Head of Operations / COO

Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full-time
Department: Operational
Location: Based in either Grimsby or Lincoln, with travel to other office locations as required.

An excellent opportunity has arisen for a Head of Operations / COO to join Wilkin Chapman.

The Firm

Wilkin Chapman LLP is the largest law firm in Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire, providing a wide range of legal services to both businesses and individuals. The Firm regularly achieves department and individual recommendations in the UK's leading legal directories and is ranked 106 in the top 200 UK law firms by turnover.

The Role

You will report to the Divisional Heads with overall reporting to the Senior Partner and responsibility to the Equity Partners. You will manage and co-ordinate the entire business support function of the Firm.  This includes Finance, HR, IT, Business Development and Marketing, Facilities and Risk Management with the Heads of each function reporting in to you.

You will be responsible for implementing the operational objectives for the business (agreed through the Management group and ultimately with the Equity Partners), ensuring best value and best industry practice.

Duties will include

You will have primary responsibility and authority to lead and administer these important functions:


  1. Agree the Finance strategy with the Finance team.
  2. Oversee the Firm’s financial position current and future from a cash flow, profit and loss and balance sheet perspective and liaise with the Head of Finance, The Senior Partner and Finance Committee, reporting to Equity Partners.
  3. A point of contact (with the Head of Finance) with the Firm’s auditors, liaising on tax, audit, SRA, accountant’s report and end of year accounts.
  4. Assist the Finance Team, working with the Head of Finance in the production/maintenance of financial information and reviewing systems/processes to maximise efficiency and enabling fee earners to fee earn as required.
  5. Agree targets with Divisional Heads and Heads of Department for 3 year P & L forecast. Monitor performance against target.
  6. Agree budgets for all operational departments, maintaining these for three years ahead. Monitor spend against budget and prepare annual budget with Finance Committee, to be approved by Equity Partners.
  7. Negotiate with the Head of Finance on behalf of the business on banking arrangements to provide adequate future cash flow for the business.
  8. Negotiate Professional Indemnity insurance on an annual basis, liaising with Risk and Compliance Team.
  9. Ensure best value on all items of expenditure.

Risk Management

  1. Agree the Risk strategy with the Risk team.
  2. Manage the Firm’s Risk Management Team with regulatory and  quality  standard compliance ensuring the business adapts to change in the legal/regulatory environment.

Business Development and Marketing

  1. Agree the Business Development and Marketing strategy with the Business Develop and Marketing team.
  2. Assist Senior Partner, Equity Partners and all Fixed Share Partners in key client and business development programmes.
  3. Direct the Marketing Team to meet departmental and Firm requirements through the Marketing Plan. Work with the Marketing Team on new ideas/initiatives for enhancing the brand or taking forward new legal products/services into the awareness of clients and potential clients. Agree Business Development plans with Divisional Heads and the Marketing Team.

People Management and Reward

  1. Agree the HR strategy with the HR team.
  2. Liaise with Divisional Heads, Heads of Departments and Equity Partners to support the appraisal of the performance and requirements of the business and individuals.
  3. Direct the HR Team in the management of staff and efficient resource allocation. With the HR Team consider employee benefits including pension provision. Working with Divisional Heads and Finance Committee regarding remuneration reviews for staff, balancing performance reward with budgeting requirements.

Facilities Planning

  1. Agree the Facilities strategy with the Facilities team.
  2. Work with the Facilities Team to manage office space/requirements including leases, refurbishment and maintenance, giving authorisation for works as required and manage Facilities Budget with Finance Committee.
  3. Lead any projects for relocation/closing or opening of new offices.


  1. Agree the IT strategy with the IT Team and Management group in order to provide IT systems suitable for future years and align budget accordingly.
  2. Direct and manage the IT Team ensuring that system performance is maintained, plan for future IT requirements and make suggestions for improvements/greater efficiencies in terms of IT use, continually improving information for clients.
Skills Required

This is an exciting opportunity to play a strategic leadership role and play a pivotal role in the development of the Firm.  Those with experience of operating as Head of Operations / COO in a professional services environment would be desirable but not essential.

Successful applicants must be able to demonstrate:

  • the ability to work in a collegiate environment.
  • alignment with the Firm’s values and behaviors.
  • proven experience as a Head of Operations / COO or equivalent role.    
  • excellent communication skills, both verbally and written.
  • excellent organisational and leadership skills.
Equal Opportunities

Wilkin Chapman is an equal opportunities employer that values diversity and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, religious practice or any other perceived differences.  We are an armed forces friendly employer.

Our Values

All that we do is shaped by our five values: Service, Teamwork, Approachability, Innovation and Commitment to achieving results. These values are the bedrock of Wilkin Chapman, they define who and what we are - they underpin everything that we do. For more information on our values, please click here.

If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact recruitment@wilkinchapman.co.uk.