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A Retained Solution for a Highly Confidential Senior Legal Search 

About the client

Guoman Hotels Limited is one of the UK’s leading hotel chains with 37 hotels both managed and owned under the Guoman & Thistle brands, situated in key city centre and strategic locations.

Guoman Hotels offer a unique and individual experience for guests, operating at four-star deluxe and five-star levels in numerous locations globally.

The client’s need

The company was looking to recruit a senior role for its legal team: a general counsel & company secretary. The job specification for this senior position encompassed a broad mix of corporate, M & A, general commercial and team management expertise. The client also had specific requirements around international law experience. In addition to 10 years’ post-qualified experience, they were looking to recruit professionals from a leisure or hospitality background with experience of Far East markets.

In addition to the recruitment of this key role, the client also requested that Hudson Legal source an interim legal manager to cover a period of maternity leave.

Hudson solution

An existing client of Hudson Legal and a FTSE100 company recommended Hudson to Guoman Hotels. The recommendation was based on Hudson’s reputation for deep specialisation, and a superior ability to access the best talent through search and selection.

Recruiting for the general counsel & company secretary role required an in-depth, intuitive recruitment process and based on Hudson’s proven capabilities, the hotel group selected Hudson Legal to support recruitment for the role on a retained and exclusive basis.

A dedicated Hudson consultant managed the project, utilising a mix of contingency and search recruitment methodology to source suitable candidates. Competency-based interviews were conducted as part of the screening process, and as a result six strong candidates were recommended for interview. The client was extremely impressed with the calibre of candidates presented and chose to interview all six.

Due to the level of confidentiality surrounding the recruitment of these senior roles and to ensure discretion was upheld, Hudson was able to offer its office facilities in central London for its client to conduct each interview stage.

Client interviews taking place on Hudson’s premises ensured a thorough interview process, with the consultant onsite in easy reach of candidates and the client post interviews. This meant that all feedback provided could be delivered face-to-face after each meeting in a timely manner.

In tandem with the permanent search, Hudson Legal sourced a number of immediately available candidates which were suitable for the legal manager position. This had required a unique approach with a thorough screening process to ensure technical and cultural suitability.

The Results

After a full process of search and selection, the client identified their preferred candidate and began to work with the Hudson consultant to put together an attractive job offer. The consultant acted as intermediary and negotiated with the client and candidate to ultimately secure acceptance of the offer.

Additionally, Hudson Legal was able to source an excellent interim candidate to provide support during a period of maternity leave. The client was delighted with the calibre of both candidates they had appointed.

The client benefited from a dedicated single point of contact for both roles. They were confident that candidates would have the right level of market expertise in addition to an in-depth understanding of its business needs, from the expertise demonstrated by the Hudson consultant assigned to the project.

Hudson continues to have a strong working partnership with Guoman Hotels and is now its preferred supplier for all of its legal recruitment as well as advising on wider recruitment matters. On the basis of Hudson Legal’s performance, the client is now in discussions with other divisions of Hudson about supporting its recruitment across multiple business functions.

Project Snapshot


  • Leading hotel chain with 37 hotels managed and owned under the Guoman and Thistle brands


  • Senior brief with specific requirements around skillset/expertise, sector background, and international experience
  • Recruitment of an interim manager also required for maternity leave cover


  • Hudson Legal managed the recruitment project on a retained and exclusive basis
  • Dedicated Hudson consultant to manage the project
  • Thorough interviewing process, including competency based interviews


  • Full process of search and selection resulted in the successful recruitment of the general counsel & company secretary for the organisation
  • Excellent interim candidate placed for the maternity leave cover
  • Client delighted with the outcomes, and as its preferred legal recruitment supplier, Hudson continues to have a strong working relationship with Guoman Hotels

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