A message from Christopher Sweeney, CEO, Co-Founder, ZSA
Happy 25th Anniversary ZSA!!
On February 3, 1997, ZSA first opened its doors for business. Our hope was that there was a market in Toronto for a high-end, specialized legal recruitment firm. This was far from certain. At that moment, there were a couple of small legal recruitment shops in Toronto with little or no profile, handling only a few mandates at a time and relying almost exclusively on headhunting. ZSA set out to overturn this sleepy recruitment world and began by running a bold announcement in the Ontario Reports that “a new era in legal recruitment had dawned”. Importing recruitment practices from the UK, ZSA would be staffed by former practising lawyers; would ideally be (and uniquely remains) a national firm; would be located in downtown office towers to better facilitate meeting busy candidates; and, breaking all precedent in Canada, ZSA would massively advertise its open jobs and not simply rely on “hit or miss” headhunting.
This calculated formula for professionalizing legal recruitment in Canada allowed ZSA to take a leadership role in 1997 that we have never relinquished. During this time we have worked on over 30,000 jobs and have moved more than 5000 lawyers into all of the largest law firms in Canada and many of the largest firms in the world; into small and medium-sized firms across the country; and into many Fortune 100 corporations and other companies big and small, including having filled nearly 200 GC roles alone.
In addition to recruitment, ZSA proudly co-founded the Canadian General Counsel Awards (CGCA), which has grown to include Quebec (PCJQ) and Western Canada (WCGCA) events. For 15 years, we have hosted General Counsel across Canada at our Quorum Club (QC) events, and continue to expand our GC initiatives through our recently enhanced ZSA In House division. ZSA is also proud to have consistently given back to the legal community through its financial and other support of advocacy groups across the country; young bar and pro bono associations; funding law school award bursaries, etc., and of being founding sponsor of the Vimy Foundation, Canada’s lead voice on First World War Remembrance.
As we look forward to the next 25 years, we would like to thank all the clients and candidates who have entrusted us with their searches for talent and new opportunities, respectively. We are always here to help.