Who We Are

About us

Halkin is a specialist legal executive search and advisory firm. Since 2008, we have executed mandates for leading law firms, banks, corporates, and financial services institutions. One key element of our business is the nature and depth of our client relationships, which in most instances are many years old.

Since inception, we wanted to create a way of working which would service clients and our talent network differently. We understand that the specialisms in which we operate all have their challenges, and it was crucial to us that we solved them with discretion.

We pride ourselves on operating as trusted advisers to our clients, who value our opinion and respect our approach. The business model we operate entails aligning ourselves to law firms, which mean our partners, consultants and associates have a niche sector of expertise. We have a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of our core markets, allowing us to provide clients and our talent network with trusting partnerships.

Our way of working demonstrates not only the depth of knowledge we possess but also a passion for Diversity and Inclusion. Our holistic approach separates us from our peers, and our current clients and trusted talent network can rely on us to put Diversity and Inclusion at the forefront of our partnerships.

We made a deliberate choice to remain boutique, as our intention has always been to provide an exceptional service which people trust. Whilst we are big enough to work on some of the most complex and demanding mandates globally, we are small enough that our service feels bespoke and more importantly, memorable.

Our 95%+ completion ratio on assignments and working in partnership with our respected clients demonstrates this. Based in London, we undertake work on a global basis.

the Halkin way

We are an ambitious and forward-thinking firm, founded on a commitment to providing an opportunistic, progressive, and collegiate culture for our employees. With thousands of executive search firms across the globe, it was important for us to differentiate ourselves from our peers.

The reason we can complete intricate and business- critical mandates with confidence is because we have created a culture that is open, inclusive, and agile. This environment encourages collaboration as every team member at Halkin has a shared passion for our way of working.

To believe we offer the best partnerships to our clients and talent network, we had to form strong foundations in our internal infrastructure first. We prioritise our people, giving them the best tools to provide a distinctive service.

Our People

Sarah Barlow

Partner & Operations Director

Sarah joined Halkin in 2009 and co-heads the firm. She has over twenty years’ experience in the recruitment and executive search industry. Prior to joining Halkin, Sarah worked for a global executive search and strategic advisory firm for the Leadership, Talent and Human Capital Consulting markets.

Before this, she led the graduate and training function for a global recruitment firm which was one of the few to successfully IPO. She also headed up the Research function successfully running many client led mandates.

Sarah has a degree in Modern Languages from Newcastle and holds a Licence-ès-Lettres from the Université de Bourgogne. She is bilingual in Spanish and speaks fluent French.

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Jonathan Batchelor


Jonathan is an associate specialising in advising on corporate mandates with a focus on M&A and Private Equity as well as Venture Capital and Capital Markets. Jonathan graduated from The University of Durham with a BA in History and an MA in Classics. This has allowed him to develop a strong skill set in the written and communication areas.

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Isabelle Cooper


Isabelle is an Associate at the Halkin Partnership and she specialises in advising lawyers in the investment funds sector across a variety of asset classes. Before joining the firm, she earned a Law degree from the University of Lincoln and gained invaluable experience at a global law firm working in legal operations.

Isabelle’s background equips her to assist clients and candidates with great interpersonal skills and aids in her commitment to staying informed about developments in the investment funds space.

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Gordon Gooding

Managing Partner

Gordon Gooding established Halkin in 2008 to focus on delivering exceptional mandates and high-quality client service.

Prior to forming Halkin, he oversaw the Corporate team at a legal executive search boutique where he placed Partners, Senior Associates and General Counsel. Before this, he gained additional expertise at a global recruitment firm where he established its legal practice.

With over twenty years’ experience, Gordon has executed numerous searches across London, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Under his leadership, the firm has built a strong presence in London, and Gordon has supported a range of leaders in building their law firms and organisations.

Gordon is passionate about ensuring Halkin’s partners have access to the best possible talent irrespective of ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic background. He is a strong advocate of diversity including social mobility, which he feels leads to a more inclusive and dynamic working environment, avoids one-dimensional thinking and thus creates conditions for improved financial performance. Gordon aligned Halkin with the diversity platform The Amos Bursary to offer a mentoring scheme for black students. In so doing, we ensure talented people of African and Caribbean descent have the opportunity to excel in education and beyond.

Gordon has created a team that is focused on providing a memorable and attentive service to both clients and Halkin’s extensive Talent Network. This, coupled up with a working culture built on learning and collaboration,  is what makes Halkin a reputable firm within the Legal sector.

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Charlie Harris


Charlie H is an Associate who specialises in advising Partners and Associates in the Financial Services and Regulatory sector as well as Trainees on their transition into NQ roles. Charlie graduated from the University of Liverpool with a degree in Marketing before joining the Halkin Partnership as a Research Associate which allowed him to develop a broad spectrum of business and communication skills.

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Tom Kirkby


Tom is a Partner at Halkin who is responsible for spearheading the Financial Services Regulation and Funds practices at Halkin. With a strong background of cultivating connections and fostering talent, Tom has an impressive track record of successfully placing Partners and Associates in the UK and internationally within these sectors. His passion for this field is evident through his extensive expertise in FinTech, Payments, ESG, and Funds, as well as his keen understanding of their interplay within the Financial Services Regulatory landscape.
Prior to Halkin, Tom gained international experience whilst working in the Sales and Marketing department of a B2B consumer goods company. He also worked for the Global Infrastructure Finance department of a leading accountancy firm. Tom attended the University of Bath, where he earned a Bachelor of Sciences in Social Sciences.

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Alisha Lasenby


Alisha is a Partner at Halkin and leads the Corporate practice with a strong track record in advising Private Equity and M&A (public and private) lawyers. Alisha has experience advising both partners and associates with a particular interest in the E&I and technology sectors.

Alisha additionally plays an integral part in the growth of the business through leading the Halkin Academy. Prior to joining Halkin, Alisha graduated from a Russell Group university with a bachelor’s degree in law.

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Jake Martin


Jake is an Associate who specialises in advising banking and finance lawyers across a variety of sectors with a particular focus on the leveraged finance space. Prior to joining Halkin, Jake worked at a leading international law firm with a focus on real estate law after training as a Legal Executive within an in-house legal team.

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Charlie Maymon

Principal Associate

Prior to Halkin, Charlie studied the GDL in Manchester equipping him with broad legal knowledge which enables him to tailor his approach effectively to individual client needs. He since joined Halkin as a Research Associate and has worked his way up to Senior Associate. Charlie has a plethora of experience dealing with the Financial Services Regulation and ESG sectors and a proven track record in supporting and securing mandates, as well as providing trusted advice to international clients. Charlie works at both the Associate and Partner level with the ability to provide specialist and tailored advice across his sectors.

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Cristina Segovia

Office Manager and Personal Assistant

Cristina first joined Halkin as the Team Assistant and has since progressed to Office Manager and looking after the Partners as their Personal Assistant. Acting as one half of the glue that holds the team together, Cristina provides high level administrative support, and her work extends to business development projects, event management as well as contributing to the effectiveness and success of the wider team and Partners.

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Nick Smetana


Nick is a Partner at Halkin and has a particular focus on legal recruitment into US law firms with a specialist focus on Private Equity and Corporate M&A.

Nick has worked in private practice legal recruitment for almost 15 years, with a proven track record of placing Associates and Partners.

Prior to becoming a recruiter, Nick was a Private Equity M&A lawyer at a leading Silver Circle law firm, and he also worked previously as a corporate advisor representing CEOs and Managing Directors on the sale of their businesses. Nick studied Law at the University of Birmingham.

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Adrian Szmit

Research Lead & Team Assistant

Adrian joined Halkin as a Research Associate. Prior to joining Halkin, he graduated from the University of Liverpool with a First Class Honours in Law. During his time at university, Adrian developed a broad understanding of the various legal sectors he studied, with a particular interest in alternative dispute resolution. He also gained international experience working in the in-house team of a major Singaporean oil and gas company, after which he continued his legal studies at the City University of Hong Kong. Upon returning from Hong Kong, Adrian further pursued his interest in alternative dispute resolution at the Arbitration Academy in Paris during its 2021 session.

Presently, he is focusing on Halkin’s core areas which encompass Corporate, Banking and Finance, Investments Funds, and Financial Services Regulatory as a Research Lead & Team Assistant.

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Diversity & Inclusion

Amos Bursary

We are proud to be Partners with The Amos Bursary, which supports talented young men and women of African and Caribbean heritage who face socio-economic and environmental challenges. Since 2009, The Amos Bursary has worked to ensure that gifted individuals have access to excellent education, as well as the opportunity to secure an enriching and stable career. From financial support through to mentoring, it focuses on #ChangingTheNarrative.

Although Halkin focuses significant effort on educating clients on the importance of diverse hiring, we wanted to partner with a grassroots organisation which will open doors for Partners of the future. In 2018 Black people had the highest unemployment rate out of all ethnic groups, and only 2% of board members in FTSE 100 companies are Black or minority ethnic.

We know that if we focus on supporting the future generation of the legal sector, as well as continuing to do the work we do at the senior level of the market, it will make a bigger impact.