Role Purpose

To demonstrate strong people management skills together with PA and administrative competencies to the highest level.

Your role is to ensure a high level of client service and provision of quality secretarial services, whilst demonstrating the ability to manage both self and others in order to contribute to our world class 24 hour service. The job holder will be responsible for ensuring that the fee earners receive a professional, efficient and high quality support from Legal PAs and Administrators. The emphasis of the role is to lead, manage and develop individuals and teams and promote cross department working.

The LSTL reports to the Chief of Staff and is expected, on a daily basis, to create a positive working relationship with fee earners and the team with whom they work.

We place an important emphasis on the development and wellbeing of our people. We look to enable all of our employees to be the best they can be in order for them to deliver an excellent client service. We provide a tailored induction programme for all of our new joiners, a buddy scheme, and offer excellent career development opportunities. Our Secretarial Services staff enjoy an inclusive and supportive culture.

We are looking for career-minded candidates who have a background in the legal sector or other professional services.

Main Responsibilities

Resourcing and workflow management

  • Take responsibility for the work you and your team produce to ensure quality of support to fee earners and make recommendations for where improvements can be made
  • Manage resourcing of all Legal PA administrative staff for the assigned business area by monitoring coverage, allocations, overtime and sickness/holiday absence
  • Attend and contribute to team meetings, identifying new ways of working and suggesting improvements
  • Encourage the PAs/Administrators to take ownership of projects and provide resourcing solution
  • Ensure effective utilisation of in-house and off-shore resources to include the Document Support Centre (Manila)
  • Take an active interest in the workload and requirements of each area across the business and provide flexible services to ensure deadlines are consistently met.
  • Support your team to prioritise work daily by checking timescales, ensuring most important tasks are completed first, working with other LSTLs to address and manage peaks in workflow should the need arise.
  • Identify workflow issues and collaborate with others to propose solutions.
  • People management, development and leadership

  • Act as a role model demonstrating exceptional behaviours at all times, including being available to PAs and stakeholders to deal with operational matters
  • Create and maintain an efficient, effective and motivated team; encourage and inspire the team and positively influence morale; guide the team and lead by example
  • Promote and monitor the wellbeing and work life balance of the PA team
  • Deal with any conflict within the team and break down barriers to create effective communications; flexing leadership style according to the individual, task and situation
  • Be continually aware of, monitor and manage any performance, time keeping, sickness and informal employee issues and escalating to HR or the Chief of Staff in a timely manner
  • Manage the evaluation process for team, including setting performance objectives, helping to collate quality and substantive feedback, identifying areas for improvement, writing evaluation forms, conducting evaluation meetings and implementing performance improvement plans
  • Provide regular objective and constructive feedback with a view to motivating and enhancing performance
  • Work with the LSTL and Leadership and Learning team to identify skills gaps and training needs and address through a variety of learning interventions across the function
  • Identify and support talent within the team, make recommendations to support career progression and prepare business cases for promotions
  • Communicate regularly with all Legal PAs and Administrators and be a visible presence; conducting regular 1:1s and team meetings, preparing agendas and ensuring actions are allocated
  • Manage the recruitment process, in conjunction with the Chief of Staff and the recruitment team, review CVs, lead at first stage interview and on-boarding
  • Be flexible in approach to role and task completion and when applicable ‘step-in’ or ‘step-up’ to other roles/positions that may need support
  • Practice management support (specifics to be agreed with Department Managers and reviewed in conjunction with SLPA role)

  • Meet regularly with Department Managers, Partners and Business Managers to review the effectiveness of the secretarial team and ad hoc projects for them
  • Support Department Managers with highly confidential matters, projects and documentation, as appropriate
  • Assist the Department Managers and Business Managers with space management and office moves
  • Strategic thinking and change management

  • Working with the wider LSTL team and the Chief of Staff to support introduction of new processes or projects e.g. billing process improvement, CDD
  • Help to design and lead on embedding the reviewed secretarial models by continually assessing best practice considering the implications on advancing technology and ensure the Legal PA / Admin group skillsets are developed to support this
  • Build relationships of trust across the firm by liaising with other Business Services teams and keeping abreast of firm wide initiatives and communicating as appropriate, including involvement in key projects
  • Review, implement and improve processes and systems where necessary to ensure that the Legal PAs and Legal Administrators are working as efficiently as possible
  • Develop and maintain a strong network across departments and externally in order to keep the LSTL team responsive to changes in the business, sharing best practice
  • About The Team


    Our Operations function supports and manages the day-to-day operations of the Firm, providing expert and in-market support regarding office management, office services and facilities, real estate management, risk management, and secretarial and administrative services.

    This role will report directly to the London Chief of Staff.

    The direct reports of this role are the Team of PAs.

    The key relationships of this role are with the Fee earners and Secretarial Services Staff

    About The Candidate

    Technical skills, qualifications and experience

  • Proven experience of a business area/function including awareness of HR processes and policies, such as annual evaluations, performance management and feedback discussions
  • Demonstrates excellent influencing and negotiating skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to contribute to a seamless, integrated team approach to service delivery
  • Ability to build and maintain credible, effective working relationships with all levels of staff within the firm and externally
  • Ability to deal with difficult situations and stay calm under pressure
  • Legal sector or other professional services experience / background (i.e from the Big Four)
  • A proactive, ‘Can-do’ attitude
  • Consistently demonstrates secretarial competencies to the highest level in all areas
  • Strong technical skills
  • Proficient in all software packages (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Excellent working knowledge of the firm’s house style, document management system, templates and precedents
  • Previous senior PA experience within a professional services environment
  • High level organisational skills with proven project management skills
  • People management and leadership skills
  • Core Competencies

  • People Management
  • Communication
  • Client Service
  • Technical and Specialist skills
  • Organisational Skills
  • Personal Qualities

  • Flexibility
  • Dedication
  • Humanity
  • Efficiency
  • Diversity and Inclusion

    Respects and enjoys the diversity of cultural, social and academic backgrounds found in the Firm

    Personal Qualities

    These personal qualities represent the shared characteristics of high performers across Baker McKenzie, regardless of job level and location.

    Know How

  • Keeps across key developments in all relevant areas and demonstrates the ability to develop substantive authority in relation to the Firm’s specialist fields
  • Demonstrates the ability to identify the real issue, and to anticipate requirements and potential consequences; distils a range of possibilities by thinking in a considered, prudent manner
  • Able to move through a variety of tasks requiring different approaches, knowledge, and expertise, with agility of mind and capacity for analysis and synthesis
  • Dedication

  • Driven by a strong personal sense of integrity and upholds exemplary quality standards
  • Prepares thoroughly, takes responsibility, uses initiative and is self- reliant to ensure work progresses to the fullest extent possible
  • Hardworking and diligent with a keen understanding of client demands
  • Demonstrates composure when dealing with difficult situations 
  • Personal Impact

  • Creates a positive impression at all times; develops relationships through collaboration and reciprocity 
  • Negotiates to achieve outcomes that are mutually satisfactory; shows good judgement on when to stand strong and when to compromise 
  • Invests in, nurtures and builds a network of productive relationships
  • Humanity

  • Respectful to others, regardless of their position, and earns the respect of others by being transparent 
  • Has care and concern for others and a genuine interest in others as people
  • Treats delicate or confidential issues with grace and discretion.
  • Why Join Us?

    Baker McKenzie is a truly global law firm. Founded in 1949, we advise many of the world’s most dynamic and successful business organisations through our 13,200 people in 78 offices in 46 countries. Yet big does not mean impersonal. We work hard to ensure that everyone knows their role and has the support they need to perform it to the highest standard. Our culture encourages this – how we work, think and behave in a collaborative and fulfilling way.

    In London you will be part of an 950 person office, which is also our largest office globally. Originally opened in 1961, Baker McKenzie London is well established in the UK as a leading international law firm and is regularly involved in some of the country’s most high-profile legal matters. We can offer you the work, pride and experience of being part of a leading law firm but in a local office environment that is hardworking, yet friendly and supportive.

    The strength of the firm and our culture is evidenced by a number of recent awards, including:

  • Acritas’ Sharplegal Global Elite Brand Index, 2010- 2019 – ranked 1st
  • The Sunday Times’ Best Companies to Work For 2011, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17: currently ranked 66th
  • The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers 2018: currently ranked 65th
  • Euromoney Women in Business Law Awards 2015-18
  • Thomson Reuters ranked the Firm No. 1 for cross-border deals for the last 12 years. More than 70% of our deals are cross-border.
  • For the 14th consecutive year, the Firm was ranked first for deals with emerging market involvement, by both number of announced and completed deals.
  • Law360 ranked the Firm as the leading global law firm in its annual survey.
  • Acritas recognized the Firm as the world’s strongest legal brand for the ninth year in a row.
  • Identified as one of the best law firms for women by Working Mother magazine, Law360 and Euromoney.
    The Firm was honoured to be one of Stonewall’s 2019 Top Global Employers and the top Global LGBT+ Network of the Year, as well as one of only 10 employers to feature in the ‘Top Trans Employer’ listing for a second consecutive year.
  • Social Mobility Employer Index, 2019 – ranked 5th
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