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Legal PA / Team Leader - Award winning law firm

JM Legal Ltd
Closing date
11 Dec 2021

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Contract Type
Full Time
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This role will work as the 'right hand' to the Head of the Litigation department. The role holder will also lead and develop a team of Legal Operations administrative staff within the department to ensure the best possible support is provided to fee-earning staff, and clients.

The person appointed will be a central point of contact for office management and all activity across the department, working closely with the Head of Legal Operations, the department staff, designated Partner, the Firm's Risk and Compliance department and other Operational Team Leaders and Assistants. This person will be an ambassador for the department as well as an approaching and inspiring leader to the department's Legal Operations teams.

Duties and Responsibilities
  • Primary point of contact for the Head's office, dealing with phone calls, email, correspondence and requests for calls/meetings. Will use judgement to prioritise requests but also respond directly and/or route to the most appropriate person for response.
  • Full calendar management for the Head, managing a busy and frequently changing schedule. Will promote best use of the Head's time through effective co-ordination, taking into account business priorities as well as the Head's working preferences.
  • Ensuring the Head is fully prepared for all meetings (including the departmental Board) by collating required information (and information from others), preparing background information and notes as needed, attending meetings and taking minutes when required and supporting the follow-through of action points etc.
  • Providing PA assistance to the Head and, as needed, other Partners/Legal Directors in the Department.
  • Office management for the Division, including maintaining key documents and information such as team charts, business continuity plans/call trees etc. carrying out research where necessary and managing the administration of projects for the Division.
  • Day to day leadership and development of a team of Legal Operations staff who provide administrative and operational support to the Division's fee-earning staff. This will include oversight of work and delegation of tasks amongst the team.
  • Working with the Academy and Compliance team to identify and implement training for team members where necessary and to ensure individuals are kept up to date on changes to Compliance requirements.
  • Ensuring team members are recruited, inducted, supported and developed in their roles. This will include agreeing objectives, holding regular one-to-ones as well as more structured quarterly reviews, working closely with members of the Firm's People team as needed.
  • Will take a pro-active approach in identifying where cross-departmental resourcing will be needed (e.g. for more routine administrative tasks). Will liaise with the Head of Legal Operations, fee-earners and other Division Assistants to clarify needs, identify administrative staff capacity and agree resourcing as needed.
  • Regularly speaking with fee-earners (as well as utilising available data) to quickly identify any issues relating to attendance, job performance or wellbeing, including longer term absence. Where more formal support is needed, to ensure the Firm's tools and frameworks are applied consistently and fairly, working closely with the Head of Legal Operations and the People team to achieve resolution.
  • Planning and overseeing all logistics for new starters, transfers and leavers into/out of the Division. Will collaborate with People, Compliance, Technology and Facilities teams to ensure all required checks, processes, information and equipment (e.g. desk set-up, IT kit etc.) are coordinated and implemented in line with the Firm's standard approach and policies.
  • Supporting the Head and senior Partners/Legal Directors with the financial planning and management of transactions, acting as an interface between the lawyers and Accounts, being aware of costs estimates and monitoring where expenditure is as against estimates for case phases and bringing this to the attention of the Head where necessary.

  • Significant previous experience working in involved administrative/management support roles with progressive levels of responsibility in fast-moving legal environment.
  • Previous experience supporting a senior level stakeholder (preferably one with combined client facing and department/team leadership responsibilities).
  • Team management experience gained from roles with direct line management or delegated supervisory responsibility for the performance and wellbeing of administrative teams.
  • Highly collegiate in approach: able to operate effectively both as team leader and team player, quickly establish effective working relationships and build strong internal networks.
  • Good understanding of the dynamics and nuances of a partnership. Able to successfully influence and utilise working relationships to get things done.
  • Strong organisational and time management skills. Able to juggle a range of requirements, plan ahead and utilise people and time to ensure consistently high levels of service are provided and that key deadlines are met.
  • Highly professional and credible in style, yet not overtly corporate. Will be able to work with ambiguity, but also be comfortable operating with documented, structured work processes.
  • Strong Compliance mind-set, with a systematic and methodical approach to working to documented quality control standards in a regulated environment.
  • Excellent IT skills, with the ability to successfully use a range of internal business systems and a willingness to develop own knowledge of these and drive change across the Department.
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