Business Development Manager - Commercial/Dispute Resolution

Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full-time
Team: BD & Marketing
Location: Milton Keynes, Reading, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Southampton, London, Leeds, Nottingham
The firm

A leading UK law firm with a network of offices from the South Coast to Scotland, working together as one national team. An innovative practice and the first top 100 law firm to achieve “Gold Standard” Investors in People, our values and culture are not just words on our website but are the heartbeat of the firm. The lack of barriers between departments, a real lack of hierarchy, zero tolerance for arrogance and pomposity makes Shoosmiths a fantastic place to work.

The team

The Business Development & Marketing team takes much care of the firm’s external reputation, employing a number of tools to optimise our profile in the market.  Growing profitable income from clients and targets is the key aim of the national Business Development team, and they do this in two main ways, by:

  • supporting Relationships (with existing Clients, Targets and Intermediaries)
  • developing a strong brand, profile and Reputation for Shoosmiths in the UK market and overseas.
The role

A key role within Shoosmiths’ business development (BD) team, delivering strategic advisory and tactical external marketing activity and support (mainly comms and content related) aligned to support our Commercial/Disputes division; the objective of raising the profile of the Division in the market and its ability to attract new work.

Through having a closer understanding of, and insight into, the strategic and financial priorities of the Commercial/Disputes division, the role will champion and channel those priorities into the central BD team’s integrated market-facing relationship and reputational strategic activity, delivering a three-pronged sequence of actions, centring on the creation of a marketing plan, that:

  • Supports and delivers tactical outputs in line with the tactical goals of the Division’s marketing plan requirements
  • Represents and feeds in Divisional perspectives to the shaping of the firm’s integrated marketing priorities, and
  • Articulates the wider firm’s BD activities and priorities back to the Divisional Head.

In addition to this, the role will provide BD direction and support to at least one area of cross-divisional marketing activity (for example, for a sector or market i.e. international).

This role is supplementary and complementary to our central BD functions of relationship management, bids/ new business, PR, events/ campaigns, client insight and digital. You will work closely with the existing team members to provide insight from the Division and to provide tactical delivery of new external marketing activity.

Our National Commercial Group is going from strength to strength and we have exciting plans for accelerated growth over the next five years. Our bold and ambitious plan is to be recognised as the pre-eminent Commercial Practice in the UK within the next 5 years. We’re already well on that journey, currently having an excellent team of over 70 lawyers focused on six key service lines: Commercial Contracts. Technology, Media & Telecoms, Intellectual Property, Financial Services, Privacy & Data and Capital Projects & Infrastructure.

 

Main responsibilities
  1. Marketing plans and prioritisation
  • Assess and agree with the Divisional Heads and the BD Head of Divisions and Sectors the key priority areas for growth for the following year/quarter to provide the clear measurable focus and outputs required of the role;
  • Lit by the above, advise on the strategic positioning and priorities of the Division to inform wider BD activity, working closely with the central BD team before agreeing on new activity which will have an impact on them;
  • Deploy in the above an understanding of the 3-year strategies of the Division, including an understanding of the key markets, what is the most profitable work of the Division, and the most effective routes to new income (i.e. what BD activity produces the most income for least effort);
  • Have a good working understanding of the major clients, buying groups and referrers that deliver income for the Division – the Divisional strategies and Relationship Team can help with this;
  • Lead and contribute to meetings with leaders of Divisional sub-strategies to identify marketing and BD tactics (together with drawing up clear and simple action-driven marketing plans using the standard firmwide template) to support measurable achievement in those markets, which can be reported on quarterly;
  • Support the implementation of the Division’s BD plans in line with the Division’s 3 year strategic objectives and in agreement with the Divisional Head and the BD Head of Divisions and Sectors;
  • Liaise with other Divisional BDMs and the Senior Manager for Client and Market Knowledge in the development of cross-Divisional products and services;
  • Liaise with the Division’s PSLs and Business Manager where required on external market projects/ campaigns and legal updates.
  1. Production of content and support for external profile
  • Develop an awareness and understanding of the Division’s key messages, business activity and pipeline with a view to:
    • Providing ‘pre-prepared’ press release drafts on major deals to assist the central PR team with timely publication;
    • Providing prompts and direction to the PR team on social media campaigns relating to marketing priorities identified in the plans (as well as carrying out specified social media activity as required);
    • Suggesting awards that would be relevant for the teams and have an input in drafting award submissions;
    • Contributing to the development of a comprehensive external campaign programme in the market that may include specialist areas relating to a single Division as well as cross-divisional events;
    • Assess with the National Events manager which events arising from the Division will warrant support and then work with the Events Executive to ensure content and collateral required for the event reflects key strategic messaging of the Division;
    • To help maximise the value from strategically important Divisionally-aligned external events attend to network with delegates to help develop new relationships and oversee the delivery of the firm’s connection with the event;
    • Providing top-up strategic input such as agreeing core messages to disseminate throughout the Division’s Legal 500/Chambers submissions deemed to be critical areas by the Divisional head;
    • Commissioning relevant market research and analysis (client and competitor intelligence) from the Client and Market Knowledge Team to support the progress of the marketing plans and Divisional strategies;
    • Editing/curating the content for the Division’s areas of the Shoosmiths external website and write and generate new material to ensure it remains up to date and relevant;
    • Working with the Digital team and other Divisional BDMs to evolve a standardised firmwide process of review and updating of website bios of advisers in the Division;
    • Reviewing and adding to the Division’s literature stocks, to ensure a true picture of the Division’s capabilities is presented via reception stands;
    • Developing marketing literature for new products and assisting the Comms team produce relevant copy;
    • Obtaining social media and google analytics relating to the Division from the Digital team and provide further analysis/feedback such as to provide improved direction to the digital team;
    • Provide content as required for digital lead generation and other campaigns;
    • Help draft internal comms relating to the Divisional successes.
  1. Assist Relationship development and bid activity
  • Develop an awareness and understanding of the Division’s key external relationships with a view to:
    • Visit key referrers or industry/sector bodies in the external market identified in the plans with a view to creating improved strategic partnerships with them;
    • Provide relevant case study material and/or critique and knowledge/input into Bids and tenders relating to the Division to the Bid Team;
    • Communicate key targets to the Bid and Relationships team, together with any tactical intel on those targets;
    • Advise relationship team on specific touchpoints relating to the Division to support client development.
  • Other ad-hoc projects/initiatives as required.
Skills and qualifications
  • Degree educated and CIM qualifications preferred
  • At least 5 years’ experience working in a partnership environment
  • Accuracy and attention to detail, and a keen commercial and business sense – able to read a balance sheet and understand the priorities of business
  • Good content writer – able to accurately obtain and translate the details of a deal and convert it into compelling copy
  • Comfortable working to strict deadlines and in pressurised environments without compromising on quality of work
  • Ability to manage and prioritise own workload, motivated to achieve long term goals by developing and adhering to a project plan.
  • Knowledge and application of Microsoft Office: (SAP, InterAction, and Vuture desired).
  • Proven ability to advise and influence senior stakeholders
  • Commercially aware with a track record of growing existing and new business
  • Shows judgment and common sense
  • Team player, who is able to work collaboratively with relationship, PR, Digital and bid managers and enhance their outputs with specialist aligned knowledge
  • Diplomatic skills, to ensure that requirements of the Division do not exceed the bounds of central resource provision;
  • Commits to action
  • Displays resilience
  • Engages with risk and shows personal courage
  • Demonstrates self-awareness and a commitment to personal development.
Equal opportunities

Shoosmiths is a committed Equal Opportunities employer promoting equality of opportunity. This means that everyone who either applies to or works for the firm is treated equally, whatever their gender, age, ethnic origin, nationality, marital status, disability, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.