(COMPANY NAME) has a new opening for a Practice Area Manager for the London Corporate practice.
Our London Corporate practice is established as one of the leading practices in London. Our lawyers advise clients on their strategic and challenging transactions across all major markets and in many cases with multi-jurisdictional dimensions.
This role is critical to the success of the practice area. Alongside the Practice Area Leaders, you will drive the financial and operational performance, connect the strategic agenda with operational delivery, and lead, coach and manage a variety of fee earning and Business Professional stakeholders at all levels to drive performance. You will be a key member of the London Regional Chief Operating Officer's leadership group shaping and delivering the operational and financial performance of the UK region.
The role-holder reports into the Regional Chief Operating Officer and the Practice Area Leaders.
The role has line management responsibilities for the Legal Support Manager, Resource Manager, Legal Technology Manager and the Financial and Business Process Analyst. The Practice Area Manager will also work closely with the Business Development Manager and Senior HR Manager.
The role has overall responsibility for approx. 45 Practice Assistants (who directly report to and are line managed by the Legal Support Manager), that support fee earners within the practice area.
The remit will consist of overall operational management of the London Corporate Practice, ensuring Firm-wide initiatives are adopted and practice area business plans are implemented. A crucial feature is the role-holder will operate as a trusted advisor to the Practice Area Leaders ('PALs') and have the skills and ability to ensure the smooth running of the practice to allow the PAL to execute the strategic agenda. The role-holder will also provide information and support to the Global Business Unit ('GBU') Head who is based in London and ensure London business planning is aligned to the global strategy.
The individual appointed into this role will become a key member of the Regional COO's Leadership team and will collaborate and promote the sharing of ideas and best practice, to ensure consistency across the London office in the way that the practice areas operate.
Working with the RCOO, PALs and group heads as well as acting as the interface for the supporting Business Professional functions, the PAM will assist in the implementation of the practice area and GBU firm-wide strategy. Responsibilities will include:
* Assisting Business Development, PALs and the GBU Head with the development of business plans, which result in growth and profit improvement, including the provision of such financial analysis as may be required, to support the development of those plans.
* Working in close collaboration with the global Client & Market Development practice lead to ensure client development targets are aligned.
* Providing direction and coordination to the Business Professionals teams within the practice area, ensuring that their objectives and activities are aligned with the wider Firm objectives and that the services provided are efficient.
* Embedding change projects that will improve processes and efficiencies within the practice area, through participation and leadership.
Working closely with the Regional Financial Controller's team and the RCOO, to manage all aspects of the P&L from revenue to profit and cash, driving efficiencies and financial discipline. The PAM will be responsible for:
* Managing the business planning process, budget and forecasts (from creation to approval) of the practice area (through engagement with sub-groups) and the GBU.
* Maintaining unit schedules and projections for the GBU and London Corporate partners.
* Ensuring robust working capital management and supporting the practice area with monitoring and improving pricing, WIP, billings, cash collection and working with partners on the resolution of significant issues.
* Supporting partners and liaising with Best Delivery colleagues regarding fee estimates, pricing proposals and project management of matters. Collaboration with Pricing Specialists for creation of Alternative Fee Arrangements.
* Ensuring compliance with IFRS 15 requirements as well as focusing on lockup improvement. Highlighting the importance of client care/engagement letters to the practice.
* Participating in time entry training sessions for trainees and fee earners on a semi-regular basis.
* Implementing the London pricing governance matrix, approving write offs and attending approval meetings with the London Managing Partner.
* Driving the right behaviours across the whole practice to ensure financial discipline, so that profitability drivers are sustained and improved across the practice area.
Practice Area and Operational Management
Overseeing the smooth day to day running of the practice area and supporting functions by:
* Providing direction and guidance to senior stakeholders within the practice area, ensuring that the PALs and GBU head are provided with information as required.
* Working with the Senior HR Manager (SHRM) and assisting the PALs in the coaching of partners to develop the culture for success.
* Working in collaboration with the practice area SHRM, the Client & Market Development Senior Manager and the Global Head of Client · & Market Development to align and deliver against relevant practice area and GBU objectives and the business plan.
* Working closely with, and providing all necessary support to, the SHRM and the Resource Manager to ensure the practice area are properly resourced to meet business plan budgets, utilisation, client needs and development opportunities for the associates, taking account of balance between recruitment/attrition.
* Promoting the Best Delivery team (which includes Legal Project Managers, Continuous Improvement and Legal Tech Delivery), to ensure that toolkits and hubs are properly utilised and that best practices are championed and then adopted within the practice area.
* Liaising with IT Client services to ensure Firm-wide IT and system changes are implemented and adopted locally in to the practice area, enabling our colleagues and clients to benefit from efficiencies as well as a high quality service.
* Promoting the use of in-house and low-cost resource options where viable, to reduce cost and improve client efficiencies.
* In close conjunction with the PALs and GBU head, coordinate practice area, partner meetings and retreats, including recommending areas of focus and where appropriate preparing agendas, materials, minutes and progressing agreed actions.
* Ensuring all fee earners complete mandatory training by the required deadlines.
* Reviewing and approving travel spend above pre-set limits. Monitoring discretionary spend. Signing expenses in accordance with the authority matrix.
* Ensuring that appropriate business continuity and risk management processes are in place.
* Responsible with the Head of K&I, for ensuring adequate K&I support for the practices including PSLs. Promote the profile and importance of K&I within the practices and ensure that the PSLs have collated the required resources and precedents to support the practices in an appropriate manner.
Team and Stakeholder Management
* Directly managing, co-ordinating and developing the practice management team consisting; Legal Support Manager, Resource Manager, Legal Technology Manager and the Financial and Business Process Analyst.
* Overseeing the provision of the support service provided to our fee-earners through the Business Professional teams within the practice area including Practice Assistants.
* Delivering success through the management of these individuals and aligning their objectives to the strategic agenda.
* Acting as the key conduit for all Business Professionals into the practice area, including those dedicated to the practice area (Human Resources, Business Development, Best Delivery etc) and those across the global network of the firm (Newcastle, Conflict, the off shore centre, etc) to ensure alignment and understanding.
* Managing stakeholder relationships within the practice area, by partnering with all fee earners (including partners), to ensure Practice Area and Business Professional alignment and understanding.
The successful candidate should have:
* a flexible approach and a willingness to perform varying duties depending on the shifting needs of the firm, as it is the nature of the work of a PAM that tasks and responsibilities are, in many circumstances, unpredictable and varied.
* a resilient and robust approach, with the ability to influence, challenge, and support, persuade and negotiate at all levels
* An excellent work ethic and grounding of discretion and confidentiality.
Desired experience, knowledge and skills:
* Experience in a similar lead operational delivery role with a track record of team management within a function or business unit in a professional services organisation at a similar level of seniority.
* Strong demonstrable track record of leading a team or function in a professional services organisation:
* commercial operational experience - understanding and experience of working on projects across a matrixed organisation would be ideal
* operational leadership and management, the successful candidate will be delivery focused and capable of delivering change and progression
* Experience of and knowledge relating to all areas of the operational and financial running of a professional services business, including financial planning, budgeting, and resource planning.
* Experience working effectively and co-operatively with senior stakeholders in a matrixed organisation.
* The successful candidate will have strong experience in budgeting and forecasting.
* Exposure to change initiatives and their implementation.
* Proven experience of collaborating across matrix teams.
Skills and Attributes
Excellent strategic thinking and judgement
* Experienced in providing solutions to often complex issues, and you will thrive on problem solving and unpicking complex issues relating to the pull between resources and priorities;
* Able to set challenging but realisable strategic goals;
* Good judgement and a skill in identification and prioritisation of added value and strategic tasks;
* Strong analytical skills both in critical thinking and verbal and numerical reasoning;
* Inquisitive nature with the ability to analyse information and identify the root causes of any problems. And with the flexibility to manage detail as well as think conceptually and creatively
Communication and presentation skills:
* Excellent communication skills with proven experience of building and managing relationships with internal and external stakeholders;
* An accomplished presenter, with the ability to synthesis and summarize the salient points of a project or initiative;
* The ability to deliver clear and impartial strategic advice in a consultative manner;
* The intellectual rigour and insight to be credible with groups of partners;
* Strong listening skills.
Leadership and relationship building and networking skills:
* The ability to work effectively and co-operatively with senior stakeholders, across borders and in a matrixed organisation, is vital;
* The ability to build strong working relationships with senior management;
* Demonstrate an understanding of the strengths and limitations of the firm.
Organisation and time management skills:
* Highly organised and structured approach to tasks; whilst able to balance long term, medium term and short term priorities;
* Capability to prioritise and manage both proactive and reactive tasks and requirements;
* Ability to manage multiple projects at a time with different clients, making pragmatic and practical decisions about how initiatives should be implemented;
* Ability to prioritise workload and excellent time management skills;
* Ability to organise support and to delegate effectively;
* Ability to work in an international, regional and local contexts and address issues at those levels.
An Accountancy and/or Business qualification would be beneficial.
To find out more:
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At (COMPANY NAME) we understand that our true asset is our people. We believe that each and every one of us should experience an equality of opportunity and an equality of experience here. We are always working to develop and deliver the best and most innovative approaches to make that happen. Inclusion is good for our team and their families, our firm and society.
We are therefore committed to treating all employees and job applicants fairly and equally regardless of their gender, gender identity and expression, marital or civil partnership status, race, colour, national or ethnic origin, social or economic background, disability, religious belief, sexual orientation, or age. This applies to recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of employment including pay, promotion, training, transfer and every other aspect of employment.
The firm will regularly review its procedures and selection criteria to ensure that individuals are selected, promoted and otherwise treated according to their relevant individual abilities and merits.
We have a number of initiatives and networks that support our aspiration to be the Global Law Firm of choice. These include our LGBT, Gender Parity, Ethnicity and Disability networks.
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Opening Date: 24th January 2020
Closing Date: 23rd February 2020