Senior Practice Assistant

Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full-time (Monday - Friday; 9.30am - 5.30pm)
Reports to: Departmental Support Manager
Team: Private Client
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

We provide specialist legal advice on the whole spectrum of private and business issues, helping clients to preserve and transmit their family assets and wealth (advising on trusts, Wills, probate and tax).  We offer a straightforward personal service specifically tailored to clients’ requirements. We have a wealth of experience advising on all the issues clients may have to face in relation to both wealth management and other events of life.

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. The candidate will be experienced in their specialist area but will be expected to be flexible to cover the broader remit 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
  • Processes relevant applications, forms or searches, with minimal supervision
  • 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
  • Maintains up-to-date knowledge and understanding of Fee Earners' matters to enable a proactive support service
  • Researches new clients/contacts and collates the papers required for client 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 including setting up online/hybrid meetings liaising directly with clients
  • Uses initiative and takes a pro-active approach to work by regularly seeking ways to improve the level of PA support provided to Fee Earners and to the wider Department, developing techniques and systems for coping with time and deadline pressures

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
  • Acts as a first point of contact for Fee Earners
  • 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
  • Demonstrates a good knowledge about the type of work that the Department carries out, in order to be able to assist with new client enquiries
  • Enables the Firm to provide bespoke communications to key contacts by being aware of particular client requirements and ensuring that these are catered for where possible
  • Proactively builds an understanding and knowledge of clients and organisations to help Fee Earners develop future relevant opportunities for both their team and other areas of the Firm

Document Production

  • Creates typed work of a high quality, formatting in accordance with house style, at high speed, with accuracy and following internal guidelines
  • 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 
  • Acts as a role model and mentor to others in document production. Assisting and advising Fee Earners on house style. Works with IT to help to develop, improve and test document production templates and Department precedents

IT Skills/Systems

  • Has attained super-user level of proficiency in core IT applications including the Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook), Aderant for billing, InterAction, Intapp and Big Hand and is sought out as a source of help from others in the Department
  • Works with IT to help to develop and improve systems, acting as a focal point for testing and providing constructive and professional feedback
  • 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 with minimal supervision, as required by Fee Earners
  • Pro-actively manages billing processes in accordance with Department's billing cycle
  • 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)
  • Regularly monitors finance related KPIs
Skills and Experience
  • Qualified to GCSE standard, grade C (or equivalent) at Mathematics and English essential
  • Previous secretarial experience in a law firm essential
  • Experience working within Private Client 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
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.