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Operations Director

South West
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Salary Description:
Osborne Clarke
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About us

We are recognised as one of the UK's most forward-thinking law firms. Our success is down to excellence in our approach to our clients, our people and our business. We have a confident and coherent strategy that has been rewarded by topping the Roll on Friday 'Firm of the Year' poll for Management, Culture and Openness.

Our people are at the heart of our business. We are renowned for our unstuffy and supportive culture, encouraging all our people (lawyers and business service professionals alike) to make the most of their talent with stretching careers in a fast growing and exciting environment.

We have a growing international reach, particularly in Europe but also across Asia and the US, and we are the largest member of the Osborne Clarke International organisation. We have a clear strategy for the next five years - our 2020 vision - preparing the firm for a sustainable future.

Some recent accolades

Law Firm of the Year, The Lawyer 2015

Law Firm of the Year, Legal Business 2015

Excellence in Talent Management, HR in Law 2015

Best Company Culture, AllAboutLaw 2016

Best Law Firm for Management and Culture, RollOnFriday 2016

The role and the opportunity

We are looking for an Operations Director (OD) to join our Projects, Real Estate & Finance (PREF) group. PREF is the largest practice group within Osborne Clarke, with in excess of 150 employees and 39 partners bringing £40M in business each year 

In this role you will be working very closely with Tim Simmonds, Practice Head (PH) to develop, organise and drive the Group's strategic business activities.

The OD guides and supports the PH in their leadership role, and ensures that the strategy, plans and structures of the Practice Group are in place and are aligned to the firm’s strategic goals.

The OD will play a critical role as the firm implements its 2020 vision to achieve effective integration and consistency of approach across the range of working practices from client targeting to financial management.

The main objective is to take overall responsibility for the day to day non fee-earning operations of the Practice Group and to provide a high quality managerial support service, both on a strategic and operational level, in order to optimise the productivity and profitability of the PH, Partners and lawyers.

To provide hands on business support and guidance to a Practice Group will require the OD to assist the PH and other Partners with:-

  • the efficient operational management of the Group;
  • implementation of the firm's strategy and the Group business plan;
  • overseeing the delivery of HR within the PG in conjunction with the central HR team including pay review, bonus awards, recruitment etc;
  • the financial management and profitability of the Group;
  • working closely with partners and lawyers on their career progression;
  • delivering change projects; and
  • all activities to support in the promotion of the firm’s cultures and values.

Location and Hours of Work

This position is Bristol based, with the role involving regular travel between our London and Reading offices, as well as occasional international travel.

Due to the nature and size of the role, we are ideally looking for someone to join on a full-time basis, but are willing to consider applicants looking to work on a more flexible basis.

Key responsibilities

  • Rapidly win the confidence and respect of the leadership team and Partners
  • Demonstrate a high level of professional expertise and insight into the commercial context of the firm
  • Having the ability to successfully build rapport, communicate and influence people at all levels of the business
  • Deliver business projects, demonstrating innovation, efficiency and people management skills
  • To have a hands on, can-do approach and be solution focused
  • To run budgets effectively and work within performance targets

Specific responsibilities and areas of focus will include:

Practice Management

  • Preparation of partner hire business cases, including financials, for the Executive Board approval
  • Provisions of business analysis and benchmarking of the PG's performance against its peers and competitors
  • To implement, oversee and manage projects

Human Resources

  • Ensure we maintain the right resource levels throughout the PG
  • Delivery of our annual partner appraisal and remuneration process
  • Managing issues relating to retention and remuneration with the HR team
  • To provide support and develop business cases to support core partnership activities and the promotion process

Financial Management

  • To monitor the PG's financial performance and to regularly review the Group's profitability with the PH and partners
  • Assisting the PH in preparing annual budgets and consulting with the relevant partner groups
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of client billing and pricing decisions

The candidate

  • Experience of working in a professional services environment, with exposure to a partnership structure
  • Degree educated, with relevant professional qualifications
  • Relevant experience gained ideally in a Project Management or general management role
  • Proven experience of acting in an advisory role, with excellent people skills
  • Highly developed understanding of business strategy
  • Proven experience of assisting and delivering the management of change.

Key skills

  • Highly credible, with the ability to immediately engage all audiences, including Executive Board, Partners, Lawyers and Business Services Professionals
  • Ability and preference for managing people, projects and communications in a transparent and open manner
  • Practical, pragmatic and business focussed
  • Strong consultancy and influencing skills – influential, persuasive, articulate, objective, able to motivate and inspire colleagues and show appropriate assertiveness when necessary
  • A strategic thinker with a strong track record of project and business change programme delivery
  • An existing and effective network of professionals at leadership level across a relevant set of businesses or a proven ability to build such networks swiftly and effectively

For more information or to apply

At Osborne Clarke we welcome direct applications. We are looking to attract a market leading candidate and are prepared to offer an attractive remuneration package.

If you would like any further information about the role or the firm, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact, in complete confidence, Alex Flatman (Head of Recruitment) on 0117 917 3070 or via email, or Emily Webb (Recruitment Officer) on 0117 917 3072 or




Osborne Clarke is an inclusive working environment and values diversity in its workforce.

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