Job Summary: The Legal Personal Assistant will provide a high level of efficient, client-focused and professional legal administrative support to a number of nominated fee earners, enabling them to be more productive with their time. To play a key role in the team to ensure that peaks and troughs of workload are smoothed.
Key Duties and Responsibilities:
Responds to, assesses and prioritises clients’ requests, however communicated, and offers appropriate efficient and business-like help and assistance to meet their needs.
Maintains a good knowledge of current clients and carries out basic client liaison duties.
Develops and maintains an up-to-date knowledge of the stage of the deal upon which the fee earners are working, current deal workloads, potential issues and sensitivities.
Marketing and Business Development activities
Proactively supports fee earners’ MBD responsibilities. Includes submitting content to MBD systems (deal collection, pitch/experience lists etc), intranet/client extranet publishing, prompting fee earners to provide material for uploading, conducting basic research, running regular activity and tracking reports to support MBD initiatives.
Carries out basic business development duties such as updating contacts and sending out business development materials.
Assists with administrative support for business development and client events, working in conjunction with the relevant central and practice based MBD teams as appropriate.
Liaises with fee earners and the MBD department as required on the production of pitches, client presentations and maintaining up-to-date CVs for fee earners.
General administrative support
Helps to manage incoming communication (including fee earners’ e-mail and voicemail), drafts and transcribes replies when directed by fee earners and ensures all mail is processed in an accurate and timely manner.
Pro-actively manages fee earners’ diaries, makes appointments, arranges meeting rooms and organises travel arrangements and expense claims to ensure all work activities are scheduled effectively. Able to make reasoned decisions when conflicts occur, or know when to refer to fee earner for the decision.
Arranges all travel effectively and efficiently. This must include understanding fee earners’ preferences, anticipating additional requirements (accommodation, currency, returns, transfers) and planning in contingency.
Types letters, correspondence and legal documentation (often involving confidential material). Proofreads all work to ensure that completed documents are delivered accurately and to an appropriately high standard.
Establishes and maintains a robust manual and electronic filing system and other administration systems (such as client files if required) to ensure completeness and accuracy of technical, professional and matter information. Uses Worksite for e-mail filing as per departmental standards.
Carries out day-to-day administrative tasks to ensure provision of high quality service in all areas, including liaison with department business centres and other service departments as appropriate.
Assists fee earners with basic technical queries allowing them to make best use of available IT and KBD resources. Ensures own knowledge of technical packages is up to date.
Assists with administration, co-ordination and logistics for internal seminar and training events, ensuring relevant events are diarised for fee earners.
Carries out basic matter opening with support from fee earners and updates records as necessary.
Assists fee earners with the billing processes, preparing first drafts of bill narratives if required.
Provides fee earners with appropriate support in managing personal matters, such that fee earners are able to focus their time on providing efficient services to clients.
Aware of department’s policy on Chinese walls and acts accordingly.
Communicates on a daily basis with all of their fee earners, ensuring a high level of awareness of current priorities, fee earners’ whereabouts and service requirements.
Proactively communicates with Team Supervisor on issues of workload and any other difficulties.
Proactively communicates with KBD team on KBD related issues.
Is proactive in providing support to other PAs in the team to ensure that peaks and troughs of demand are managed.
Willing to provide cross-team support where necessary.
Ensures phones are covered at all times.
Contributes to departmental support projects on an ad hoc basis.
Qualifications, Skills and Experience:
The applicant must hold an A’ level qualification or equivalent experience, must have at least 5 GCSEs (A-C) (or equivalent), to include Maths and English.
Experience of working in a legal environment.
Formal legal secretarial qualification.
Excellent communication skills (written and oral).
Administrative support experience.
Good organisational skills and attention to detail.
Ability to prioritise and act on own initiative.
Able to work fast to tight deadlines.
Able to work as part of a team.
Flexible and proactive approach.
Ability to retain a positive and professional attitude under pressure.
Excellent IT Skills, including fast, accurate audio and copy typing (60 wpm).
Able to produce high quality Word and PowerPoint documents.
Able to create, manipulate and interrogate Excel spreadsheets.
Willingness to broaden experience and develop skills further.
Sound knowledge of legal environment, including legal terminology appropriate to their department.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (informally Freshfields, or FBD), founded in 1743 is a multinational law firm headquartered in London and a member of the Magic Circle of elite British law firms. Freshfields is the oldest firm within the Magic Circle and is reported to be the oldest international law firm in the world. Freshfields is the top ranked law firm for European, UK and Asia-Pacific M&A.