Head of Legal and Regulatory Risk

A top UK law are seeking a lawyer to join the business and head the Legal and Regulatory Risk and to manage the Legal and Regulatory Risk team also. This firm has experienced, and plans to continue, growing their legal and regulatory risk function with the view to better respond to the firms needs and ever-changing regulatory landscape. The firm has an ambitious strategy for profitable growth and this role will provide early responsibility in growing the business.

You will directly report to the firms General Counsel amongst your team which is principally London and deal with legal and regulatory risk matters across their international network of offices. The team provides legal advice and support in respect to variety of areas including compliance policies, Professional Liability, SRA Code of Conduct, and Data Privacy issues. You will be working closely with the COLP and COFA, be in regular liaison with the Head of Business Acceptance and engage with the MLRO and MLCO in respect of specific issues. The head of Legal and Regulatory Risk is responsible maintain a strong program across their network of firms spanning Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Paris, Piraeus, Seoul, Shanghai, and Singapore. This does mean that there is the opportunity to visit these sites where required.

Main Responsibilities

  • Managing, mentoring, supporting and developiing team members.
  • Acting as a point of escalation on complex legal and regulatory risk issues and liaise as appropriate with the Head of Business Acceptance, General Counsel and/or the firm’s Conflicts Committee to resolve commercial conflict queries.
  • Working with and advise the Senior Partner and/or the Firm’s COLP in respect of client complaints and regulatory issues arising.
  • Advising the firm in respect of supplier and client contracts on an ad hoc basis (in conjunction with others as appropriate).
  • Advising on DP compliance, and management of client/matter facing subject access requests.
  • Providing support with the client audit process including line managing the Client Audit Manager.
  • Working  with subject matter specialists in relation to ongoing reviews of the firm’s policies, controls, and procedures, and ensuring that the firm’s policies, controls and processes are fit for purpose and that all relevant staff are appropriately trained in respect of their obligations.
  • Liaising closely with Risk Partners based in the firm’s international offices, to ensure that local regulations are fully considered and integrated into the firm’s policies, controls and processes.
  • Ensuring that the team maintains and updates the firm’s Engagements Letters and Terms of Business as well as the firm’s broader suite of Risk policies, such as ABC and Modern Slavery.
  • In partnership with the Head of Business Acceptance provide risk and compliance training across the business taking into account of jurisdictional differences.
  • Keep abreast of current legal and regulatory risk guidance, consultations and best practice, including that issued by the SRA, the Law Society and updates in relevant jurisdictions, and ensure that fee earners are kept up to date with any significant changes.
  • Working alongside subject matter specialists and the Business Acceptance team to ensure compliance with applicable sanctions legislation.
  • Advising in respect of fee earners’ regulatory obligations when providing verification services in relation to Companies House’s Register of Overseas Entities in accordance with the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022.
  • Working with the firm’s COFA to ensure the effective management of third-party payment risks and compliance with finance related legislation, including the Solicitors Accounts Rules and the UK Mandatory Disclosure Rules.
  • Involvement in and management of other ad hoc strategic and/or risk projects as required

Key Requirements

  • A qualified solicitor or barrister with significant post-qualification experience.
  • Proven significant experience in Legal & Regulatory Risk is essential, either leading a team or at a senior level. Prior experience in an international law firms or other similar professional services businesses is highly desirable.
  • Detailed knowledge of key legal and regulatory risk issue and requirements of the SRA Standards and Regulations is essential; experience of working with similar regulatory requirements in other jurisdictions is highly desirable.
  • A high level of professional competence, rigour and judgment combined with a commercial and pragmatic understanding and approach.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and professionally and to build credibility at all levels in the business.
  • Comfortable with presenting to and discussing complex issues in large group meetings. Able to articulate the case for change and benefits of it and lead, persuade and influence partners.
  • Highly motivated, proactive and energetic – a self-starter who can think and act independently. Delivery focused and resilient; able to deal effectively with and overcome set backs.
  • Strong leadership and people management skills – able to manage multiple projects and activities concurrently, keeping each on track.
  • Highly collaborative and team orientated – able to both manage a team and work well within a wider team.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the business imperatives facing partners and fee earners and work with them to achieve commercially viable solutions whilst ensuring overall compliance.
  • Desire to build on existing knowledge and adapt to changes in processes and procedures quickly.
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