About Ian Charlton
About Ian Charlton
Ian Charlton joined Group8 in 2019 and is Executive Coach and Director, supporting Group8's core customers, law firms and individuals, to achieve their ambitions.
Ian was a corporate lawyer for over 20 years, in both the UK and Australia, working in major law firms, as well as being a senior in-house counsel for multinational organisations. He also has extensive experience in professional coaching, helping businesses and executives succeed. He joins to add weight to our strategic advisory and search division with deep understanding from all perspectives - corporate, private practice and consultant.
What first attracted you to Group8?
I’m a big believer in the importance of setting yourself challenges and not standing still. For me, joining Group8 was an opportunity to do something new, whilst being a natural and interesting progression from my earlier career. It was also the chance to be part of a dynamic, growing business creating innovative solutions collaboratively.
What are the key challenges facing the legal industry today?
The legal market has gone through unprecedented change in the last 10 years, and a rollercoaster in the last 2 years. One of the key challenges for most firms is being able to grow sustainably at a time when the legal industry is seeing continued market consolidation, expansion of new legal services and models, and external economic pressures. That growth can only come through a strategic and targeted approach to lateral hiring and maximising the potential of your best people. Group8 was founded on that very premise: with our global client-centric approach, we are ideally placed to partner with our core clients on accelerating their growth.
Which aspects of your previous experience will you bring to your new role with Group8?
I have been a corporate lawyer for many years, both in private practice and in-house, so I have an excellent understanding of the legal industry as a whole. I am also an executive coach, with a particular focus on senior lawyers and partners, and those coaching skills enable me to develop excellent relationships with clients. I have coached many senior lawyers recently as they seek to navigate periods of substantial change, primarily in relation to their career direction. I understand and have ‘lived’ all the necessary perspectives – our clients, their clients, and the private practice landscape and career paths. I have also worked across Australia and Asia Pacific for many years so I understand the market dynamics in that region and the challenges for lawyers who want to move internationally.
How do you hope your role will evolve in taking Group8 to the next level?
My role and our business will evolve as our clients grow and evolve. Our core focus is helping our clients and individuals we act for to accelerate their growth. We have created solutions and services to help our client firms with challenging aspects of their talent attraction and retention programmes – whether that’s through providing advisory, coaching or training services to help those firms get the very best out of their people. The deep experience across the team means we have the ability to deliver those services in addition to the core strategic search capability - globally.
What is your personal goal to achieve at Group8?
From a business perspective, I want to help our core clients engage, attract and retain the best people and enable individuals to make transformative career moves, often for opportunities that they never would have thought of. From a personal perspective, I’m excited by the prospect of continuing to learn and develop. As Einstein said, “Life is like riding a bicycle: to keep your balance, you must keep moving!”.
Do you have any general advice about career journeys?
Call it karma, serendipity or just good old networking – it’s always worth taking the call and keeping in touch as you never know where it may take you. That's how I met Miranda many years ago. The unexpected journeys are what life is all about.
Why Ian Charlton? In the words of Group8's founder Miranda Hilton...
There are so many but these are the key ones:
Coaching is 80% of what we do in encouraging an individual, who is normally very happy and well looked after in their current firm, to engage with us and our client. Coaching law firms on the lateral acquisition process and mindset is also critical, as well as supporting partners looking to grow award winning teams. Ian's coaching expertise in the legal sector is highly specialist but he also has the right approach stylistically to work well with our clients.
Ian has coached and worked at leading global law firms in the UK and APAC; he's operated in a senior management role in Sydney at a leading FMCG; and then later in-house with global financial institutions in the UK. When you combine this background with his extensive training at one of the top coaching institutions to become best in field, this decision was a no-brainer for us. He represents everything we support individuals in doing: progress their career to the top (in private practice or in-house); relocate overseas; and challenge themselves to consistently grow.
Ian embodies all of our values and has been completely client-centric in his consultative approach to date. For both of us, the fit was natural and he just ‘gets’ the client and their clients, because he has sat in both seats.