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Warren Bongard

ZSA Legal Recruitment is the premier legal recruitment specialist in Canada. Our mission is to provide outstanding, bespoke legal recruitment services accompanied by constant support throughout the process.

  • We streamline the hiring process for both candidates and clients, matching the right legal professionals with organizations in pursuit of exceptional legal talent.
  • We aspire to shape a future where talent meets opportunity, elevating the legal profession to new heights of success.
  • We strive to promote diversity and contribute to the creation of a more representative legal community.
  • We aim to deliver unparalleled excellence in every aspect of our service, fostering long-lasting partnerships based on trust and success.
  • We constantly seek feedback from our clients and candidates in order to improve our service and deliver on our promise of full client satisfaction.

Recruiting the right people takes a huge amount of time, and ZSA does much of the groundwork for you. Our exceptional team – comprised of former practising lawyers – listens carefully to your needs, learns about your culture, consults with you on the current hiring market, and then together, we develop a customized approach to hiring, saving you time, energy, and money.

Tell us about yourself?

I attended law school in 1988 and graduated in 1991. After a few years of practicing law at a downtown Toronto law firm, I realized I would never be the best at corporate law. There were far too many smarter and more skilled lawyers than myself. This awareness led me to seek out a more suitable career, and after investigating other businesses, I fell into legal search when I was being honest with a recruiter who was trying to place me at another law firm. That recruitment firm, after hearing my story, offered me a job to join their team. While I fell in love with the business, I knew that place wasn’t right for me. I started my own firm immediately after that and subsequently partnered up with Christopher Sweeney, who had just started ZSA. The rest is history.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

To pace myself. I spent too much time worrying about the moment, the day, the quarter, and even the year. Life is not a sprint, but rather, a marathon. Take it all in stride, and try to enjoy the ups and downs with equal emotion.

What problem does your business solve?

We solve the task of finding legal talent. We recruit within a highly niche industry, which allows us to act swiftly and efficiently when a client is looking to hire a lawyer and doesn’t have the time to learn who is in the market and what those market conditions are.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

When we began, we saw a serious void in legal recruitment within Canada. Our ability to identify this void, and at a time that was emerging from a deep recession, was timely and the start of a new legal recruitment trend in Canada.

What is your magic sauce?

While I don’t always agree that bigger makes you better, but in our case, being the largest and truly the only national legal search firm allows us to manage searches with more resources than any of our competitors. The turn-around time and accuracy are reflected in this as our reach is so wide in each city where we operate and even in those where we don’t have offices.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Our goal over the next five years is to maintain our market dominance but to open up our firm to our key recruiters. We have seen many recruiters over our 25-plus years of operation, and given the age of our leadership team, it is time to pass the torch to the younger team members who have worked tirelessly at building their own and ZSA’s reputation.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

People. While we have weathered many storms (i.e. recessions, pandemics, etc.), our most important resource is our people. Having good people leave is always a challenge. We value them and aim to be better and ensure they are well treated, given a lot of autonomy, and an opportunity to be part of the ownership structure of ZSA.

How can people get involved?

As the leading legal search firm in Canada, we are easy to find. While our clients are the hiring law firms and companies who retain us, we work with many lawyers seeking a new role, and to that end, they are encouraged to write to us through our website or directly to one of our emails. We will review their material within a few days and respond with a direct and honest opinion on if or how we can help. We value responsiveness at ZSA and undertake to get back to everyone who writes to us. While our response may not always be positive, we are honest about our ability to assist.