Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full-time
Practice area: Commercial Real Estate
Location: Guildford
The Firm

Stevens & Bolton is one of the largest teams of lawyers in the South outside London. Independently recognised as one of the UK's leading national law firms we build deep relationships with our clients, whose satisfaction with our services is the true measure of our success.

Our single office approach ensures excellent communications and efficient co-ordination of our resources. We handle complex and strategic work for our clients, but appreciate the importance of value for money, commercial awareness and flexibility. International work is as important to us as our domestic practice and we regularly work with many carefully selected law firms around the world.

We want enjoyment to be a primary driver in the working day - and a key 'reason to be here' for our employees. It's a philosophy that comes from the top and cascades through the organisation. It is upheld through a combination of factors: delivering quality in everything we do; securing stimulating, challenging work that stretches and rewards; employing truly distinctive, diverse people who willingly engage, collaborate and support; committing to continuous development for everyone; and providing a sustaining environment in which people can learn and grow.

The Role

There are five specific core areas of responsibility that the secretary will be required to provide together with any ad hoc tasks.

1.    Document management/document production

  • The firm uses digital dictation and outsourcing to India.  The lawyer will decide whether the dictation goes to India or his/her secretary in the first instance with few exceptions all file/attendance notes go straight to India.  The turn around time for dictation to India can be two hours or overnight.  Secretaries can also re-direct dictations to India at the end of the day providing they inform the relevant lawyer.
  • The job holder will provide comprehensive and timely word processing service for the creation, amendment of documents using Word, Excel, DeltaView and other relevant technology i.e. PowerPoint, Laserforms and on line services.  As the firm uses digital dictation and secretaries are required to operate as a team to ensure that work which has been prioritised as urgent is dealt with first and within timescales set by the lawyer.
  • Ensuring documents returned to the lawyer accurately reflect original request before returning work. This will include proof reading the document, checking spelling, grammar, sense, amendments and presentation.
  • Prepare, collate and index legal documents.

2.    Clent Support

  • Ensure the names of clients are known and the job holder is established as the point of contact in lawyer’s absence and on a day to day basis.
  • Support the billing process e.g. ensuring that the bill is sent within agreed time and answering simple client queries.
  • Payment of Counsel fees.
  • Undertake online client searches.

3.    Team Support

  • Ensure detailed handover notes are provided so other team members can assume task responsibility in job holder’s absence.
  • To provide cover on a rota basis for other secretaries during the lunch period.

4.    Administrative Support

  • Undertake photocopying/scanning.
  • Carry out management of post (internal and external), including replying and drafting replies to routine correspondence.
  • Draft simple correspondence.
  • Manage all filing activities, including opening new files, filing (including lawyer generated emails), archiving and sending files for storage.
  • Organise travel arrangements.
  • Managing emails.

5.    Diary/Meeting management

  • Keep the lawyer’s diary up to date using Outlook and ensure it is available for others to view.
  • Arrange internal and external meetings, liaising with reception for refreshments and car parking arrangements where necessary.
  • Ensure all papers are ready for the lawyer at the beginning of the day.
  • Ensure lawyer’s whereabouts is known and communicated to team at all times.
  • Schedule forward meetings, appointments, diary notes.
Qualifications and Experience
  • Secretarial qualifications, either RSA or Pitmans and/or a recognised secretarial diploma desirable

  • Proven ability to be able to work under pressure to tight deadlines with the ability to prioritise effectively

  • Demonstrates the ability to use his/her initiative
  • A team player
  • Excellent organisation and administration skills
  • Excellent attention to detail and accuracy
  • Ability to build a rapport with clients and other employees
  • Proven experience of dealing with a high volume of document production in a legal environment

  • 65-70wpm

  • 100% accuracy

  • Advanced knowledge of Word and Outlook

  • Advanced formatting skills

  • Experience of digital dictation would be an advantage but is not essential

The Opportunity

The role of the secretary is to provide a first class professional support service, to partner(s) and associate(s) (“lawyers”) within the department.  The support provided will be as part of a team with shared responsibilities. The job content can be up to 70/80% typing and document production and 20/30% administrative and ad hoc duties.