Legal Assistant – private client team

  • Posted

We are looking for a legal assistant to provide a fully effective service to clients of Debenhams Ottaway by progressing client files under the direction of the team leader, and to provide secretarial and administrative assistance to the team leader and to others in the Private Client team when required.

Key Responsibilities

Activities will be varied and will include, but are not limited to the following:

Client Service

  • Taking client instructions and progressing the matter file under the team leader’s instructions. This may include amongst other things drafting Wills, Powers of Attorney and dealing with the administration of Estates and Trusts.
  • To provide a courteous and efficient service to clients.
  • To ensure that work sent to clients and related parties is correctly prepared in accordance with the firm’s standards and precedents and the TL’s instructions.
  • To observe the code of practice in all areas as detailed in the Solicitors Code of Conduct and to observe fully the requirements of the Solicitors Accounts Rules.
  • To report complaints from clients or third parties to the HOD.
  • To produce fees in accordance with the fee target set at the beginning of each financial year and to record a minimum of 720 hours of chargeable time per annum (at an average of 60 hours per month) at charging rates agreed by the team leader.
  • To introduce clients to lawyers in different departments as appropriate.

Matter Administration

  • Maintaining control of an allocated caseload to ensure that standards of matter conduct, file management, administration, time-recording and accounting are maintained at all times. To include:
    • Input onto probate accounting systema for probate matters and generating reports and forms as required
    • Drafting Legal Statements for probate applications
    • Drafting Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney
    • Preparation of any other documents and work as required by team leader
    • To be fully conversant with the firm’s computer systems and follow IT instructions directly and through procedures tabs.
    • To work in a tidy organised manner by reducing unseemly clutter and ensure files are relocated in the cabinets provided.
    • To bill all matters promptly and accurately; to maintain a justifiable and accurate level of work-in-progress; to pay and collect disbursements in accordance with professional and internal practice; to properly account for all client monies and effect transfers from client to office account when appropriate.
    • To collect all outstanding costs and disbursements from clients and ensure that levels of unpaid costs do not exceed those levels authorised by your Team Leader.

Secretarial/Administrative

  • Opening and closing client files in accordance with standard procedures including performing on-line money laundering checks
  • Answer the telephone or meet clients who call into the office without an appointment on behalf of the Lawyers, answering queries and taking messages where appropriate and making appropriate file notes
  • Liaison with clients as instructed
  • Maintain Lawyers’ diaries and make appointments
  • Organise internal and external meetings including meeting room bookings and if appropriate organising refreshments.
  • Manage outgoing post and emails as required.
  • Maintaining internal and client files to ensure they are up-to-date at all times.
  • Undertake typing duties for fee earners
  • Collate work received from the outsourcing company including arranging necessary enclosures so that it is ready to send out
  • Liaison with the Accounts Department as appropriate to ensure timely and accurate accounts administration, including receiving cheques, entering on file and passing to accounts
  • Input onto Peppermint/Isokon client and potential client contact details
  • Undertake administrative duties such as photocopying
  • Administration associated with the archiving of files
  • Create and maintain a tidy and well organised office environment.
  • Ensure the faults with the department’s IT, printing, photocopying and fax machines are reported appropriately
  • Work as part of a team, assisting with secretarial and telephone cover as required.
  • Act on instructions from lawyers to perform tasks in connection with client/administrative matters
  • Initial handling of client queries that arise from “drop in” service
  • Update and keep track of legal documents such as wills and deeds as per the required procedure

Skills and attributes

  • Experience of working within a Private Client Department of a law firm or relevant legal qualifications would be preferred
  • Secretarial experience in a Law firm is desirable.
  • Knowledge, experience and passion for private client law and practices.
  • Adopts a client-centered focus at all times taking responsibility for the level of client service they provide and takes proactive steps to maximize and improve client relationships
  • Creative problem-solving ability
  • Good written and verbal communication skills
  • Fast and accurate keyboard skills
  • Good grasp of grammar and spelling
  • Computer Literacy in relevant software packages
  • Ability to multi-task, organise, prioritise and plan
  • Ability to work calmly under pressure and with a demanding work load
  • Confident with the ability to interface and develop relationships with a variety of people.
  • Organisation skills including the ability to prioritise work
  • Initiative
  • Ability to follow instructions given
  • Good time keeping
  • Professional appearance

To apply for the role please send your CV to Alexandra Langley – recruitment@debenhamsottaway.co.uk

 

Recruitment Agencies

We operate a preferred supplier list for all permanent, contract and temporary recruitment.

If you are interested in being part of our PSL, please email us and we will supply you with a copy of our terms.

We ask you not to send CVs or terms of business to or make contact with our staff, management or partners outside of HR, unless you have been authorised by our HR team to do so.

Any CVs sent contrary to this policy will will not be accepted as introductions in accordance with any terms of business that are sent to us and/or our terms. We reserve the right to make direct contact with the candidate without entering into your TOB. Agencies who are part of our PSL found bypassing this process may result in us terminating our working relationship with you.

All CVs need to be sent to Alexandra Langley at our recruitment email address – recruitment@debenhamsottaway.co.uk

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