Paralegal/Legal Assistant

Debenhams Ottaway LLP
St. Albans, UK
20 May 2019
04 Jun 2019
Contract Type
Full Time
Who we are:

Debenhams Ottaway is an award winning, LEXCEL accredited, leading law firm based in Hertfordshire and the preeminent legal firm in St Albans.

Known for its warm and friendly culture, this relationship-driven, people-centric firm is committed to growth achieved through doing more for clients, its people and the communities it serves.

What we seek:
  • An ambitious and talented Legal Assistant to join our Business Services team and provide administrative and fee earning assistance on a varied case load of employment and company/commercial matters.
  • At Debenhams Ottaway, we are committed to progressing and developing our staff to achieve their full potential. This role would therefore suit someone who is looking to undertake a training contract with us in the future or is looking to gain further experience before embarking on further legal studies. Please click here to read more about our training contract opportunities.

What will you do:

Activities will be varied and will include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Client Service

- Progressing the matter file under the solicitor's instructions. This may include amongst other things legal research, drafting letters and attendance notes

- To provide a courteous and efficient service to clients

- To ensure that work sent to clients and related parties is correctly prepared in accordance with the firm's standards and precedents and the Solicitor's instructions

- To observe the code of practice in all areas as detailed in the Solicitors Code of Conduct and to observe fully the requirements of the Solicitors Accounts Rules

- To report complaints from clients or third parties to the Team Leader

- To produce fees in accordance with the fee target set at the beginning of each financial year and to record a minimum of 720 hours of chargeable time per annum (at an average of 60 hours per month) at charging rates agreed by the Team Leader
  • Matters Administration

- Maintaining control of the Solicitor's caseload to ensure that standards of matter conduct, file management, administration, time-recording and accounting are maintained at all times

- To be fully conversant with the firm's computer systems and follow IT instructions directly and through procedures tabs

- To work in a tidy organised manner by reducing unseemly clutter and ensure files are relocated in the cabinets provided

- Assist Solicitor to bill all matters promptly and accurately; to maintain a justifiable and accurate level of work-in-progress; to pay and collect disbursements in accordance with professional and internal practice; to properly account for all client monies and effect transfers from client to office account when appropriate

- Carrying out suitable paralegal level tasks (not requiring legal knowledge) and procedural research tasks for other fee earners in the team
  • Specifically for the Employment pod

- Dealing with disclosure

- Preparing trial bundles

- Preparing instructions to counsel

- Drafting PLC documents such as employment contracts, policies and settlement agreements
  • Specifically for the Company/Commercial pod

- Preparing completion 'bibles' on transactional matters

- Drafting Board Minutes

- Preparing completion documents such as stock transfer forms and powers of attorney

- Drafting simple terms and conditions
  • Skills and attributes

Legal qualification such as LLB or GDL/CPE (or other law conversion course) is essential with completion of the Legal Practice Course preferable

Previous paralegal experience in a commercial area of law would be preferable

Good written and verbal communication skills

Client focussed

Team player

Computer Literacy in relevant software packages

Accuracy and attention to detail

Good time keeping

Organisation skills including the ability to prioritise work


Flexible approach to work

Ability to follow instructions given

Ability to cope with pressure and maintain a calm manner at all times

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