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.
But after the weekend, they received another message from Major, Lindsey & Africa. This one came 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.
"Hi J-dog, yeah, the family's well thanks."
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".
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.