Happens all the time. The only reason this is news is because MLA sent the follow up. So many recruiters in London claim to be mates with department heads at US law firms who instruct them exclusively to find candidates for megabucks roles. We've all received those calls. 90% of the time it's just some 26 year old with a sports science degree (armed with the title "director" or "associate director" at a recruiting firm) with no knowledge of whether the firm they named is actually hiring. A commission system incentivises desperate behaviour.

Anonymous 31 July 20 09:55

Anon: 09.25


I'm quite sure they did it because of their unflinching ethical fortitude.  I'm equally sure that this would not have happened because the funds world is tiny and associates at STB definitely didn't catch wind of this and didn't ask Jason Glover about it, who then certainly did not go apeshit.

Anonymous 31 July 20 10:01

I was recently tapped up by a recruiter who said a particular partner at a leading firm had "personally identified me" as being suitable for a role at their firm. 

When I asked said recruiter about it, he said that he'd been 'working with the firm' and had 'presented a selection of candidates' to said partner, of which I was one. 

So basically he'd just spammed them with my CV that he'd taken from Linkedin then. It's not even clear whether he's actually working on behalf of the firm or just hoping to grab a fee with an unsolicited approach. 

Funnily enough, despite said recruiter saying he'd set up a meeting, I haven't heard anything further, despite chasing...

My fault for being suckered in in the first place, I suppose.

Anonymous 31 July 20 10:02

If you could just stop using the term "director" for lackeys on the first rung...that'd be great.

Anonymous 31 July 20 10:24

Got called by a recruiter claiming to specialise in my area 2 weeks ago. He operates in the largest regional market for this area of law outside of London. There's only 5 or 6 firms to really choose from. He knew old names from the industry, had no idea of recent moves of teams in the past 2 years and was clearly a people trafficker. Avoid recruiters and ask for an extra 20% salary in your negotiations on the basis they can avoid recruiter fees.

Dr Strokeoff 31 July 20 11:37

There's a notorious name that comes to mind: a woman, operating as a "one person shop" recruiter in the City. Calls you at 10.00am about a "stellar opportunity", then forgets about having the conversation by dinnertime once you've sent her the CV. The best bit is that about half a dozen people told me of the exact same experience with her, shocking stuff.

Anon 31 July 20 12:09

I had this multiple times with recruiters name dropping Jason. They know he's a big name in funds and always claim he has asked about me personally. They are most upset when you say that's what the last recruiter said and I comment also that I have spoken to Jason recently and think he would have mentioned it.

tofu 31 July 20 13:32

had the same with Eximius on a role in Latham, which I cross-checked with another recruiter who then sent a follow up to LW's HR. needless to say, HR spanked the offending person at Eximius.

lesson: play recruiters off each other so they can cross-check each other's claims

Anonymous 31 July 20 14:26

no at all surprised, seems like MLA up to their old tricks again.  

@anon13:21  "Newsflash: recruiters are crafty lying b*stard"  I would strike the word crafty.

anonymous 31 July 20 16:41

MLA is a far far better operation in the US than the UK. In the UK they've been pushed by private equity ownership (Allegis Group - a "staffing business") to launch a temp brand which works in the US because the MLA brand is worth something there.

In the UK not so much, and junior temp recruiters are known for economy with the truth.

Anon 31 July 20 18:49

The vast majority of legal recruiters are snake oil salesmen.

i was once called by a recruiter peddling the usual line about having just got off the phone with X who has instructed said recruiter exclusively to hire in my area. He bigged the firm up but had a bowel prolapse when I pointed out the firm he’d been purportedly speaking to that very morning had, in fact, been taken over the day previously.

he made some feeble excuse and range off. Bellend



Rebel 31 July 20 23:59

Here’s a question, why do we actually need recruiters? I understand it at partner level when client relationships etc come into play, but for associates why can’t firms directly post their vacancies on LinkedIn and let people apply?

Also, why does anyone who is more than a couple of years PQE and is not moving city / practice area need a recruiter? If you have been around long enough, you should have had at least some contact with most similarly sized firms in your practice area, so if you are interested ask the relevant partner for a discrete coffee.

Anonymous 01 August 20 22:06

Couldn't agree more. There's something perverse about being "sold" a role by a coked-up, poorly connected, and deeply uninformed non-expert. 

Anonymous 02 August 20 17:29

Lawyers already know which firm(s) they'd like to work for. If they're good enough - they'll be spotted, approached, and hired. If they're rubbish - they won't. If the hiring partners don't know who's good/who's not - they shouldn't be in charge of making decisions.

Anonymous 03 August 20 15:02

You can't put all recruiters in the same category. Much like you can't tarnish all lawyers with the same brush every time a dodgy solicitor is shamed for malpractice (or anything else unpalatable for that matter) ! Surely obvious point - unless of course the converse is true and I must leave the legal profession immediately head held in shame !  

Anonymous 03 August 20 16:57

Recruiters...tch! One rang me up to tell me that Irwin Mitchell was serious about recruiting commercial litigators and developing a sound comm. lit. practice.

He clearly hadn't even spoken to them because IM would have told him straight out that they could not find their commercial arse with both hands and are in fact a bulk PI sh!tshow.

Anonymous 03 August 20 17:19

There is only one rule - never join a firm which has just initials followed by "Law". They usually have a poor reputation and have tried to hide it behind an acronym.

Anonymous 04 August 20 16:12

Rebel 23:59, law firms do exactly that and will always prefer to hire Associate's that way, but the vast majority of the time, lawyers don't bother applying for things directly and instead opt to use agencies. 

Anon 04 August 20 21:29

“an overly enthusiastic junior associate failed to follow well-established protocols"

So deliberately misleading candidates is just being “overly enthusiastic” is it?   This is an astonishing thing for any reputable business to confess to let alone state as part of their supposed explanation.  

And the “protocols” - whatever they are, but presumably they are required to remind staff not to make up things that aren’t true, which is any other industry wouldn’t require protocols at all - don’t appear to be that well established, do they?

Anon 04 August 20 21:42

@“Here’s a question, why do we actually need recruiters?”

Answer - because it’s just enough hassle to have to find candidates, read their CVs and do the admin and adverts etc. for firms to decide to operate on a pay-per-candidate basis such that they only pay when they offer someone good enough a role.  The alternative would be to take it in house and incur fixed costs in having additional people hired (oh the irony) to recruit people plus all the adverts and so on.   

It’s like estate agents - they provide a solution to a problem that is still only just enough of a hassle for people wanting to sell houses - marketing photos, viewings, the admin, negotiations etc.  Is it really worth that time and hassle when you can just let someone else do it and take a small cut?  


Anonymous 05 August 20 11:19

A small cut? If it really were a small cut (5%) - fine. Buy paying some illiterate fool the best part of 30% to post an advert and collate some CVs - not fine.

Anonymous 05 August 20 16:26

Established protocols = not making up complete bull****

Haha must remember to follow those next time.

MLA London, what a bunch of jokers..

nick 06 August 20 12:05

something being tax deductable doesnt make it free. Nearly all business expenses are "tax deductable" - ie you pay tax on your profit after expenses rather than on your turnover. 

Anonymous 06 August 20 16:30

Yes, forgive me. 30% was a gross exaggeration. By comparison, 23% represents extraordinary value for money. No. Paying a moron £23k (that's twenty-three thousand pounds) to spell check a CV and do some pretend networking isn't good value for money. Also, what's up with the "I like to meet my candidates before putting them forward" jazz. Great, I'm going to be judged by an 18-year-old whose academic accomplishments amount to 10 GCSEs and a sociology degree from Hertfordshire University. No, I will not meet you and your shiny suit for a coffee. Stop pretending to add value.

Anonymous 06 August 20 17:36

Re: percentages. 


I recently got sent a sheet by recruiters containing a sliding scale wanting 33% of the annual salary for paralegal up to £25k per annum and 25% for paralegal earning between 25k and 40k. Then after that it was 25% for solicitors earning over 40k.

Related News