posted 18 Jul 23

David Holden joined Search in April 2007 as a Consultant within our Legal division.

David Holden joined Search in April 2007 as a Consultant within our Legal division.

David’s career at Search has since held an impressive total of seven promotions, which is a credit to his personal progression and the growth he has achieved for the Legal team. Demonstrating excellent leadership throughout recent years, coaching, challenging, winning, and building a 16-strong team in Brighton, it’s no surprise to see David’s most recent appointment as Director of Legal Private Practice. 

We recently caught up with David to discuss his career progression route, recent accolade, and aspirations for Search Legal. 

Hi David, congratulations on your promotion! Having joined Search way back in 2007, how has your career progressed?

My journey at Search has seen me move through several roles, offering lots of exciting challenges and rewards. My success started in year one with a ‘Top Newcomer’ nomination at the company awards to ‘Top Consultant’ thereafter and has continued as I have built teams that are shortlisted every year for the ‘Top Team’ award. 

Once I started my management career, the focus shifted to growing out a phenomenally successful business with a reputation to match - a goal we have achieved in the Southeast and London. I am now lucky enough to work with some of the best legal recruiters in the UK, some of whom have been with me for over ten years.   

What changes have you seen in the recruitment and legal world since joining, and how has your role adapted to these?  

Despite the financial crash in 2008 and the pandemic, I have been fortunate recruiting into the legal profession throughout my career. Starting Legal recruitment during recession conditions taught me how crucial building meaningful client relationships is to succeed as a recruiter.  

Our relationships with some of the best law firms in London and the Southeast have continued to flourish and allow us to generate high-calibre candidates due to our networks and their profile - and it was our strong relationships with clients that made all the difference during the pandemic. 

What aspirations do you have for Search Legal as Director of Legal Practice?  

The Legal Practice team has grown with many new additions in strategic roles post pandemic, which has been key to the team's 100% YOY growth in revenues. With our current position offering good coverage in the core markets, we will focus on gaining more market share in these areas and continue to hire more talented recruiters to strengthen the team. Outside of our core UK practice market, I am also looking to launch our international offering for the Practice team, initially into the Middle East. 

Having led the team in Brighton, what is great about the people there and the culture you have fostered?  

The culture has really developed in the Brighton office in the last two years. Post pandemic, I decided early to be a primarily office-based team which has allowed team working to be part of the day to day, with everyone helping each other to make the most of every opportunity we have. We're also a very social team (helped by the location of our office), with team events going on throughout the year as well as the regular team socials during the week and the company-wide incentives. Overall, the culture is a high achieving one and equally as fun! 

Are you currently looking for recruitment professionals to join your team? If so, who are you hiring, and why should they join Search?  

I am actively hiring experienced recruiters, and now is a fantastic time to come on board as I build the experience and structure of the team. Our platform offers anyone with proven recruitment experience, not just legal recruitment experience, the opportunity to get up and running quickly by utilising our existing client base, an incredible candidate database, and all the RecTech tools we have on offer.  

You will also be working alongside some of the best legal recruiters in London and the south of England as part of a successful team - in my opinion, the best at Search. For many of my team, there has been quick progression into management roles, with many earning six-figure salaries. 

David, thank you for giving us an insight into your Search journey and the Legal division. 

Search Legal

Search Legal

With over 35 years of recruitment experience, Search is one of the UK’s leading private equity-backed recruitment businesses, operating from 17 offices nationwide. Our dedicated Professional Services team specialise in the placement of legal professionals and have a wealth of knowledge spanning qualified lawyers, ex-legal professionals, and experienced legal recruitment consultants.  

Since the start of 2021, our Professional Services business has grown exponentially. Backed by a leading investor and having made significant investment across the board, there couldn’t be a better time to be part of our growth journey. 

David has been a brilliant leader for the last two years, guiding the team and fostering a culture of accountability. Alongside challenging the business to exceed its financial targets, David is committed to creating a brilliant place to work where friendships and careers are built hand in hand.

Ed O’Connell, Managing Director, Search

If you are looking to join us at an exciting time of growth and progress your career with Search Legal, we would love to hear from you.  Contact us and browse our locations to find your local Search office.