Clare Beresford - A Life in the Day - Laurence Simons

Clare Beresford – A Life in the Day.

Clare Beresford

Clare Beresford is Chief Executive Officer of Laurence Simons.

She brings over 25 years of experience in the professional services market, including I.P. and legal process outsourcing.


In this instalment of ‘Life in the Day’, Clare shares what her average day looks like as well as her interests and hobbies.

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What is your daily morning routine? 

I am an early bird – although I never was in my 20s and 30s! – and really do understand the value of having time in my day which is mine, ahead of my working day. In January 2020 we adopted a rescue greyhound from the Dog’s Trust, which means I typically start my day with a dog walk in the nature reserve next to our home. On the mornings my husband does it, I either do some yoga and/or do some meditation. And before this becomes too Insta-perfect, I am not particularly good at either, but consistency is key!

What is your Laurence Simons office like?


I am based in our London office and we moved over the Summer to a new location in Watling Street, close to St. Paul’s. The team chose it from a shortlist delivered by my EA, Jess and April who has responsibility for the London office. They used the budget to great impact, with branded walls, and the colour palette of the LS brand is reflected throughout. To me, details are hugely important in an office. They matter. It sets the tone. Not just the policy parts – e.g., clear desk every night before leaving – but also having the space rise up to greet you. Flowers and plants, the look, feel and smell of a place all impact on how we work. We have a fully hybrid policy at LS, which means the team can work in the office or wherever they chose, which to me makes it even more important that the office should be somewhere you want to be.



How did you come to be the Chief Executive Officer at Laurence Simons?


I was headhunted in September 2015 to be Global Managing Director of Laurence Simons when we were part of a PE-backed group of specialist recruitment businesses including accountancy, marketing, HR and IT. In 2017, the opportunity presented itself to lead a management buy-out which was completed in March 2018, and I became the CEO of this brilliant group of people at Laurence Simons.



What does your role encompass?


As CEO I have responsibility to build a long-term, profitable, and sustainable specialist legal executive search business. To do that it is about ensuring that the right people are in the right roles and to empower them to deliver. My number one priority is to build and grow the LS team.
My role also involves meeting new potential clients and candidates, collaborators, and contacts, and understanding how these can cross-pollinate to create something greater than the sum of the parts. That’s exciting and something I love.



What projects are you currently working on?


Nothing that I can share here!

Who do you work most closely with?


Typically, CEOs work hand in glove with their CFOs and it is no different for me. Carrie-Jo Baker comes to us via the CFO Centre which I can whole heartedly recommend. Our sector is referred to as human-capital by finance folk, and as such People and Culture are at our core, therefore my CPO is also on my speed dial. I try to speak to someone from a different business unit every day and see how their day is going. Lastly, but not at all least, my fantastic EA Jess – a fellow Yorkshire woman and who makes my days better, easier, and smoother. She runs my e-mail in-box, which means I get thinking time back; she also has an extraordinary discipline-driven work ethic. She is fully remote which means we start each day with a 15 min teams call and compare to-do lists. She keeps me sane!



What do you enjoy about your work?


At our core the work we do at LS changes peoples’ lives by ensuring that we match the right candidate to the right role, as mandated by our clients. We get this right by using a powerful combination of experience, insight, psychometrics, and structured methodology. Getting the best legal and compliance talent for a company means that that function will become more impactful, delivering better results for the company, allowing people to thrive in that role. And that is what I enjoy most. Learning about how the placements my team make across the world have enhanced the life of the person we have placed and the company that they are working for.


How do you socialize with the team?


I am very lucky that we have a social committee in our London office and I turn up to whatever they are organising, schedule permitting. This has ranged from crazy golf to wine tasting. When I am visiting colleagues in one of our other offices, I try to have a lunch or dinner with my team.

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How do you spend time outside of work, and what are your main hobbies and passions?

Lockdown pivoted a lot of my pre-lockdown habits (eating out; choral singing and concerts) into different versions of the same thing. My husband and I have a date night each month which used to involve going to a new restaurant each month and turned into our dining room each month, alternating the cooking and trying to emulate Michelin-star menus (he is much better than I!). Music is very important to me and I go to gigs, including festivals, although I am very much in the glamping/motorhome crew rather than the authentic camping category.

Christmas tree

What are you currently looking forward to?

Christmas. My absolute favourite time of the year. If I had my way at home the whole house would be decorated from October half-term onwards. My husband favours a more pared down (grinch-like) attitude and would put the tree(s) up on Christmas Eve and take it (them) down on Boxing day. Surely the more lights, sparkle, glimmer and glitter the better – there is NO possibility of being over the top, is there?

Can you tell us a little more about the city you live in?


My tribe (husband, 2 step-children and dog) live in East London in a town called Woodford Green. It is close to Epping Forest which is an ancient woodland and it well-known for its statute of Winston Churchill which is about 50 metres from our home.

What are your favourite places in the city?


That’s a difficult question because London is a city of the world and therefore offers you something depending on your task, mood and budget. However one of my favourite places is The Silver Vaults, which is very close to Chancery Lane tube. Lots of amazing shops selling more silver items than you ever thought possible – and a good place to buy a special gift at better prices than usual retail. Flowers are an essential in life for me and Colombia Road Flower market on a Sunday is a treat. About 50 market stalls selling every flower and plant that you can imagine, plus some lovely independent shops and cafes to tempt you. We have an abundance of parks in London and typically you gravitate to the one that is your local one. When we moved into our new office at St. Paul’s I discovered Postman’s Park which has park benches and a long wall housing memorial tablets which speak to people long-gone. A nice place to have a quiet moment away from the hustle and bustle of the city.


Do you have any recommendations?


If you are looking for a family and tourist friendly, and relatively inexpensive day in London – a walk along the South Bank from Waterloo to London Bridge. There is lots to see and do, including the Tate Modern and the Globe (Shakespeare’s theatre); catch a water taxi to Greenwich and explore there.  Greenwich has a whole host of things to explore – and one little-known one is the Greenwich foot tunnel  – right next to the Cutty Sark – which is a pedestrian foot-tunnel built under the river Thames to connect Greenwich with the Isle of Dogs.  It’s not for claustrophobics and is a link to a bygone age where workers would walk from the docks to their homes south of the river.  Living history!