Hosted by Attorney Louis Goodman
Dec. 1, 2021

Robert Hanna - KC Partners, London

Robert Hanna - KC Partners, London

lovethylawyer.com

A transcript of this podcast is easily available at lovethylawyer.com.

Go to https://www.lovethylawyer.com/blog for transcripts.

Robert Hanna
https://www.kcpartners.co.uk/robert-hanna/

Robert Hanna's Podcast  - Legally Speaking
https://legallyspeakingpodcast.com/

Contingent Recruitment

We have an enviable candidate network of high calibre Associates. We have specialist knowledge of certain sectors and practice areas where we have an impressive track record.

Headhunting

We understand the importance of attracting the highest calibre talent, by using discreet and targeted approaches.

Referrals & Networking

We build great relationships, enabling us to continually build on our extensive networks.

Database Search

We have an extensive database of legal professionals, providing you with the best candidates in the market.

Advertising & Social Media Campaigns

We continually deliver the latest advertising methods and social media campaigns, ensuring we attract top quality professionals.

 

Retained Associate Search

Our expert consultants are able to deliver targeted Associate, Senior Associate, Counsel/Legal Director searches in challenging market segments.

Expertise

We have meticulous researching skills, making it easy to determine whether a professional is the right fit.

Wide Reach

We access passive candidates, i.e. those not actively looking, ensuring access to the best people.

 

Consultancy

We recognise the need for more value adds on top of our bespoke legal recruitment services.

In addition, we offer law firms & lawyers:

Networking & Events

We work closely with a number of legal societies to organise a wide range of networking Webinars/Seminars and exclusive events.

Personal Branding

We provide tailored personal branding training, unique to you, to help you stand out amongst the crowd. This includes online (i.e. LinkedIn) and offline.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Charity Initiatives 

We work closely with a number of charities to make a difference within the legal industry and the wider community. We are committed to diversity, equity & inclusion and work with trusted contacts within the legal industry to help make it more inclusive.

 

 Louis Goodman
 www.louisgoodman.com
louisgoodman2010@gmail.com
510.582.9090
 
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Technical support: Bryan Matheson, Skyline Studios, Oakland
 
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Transcript

Louis Goodman  

Hello, and welcome to Love Thy Lawyer. I'm Louis Goodman, the host of the show, and I'm so glad you're here. Today we're going to do something a bit different. He's not a lawyer, but he certainly knows a lot about us. Based in London, he builds relationships within the legal community. His organization has an extensive database of legal professionals. They match promising candidates, with firms seeking specific areas of legal expertise. using modern advertising methods, and social media campaigns, they attract top quality professionals. They provide career guidance, coaching, and professional branding. Leading these efforts is our guest today, Robert Hanna. Robert, welcome to Love Thy Lawyer.

 

Robert Hanna  

Louis, thank you ever so much for your kind introduction. It's a real honor and pleasure to be on your show. So I'm super excited to be speaking to you.

 

Louis Goodman  

Well, I'm super excited to be speaking with you for no reason other than your accent adds 20 points to your perceived IQ.

 

Robert Hanna  

While they always say when your EQ runs out, when your IQ runs out, right, make sure you fill up with your EQ, right.

 

Louis Goodman  

Where is your office located?

 

Robert Hanna  

So we have offices based in the heart of London. So we are near Bank, which is in central London, in the heart of the city. That said, we are also now, as a result of the pandemic, able to work more virtually. So as a result of the pandemic, a lot of our business had to change. And so we have been operating virtually probably for the last 12 to 18 months quite successfully. And I feel moving forward, we're going to continue with that hybrid model of some office and some working from home. So that's worked really well for us, thankfully, as a result of COVID. 

 

Louis Goodman  

Can you tell us a little bit about your practice,  what it is that your firm does?

 

Robert Hanna  

Yes, thank you, Louis. So what we do is we help lawyers secure their dream jobs in short.  So what we specialize in doing is we partner with a number of law firms. So that could be International, UK, US or boutique law firms that are looking to grow within specifically say London are also continental Europe, Middle East, Far East, and even more so growing into the US. But we support those firms with all of their talent, attraction and recruitment. So we focus on newly qualified lawyers, right the way up to the top sort of counsel of counsel level within those firms. And it's specifically across a range of practice areas within the law. So that could be anything from a transactional corporate lawyer through to a criminal defense lawyer through to a commercial litigator.

 

Louis Goodman  

While we're on it. Can you give us your website, so people want to get ahold of you they know exactly how to do that.

 

Robert Hanna  

Yeah,  absolutely. And that's very kind of you. So the website is www.kcpartners.co.uk. So I just repeat that it's www.kcpartners.co.uk.

 

Louis Goodman  

We'll get that in the show notes as well. Thank you. Where are you from originally?

 

Robert Hanna  

Now I'm originally from Leicestershire. So I was actually born in a place called Andover, which is in Winchester, which has a lovely Cathedral, lovely part of the UK. But I moved and was raised up in less than a year which is about 15 minutes from Central London and I grew up around there. And then I sort of ventured off from Leicestershire, and moved up to Leeds, which is in the north of the UK when I was studying. And then after my studies I then moved to London, but I'm originally from Leicestershire and the smallest county in the United Kingdom is called Rutland. And that was actually where I went to school. I went to a fine school in Rutland, but it's known as the smallest county in the UK. So that's a bit of pointless knowledge for us.

 

Louis Goodman  

While we're on pointless knowledge, what's the name of the school?

 

Robert Hanna  

It's called Open School.  So my  grandfather used to do a lot of work, who was a lawyer, and one of my main interests for getting into legal space. He used to do a lot of trustee work for the school as he got older. And so that's how he sort of recommended us to go to the school.

 

Louis Goodman  

Now after you went to school, and I know the terms of England are a little different. After you got out of school, you went to college, where did you do that?

 

Robert Hanna  

So I went to, I guess what we call college university. I did that up in Leeds. So that was the University of Leeds I went to and that was what I studied. There was a Business Management, French degree. And the reason I went up there is I wanted to get away. I wanted to spread my wings and I wanted to see other parts of the UK.   I wanted to be fully independent. I didn't want to rely on anything from home.

 

 

Louis Goodman  

When did you start thinking about working with lawyers? What prompted that?

 

Robert Hanna  

Yeah. So as I briefly touched on before, you know, and I think every entrepreneur business owner needs to have a why. And for me, it can't be money that's far too transactional, there needs to be a deep rooted mission, vision and purpose. So I always knew I wanted to do something connected to the legal sector, because my greatest mentor or my greatest teacher was my grandfather. He ran his own law firm during the 1950s, in the United Kingdom in Leicester, and I grew up age 15-16 in the law firm.  I was doing all the highly important jobs such as making cups of tea, stamping, stapling, photocopying, you name it, all those important things that without that the law firm just collapses. So I always thought to myself,  he always says, don't be a lawyer. So somehow put me off being a lawyer. But I always knew I wanted to do something where I could carry the family legacy on. So after I graduated from Leeds University, as I mentioned, earlier, I flew to London,  I thought that was a natural progression of being based in London. And I always knew at some point, I wanted to set up my own business, I always had that entrepreneurial flair. And once I'd fell into the world of recruitment, I knew that eventually I'd want to do legal. And so that was where my sort of mission was keeping a family legacy going, keeping it within the legal space, but also utilizing a skill set that I had that allowed me to do that. So that's kind of a bit about my why and why I got into legal.

 

Louis Goodman  

What mistakes do you see attorneys making?

 

Robert Hanna  

Very good question. I think a lot of things come down to the basics. So one mistake I see a lot of successful attorneys  is communication or lack of communication with the clients. So myself not only as a recruiter of lawyers, but I'm also an investor and entrepreneur and other businesses. And I feel sometimes lawyers forget that actually, providing a micro update is better than a no update. The other points I would say that lawyers mistakes are made, is they talk in legal ease. The lawyer is the lawyer, the lawyer knows the law very, very well. And it's their job to know that. And that's wonderful. The client has no clue with respect to the law, they can Google things, and they can think they know the law, but they don't. But what the job of the attorney is to be able to articulate that information in a way that the client can fully understand what it is that needs to be done. And I think the third mistake I would see from a lot of lawyers is not being human. And I think this is such an important point for everybody. Now, particularly in any profession, accounting, recruiting, you know, we've been through a hellish time with the whole pandemic, you know, people are struggling, there's been a mental health crisis, people really are looking for support, they're looking for community, and lawyers that actually can be open and human and actually say, share some vulnerability, and being themselves and building a brand. That is, in fact a strength because people we want to that in the digital world, we're now seeing, if you can build a brand online, you can be human, you can be an educator, you can be inspiring people warm to that nowadays, because there's a real thirst for community. So I would say, communication, drop the legalese, and be yourself. So three things that I think people could/can really focus on where they could actually build better client relationships and be more successful.

 

Louis Goodman  

You brought up the subject of building a brand. And that's something that I hear a lot these days. What exactly do you mean, when you talk about building a brand?

 

Robert Hanna  

So for me brand is your reputation. I also think it's your insurance policy. So let's say you are a junior attorney right now, you may have gone and joined one of the Am Law one hundreds, you may be working on really high profile, complex cross border transactional work. But the one thing that can never be taken away from you, as you go through your career, the start of your career, from whatever it may be, is your personal brand. And I think it is so important to have one nowadays because it's good for business. People want to do business with people they know, like and trust. But the way I would define a brand, it's your reputation. Your brand is ultimately what people say about you when you're not in the room.

 

Louis Goodman  

Yeah. And I think that one of the things that lawyers are up against in today's environment, is the notion that you have to build that brand and build that reputation over a much greater platform than when I started out practicing law some years ago. And I think it's a little frustrating sometimes because as lawyers we say, Well, you know, we spent four years in college, we spent three years in law school. We've practiced you know, we've shown up in court every day, we've demonstrated integrity to our colleagues to the people who are on the other side of the case, we've demonstrated our integrity to the court to the judges. And yet you go online, and you're just sort of presumed guilty of being some kind of a grifter. It's so important to be able to build that brand and to demonstrate that integrity.

 

Robert Hanna  

Yeah, absolutely. I completely agree with you, and people who do that are the people that will have long term success.  I think having a brand is one of the most important on top of being technically proficient at the law, having a well known brand is the best thing that will help you throughout your career, you have to make sure that you're out there and you're known within your communities.

 

Louis Goodman  

You talked a little bit about being an entrepreneur. And I think that to some extent, these days that even if one is a lawyer at a big firm or medium sized firm, or working in a government office, in the district attorney's office, or the public defender's office, that we still, each of us need to recognize that there's a certain entrepreneur, that each of us needs to be even within those organizations. I think that's what you're addressing.

 

 

 

Robert Hanna  

I agree.  I think everyone is with indirectly or directly an entrepreneur, I define an entrepreneur is someone whose problem solves you know, ultimately, if you can solve problems, which a lot of lawyers are paid to do, you know, they're there to bring in to solve and, you know, settle cases and get the right outcome for their clients. That requires a lot of entrepreneurial thinking. That's the way I approach on it's a very overused term for what I think is a very simple thing I'm saying, if you can problem solve, that's a  large part of entrepreneurial play. 

 

Louis Goodman  

I heard one person say, being an entrepreneur, just simply means that you're unable to get along with people in a big organization.

 

Robert Hanna  

You know what, there's a lot of truth in that, because sometimes they can't stay within the mold, they've got these crazy thoughts, they've got these crazy idea, and they don't fit in, they don't fit in within that organization. So they have to break free and express themselves and make all the mistakes entrepreneurs do and go on their journey. So it's that in jest, but I actually can relate to that.

 

Louis Goodman  

Well, I have said for myself, that I, I'm not sure that if I had to do it over again, I would have been quite so cavalier about my leaving the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, which was a wonderful job. And I had, I mean, I still do have a very good relationship with that office. But as an employer, they were wonderful. And like you say, I had some crazy notions about what I wanted to do when I was a young lawyer. And I've had, you know, I've had a wonderful life. But I think that one should think twice before they leave a really good organization, to just go out on the road and think that that's going to be an easy task.

 

Robert Hanna  

Now it's really tough, and I think a lot of people here to see the headlines, you know, they say, all of  this person has a business, this person has their own law firm, this person on the external side of the world, it all looks great. But as you know, most of you know, being a lawyer or being an entrepreneur, you're firefighting.  A lot of the time you are putting out fires, and you are trying to find solutions. And so it's so important, I believe, to be successful in any profession to have mentors, have people who are ahead of you, have people who have already made those mistakes. And I think that you need to have people where you have gaps or where you have knowledge gaps, or where you have blind spots, you need to find people who can teach you all of the mistakes they made, because it's the best shortcut you can ever get. 

 

Louis Goodman  

Would you recommend going into law as a career?

 

 

 

Robert Hanna  

I think there's never been a more exciting time to go into the legal profession. And I don't just mean as a traditional attorney, that role is obviously still there. But if you just look at the amount of new opportunities, of course, there's in House Counsel opportunities, but look at the emergence of automation,  legal technology.  There's going to be so many creative roles that are going to be part of the legal industry that I think will allow multiple different brains, multiple different personalities, multiple different cultures, diversity of thoughts, I actually think because the legal sector needs to be shaped up, and it's so far behind some of the other industries. I think it's a fantastic time to get into law I get really excited about seeing the change that could happen. And the overarching message, I say, the better we get at this, the more affordable legal services are to the everyday person, and that's part of the things I'm trying to help drive to change.

 

Louis Goodman  

What do you like about working with lawyers?

 

Robert Hanna  

It's challenging. It's very challenging. I think lawyers are smart on the whole they're very smart. They don't like to be sold to. They like to know that you know your stuff. And so every time you engage with a lawyer, you have to be shooting from a 10. You know, they are constantly asking you questions, they're constantly wanting to know the detail. And so it's not a walk in the park. And I think that's good, it keeps me honest, it keeps me having to be brushed up, it keeps me knowing I need to be at the top of my game. So I like the challenge of working with lawyers. And I also like showing lawyers, sometimes there might just be another way, or there might be other things they may think about, because the great thing about lawyers is they are subject matter experts within their areas of law. And that is brilliant, because that's what their job is. But sometimes they need to be sort of advised that there's a bigger world outside of their practice of law. And you know, I have some quite interesting discussions about why think it is needed, and how it's good for business development, and how I think it's good for their career. So yeah, I love it. It's challenging. And I think that keeps me honest.

 

Louis Goodman  

How is actually working in this field matter differed from your expectations about it?

 

Robert Hanna  

So really good question. I think working in this field has been harder than I thought it would, have been originally. And to be honest with you, I also thought more people would care about the why of the business, but what I've actually learned in life, my passion is for me, but my purpose is for others. And I think lawyers, as I mentioned are challenging to work with. But equally when you get it right, it's highly rewarding and highly satisfying when you can do a good job for them candidate and clients. 

 

 

 

Louis Goodman  

You have an interesting vantage point on the legal system, in that you're not a lawyer, but you work with lawyers. Do you think the legal system is fair?

 

Robert Hanna  

I think sometimes it can be unfair because sometimes rightly or wrongly, the more in your bank balance the better the lawyer you can buy and the reality is they may not always be the case. So I think the legal system yes, is on large I think it's good and it's fair but I think also it does come down to the guy who's representing you and the overall quality of the lawyer because a good lawyer is always going to be a bad lawyer regardless if it's fair or not. That's just the game.

 

Louis Goodman  

I'm going to shift gears here a little bit Robert.   How has working with lawyers and being involved in the legal world, how's that affected your family life? How's it worked into your family life? What do you do when you're not advising lawyers how to be better lawyers?

 

Robert Hanna  

This is on the record so I'll make sure my wife hears it she's amazing you know.  I'm an all in kind of person, so I am the person who's got it wrong. I've got it wrong when it's come to work life balance.   I've got it wrong when it comes to being present when I'm present but I'm not present being on the phone and so because I believe to be successful you've got to be all in you've got to want it so bad. You know, one of my mentors said to me, what do you want it so bad? You can't breathe, then you'll be successful? 

 

Louis Goodman  

What sort of recreational pursuits do you have,  things that you can kind of unwind with or when you do try and balance out your life a little bit anything that you go do? 

 

Robert Hanna  

Yeah, that's very true. So I am also in the same breath. I work hard, play hard. So I love all sports. So I'm a big rugby fanatic. So I even flew out to Japan a few years ago to watch England and  South Africa in the final.   Unfortunately England lost.   I love soccer, which you would call over there. I'm a big football fan, Liverpool Football fan. I love catching up with friends. You know, I've got some of my dearest friends from my school years and I always make time where I can to catch up with school friends,  be that going for a few beers going to a restaurant, a bar, whatever, that's me to a tee.

 

Louis Goodman  

You said you traveled to Japan to watch this football game any other travel experience you've had? 

 

Robert Hanna  

Yeah, I've traveled quite a lot of the world but I would still like more but obviously the last couple of years has been a bit challenging. I've been to South Africa I really enjoyed South Africa and sort of did the whole Garden Route down to Cape Town and that was wonderful. I have been to the US.   I've had some really positive experiences. I've been on a few I think you call them bachelor parties. So our friends of mine in Las Vegas and Miami and they've hold some good memories from over the years.   I've been to Iceland which is you know very weird and wonderful. But I had a great time there and I was unfortunate I didn't get to quite see the Northern Lights. But yeah, I've seen an Australia,  I loved going to Australia.   I thought that was because it's a very outdoor living culture. It's full of sport. It's full of health, fitness and fun. I enjoyed going to Sydney and Brisbane and then I've traveled a lot of continental Europe of course because that's a lot on our doorstep. So I've been to you know, some really cool places in the south of France. I've been to some nice places in Germany and I know all over really but I I would say definitely South Africa in some parts of the US, Australia. And then for my honeymoon, I went to Brazil, I saw the Iguassu Waterfalls, which is one of the new wonders of the world. That was a wonderful experience. And then I also went to Argentina. So there's some great places that I've been. So I'm just off the top of my head, but I would love to do more of the states. And I would love to kind of go to Vietnam, Cambodia around there. I haven't done any of those parts of the world.

 

Louis Goodman  

Well, that's  really quite the travel resume.

 

Robert Hanna  

Well, I do try. So this is all before obviously owning my own company. So I made sure I did it in the right order.

 

Louis Goodman  

What sort of things keep you up at night?

 

Robert Hanna  

Narcissists. I think narcissists, keep me up at night. I think, you know, there's a lot of them in this world. I think nowadays, what keeps me up, as well, as obviously, you know, it's a nervous time expected to be a first time for others. I'm just praying to God, that everything is healthy. And so I'm just hoping and wishing down then weeks and days to being a first time Dad.

 

Louis Goodman  

How do you define success?

 

Robert Hanna  

The ultimate success is happiness. I think if you are genuinely happy inside and out, regardless of health, wealth, I think that that's pretty good. And then of course, you know, health and wealth are very much attached to that.   I am not somebody who would put values before money. And I've been in business and been on a lot of business deals, and a bit of a lot of tough negotiations with other entrepreneurs who say that, but it's not the case. I would much rather be the person in the graveyard who has people that comes to visit me during the graveyard than the riches fraud in the graveyard. I want to be known as somebody who was actually kind who was successful in their own right, but did it in an authentic and ethical way.

 

Louis Goodman  

Let's say you came into some real money, you know, several billion dollars, billion pounds. That level, I'm not sure the pound dollar thing matters. But I mean, let's say it came in some real money, several billion. What, if anything, would you do differently?

 

Robert Hanna  

It's very good question, I think I would have to, so I would look straight to philanthropy. So something I am very passionate about his mental health. So I've lost family members due to mental health. And I still think it's very, very under researched, I still think it's a taboo discussion, even more so in the legal industry. I mean, we're reading articles all the time about associates that are burnt out, that are stressed, that are worried, I would really try to look to invest in more mental health organizations, charity societies, to bring it to the norm, that it is a normal conversation that there is support out there.  You just look at the suicide rates that are out there at the moment, you know, even more so as a result of the pandemic, more needs to be done more invest more support. So definitely look to follow that cause.  

 

Louis Goodman  

If you had a magic wand, and there was one thing in the world that you could change?

 

Robert Hanna  

Everyone to be kind, I think it costs nothing to be kind. But yet, it's so hard for so many to do. I think if we lived in a world of kindness, what everything I just said the last sentence or two would not be as much of an issue. Kindness matters. If people were kind, then I think we'd have a far better world.

 

Louis Goodman  

Let's say you had a really big microphone, like 60 seconds on the Super Bowl in the United States, or 60 seconds on some really big soccer game in England. What would you like to say to the world in that forum?

 

Robert Hanna  

I would say we are only here once,  this world is not a dress rehearsal. Really appreciate every minute, every day that you live and live it to your fullest and live it to the best version of you. And don't let anyone tell you can't be yourself.

 

Louis Goodman  

Is there anything you wanted to talk about that we haven't covered?

 

Robert Hanna  

The one thing I would like to talk about is how kind and generous you have been invited me on the show and how much I thoroughly enjoyed being a guest. I love your questions. I love what you're doing. I love your community. And it's just been a real pleasure. I feel like I've probably bored your listeners enough. So I then go on for much, much longer. But now I've thoroughly enjoyed the conversation. Thank you so much. 

 

Louis Goodman  

Well, thank you. Thank you for being here. Tell us one more time your website?

 

Robert Hanna  

Sure. Yeah, it's www.kcpartners.co.uk. And I also do host my own legal podcast called the legally speaking podcast, which is www.legallyspeakingpodcast.com.

 

Louis Goodman  

Rob Hanna, thank you so much for joining me today on the Love Thy Lawyer podcast. It really has been a pleasure talking to you.

 

Robert Hanna  

Likewise. Thank you so much, Louis. Have a great day.

 

Louis Goodman  

That's it for today's episode of Love Thy Lawyer. If you enjoyed listening, please share it with a friend and subscribe to the podcast. If you have comments or suggestions, send me an email. I promise I'll respond. Take a look at our website at lovethylawyer.com where you can find all of our episodes, transcripts, photographs, and information. Thanks as always to my guests who share wisdom to Joel Katz for music, Brian Matheson for technical support and Tracey Harvey. I'm Louis Goodman

 

Robert Hanna  

Was toughened me up to some of the harshest winters I've seen for many, many years that winter snow and when that goes through, but I had a very good time and it really kind of taught me the meaning of kind of growing up.

 

Louis Goodman  

Well, I went to college at the University of Rochester in upstate New York. So I know something about going to an educational experience in the midst of a great deal of snow. 

 

Robert Hanna  

It's one of the many, many things we share in common.