Introducing Ian Charlton
Introducing Ian Charlton
Group8 are delighted to announce the appointment of Ian Charlton as Lead Consultant and Executive Coach.
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. Having known Group8’s Founding Director Miranda Hilton professionally for nearly 15 years, Ian now joins the Group8 team to build on his career in law and executive coaching.
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. 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?
Our core focus is helping our clients and individuals we act for to accelerate their growth. We are also working on consulting solutions and services to help our client firms with all 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 experience across the team means we have the ability to deliver those services in addition to the core strategic search capability.
What is your personal goal to achieve in the next 12 months?
From a business perspective, I want to help our core clients engage, attract and retain the best people and enable individuals to take the next step on their career journeys, often with 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. Having been headhunted for a role by Miranda years ago to make my first in-house move when I was in Sydney, then relocating back to the UK, this is not something I ever saw myself doing – but the unexpected journeys are what life is all about.
Why Ian Charlton? In the words of Group8's CEO 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 to get into a 'growth mindset' as opposed to a 'delivery mindset'. 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 top international 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.