Personal Assistant

  • Travers Smith
  • London, UK
  • Apr 18, 2022
Legal PA PA

Job Description

You will be expected to provide high quality, comprehensive personal assistant/secretarial support to lawyers in the Real Estate department. You will proactively contribute to the department, and ultimately, the Firm's success by actively seeking to improve working processes, anticipating the needs of clients and colleagues, and facilitating flexible and efficient workflow management.

As a PA at Travers Smith the expectation is that you will demonstrate the key characteristics described below. These areas of focus are aligned with the needs of those supported by every PA in the Firm. While the descriptions are not exhaustive, they provide an overview of the fundamental expectations that the Firm places on its PA population.

Real Estate

With a team of pure real estate lawyers focusing on the full life-cycle of any real estate project and a wider cross-practice team, we have a deep understanding of the commercial challenges.

A range of high-calibre and high-profile corporate clients rely on our team's expertise across a wide range of real estate asset classes such as healthcare, retail, offices, build to rent/private rented sector, infrastructure and hotels.

Working closely with real estate specialists within the Finance, Corporate M&A, Funds and Tax teams, our Real Estate department regularly advises on all aspects of real estate including:

  • asset management
  • buying, selling and leasing property
  • construction and engineering
  • development and investment financing
  • development schemes
  • environmental issues
  • insolvency and CVAs
  • investment fund structures
  • joint ventures
  • planning
  • property disputes

Key responsibilities

  • Extensive and proactive diary management. Gaining an understanding of the week from the perspective of the lawyers - 'horizon scanning' to pre-empt conflicts and anticipate needs;
  • Work to ensure unique and individual support needs are understood for each lawyer;
  • Ensure regular communication is made to convey and share any workload pressures with other PAs and/or PA Team Leader;
  • Pre-empt needs for enhanced or specific support at times when individuals might be under additional pressure;
  • Field and screen communications (email and phone), ensuring exceptional client service is delivered at all times;
  • Ensure 'quality control' forms part of regular work flow patterns, whereby any work that is delegated to another team is thoroughly checked before it is returned;
  • Complete appropriate/necessary DP tasks to the highest standards and ensuring house style requirements are met;
  • Prepare PowerPoint presentations with minimal input, delivering slides that are clear and in line with branding;
  • Take the initiative of overseeing adhoc administrative projects for the lawyers, for example, archiving, confidential shredding, photocopying, organising filing systems;
  • Liaise with relevant parties to arrange meetings; booking internal rooms; ensuring the appropriate room setups are in place; and that refreshments are booked and confirmed;
  • Liaise with and co-ordinate meeting attendees, both internal and external, ensuring all parties have the relevant information ahead of time;
  • Proactively prepare and collate papers ahead of meetings;
  • Co-ordinate travel arrangements ensuring efficient use of time and expenditure including booking taxis and accommodation, completing visa applications, arranging currency, creating itineraries and compiling expense forms as appropriate;
  • Support lawyers in marketing activities including involvement in the preparation of pitch documents and presentations;
  • Use of effective systems to ensure that both urgent and non-urgent tasks are progressed and delivered within the required timescales;
  • Assist other members of the department/Firm as required; and
  • Develop a general awareness of business issues and challenges within which the lawyers operate to instill trust and confidence in the PA team.

Client relations

  • Be client focused and understand the expectations of internal and external clients;
  • Where necessary, pass on full and accurate messages in a timely manner and take appropriate action to ensure the needs of both internal and external clients are met;
  • Act in a professional and courteous manner when dealing with clients (including internal clients), potential clients and third parties;
  • Assist in arranging internal and external events;
  • Capture and manage contact and client relationship data in the Firm's CRM system (InterAction), maintaining any existing information;
  • Interrogate and report on data in the CRM system;
  • Become an active part in the care of clients and look for opportunities to build relationships with client contacts and PAs where appropriate; and
  • Deal with basic client queries and general administration.

Administration

  • Proactively deal with incoming and outgoing mail;
  • Action emails and manage inbox as required and forward/action as necessary;
  • Establish and maintain effective and accurate filing systems (hard copy and electronic);
  • Be capable of operating all the functions of the photocopiers and scanners including clearing jams, replenishing paper and replacing toner;
  • Managing lawyer expenses and petty cash; and
  • General ad-hoc administration duties.

Communication

  • Demonstrate rapport, empathy, and professionalism when communicating and use these skills to build and maintain collaborative working relationships with all colleagues, clients and stakeholders of the Firm;
  • Utilise your internal and external networks to help you to solve problems and devise effective solutions;
  • Ensure that all client related correspondence is passed on to an appropriate lawyer and actioned as necessary;
  • Liaise with the business support departments on behalf of the lawyers as required; and
  • Communicate and work as a team to cover busy periods and absence.

Documents

  • Oversee all document production work, either through delegation and quality control, or through completing a task that falls within the PA remit of responsibility; and
  • Provide support with marketing and pitch documents.

Billing and File Opening

  • Assist lawyers with time recording where possible, entering absences onto Expert Time;
  • Assist lawyers with billing and credit control by liaising with Central Finance and preparing bill narratives and draft cost details;
  • Provide assistance with file opening and conflict checks; and
  • Request cheques, bank transfers and paying in money received, as appropriate.

Miscellaneous

  • Attend training as required to keep up to date with Firm-wide procedures;
  • Work proactively as part of a team to ensure time is used effectively using all available Firm-wide resources to meet pressured deadlines; and
  • Effective management and prioritisation of work.

Skills and Experience

  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint;
  • Prior experience of working in a fast paced corporate environment;
  • Efficient organisation skills, with a high degree of accuracy and an ability to prioritise an often conflicting workload;
  • Able to work calmly and efficiently under pressure;
  • First-rate inter-personal and communication skills;
  • Ability to develop and utilise good working relationships across teams;
  • Demonstrate flexibility and dependability;
  • Evidence of having used initiative and an understanding of process; and
  • Able to build confidence and earn the trust and respect of others.

Education/Qualifications

  • Minimum 5 GCSEs/O'Levels or equivalent at grade A-C including English and Maths.
  • Secretarial qualification and/or MOS certification (desirable).