Director of Risk & Compliance

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Closing date: 05/11/2021
Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full-time
Department: PSR
Location: London
Why Bates Wells?

Reports To: Chief Operating Officer

Why Bates Wells?

Making a profit is core to all businesses but our goal is to combine this with a real social purpose. Our values are pivotal to us, they shape our decisions and the way we live and work.

We focus on positive social impact as much as we focus on being a successful law firm. Our top tier legal advice is coupled with a real desire to drive change and we were the first UK law firm with B Corp certification, awarded to businesses that balance purpose and profit.

Today, our clients are diverse - from corporate household names to public bodies, to start ups. We’re also the firm of choice for thousands of charities and social enterprises. We continue to lead the market we helped to shape.

Bates Wells challenges what is possible in legal expertise delivery.

The role

The Director of Risk & Compliance is a trusted advisor to the partnership on regulatory, risk and compliance matters. They ensure that a robust and best practice regulatory, risk and compliance framework is in place. They raise awareness of regulatory requirements, risk issues and compliance policies, ensure consistent firm-wide adherence to policies and processes and work to continuously improve those process so that they are proportionate to the firm’s needs. They advise on and manage any serious issues that arise and liaise where necessary with the firm’s regulators.

Key responsibilities

1.     Actively contribute to Board level discussions on the strategic direction of the firm. Devise and deliver a Risk and Compliance business plan that is in line with the firm’s strategy, and report regularly to the Management Board on progress in delivering the plan.

2. Work collaboratively as a member of the Senior Management Team (“SMT”) alongside other functional leads to provide high quality, joined-up business support services to the firm.

3.     Lead the Professional Standards & Risk team (which includes the client onboarding, library and archiving teams) with energy and confidence. Ensure the activities of all team-members are focused on achieving the business plan, providing hands-on support and development as required.

4.     Hold the statutory roles of Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP) and Money Laundering Compliance Officer (MLCO) and perform all the relevant duties of those roles.

5.Own and manage a risk and compliance framework that promotes a culture of openness and transparency in line with the firm’s purpose and values.

6.Maintain (and seek to continuously improve) appropriate policies, procedures, reports and controls to enable the firm to conduct its business in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

7.Ensure the firm complies with data protection obligations.

8.     Deal with complex issues arising from client due diligence, conflicts and AML, supporting your team to manage this day-to-day.

9.     Manage the firm’s relationship with the firm’s regulators in particular the SRA, FCA, and ICO.

10.Ensure regulatory breaches are appropriately investigated and documented, providing risk mitigation strategies to prevent further occurrence and report as required to the Management Board and the firm’s regulators.

11.Develop and maintain regulatory awareness and knowledge across the firm through training and other regular communication with the practice.

12.Manage the firm’s complaints and professional negligence claims processes, ensuring issues are effectively resolved and that insurance coverage provides appropriate levels of protection. Manage the firm’s relationship with our insurers and insurance brokers.

13.  Structure and oversee independent reviews and audits to evaluate emerging regulatory risks and control weaknesses in compliance activities and report to the Management Board on the effectiveness of current systems and controls.

14.  Maintain the firm’s corporate risk register through senior management engagement and Management Board review.

15.  Support the firm’s Reputational Risk Committee in conjunction with the BDM Director.

16.  Negotiate and draft commercial arrangements (suppliers, business partners, consultants) as required, including the preparation of contracts and licences and the management of the firm’s standard terms of engagement and Terms & Conditions.

17.  Oversee the firm’s library and archiving resources and manage the relationship with our providers of online legal information.

About you

  • A qualified lawyer with relevant experience gained in a regulatory or commercial practice and preferably in an SRA regulated environment.
  • Exercises sound judgement, a good sense of proportionality and possesses strong decision making skills.
  • A client and service-focused approach with a can-do attitude and solutions focus; can work commercially and pragmatically with the business to achieve its goals within the relevant regulatory regimes and to balance the commercial and compliance risks.
  • Board-level influence, challenge and presence.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Proven ability to build, maintain and nurture excellent, constructive relationships at all levels in and outside of a firm.
  • Provides strong leadership, mentoring and coaching to develop the team’s skills and expertise, and demonstrates exceptional teamwork.
  • Flexibility to cope with a wide range of responsibilities and to deliver consistently high quality results, taking a hands-on approach to many projects.
  • A genuine interest in the work we do at Bates Wells.
  • Finally, we want people whose values reflect our own and who feel inspired working in a firm with a strong social purpose.

About us

  • A one firm approach means working together and improving to achieve common goals and to provide a consistent Bates Wells experience.
  • We are driven by our values and the Bates Wells Way.
  • We work with exceptional clients to offer the very best work.We want to have a positive impact on our people who are our greatest asset so that they can have a positive impact on others. Purpose is baked into our partnership deed.
  • Looking for better ways of working is always our priority.
  • We promote a strong work/life balance with 30 days holiday with the opportunity to buy more and a ‘Summer in the City’ early-Friday-finish.
  • We have an agile working environment – this means you might sit next to a different colleague every day or choose to work from our rooftop garden if you are in the office. We are currently trialling a blended working model with all of our people working part in the office, part at home.
  • Our culture encourages clear and honest dialogue and cross-team support
  • The firm review salaries annually as part of the appraisal process in July of each year. However, we encourage our staff to engage with their line managers throughout the year on feedback and objective setting.
  • We recognise success and contribution at any time of the year through our Recognition Scheme
  • Our benefits and wellbeing package includes firm matching pension contributions, private medical insurance plus a medical benefit cash plan, discretionary bonus arrangements, life assurance, subsidised gym memberships, lifestyle discount scheme, firm-wide profit sharing scheme.
  • Everyone gets a bonus if there is one - a proportion of the LLP profit is distributed to our people when we exceed our financial thresholds.
  • We are committed to your wellbeing and offer physical and mental support in the way of subsidised gym membership, private health care and in-office Mental Health Awareness Ambassadors.
  • We strongly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to reach their full potential whatever their background and believe a diverse team is integral to our success. We are signatories of the Halo Code Agreement, Race at Work Charter and Race Fairness Commitment

How to find out more about us

Don’t forget to review our website ( and ask around about us to find out more and whether we’re the right fit for you.

NB We will normally have at least 2 interviews – to test your skills and competencies to work with us and to see if your values align with ours.