• Herbert Smith Freehills
  • London, UK
  • May 09, 2022
Commercial Finance Finance Manager

Job Description

The Role    

The role will be integrated in the finance function and aligned with the practice group, working closely with and taking direction from the Managing Partner, RHoPs and Partners. The role encompasses the planning, analysis and reporting for a London practice group, including the provision of commentaries to help guide Management to focus on the main issues/risks and to develop and improve profitability.  

The emphasis will be on the profitability of the practice group focussing on clients, types of work, sectors of work and how these could be enhanced by greater efficiency for example in the use of resources and modified pricing.

The qualities of the candidates would include strong business and analytical skills, strong written and verbal communication and a readiness to implement change. Relationship building with internal clients is critical, and candidates should be able to communicate and influence at a senior level.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Assisting with the delivery of critical business information and providing performance analysis on key business areas in the UK, the US & EMEA
  • Business partnering with the Managing Partner to maximise performance and meet the group’s financial targets
  • Timely and accurate financial reporting of practice group financials
  • Driving and implementing the communication and understanding of financial management information changes
  • Assisting partners with understanding the financial aspects of their business and supporting them globally via information and analysis
  • Providing analysis and insight to inform and influence decision making globally
  • Support the planning, budgeting and forecasting process including a full profitability assessment of each practice
  • Analysing/assessing the profitability of all key clients, sectors and group
  • Undertake pre and post matter analysis for global fee estimates
  • Modelling and scenario analysis covering matters, teams and strategic investments
  • Presenting to associates on "understanding financial management"
  • Preparing the financial business cases for internal partner promotions and external partner hires
  • Work collaboratively as a member of the practice group executive team
  • Working with the Business Finance team with ad hoc reporting and project work as necessary
Key Performance Indicators:
  • Achievement of practice group strategy and business plan
  • Business KPIs – Utilisation, Leverage, Profitability per Partner, and WIP & Debt indicators
  • Effective identification and management of financial risks
Key Internal Relationships:
  • Managing Partner and Regional Heads of Practice (RHoP); Partners and Practice Group Manager; Head of Business Finance; UK & US Region Business Finance teams




  • Minimum 5 years' experience with responsibility for all aspects of profit and loss in a commercial finance role
  • Professional qualification in Commerce or Finance (ACA/CIMA preferred). Equivalent relevant qualifications and candidates with less than five years will be considered providing they can demonstrate the required competencies to carry out the role effectively
  • A background within Professional Services (legal sector) would be preferable
  • Strong MS Office skills
  • International experience with a large multi group practice is desirable but not essential
  • Demonstrable influencing skills
  • Demonstrable experience:
    • working directly with a Senior Executive team
    • identifying profit drivers and improvement opportunities through the analysis of the P&L
    • managing significant change within their area of responsibility



Business Finance


The Business finance team works closely with management, practices, partners and business services teams to assist in driving its strategy, profitability, cash flow and growth.

The team ensures an adequate financial control framework is maintained to safeguard the integrity of the firm's finances and plays a key role in mitigating financial and business risks. The team provides robust financial information internally and externally to enable decision making, effective operations and to help the firm meet its clients' needs and statutory requirements.

As a member of the Business finance team, whether you are in core finance, taxation, treasury or projects, you’ll play a critical role in the firm's success.


Business Services




Full Time