Job Title: Professional Standards and Risk (PSR) Manager (6-month contract)
Reports To: General Counsel
Why Bates Wells?
Our values are important to us, they shape our decisions and our working life.
Making a profit is core to all businesses but our goal is to combine this with a real social purpose. Since opening in 1970, we’ve focussed on positive social impact as much as we have on being a successful law firm and we were the first UK law firm with B Corp certification.
Today, our clients are diverse – from corporate household names, to public bodies, to start-ups. We’re also the firm of choice for thousands of charities and social enterprises. We continue to lead the market we helped to shape.
As a purpose and values driven firm, we show commitment to our clients, our people, the environment and society. We see it as our purpose to create a positive impact. The impact we have on our people, our communities and our planet does more than inform our work - it gets us up in the morning.
Bates Wells challenges what is possible in legal expertise delivery.
A varied and dynamic role, proactively supporting the General Counsel in maintaining a robust quality and risk management framework across a City law firm. This role requires the combination of core technical skills with the ability to innovate and provide effective solutions within the firm’s risk appetite. In this role you will work directly with partners and members of the senior management team to assist in cross-departmental projects and in the course of some of the core responsibilities of the role.
You will be working in our Professional Standards & Risk (PSR) team, who provide advice on professional standards, regulatory compliance, continuous improvement, corporate governance, and risk management.
• Support the General Counsel in matters of corporate governance including managing the affairs of the LLP, maintaining the corporate risk register and raising any general risk issues emanating from the PSR reporting framework.
• Co-ordinating tasks in respect of partner/ lateral hire onboarding and partner exits.
• Responsible for the day-to-day management of the firm’s internal audit programme including the firm’s three ISO standards (9001, 14001and 27001), file quality audits and scope audits. You will ensure the programme remains proportionate and fit for purpose, whist maintaining stakeholder buy-in to the critical importance and benefits that the firm gains from internal audit.
• You will be responsible for developing the audit skills of other team members and preparing focussed internal audit reports, identifying solutions and remedial actions which can be effectively
implemented to address areas of concern and provide operational efficiencies. You will also be responsible for presenting audit outcomes to the Senior Management Team and Heads of Department.
• Build knowledge and awareness of risk management across all areas of the firm through daily interactions and focussed training.
• Support the Senior PSR Manager with Data Breach management, DSAR requests and the preparation of DPIAs.
• Support the General Counsel in reviewing and advising the firm regarding supplier contractual arrangements and other key contractual relationships between the firm and third parties.
• Co-ordinate the responses to PSR related questions raised in client tender documentation and contracts.
• Assist the General Counsel in aspects of reputational risk management including providing support to the reputational risk committee.
• Support the General Counsel in the management, investigation and formal response to expressions of dissatisfaction and formal client complaints – ensuring the complaints register is effectively maintained and reporting emerging trends and proposed remedial action to the General Counsel.
• Liaise with external advisors and the Legal Ombudsman in respect of any formal complaints raised to this level.
• Work with other members of the PSR team to ensure a prompt response to general regulatory and compliance queries in areas such as: client conflict; SRA regulations; money laundering and financial crime.
• Assist in the regular review and creation of policies and procedures within your core areas of responsibility.
• Support the General Counsel in the management of the firm's client engagement and terms of business documentation - including engagement of third-party advisors for individual client matters.
• Develop and deliver relevant training across your core areas of responsibility.
• Promote and maintain the firm’s positive compliance culture of support and openness.
Specific tasks may change over time, so we’ll need you to be adaptable and flexible as we continue to meet our clients’ needs.
Which qualities do we look for?
• A passion for learning, developing and sharing your knowledge with others.
• The ability to proactively manage your workload and work under your own initiative without the need for day-to-day direct oversight.
• The ability to build, maintain and nurture relationships across the firm and with external stakeholders.
• Well-developed listening and questioning techniques. In this role it’s important to be inquisitive and we encourage you to ask questions, test assumptions and propose ideas.
• A client-centric approach
• Teamwork – there is a place for individual effort, but we highly value a collaborative approach.
• A results-focused mentality – we hope you’ll challenge the status quo if you feel it’ll benefit our work.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills
• Ability to be methodical and understand the importance of leaving an audit trail of activities.
• Flexibility to work outside normal office hours as may be required from time-to-time.
Finally, we want people whose values reflect our own and who feel inspired working in a firm with a strong social purpose.
What are we like to work for?
• Our purpose and values both guide and drive us.
• We promote a strong work/life balance.
• We have an agile working environment – this means you might sit next to a different colleague every day or choose to work from our rooftop garden and we actively encourage people to work from home once a week. During this period of social distancing this is of course much higher, and we are likely to review our policies to enable greater homeworking during 2021.
• Our culture encourages clear and honest dialogue and cross-team support.
• The firm review salaries annually as part of the appraisal process in July of each year. However, we encourage our staff to engage with their supervisors throughout the year on feedback and objective setting.
• We recognise success and contribution at any time of the year through our Recognition Scheme.
• Our benefits and wellbeing package includes firm matching pension contributions, private medical insurance plus a medical benefit cash plan, discretionary bonus arrangements, life assurance, 25 days holiday with the opportunity to buy more, subsidised gym memberships, lifestyle discount scheme, firm-wide profit-sharing scheme, on site café, and Summer in the City early-Friday-finish.
• Everyone gets a bonus if there is one - a proportion of the LLP profit is distributed to our people when we exceed our financial thresholds.
About the Professional Standards & Risk team
We are a very supportive and passionate team – our aim being to protect the firm and our colleagues’ professional integrity. We have embedded a culture of openness across our firm which means that our colleagues involve us in all manner of issues that arise throughout the course of their work. The firm has grown significantly in recent years and sees the positive benefit of investing in our team to help deliver high standards of client care, efficiencies through improved processes, centralisation of core compliance functions and the delivery of solutions to address the ever changing legal and regulatory landscape.
As a team we get an immense sense of achievement from seeing each other develop and flourish:
• sharing responsibilities on interesting firm wide projects (of which there are many);
• being generous with our time and knowledge to help other team members advance their own careers;
• exploring different career pathways that suit individuals rather than just fitting people into a defined role;
• promoting a learning culture across the firm, not just answering the questions we are asked but giving our colleagues the tools to find the answers themselves;
• showing our colleagues the real human impact of the decisions that they take and the things we ask them to do; and
• promoting our culture of openness and transparency.
Most importantly, we really enjoy our work and value each other. Whilst it might sound a cliché, we want our colleagues across the firm to find us accessible, friendly, supportive and knowledgeable. Always listening and not judging them when things go wrong.
Some extra details
• Bates Wells is a B Corporation. B Corporations are profit-making, purpose-driven organisations unified by one goal: to redefine success in business.
• Our people rate us and we made it into the Sunday Times’ ‘Top 100 firms to work’ for in 2018.
• Bates Wells provides legal documents to clients through ‘Get Legal’ – an innovative online documentation portal, which provides an affordable suite of legal documents drafted by sector-leading experts for tailoring by individual users.
• We are committed to your wellbeing and offer physical and mental support in the way of subsidised gym membership, private health care and in-office Mental Health Awareness Ambassadors.
• We strongly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to reach their full potential whatever their background and believe a diverse team is integral to our success.
• We are signatories of the Halo Code Agreement, Race at Work Charter and Race Fairness Commitment
How to find out more about us Don’t forget to review our website (https://bateswells.co.uk/) and ask around about us to find out more and whether we’re the right fit for you.
NB We will normally have at least 2 interviews – to test your skills and competencies to work with us and to see if your values align with ours.