Legal Practice Manager
05/04/2023 11:59 pm
The annual salary on offer is c. £65,000, dependent on qualifications and experience. This is a not-for-profit environment, but the package of other benefits is good and includes, for example, enhanced pension contributions and 25 days annual holidays plus public holidays.
We are offering the role as full time (35 hours per week) or part time, but we need at least 25 hours per week over 4-5 days.
There is flexibility – most staff work a mix of office and from home hours. Current premises are in central “legal” London. Some office presence will be required to meet the demands of the role.
Or email: email@example.com with the subject line: Legal Practice Manager
About the Role
The current vacancy arises as the Practice Manager / COFA who developed the organisation prior to its launch and in initial months of operation is moving on.
The Job Description and person specification setting out the key responsibilities of the role can be found in this attached link.
We are looking for someone who can bring considerable law firm administration and management experience to ensure we are putting in place systems, processes and procedures – including any underpinning technological solutions – that fit our needs and scale, as well as deliver compliant regulatory outcomes. In particular we are looking for someone with the skills and knowledge to take responsibility for financial systems and control in the Practice. They should be capable of assessing what we have done to date and suggesting alternatives or improvements as required, and of supporting the Managing Director of Good Law Practice in ensuring the provision of corporate services (including out-sourced support) which further the strategic mission of the Practice as it develops.
The post holder needs to be able to work with a “dotted line” reporting relationship to the Project’s Chief Operating Officer, who is a professionally qualified accountant and is the executive governance lead for the “parent” – of which Good Law Practice is a subsidiary. The role holder will also be comfortable drawing on advice from the Project’s HR lead as needed and appropriate. They should also be adept at commissioning and contracting third party support services as necessary and in accordance with clear business cases; they will need to supervise those services on a day-to-day basis as required.
There is no requirement for the role-holder to work within the Legal Aid system, though experience of doing so may well have given them useful and relevant wider skills for this role. They will need knowledge and experience in relation to Solicitors’ Accounts rules and other relevant management and financial accounting practices. Good Law Practice does not currently hold client money as strictly defined, but the role-holder will need to be able to adapt the regime to suit the Practice’s evolving business model and of course comply with SRA reporting requirements on financial (and any other) matters.
There is an open and collaborative values-driven culture within the team at the Practice and the Legal Practice Manager will need to have empathy for working alongside highly committed and proficient specialist lawyers and paralegals: having a genuine interest in and some understanding of their work would be helpful.
Overall, this is a really exciting role which arises at a point where the holder can still shape it significantly, where there will be considerable scope for autonomy with relatively little hierarchy and a chance to really demonstrate a “can do” approach.
See the Person Specification for the essential requirements, but we think the role would suit someone who:
- Has broad but substantial financial and more general corporate services experience gained in a start-up or small / medium-sized SRA-regulated law firm, which (ideally) has included public law as a practice area – or in a BSB regulated entity which conducts litigation
- may be looking to move from commercial private practice to the not-for-profit legal sector
- has already undertaken COFA duties (or who very clearly would meet the SRA’s requirements for doing so and is willing to undertake any necessary training)
- has sufficient knowledge of Solicitors’ Accounts rules and other more general business accounting practices to implement and oversee financial reporting processes which comply with the various requirements
- is flexible, innovative, collaborative, open and inclusive
- is prepared to work with initiative and energy at a range of levels as a “corporate services generalist”, especially operationally, given the small size of the organisation – i.e. will “roll up their sleeves” notwithstanding their seniority in the Practice
- understands strategic and business development so as to be able to contribute to its formulation as well as to bring about its delivery
- may have done Professional Support Lawyer (PSL) work with an emphasis, for example, on financial and case management systems, HR and premises
- can demonstrate commitment to our values and mission and genuine interest in our areas of work.
We recognise that experience and skills can be gained in a variety of ways including through lived experience, personal life and professional career and welcome applications that meet the person specification through any of these.
Good Law Practice is a small law firm (seven fee-earners currently) set up in mid-2022 by Good Law Project. The Practice is authorised by the SRA. It shares the mission of Good Law Project and works closely with it – the Practice is the law firm which the Project instructs for much of its legal work.
Good Law Project is a not-for-profit campaign organisation set up in 2017. This is how it describes itself:
Our Mission: Good Law Project uses the law to hold power to account, protect the environment and ensure no one is left behind.
How we make change: We use the law to tackle important issues of unlawfulness, wrongdoing and disadvantage. We recognise there are many ways of winning.
We litigate: where the law is being ignored we act.
We campaign: we increase the costs of breaking the law with public pressure.
We empower: we help people to understand and use the law themselves.
Our areas of work:
Holding power to account
We strengthen and enforce the law against government and others with power.
We fight for transparency, good Government and good governance.
Protecting the environment
We strengthen and enforce the law against those who harm the environment or fail to adequately protect it. We prioritise local geographic areas and natural assets with national significance.
No one left behind
We help marginalised communities access what the law can do.
We support and amplify marginalised voices and communities.
Good Law Project and Good Law Practice know that the law, in the right hands, can be a fair and decent force for good. It is a practical tool for positive change and can make amazing things happen.
They are proud to be primarily funded by members of the public, which keeps them fiercely independent.
They want to inspire hope in difficult times by showing that you can make a difference, with the backing of good law.
You can read more about the issues Good Law Project is concerned with, and the cases Good Law Practice runs, here:
Good Law Practice aims to take on cases where the Project is its client and the claimant; or cases for other claimants referred to it by the Project and funded wholly or partly by the Project (including through crowd-funding). In future it will accept instructions which are funded by others independently from the Project – but where the aims of the claimants or funders are consistent with the “Good Law” mission overall.
The Practice and the Project share common values of bravery, honesty and decisiveness (set out in detail at the end of the job pack). Both are committed to a culture of openness, innovation, fairness and inclusivity, underpinning very high standards of professionalism in legal work. The Practice is committed to high levels of regulatory compliance and to excellence in all its areas of expertise.
In terms of its organisational development, the Practice is at a stage just beyond immediate start-up and needs now to further develop and better embed its corporate services and casework support systems as a small law firm, within an evolving governance framework and against changing external business conditions. It wants to diversify its client base within areas of practice consistent with its mission. Whilst it is a not-for-profit company, the Practice also plays its role within the wider Good Law family to ensure the sustainability of the Group in achieving its mission. The Practice has a friendly, energetic and highly motivated team.
How to apply
The current incumbent leaves post in May and so we are particularly keen to attract candidates with notice periods which would make joining us before the end of May possible.
Informal enquiries about the role can be sent to
firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be dealt with by the Project’s HR team or by our independent consultant assisting with the recruitment.
Your application should consist of:
A one-page CV setting out your work experience and qualifications and your most recent salary level
A covering letter of no more than two pages outlining:
- why you are interested in the role
- what motivates you to work at Good Law Practice
- how your skills and experience would make you a suitable candidate for this role based on the requirements set out in the job description and person specification
- if you have a disability, any adjustments or access requirements and how we can help you during the recruitment process
- your desired hours and working pattern if you are seeking to work less than 35 hours or not over 5 days per week
- Your availability on 19 or 20 April 2023 for interview.
As well as welcoming applications following our open advertisement of this role, we are also placing this role with recruitment agencies but will only accept CVs from the agencies we have appointed and not from other agencies; interested candidates whose CVs come to us via the appointed agencies must still submit a cover letter as described above.
Or email: email@example.com with the subject line: Legal Practice Manager