Top 100 Directors research: HR report in 2013 released

Since LSN’s first Top 100 Directors reports in 2009, the world has changed. There’s been an economic crisis, for one thing, and the legal industry has also seen the largest change it’s ever experienced with the implementation of the Legal Services Act.

Against this still gloomy backdrop, where does legal HR stand in 2013?

The study, carried out by Legal Support Network with sponsor Totum, showed that job mobility and opportunity for HRDs was suppressed by the recession, but 2012 saw a surge of moves. This decade looks likely to see many more HRD moves than the previous decade, which was itself up enormously on the one before.

There are very few C-level positions in legal HR, fewer than in IT, finance or even marketing, which could be construed as a failure to recognise HR as strategically important. There are still only three C-level titles in HR in the top 100, and one of those is a COO.

Gender balance appears fairly even in legal HR, looking at the top 100 as a group – women outnumber men by a small margin – but the reality is more complex: six out of 10 HR leaders in top 100 firms are women, but men are far more likely to head up HR teams in top 50 firms than they are in firms outside that group. Just over three-quarters (76%) of the 33 men at the top of HR in top 100 firms work in top 50 firms.

Law firms are beginning to climb out of the rut of hiring HR people from within the legal sector. Six out of 10 HR directors do not come from a law firm background. This figure is up from 2009, when 56% of HR leaders hailed from outside law.

To read the full report, download your free copy here.

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