Secretarial Co-ordinator

Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full-time
Reports to: Divisional Managing Partner (DMP)
Department: Employment
Location: London
The firm

Lewis Silkin is a UK top-100 commercial law firm with offices in London, Oxford, Cardiff, Dublin and Hong Kong. The firm is recognised by clients and industries alike as being distinct: for its deep understanding, insight and advice to creative, innovative and brand-focused businesses; for its market-leading international practice in employment, immigration and reward; and for delivering pragmatic, commercial advice in a refreshingly human way.

With 58 partners and more than 380 staff, the firm is structured around two key divisions; the Employment, Immigration and Reward (EIR) and the Creators, Makers and Innovators (CMI).

The department

The employment team of Lewis Silkin is one of the leading employment law practices both domestically and internationally. The team is amongst the largest in the UK with 23 employment / immigration partners and around 100 other specialist lawyers.

The team’s work comprises a mix of contentious and non-contentious matters for a diverse range of clients.  Our lawyers undertake a significant amount of business development, including giving seminars, producing Lewis Silkin branded publications and driving client relationships.  International advice is central to our practice and we are members of the Ius Laboris international alliance of employment lawyers. 


The Secretarial Co-ordinator will be responsible for the management, overseeing and development of the secretarial team (including the London Billing Team) in the London office.  Additionally the post holder will provide a first class support to allocated partners and associates, acting as their ‘ambassador’ both within the firm and externally, being the first point of contact for clients and colleagues as well as being an additional point of contact for secretarial staff.  Producing accurate and timely legal documentation and correspondence as required and handling administrative duties on behalf of allocated partners and associates.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Co-ordinate fee earners' secretarial and administrative needs across the team, making decisions on workload and delegating to other support services as appropriate.
  • Maintain and review secretarial allocations in the team to ensure an even ratio across the EIR secretarial and billing team, identifying resourcing and recruitment needs as necessary.
  • Carry out the annual review process to provide feedback on the divisional secretarial staff in allocated teams, also conducting regular review meetings throughout the year to ensure the achievement of business and individual objectives.
  • Supervise and develop career development plans for all members of the secretarial team, supporting and guiding new team members as well as generally mentoring secretarial staff; proactively manage absence or performance issues within the team, approving holiday and absences using the firm’s HR system as and when appropriate.
  • Ensure the effective application of the firm’s secretarial service promise and that it is being adhered to by both secretaries and fee earners.
  • Be proactive in building effective working relationships and in designing and implementing ways to improve processes and ways of working to contribute to the continual improvement of the secretarial support.
  • Hold regular meetings with the secretaries to keep them informed of Divisional/Firm plans including endorsing attendance of the team at the firm’s Lunch and Learns.
  • Build and maintain relationships with Office Managers in EIR and Co-ordinator’s in CMI and have regular meetings with them, and assist with covering EIR Office Managers whenever necessary.
  • Work closely with the Deputy Secretarial Co-ordinator to help develop their skills and the skills of the wider team.
  • Schedule internal and external meetings and maintain diaries of any other allocated fee earners, ensuring that all arrangements are in place and any required materials and documentation are prepared in good time.
  • Act as the first point of contact for the firm’s clients, dealing with them efficiently and professionally and helping to resolve queries or issues wherever possible. 
  • Build sufficient knowledge of the firm’s strategy, legal service and products, as well as the relevant files and matters to be able to support allocated partners and associates to assist clients when they are unavailable or out of the office.
  • Ensure sensitivity and confidentiality when dealing with clients, colleagues and private matters on behalf of allocated fee earners.
  • Co-ordinate billing/credit control and accounting matters relating to clients of allocated fee earners, including drafting bill requests, bill narratives, and chasing clients for payment of unpaid bills - delegating and liaising with the EIR billing and central Finance teams as required.
  • Assist in the production of materials for EIR management meetings as required from time to time.
  • Assist with marketing activities as required including liaising with the Marketing team and assisting with the preparation for seminars and other events as required.
  • Take an active part in developing own role and working to provide increasing support for allocated partners and associates – ensuring suitable training is undertaken.
  • Assist with workload of secretarial colleagues as required.
  • Any other duties in line with level and nature of the role.
Additional information

Candidate specification:

The successful candidate will be experienced at working at a high secretarial level and have a good understanding of how a law firm operates.  They must have a professional manner and first class communication skills.  They must be highly organised with excellent administration skills.  They will be able to demonstrate a pro-active approach to their work and be able to work on their own initiative, being confident in their own judgement.  They must enjoy working in an involved team environment and be keen to guide and motivate others within the team.  They will need to have a flexible nature and a co-operative and willing attitude.

  • An executive legal PA will usually have at least five years’ legal secretarial experience (ideally within the relevant area of law) with at least three years being at a senior level.

  • Previous experience of supervising the work of others or co-ordinating a team.

  • Excellent typing skills (at least 70 wpm audio/copy typing) as well as accurate numeracy skills.

  • Good eye for detail; a high level of accuracy is essential.

  • Excellent organisational and administration skills; must be highly organised and able to organise others.

  • Ability to manage a heavy workload and support a number of people.

  • Ability to work to tight deadlines in a pressurised environment.

  • A confident and natural communicator; able to communicate at all levels.

  • Ability to be proactive and to work on own initiative without guidance but seeking help if necessary; confidence to use own judgement in relation to current duties, client needs, etc.

  • Ability to motivate and train other members of the secretarial team.

  • Team player and enthusiastic; flexible and willing to take on extra responsibilities to support allocated partners and associates and divisional or firm objectives.

  • Highly professional in conduct and appearance at all times.

IT skills required:

  • Proficient IT skills - Office 2007, Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Sharepoint, PDF Docs, Word Compare (Deltaview), document management systems and practice management systems, although full in house training will be provided. 

Educational and professional qualifications required:

  • Good grammatical English - at least to GCSE standard or equivalent.

No agencies please.

Lewis Silkin is an equal opportunities employer.