Gavin Tagg, Group Legal Counsel at Adecco UK shares his 3-year plan

Gavin Tagg, Group Legal Counsel at Adecco UK shares his 3-year plan


How to inject life back into an in-house legal team

When a GC joins an organisation, there’s no guarantee they will inherit a smoothly functioning team. What is guaranteed is that there will be challenges to face. Gavin Tagg, Group Legal Counsel at Adecco UK, explains how he is using a 3-year plan to revitalise his legal team and make them trusted business partners.

Tell us about your organisation, the legal team and your background...

Adecco is a global recruitment organisation with a head office based in Zurich. Worldwide, we have about 31,000 permanent recruiters and associated staff in our branch networks across 60 countries. In the UK, there are approximately 3,500 colleagues (permanent employees in our branches and head offices), and at any given time, around 25,000 ‘associates’ (temporary workers on assignment at our clients).

In the UK there are currently 18 people in the legal team across five divisions: Company Secretarial, Commercial Services, Litigation, Employment/Regulatory and International Assignment Services. Each division has a team leader and they all report to me. I report to the UK CFO with a dotted line to the General Counsel in Zurich.

I started my legal career as a criminal barrister, but realised quickly that it wasn’t for me. I started looking for an in-house role, and my first job in 1999 just happened to be in a recruitment company. I was there for a little over a year, and then moved to another recruitment company that, after two acquisitions, was eventually bought by Adecco. Just after that final acquisition in 2009, I started a consultancy-based practice, mostly advising the recruitment sector. In July 2013, I came back to Adecco as Group Legal Counsel.

What were the first challenges you faced when you joined the organisation?

I realised quickly that there was a lot to do and I needed a plan. In different circumstances

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About the author:

Sophie is Head of Learning & Development at F-LEX Legal - an award winning legal tech startup helping law firms and organisations manage a flexible work force and supporting lawyers to make smarter life/work choices. 

As part of her portfolio career Sophie runs various learning and development and networking forums for in-house lawyers and mentors junior lawyers.  These include Flying Solo for small and solo legal teams and Aspire for junior in-house lawyers which she runs for LexisNexis UK.  She also works with schools and organisations to promote social mobility within the legal profession, working with The Social Mobility Business Partnership and Aspiring Solicitors. 

She trained as a lawyer in the City and worked as an in-house lawyer for 10 years including as Head of Legal for Virgin Radio and Ginger Media Group.  

Outside of work she is happily married with three sons and enjoys morning walks along the beach with her two dogs.