Practice Assistant

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Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full-time (Monday - Friday; 9.30am - 5.30pm)
Reports to: Departmental Support Manager
Team: Disputes
Location: London
The Firm

Farrer & Co is synonymous with the highest quality legal advice and service.

We advise individuals, families, businesses, financial services, educational and not-for-profit organisations on every aspect of the law, wherever the need arises. From our offices in London we work with trusted professionals around the world to deliver a seamless international service.

Our clients present us with complex and varied challenges. Whether that's a complicated family trust issue, a multinational corporate transaction, or an emerging threat to their reputation, they need clear thinkers who can advise on the best solutions, fast thinkers when speed is of the essence and agile thinkers who can produce a fresh approach to get the job done. That's why they choose us.

Our clients value our in-depth knowledge, technical excellence and diversity of disciplines. But what really binds our long-standing relationships with them is our approach: pragmatic, plain speaking and always steadfast in our values, which we hold dear. Values which mean we gain our clients' trust, always strive to do the right thing, and aim for the best results for them.

Superb client service sits at the heart of everything we do. We are modern lawyers with timeless values.

The Team

Our dispute resolution team handles a full range of litigation matters, from contract claims to large scale, complex multi-jurisdictional disputes and judicial review.  We regularly appear in the High Court and the Court of Protection as well as courts in the Channel Islands and overseas.  We also have significant experience of alternative dispute resolution and, in particular, arbitration and mediation.  We act for a broad array of clients including individuals, businesses ranging from small family businesses to significant corporates, banks, trustees and trust companies as well as schools, higher education institutions and not-for-profit organisations.  Our experience across this range of sectors ensures that our litigators understand the impact which a dispute can have on both an individual and at an organisational level.  Each dispute requires a tailored solution, and we are committed to working quickly with you to identify and understand the issues you are facing in order to achieve the best possible result.

Scope

We are looking for an extremely organised and proactive Practice Assistant to provide a high level of professional support to their allocated Fee Earners as well as other members of the Department. They will be highly motivated, display outstanding attention to detail and have the ability to multitask with ease.  It is essential that they are a strong team player with a positive, up-beat approach.

Responsibilities

Organisational Support

  • Effective and proactive diary management, and awareness of Fee Earners' workloads to plan ahead
  • Has an excellent knowledge of all systems/processes used within the Department
  • Is professional and maintains effective communications with clients and Fee Earners, using an appropriate mix of communication styles
  • Researches new clients/contacts and prepares bios before meetings, and conducts basic research (on-line or otherwise) for Fee Earners when required
  • Arranges travel and any other activities on behalf of others, where appropriate
  • Monitors critical dates in the diaries of Fee Earners for their matters

Client Relationship and Business Development

  • Provides excellent service to clients, fee earners and colleagues, in a timely and professional manner, presenting a positive image of the Firm at all times
  • Recognises, respects and honours client confidentiality at all times
  • Organises business development meetings and events for Fee Earners, and where they are held online offers technical support on the day
  • Assists the BD team in the production of business development materials
  • Understands and uses InterAction effectively to support fee earners BD efforts including recording all business development meetings in InterAction, and sets up reminders where follow-ups are needed with prospects on InterAction or other systems/logs as required

Document Production

  • Produces typed work accurately, a high speed and in accordance with the firm’s house style
  • Makes effective use of the Document Management System
  • Creates new documents from the Firm’s templates, using contact data from InterAction where appropriate
  • Proof-reads all documents for spelling, grammar and sense, querying wording where appropriate
  • Proactively uses initiative to compose correspondence on behalf of fee earners, requiring focused concentration and attention to detail
  • Assists fee earners in the production of ebundles where required
  • Thoroughly understands and uses the full suite of tools used in production of documents and the firm’s templates for these 

IT Skills/Systems

  • Maintains a high level of proficiency in core IT applications including the Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook)
  • Makes suggestions for additional training, as required
  • Is capable of troubleshooting IT issues for fee earners and liaising with IT where these cannot be resolved within the team

File Management

  • Ensures that files within the case management system are kept in good order so that documents can be easily accessed
  • Works in accordance with the department protocol in relation to e-filing
  • Adopts a pro-active approach and works with Fee Earners effectively, to maintain regular file management, ensuring all files are closed and archived, as appropriate, and a risk assessment having been undertaken
  • Keeps accurate records of all files sent to off-site storage via Records

Financial Risk Management

  • Has an excellent knowledge and application of the Firm's procedures in billing, AML, Credit Control and debt management
  • Liaises with clients to obtain AML documentation and obtains relevant documentation from clients in a timely manner, as required by Fee Earners
  • Sets up conflict searches for review by fee earners, correctly identifying the appropriate classification for each entry
  • Thoroughly understands what is required for client care letters and prepares first drafts of CCLs for fee earners
  • Prepares bills (including bill narratives if required) and covering letter to client, as required by fee earners
  • Liaises with credit control and alerting Fee Earners to unpaid bills
  • Deals with time-recording matters for Fee Earners as required (for example, to record holiday absence)
Skills and Experience
  • Previous secretarial experience in a law firm essential
  • Experience working within a Disputes or Litigation team would be an advantage
Person Specification
  • Has excellent timekeeping and prioritises work effectively
  • Is flexible, reliable, co-operative and has a professional approach to work
  • Works as a positive, friendly and helpful team player
  • Communicates in a positive and constructive manner and always interacts in good faith and demonstrates effective listening
  • Uses initiative and takes a proactive approach to work by regularly seeking ways to improve secretarial support
  • Positively supports and promotes change within the Department
  • Adjusts approach to work as the demands require
  • Respectfully and confidently puts forward solutions when dealing with competing demands from Fee Earners or others in the Department
  • Functions effectively under pressure and acts with confidence and composure
Education and Qualifications
  • Qualified to GCSE standard, grade C (or equivalent) at Mathematics and English essential
Special aspects
  • The hours of work for this opportunity are 9:30am - 5:30pm but we would expect the successful candidate to be committed, flexible and prepared to work beyond the normal office hours if necessary and in response to client demand. You will be expected to follow the firm’s agile working policy, which embraces home working but will require employees to spend a minimum number of days each week in the London office.
  • Farrer & Co is open to flexible working by arrangement although this role is intended as a full-time position.
  • Open to talking flexibly.
Comments

Farrer & Co conducts a pre-employment screening which consists of a Criminal History Background and Credit Check for successful candidates.