A conversation with Nick Crasner, Founding Partner of Crasner Consulting and one of the world’s top legal headhunters and law firm strategy consultants.
What led you to set up Crasner Consulting?
I founded Crasner Consulting to bring a new dynamic to the market. Having been in the recruitment business for some time, I realised that a lot of legal headhunters put their interests before those of Partner candidates and Law firms.
I also found that most legal headhunting firms were unsophisticated and transactional and were not able to be trusted advisors and did not want to fall into that trap.
I founded Crasner Consulting to think in a long-term, service orientated fashion, and put the interests of my network before my own.
Why did you name the firm Crasner Consulting?
My family is the most important driver in my personal life. I was very lucky to spend time growing up on three continents and be exposed to so many diverse and interesting things. My father was a diplomat. As a gesture to him, I named the business Crasner Consulting. In 2016, I co-founded a sibling legal recruitment company that focusses on Associate level recruitment and named that business after my maternal side of the family, who are called Kissoon.
It is these fantastic international experiences that have helped shape me into an globally-minded advisor and legal search consultant. This mind-set greatly mirrors and benefits my client base; typically Global Managing Partners and Executive Committees of US and UK law firms.
What are the rules you live by every day?
Above all, I want to be honest. I want my clients, my candidates and the people around me to think of me as someone of great esteem. Honesty and trust are the cornerstone of that.
I also believe in leading from the front and doing what you ask others to do, so I continue to sit at my desk doing the job. That said, I take myself away and spend time thinking and bettering myself every day, because I believe it is important to reflect in order to continue to improve.
How does your work distinguish itself in the marketplace?
I set up the firm to focus on big ticket work that would both weather the ups and downs of economic trends, and would afford me the position of trusted advisor to a select number of international law firm clients.
My strategy was to follow the outbound investment of UK and US law firms into Continental Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. As such, we are involved in a number of high profile office openings, practice launches and mergers at any one time.
There are very few consultancy’s who have a blend of management consulting, retained search and corporate finance skills. There are also very few people in this profession who can speak the languages that apply to the markets above, and have the depth of experience, in the markets we operate in. This combination, plus our relentless and professional pursuit of Partner candidates means that we always get the job done. We are very proud to have worked with some of the most exciting law firms in the world and taken them into or expanded their offering in Continental Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
What are your goals for the next five years?
Our firm is an excellent place to work. We have exciting work, a nice environment, and a flat culture where people are pushed every day to achieve what they want to achieve.
I want to maintain that, and our superb London headquarters, but launch a new office in the Middle East to cover our activities in the GCC, Africa and Asia. At the moment, we fly all over the world. I can be in Paris, Brussels and Frankfurt one week and Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Johannesburg the following. I feel that we will be able to better service our clients by having a base in Dubai and by dividing up our team into those who cover Europe and Africa and those who work on assignments in the Middle East and Asia. While I do believe and feel that I have validated the ‘one office model’ to service international work, I feel that we can gain a huge amount from being in Dubai and travelling from there.
From these two offices, I want to grow, but I only want to do so by hiring the best in the market.
What sort of people do you want to attract?
I am looking for people who share my values and want to make a huge impact in legal search and consulting. I am looking for talented ex lawyers who want to move into headhunting and consulting. I am also excited by legal or professional service recruiters who want to be based in London or Dubai and work on some of the most interesting deals in the market.
I want people who will thrive in a grown up environment, people who want to achieve superb results and people who share our high quality, knowledge driven and ethical approach to our work.
I aspire to be similar to McKinsey, although obviously operating in a different space. I buy into and have tried to replicate their mission of helping their clients make distinctive, lasting and substantial improvements to their performance and to build a great firm that attracts, develops, excites and retains exceptional people.
Is it true that you were a rugby scholar to a boarding school in the UK?
Besides my family, friends and business, my passion has always been music and sports. My father took his final posting in the only countries in the world where they are openly cannibals! When he and my Mum set sail for Papua New Guinea and I turned 16, I thought it was wise to trundle off to boarding school. Having captained the British School of Brussels to win the Belgian National Championship and played on the backrow of the first XV of that school from the age of 15, I realised that I could make something of this. So when I applied for boarding schools for my A-Levels, I knew I wanted to play rugby. My coaches encouraged me to apply to the best schools for rugby and I was lucky to be accepted to all of them. From there, I was then awarded the highest sporting scholarship in the Eton Group of Schools, which is a moment that I will always cherish.
What do you do outside of work?
I would love to say that I read about ancient history and I play classical piano, but I don’t. Instead, I try and adhere to my beloved grandfather’s motto of everything in moderation by spending equal time playing sports, seeing friends, spending quality time with my family and travelling to see as much of the world as I can.
For more information about Crasner Consulting, please contact Nick Crasner on <a “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com.