Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full-time
Reports to: Secretarial Co-ordinator
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 60 partners and more than 347 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 employment team is amongst the largest in the UK with 24 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. 


Key objectives

Providing first class support to allocated partners and associates within the Employment, Immigration and Reward division (EIR).  Acting as their ‘ambassador’ both within the firm and externally, being the first point of contact for clients and colleagues.  Producing accurate and timely legal documentation and correspondence as required alongside handling administrative duties on behalf of allocated partners and associates.

Key duties and responsibilities:

  • Be the first point of contact for clients, dealing with them efficiently and appropriately – liaising with them to deal with any queries or issues if able to.  Fielding as many calls and matters as possible;
  • Build a working knowledge of the legal area of expertise of allocated partners and associates;
  • Ensure sensitivity and confidentiality when dealing with clients, colleagues and private matters on behalf of allocated partners and associates;
  • Build a strong knowledge of the firm’s Strategy and an understanding of how the work of allocated partners and associates fits with this Strategy;
  • Co-ordinate billing/credit control and accounting matters relating to clients of allocated partners and associates including drafting bill requests, bill narratives, and chasing clients for payment of unpaid bills as required;
  • Maintain allocated partners’ and associates’ diaries by liaising with them on a regular basis to discuss forthcoming appointments and any required arrangements.
  • Schedule internal and external meetings, ensuring that all arrangements are in place and any required materials and documentation are prepared in good 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;
  • Assist with the preparation of court bundles and lists of documents as required;
  • Answer the telephone in a helpful and professional manner, dealing with queries if able and ensuring messages are taken accurately and dealt with appropriately;
  • Develop a sufficient knowledge of the division’s work to be able to work with any of the partners and associates or with colleagues from the other division when necessary;
  • Build a sufficient knowledge of files and matters to be able to support allocated partners and associates in assisting clients and others, as appropriate, in their absence;
  • 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.
Additional information

Candidate profile:

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.  They will need to have a flexible nature and a co-operative and willing attitude.

Specialist experience:

  • A secretary will usually have at least three years’ legal secretarial experience (ideally within the relevant area of law);

Abilities and desired qualities:

  • 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.