Overview of the firm and function
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is a major international law firm, providing business law advice of the highest quality. We want to be the law firm that clients turn to for legal advice where it most matters, wherever in the world that may be. The Firm has over 2,400 lawyers in 28 offices around the world, providing a comprehensive service to national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments.
Our people make our firm - we are a people business and want to create a welcoming and supportive environment where all can flourish. We see diversity as a strength which creates fresh perspectives and generates new ideas. We enjoy our work and are determined to do an outstanding job. We deliver best when working in teams. Our culture is a product of the combined mindsets and behaviours of our people which is through the Being Freshfields principles, outlined below:
- we show respect to everyone
- we are there for one another
- we are open with each other
- we are positive role models
We think and work globally - we don't just say we are one firm; we act like one firm right across the world. We work wherever our clients need us. This is how we define ourselves, not by reference to where we have offices. Cross-border work isn't just what we do, it is what we excel at. We understand what it really takes to work across different legal systems and commercial environments and to bridge language and cultural gaps.
We aim to add value in everything we do - we are passionate about helping our clients succeed. We use our experience and creativity to help clients make judgements and achieve their goals. In everything we do, we seek to make a real difference to the communities in which we operate.
The Freshfields Global Centre provides both business and legal services to the firm. Our services are delivered in a way which supports the global nature of our firm and our clients, enables our fee earners to deliver exceptional service to our clients and to do that in a way which is efficient and effective.
Freshfields is committed to promoting equality and diversity and to developing a culture that values differences, recognising that employees from a variety of backgrounds make important and positive contributions to our business and how we service our clients.
Role summary/ purpose of job
The overall remit of the partnership accounting team is to support all aspects of the firm's partnership accounting function on a global basis, including, inter alia, the calculation and payment of partners' profit share (drawings & distributions) the management of partners' capital and partnership capital loans and responsibility for partners' tax reserving.
The Partnership Accountant will operate within a team of 4. The candidate should attain a wide breadth of experience to enable them to perform the role and to provide cover for team members.
Key responsibilities and deliverables
- Assisting with the bi-monthly profit distributions process including preparation of summary of the costs for all partners and annuitants, reconciliation of partners' and annuitants' transactions in various jurisdictions, preparation of distribution cashflows, notifications and payments.
- Quarterly reconciliation of all aspects of the global distribution process in preparation for review and sign off by Head of Finance.
- Communicate international payment instructions to finance teams across the network, providing support to local finance teams.
- Management of forecast, calculation and preparation of partners' monthly drawings.
- Calculation of retired partner annuities, management of annuitants' payments and the production and review of pension statements.
- Responsible for Group Life insurance, Income Protection, Personal Accident and Death and Broker Fees costs allocation ensuring timely recharge of costs amongst partners followed by a regular reconciliation of the relevant General Ledger Accounts
- Responsible for Equity Partners Drawings and Annuitants Accounts reconciliations.
- Processing various journals ensuring adherence to partnership accounting policies.
- Responsible for the year to date reconciliation of the Overseas Partners and Retirees costs to Profit as well as management of quarterly revaluation journal.
- Assisting Partners and Retirees with queries related to the statements, profit distributions, benefits, income tax returns, probates etc.
- Providing monthly payroll report on Shadow consultants.
- Management and maintenance the firm's lockstep.
- Annual preparation of annuitants R185s forms for UK and Non-UK Residents.
- Preparation of New Partner cashflow projections.
- Liaising with the banks and new partners for the new capital contributions
- Liaising with the firm's auditors and preparation of data for disclosure in the firm's Annual Report & Financial Statements
- Regular management reporting on an ad hoc basis to facilitate decision making
- Preparation and/ or review of partners and pensioners annual income statements
- Assisting Partnership Affairs team with the joiners', leavers' and movers' processes
- Responsible for timely communication with the Firm's annuitants
- Responsible for the preparation of the data and forecast for the annual work on annuitants' projections. Gain an understanding of all aspects of the retired partners' annuity scheme, including calculation of profit per point and compliance with capping.
- Responsible for the maintenance of the partner and annuitant Excel database
- Respond to requests for confirmation of earnings to facilitate bank lending and requests for cash flow projections to assist with planning.
- Assist the firm's Management Team and the Head of Partners' Tax on specific areas of partners' and annuitants' remuneration and tax requirements.
- Qualified or newly qualified CIMA/ ACA/ ACCA or equivalent
- Background in partnerships or similar will be a distinct advantage but not an absolute requirement
- Confident when communicating with partners and staff at all levels
- Ability to gain a good overview as well as being involved in the detail
- Numerate, methodical and proactive
- Excellent attention to detail
- Friendly, outgoing, social personality
- Must be a team player.
- Clear and concise written and oral communication skills
- The ability to build working relationships with a range of people at all levels
- Proactive approach with a 'can-do' attitude
- Identifies and communicates opportunities to improve the way that work is done
- Excellent organisational and time management skills with the ability to manage tasks efficiently
- Works successfully as part of a team, sharing knowledge, collaborating with and supporting colleagues
- Excellent customer service skills with a helpful and responsive approach
- Flexible in approach and adaptable to change
- Resilient and calm under pressure
- Motivated, results and delivery focused with a commitment to quality of work
- Takes ownership and actively looks for personal learning and development opportunities
- Demonstrates sound judgement
- A commitment to the highest level of integrity
- Focuses on finding the right solutions and problem solving
- An understanding of working across cultural boundaries.
Freshfields is an equal opportunities employer and all applications received by the firm will be considered by the firm on the basis of their merit alone and we welcome applications from all suitably qualified individuals regardless of background. All offers of employment will be conditional on the candidate having/ securing the right to work in the UK and providing the firm with evidence of that right (as required by the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006) prior to employment commencing.
Freshfields is a Ban the Box employer. We ask applicants to disclose criminal convictions only when a conditional job offer is made. A conviction does not automatically lead to withdrawal of the offer: we make decisions on a case by case basis and take a number of factors into account (e.g. the role you are applying for and the circumstances of the offence). You would have the opportunity to discuss the matter with us before we make a decision.