Paralegal / Executive / Solicitor

PQE: 2 years +
Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full-time
Department: Immigration
Location: London or Chelmsford
The firm

Birketts is an ambitious full service, top 100 UK law firm, operating in East Anglia, London and the surrounding areas.  With a rich heritage spanning over 150 years we’ve built an enviable track record advising businesses, institutions and individuals in the UK and internationally.

Throughout our history our ethos has remained simple: we provide clear legal advice and value and insight to our clients.

We believe that through this approach and a combination of technical excellence and high quality service we can develop long-lasting partnerships and become our clients' solicitor of choice.

The department

Birketts specialist immigration team are knowledgeable and enthusiastic - ensuring that moving to the UK is structured not only to comply with the rigours of the immigration rules, but makes financial and practical sense too.

Our team currently comprises a Senior Associate and Associate Solicitors based in London, a Chartered Legal Executive in Norwich and an Immigration Consultant and Administrator based in Chelmsford.  They sit within our Employment team and work across all five of our offices. 

Our busy team provides a wide range of immigration advice, dealing with both business and personal immigration matters.  We do not advise on asylum cases.  The team covers all tiers of the Points Based System, all types of business visa, family visas, EEA related applications, indefinite leave to remain and naturalisation.  With a broad diversity of corporate clients, in a variety of sectors, we advise on sponsor licencing, compliance and immigration strategy and enforcement matters and regularly deliver training to clients We also have an interesting and diverse client base, offering supporting with T2  Minister of Religion/T5 Religious Worker visas and T5 Creative and Sporting visas for those in the creative arts/media and entertainment sectors.

Purpose of job

To work as part of the Immigration team to provide professional and proactive fee-earning support to an allocated senior fee earner and to the wider fee earning team.

The ideal candidate will be someone looking to remain and progress within the department as a specialist immigration law advisor with substantive experience in both corporate and private client immigration and nationality matters. The candidate will be expected to be able to run simple Skilled Worker cases from end-to-end with minimal supervision and some experience of supporting private clients and HNWIs is an advantage. Strong legal drafting, high quality written communication and client care skills are imperative for our client focused service.

Accountabilities

Birketts LLP is a full service law firm with five offices.  Our vibrant London office is expanding quickly and this is an exciting time for a motivated individual to join and be part of our growth.

Following the pandemic, Birketts LLP supports a flexible approach to office/home-based working.

Our dedicated Immigration team currently comprises a Senior Associate and Associate Solicitors based in London, a Chartered Legal Executive in Norwich and an Immigration Consultant and Administrator based in Chelmsford.  They sit within our Employment team and work across all five of our offices. 

Our busy team provides a wide range of immigration advice, dealing with both business and personal immigration matters.  We do not advise on asylum cases.  The team covers all tiers of the Points Based System, all types of business visa, family visas, EEA related applications, indefinite leave to remain and naturalisation.  With a broad diversity of corporate clients, in a variety of sectors, we advise on sponsor licencing, compliance and immigration strategy and enforcement matters and regularly deliver training to clients We also have an interesting and diverse client base, offering supporting with T2  Minister of Religion/T5 Religious Worker visas and T5 Creative and Sporting visas for those in the creative arts/media and entertainment sectors.

Technical ability:

  • Complete immigration application forms, including proof reading and check for accuracy.
  • Identify and check supporting documents required.
  • Draft letters of representations referring to the Immigration Rules and Home Office guidance and emails to clients and to the Home Office for supervisor review.
  • Book biometric appointments for clients.
  • Provide an initial response to telephone enquiries and discuss further with supervisor as appropriate.
  • Take accurate notes of calls and meetings.
  • Identify examples of good knowhow and assist senior fee earners with creating appropriate precedent documents.
  • Carry out research.
  • Remain alert to the constant changes in immigration law and practice and assist senior fee earners with drafting of regular updates, articles and training materials.
  • Other duties as may from time to time be given.

Administrative skills:

  • Ensure that all electronic filing and paper based filing is up to date and maintained at regular intervals.
  • Carry out scanning and photocopying as required.
  • Monitor work in progress against fee estimates and prepare narratives and bills as requested by supervisor.
  • Accurately maintain key dates diary for the team.
  • Arrange meetings as required.
  • Maintain and update as required the team’s knowledge bank.
  • Accurately maintain and update client and other relevant contact details.
  • Process internal forms.

Professional Skills:

  • Immediately clarify instructions from fee earners should they be unclear or if deadlines are not made explicit.
  • Respond to internal and external telephone enquiries politely and professionally and take accurate telephone messages (name/number/company), passing them on to the relevant fee earners etc.
  • Provide full support to fee earners in the full range of activities that are performed and carry out any other duties as reasonably requested.

General Approach

  • Demonstrate a positive approach and interest in the work that the team is undertaking.
  • Show initiative when responding to queries and actively try to seek solutions to problems.
  • Support the team in meeting tight deadlines and appreciate the need to factor in working across different time zones.
  • Support and build working relationships with not only the Immigration team but also the wider Employment team, including in other offices.
  • Demonstrate commitment to our client care principles.

 

Qualifications/Experience
  • Law degree or equivalent or OISC qualified would be desirable but not essential.
Skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication.
  • Accurate spelling and punctuation.
  • Ability to use discretion and work with empathy.
  • Excellent IT skills, including Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
  • Positive and enthusiastic approach to team work.
  • Self-motivated, ability to use initiative and provide pro-active support to fee-earners.
  • Ability to pay attention to detail and check own work.
  • Reliable and well organised.
  • Ability to remain calm and work under pressure to meet strict deadlines.
  • Commitment to ongoing learning and development.
  • A second language is not essential but would be advantageous.
Equal opportunities

We are committed to recruiting individuals on merits of suitability for each role, on the basis of qualifications and experience. All applications are treated fairly and equally regardless of sexual orientation, race, disability, religious beliefs and any other protected characteristic, ensuring that there are equal opportunities at all stages of the recruitment process.