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Business Manager - EU, Competition & Trade and Intellectual Property

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Competitive Salary & Benefits
Baker McKenzie
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The Role

We are currently looking to recruit a Business Manager for our London Office on a part time or full time basis for a 3 month fixed term contract initially although there is a possibility that the role could become permanent.

Providing first class management support (strategic and operational), to two London Office practice groups; EU, Competition & Trade (EU, C&T) and Intellectual Property (IP), with the aim of driving and optimising departmental performance, efficiency and profitability.  The successful candidate will be highly commercial, a strategic and analytical operator, and have  the ability to influence and challenge for positive change whilst possessing strong implementation skills.

Department Strategy & Business Planning

The Business Manager role will provide first class support to the Department Manager, Sub Group Leaders and other Partners and senior lawyers in the formulation and implementation of department strategy and business plans, which are focused on growth, improving departmental financial performance and market profile and are aligned with the Global and London Office Strategy.

Strategy Alignment and Implementation

The Business Managers as a community play a key part in the implementation of the Global and London Office Strategy by working collaboratively with the Management Committee, the other Business Managers and Business & Secretarial Services to implement the Firm strategy within their respective departments.

Best Practice

The role will focus on developing a best practice approach within the department, using critical and commercial thinking to improve the efficiency of processes, pricing and freeing up Partner time to enable them to focus on client-facing work and client business development. The Business Manager will be expected to collaborate to develop and share best practice across the office and globally.

In particular, the role will involve:

The main responsibility of the Business Manager is to work with the Department Managers, Sub Group Leaders and partners across both practice groups to help formulate and drive the implementation of the departmental strategy, business plans and annual budget, ensuring alignment with the London Office.  In particular, the role will:

  • Provide high quality management support, both strategic and operational, with the purpose of driving and optimising departmental performance (financial performance, talent development, BD/client & practice development, strategic growth plans), optimising pricing, driving and improving efficiency and effectiveness of processes. 
  • Manage effectively the day to day operational and financial management of the practice groups by managing and working collaboratively across the key functional areas. This will include regular contact with functional managers of Business Development & Marketing, HR & Development, Finance & Accounting, Knowledge Management and the wider Business Manager group to help drive the Global  and London Office Strategy.
  • Work collaboratively with the Management Committee and the Business Manager community to share best practice and drive the overall office strategy, in particular in the areas of pricing, project management and process improvement.
  • Provide support to other practice groups, business managers and in relation to firm wide initiatives  in London.

The role will be responsible for the implementation of the Department Business Plan in three key areas of delivery:

1. Financial Performance

  • To drive profitability within the department by understanding the key drivers and ensuring the operation of the department (client development, resourcing etc.) are aligned to maximize profitability
  • To agree the department's budgets, and monitor financial performance against that budget, reporting regularly on financial positions and translating financial data into insight through  commercial financial analysis and critical  evaluation. To review and report on time and cost write-offs to keep margins under control and help the department's proactively manage their WIP and AR targets.
  • To drive and monitor the pipeline of work, collection targets and utilisation levels to ensure that the department is highly profitable. Highlight any areas of concern to relevant Partners and be responsible for any action plans  to address these. Ensure that time is accurately recorded and inputted in a timely manner across the department in accordance with office policies.
  • To provide guidance and support on pricing and profitability by working with the department's project managers to adapt our service delivery to preserve margin and improve realisation.
  • To support Partners on major client opportunities in terms of preparation of fee estimates and fee modelling, contributing to pitches and monitoring processes for effective billing to clients.

2. Practice/Client Development

  • To drive, monitor and ensure the effective execution of the Practice and Client development activities in the business plans, working closely with central and practice BD to ensure effective implementation.
  • To identify and promote opportunities for Partners to collaborate around client and business development both within the two practice groups and with other departments of the Office.
  • This includes oversight and monitoring of business development, market profile development, client intelligence gathering and ensuring an effective system is in place for regular client feedback reviews. To periodically provide the partners a summary of client feedback key themes and ideas to refresh our client propositions and service delivery.
  • To hold joint reporting lines for the BD Managers in the Departments and work closely with the Head of Business Development to ensure a consistently high level of delivery for the Department. Actively contribute to the professional development and performance management of the BD Managers and Executives as part of the wider BD community.
  • To oversee Department BD, KM & PSLs to develop compelling client products that can be scalable and leveraged across the wider firm to help institutionalise client relationships.

3. Talent Development

  • To develop, in conjunction with HR, a resourcing model and plan that creates the right leverage model for the department. To oversee, monitor and work closely with the Partners and HR Business Partner to develop a departmental talent pipeline, including robust performance management and training and development at all levels. Offer support to Partners around the promotion process, in particular the drafting of business cases for Junior Equity Partners, Equity Partners and lateral hires.
  • To actively encourage talent management at all levels through effective communication, influencing skills and the ability to challenge un-collaborative behavior.
  • To provide assistance to the Partners as necessary in relation to recruitment, evaluations and performance reviews of both professional and support staff within the Department, working closely with the HR Business Partner and the Partners. 
  • To liaise with the Global Practice Group Heads and Directors of Practice Operations to ensure coordination of all activities within the framework of both the practice group and the wider firm.
  • To work with the HR Team in relation to secretarial support to ensure that the right support model is in place for the department to ensure cost and efficiency savings.

Inclusion & Diversity

  • Respects and enjoys the diversity of cultural, social and academic backgrounds found in the Firm


The Teams

This role will be supporting two practice groups in the London office:

1. EU, Competition & Trade

We are one of the few premium teams to provide day-to-day advice on the full spectrum of competition law. Our experience encompasses cartel investigations, including extensive dawn raid capabilities; merger control; state aid; public procurement work and regulatory work and competition litigation.

Our global team helps navigate shifting antitrust and competition policies worldwide with precision and ease. We have the systems and standards — as well as more than 300 antitrust lawyers and professionals — to carry out the most complex, cross-border compliance strategies. We were the first law firm to coordinate multijurisdictional merger filings successfully and have since facilitated some of the largest global mergers.

We are also regarded as a leading trade team in London by virtue of our unrivalled experience in advising on international trade issues, including export controls and sanctions rules, customs rules, WTO rules, free trade agreements and trade remedies. We have an extremely broad client base and our ability to provide advice of the highest quality reflects a close working relationship with our colleagues globally.

2. Intellectual Property

Our Intellectual Property Department has remarkable depth and breadth of intellectual property knowledge, founded on a unique combination of domestic and global IP capabilities. We represent many of /the world’s best known IP owners in industries as diverse as FMCG, fashion, retail, IT, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, biotechnology, energy, hotels, manufacturing and media/entertainment.

At the cutting edge of IP law developments, we provide innovative advice in both contentious and transactional situations across the full range of IP: including trade marks; copyright and designs; confidential information, and patents. We provide a dedicated IP enforcement and anti-piracy service, and offer a uniquely integrated IP and trade mark prosecution service.

Our global IP practice group comprises more than 450 lawyers who are considered leading practitioners in their local markets, and who work together daily to provide a seamless and fully integrated service. Indeed, the ability of our global practice group to deliver multijurisdictional, value added advice is one that no one else can match.


Key Skills and Experience Required

  • Proven track record of success within a similar role at a senior level in professional services
  • Experience of collaborating and working with other teams, either through cross functional projects or as part of a multi-disciplinary team (e.g. BD, HR, Finance)
  • A recognition of the relationship between strategy and implementation, and a proven track record in delivering both effectively
  • Critical thinker with  the ability to assimilate data and provide commercial insight
  • High degree of emotional intelligence and the ability to engage comfortably at all levels within the organisation
  • Ability to influence at the most senior level
  • First class numeracy, analytical and IT skills
  • Experience working with a team of high-achieving individuals who work in a pressured environment.
  • Project management and leadership capability, with the ability to collaborate for change
  • Creator-innovator but with an ability to implement pragmatic solutions and complete projects.
  • Collaborative, team oriented and 'Firm first' mind-set.
  • A highly credible self starter with drive, enthusiasm and excellent influencing skills.
  • First-rate written and oral communication skills, with the ability to explain complex issues to people at all levels.
  • Recognised appropriate qualifications or equivalent relevant experience - e.g. degree, MBA, chartered accountant.


Why join us?

Baker McKenzie is a truly global law firm.  Founded in 1949, we advise many of the world’s most dynamic and successful business organisations through our 13,000 people in 77 offices across 47 countries. Yet big does not mean impersonal. We work hard to ensure that everyone knows their role and has the support they need to perform it to the highest standard.  Our culture encourages this - how we work, think and behave in a collaborative and fulfilling way.

In London you will be part of an 800 person office, which is also our largest office globally. Originally opened in 1961, Baker McKenzie London is well established in the UK as a leading international law firm and is regularly involved in some of the country's most high-profile legal matters. We can offer you the work, pride and experience of being part of a leading law firm but in a local office environment that is hardworking, yet friendly and supportive.

The strength of the firm and our culture is evidenced by a number of recent awards, including:

Acritas’ Sharplegal Global Elite Brand Index, 2016 - ranked 1st/Brand Index: 100

The Sunday Times’ Best Companies to Work For 2011, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17: currently ranked 66th

The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers 2016: currently ranked 57th

Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 2017: currently ranked 7th

Euromoney Women in Business Law Awards 2016:  Five awards: Most Innovative International Firm for Women, Best International Firm for pro bono work, Best in tax, Best in Employment and Overall Outstanding Female Practitioner Award


To Apply

At Baker McKenzie we welcome direct applications.

Please click on the Apply icon to start the online application process for this role.  We will then be in touch with you once we have reviewed your application.  If you are unable to apply online, please contact the Recruitment Team on either 020 7919 1000 or


Please note Baker McKenzie does not accept unsolicited CVs.  Please click here for details of our Agency Policy and commitment to sourcing directly.


Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

Baker McKenzie has a culture of diversity and inclusion in its DNA – since our beginning, the differences of our people have helped us to work fluently across borders, cultures and practices.  This is intrinsic to everything we do and underpins Baker McKenzie's vision to be the global law firm of choice.  We understand that organisations work best when people with different backgrounds and points of view are brought together.  We also know people perform at their best when they can be themselves at work.  Baker McKenzie is committed to serving our clients with innovative solutions brought about by a diverse talent pool and an inclusive community.

The London office mirrors the wider firm in encouraging the best people, regardless of race, culture, religion or belief (if any), gender, gender identity and expression, disability, sexual orientation or age, to fulfil their professional aspirations with us so as to create an exciting and diverse legal environment.

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