Estates Assistant

Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full-time (9:30-6pm Monday-Friday)
Team: Estates Management
Location: Milton Keynes
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

Estates Management is the integration of processes within an organisation to maintain and develop the agreed services which support and improve the effectiveness of its primary activities. This encompasses multi-disciplinary activities within the built environment and the management of their impact upon people and the workplace. Effective estates management, combining resources and activities, is vital to the success of any organisation. At a corporate level, it contributes to the delivery of strategic and operational objectives. On a day-to day level, effective estates management provides a safe and efficient working environment, which is essential to the performance of any business – whatever its size and scope.  Responsibilities of this team include property strategy, space management and communications infrastructure to building maintenance, administration and contract management.

The role

To provide exceptional customer service and foster excellent working relationships with internal clients and external clients/contacts providing a first class level of service to everyone, showing professionalism and displaying a friendly, helpful disposition both locally and across the firm.

There are two elements to the Estates Assistant role with both the Internal and External roles being a combined role -

Estates Assistant – Internal

Working within the Archiving & Deeds / Print & Post Room delivering services to our internal clients.

Estates Assistant – External

Delivering services to our external clients via Reception within the Client Suite and covering Estates Tasks.

In applying for this role, you will cover both roles, alternating with the other Estates Assistant, working one or two weeks in Reception & Estates and one or two weeks in Archiving & Deeds / Print & Post Room.

Main responsibilities

Client Suite

  • Working as part of a team with the Receptionist to co-ordinate front of house services
  • Professionally and promptly meeting and greeting all clients and visitors including internal clients/visitors from other offices
  • Working with PAs and Legal Advisers to support and understand their requirements, asking questions to ensure all requirements are covered and understood (such as numbers of attendees, catering requirements, audio visual aids, room set up style, name badges, hand-outs/paperwork)
  • Answering of all incoming calls within 3 rings, transferring calls, dealing within incoming calls as appropriate and forwarding on all incoming electronic faxes promptly
  • Managing and co-ordinating the meeting room booking system whether by email or phone request and ensuring emails are checked and processed throughout the day on a regular basis and in a timely manner
  • Managing and co-ordinating all client hospitality and client catering for all types of events which can include early morning breakfast seminars, client and staff lunches and evening events
  • Setting up and preparing the meeting rooms in advance of any meetings or events taking place to ensure all audio visual equipment, furniture requirements and catering is in place, ready and refreshed throughout the event where appropriate
  • Meet and greet clients and visitors (internal and external), looking after all of their requirements whilst on our premises including organising any ad hoc requests such as photocopying, deliveries, booking taxis, further refreshments
  • Organising refreshments, equipment (laptop, flipcharts etc) and ordering breakfast/lunch etc as is required by the client/internal client
  • Building relationships with local caterers and keeping abreast of other local caterers and the choices they offer so as to always ensure we are able to offer our clients a variety of price options and menu choices with food being delivered set at the very highest standard
  • Moving tables and chairs where necessary to set up a meeting room in line with a client’s requirements, for example theatre or boardroom style
  • Managing the car parking spaces on a weekly basis for both internal and external clients, highlighting any problems/abuse of the use of car parking to the HR & Estates Manager immediately
  • Ensuring that the credenzas and kitchen facilities are always kept fully stocked with appropriate items including ensuring all crockery, cutlery and glassware is fit for purpose
  • Ensuring the Reception area and meeting rooms (including all washrooms) are kept neat and tidy at all times
  • Ensuring the brochure stand is fully stocked at all times, ordering additional stock where appropriate and displaying in line with BD’s requirements
  • Conducting daily monitoring checks of the entire client suite to ensure all areas are ready for use at any time and dealing with or reporting any issues to the HR & Estates Manager
  • Liaising with the cleaning contractors by way of the handover book to highlight any areas of concern, ensuring the HR & Estates Manager is kept informed of any major concerns and that any notes added to the handover book are followed through to completion the following day
  • Keeping a check on stock levels and ordering as and when required via Sainsburys or similar
  • Maintaining the bottled water system ensuring there is always sparkling and still water available and that the bottles are cleaned in line with the prescribed process
  • There will be an element of providing ‘out of hours’ services for events and seminars (hours of work to be agreed with HR & Estates Manager prior to an event)
  • Reconciliation of incoming Catering invoices for appropriate Department Head/HR & Estates Manager’s sign off
  • Arranging telephone conference calls, video conferencing calls and taxi bookings where required
  • Producing weekly reception activity stats for submission to the HR & Estates Manager each Friday
  • Ensuring completion of the handover book, creating handover holiday notes etc., to ensure continuity of service


  • Working as part of a team to co-ordinate estates administration and H&S tasks
  • Providing assistance to the HR & Estates Manager with the daily running of the department including filing, scanning, photocopying and typing.
  • Responding proactively to telephone / email queries from both internal and external clients
  • Assisting with H&S tasks e.g.
    • Preparing overseas travel risk assessment for business travel together with the necessary information packs for the travel.
    • Assisting the Estates Manager with preparation for the annual H&S audit.
    • Carry out weekly checks of the first aid room.
    • Carry out weekly office temperature checks.
    • Carry out weekly water temperature checks.
    • Carry out weekly fridge temperature checks.
    • Maintain the fire record books for weekly bell tests, fire extinguishers, evacuations.
    • Carry out DSE assessments
    • Assisting with H&S building walks and new starter H&S inductions where needed.
  • Assisting with maintenance tasks within the office, recording issues and liaising with our maintenance provider/Fisco to complete works
  • Scanning correspondence to macroview and Fisco
  • Completing administrative tasks and maintaining monthly and annual spreadsheets
  • Ordering supplies for the office (e.g. stationery, DSE equipment, first aid supplies)
  • Maintaining cleanliness and stock levels within the staff kitchen
  • Manage the office charity tuck shop
  • Generally assist with keeping the office neat and tidy.


Print & Post Room

  • Opening, date stamping and sorting of incoming mail and managing the miscellaneous post process
  • Liaising with couriers and post/delivery personnel where necessary
  • Ensuring there is always sufficient credit available and that the franking machine has no faults on a daily basis at the required time and always reporting any faults to Pitney Bowes immediately
  • Sorting outgoing post into DX, Royal Mail, Special Delivery etc., and ensuring the post is ready for collection at the allocated times
  • Assisting internal clients with general print and post enquiries
  • Ensuring collection trays in each department are checked periodically throughout the day and that items are delivered promptly to recipient(s)
  • Photocopying and binding documents as required
  • Maintaining a small amount of filing - delivery notes etc
  • Collections and deliveries as required - internally and externally, including banking deliveries/picking up last minute lunch requests for client meetings
  • Communicating with the Help Assistants or IS in respect of any copiers/printers breaking down in the Print & Post Room
  • Ensuring all office areas are kept neat and tidy at all times
  • Restocking vending machines and kitchen areas with refreshments each day
  • Reporting work backlogs, work volumes etc., to HR & Estates Manager
  • Ensuring e-mails are checked at least twice a day
  • Ordering stationery at least once a week to ensure stock levels are appropriate for the office, ensuring all deliveries are checked off against the delivery note, arranging for any returns and that all stock is put away promptly
  • Delivery of stationery to internal clients at least once a week and on request where required
  • Ensuring daily checks are carried out (morning and afternoon) and that weekly office checks take place as programmed to ensure smooth running of the office (for example, restocking printers with paper, refilling tea/coffee barrels, ensuring there is milk available)
  • Ensuring kitchens/teapoint areas are kept clean and tidy throughout the day
  • Ensuring Quiet Rooms always have enough stationery and that these are kept neat and tidy
  • Restocking printers, photocopiers etc., on a daily basis on all floors
  • To adhere to all safe working practices in relation to health and safety and keep supervisor informed of any health and safety concerns that may arise during the course of your working day

Archiving & Deeds Administration

  • Manage incoming and outgoing deeds which involves the transportation of deeds/boxes within the office keeping within the guidelines of health and safety
  • Administration of computerised deeds system
  • Update Legal Key and sending files out to Archive storage as and when appropriate
  • Retrieval and storage of deeds as required
  • Logging deeds in and out of the system
  • Answering queries and liaising with internal clients
Skills and qualifications
  • Preferably a minimum of 12 months previous Receptionist and/or administrative experience within a professional services environment, ideally within the legal sector
  • Experience in co-ordinating events (up to 80-100 people) desirable
  • Ability to work flexibly covering early morning and evening meetings where necessary
  • Confident in setting up audio visual equipment and troubleshooting during client meetings where required
  • Excellent personal presentation with a professional and respectful demeanour
  • A smart, polished, friendly, helpful, confident and ‘can do’ approach
  • Positive attitude with strength of character and determination to succeed
  • Ability to maintain high standards and pay close attention to detail, working in a neat, tidy and methodical way
  • Ability to identify problems and act on them promptly and efficiently
  • Excellent keyboard skills to access/draft e-mails and intranet applications with knowledge of Outlook and Word
  • Having confidence in liaising with suppliers and contractors
  • Willing to work well alone and with the team within a supportive environment
  • Have the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines, getting things right 
  • Have a flexible and pro-active approach to work
  • Excellent internal and external client care and communication skills
  • Self-confidence and ability to demonstrate initiative
  • Ability to grasp things quickly and easily
  • Enthusiastic, energetic with a positive, can do attitude
  • Ability to adapt to change, new practices and remain calm under pressure and finding solutions aligned with Shoosmiths’ values and culture
  • Excellent presentation skills reflected in work
  • The ability to support and encourage colleagues particularly when they are under pressure
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality at all times
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.