Head of IT Development

Bristol or London
30 Sep 2020
29 Nov 2020
Role Classification
Other Professional
Vacancy Type
IT, Development
Contract Type
Experience Level
Head of Department

Head of IT Development is a brand new leadership role at Osborne Clarke, and an exciting opportunity for the right individual to take our in-house development function to the next stage.

You will be accountable for the construction, operation and support of highly customised IT platforms we use to deliver legal services to our clients and our clients use across all national businesses as appropriate to manage their legal operations. You'll also be responsible for the development and management of bespoke software to be used internally as required by all our legal teams and business services functions across all national businesses.

This is a full time permanent position that can be based in either our Bristol or London offices, with some working from home when needed. Travel to our other UK and international offices will be required.

About us

Osborne Clarke is an international legal practice with over 270 Partners and more than 900 talented lawyers in 25 locations*. Our sector-based approach enables us to help our clients tackle the issues they are facing today, and prepare for the ones that they will face tomorrow. Advising them both comprehensively and commercially. We love working closely with our clients on new deals, products and solutions which will transform their businesses, markets and even sectors. And our unique approachable culture is not an added extra, it’s fundamental to our success.

What you'll do

The main purpose of this role is to be accountable for the successful delivery of software developed in house for;

  • Our people's use internally within all our national businesses to facilitate the delivery of our legal services to our clients.
  • Our people and our clients to facilitate the delivery of our legal services to our clients across all national businesses
  • Our clients to facilitate management of their in house legal operations

Reporting directly to the IT Director, you will also be working closely with the Head of OC Solutions UK Client & Consulting, the senior IT leadership management team, international IT and OC Solutions representatives, our lawyers and our clients in order to deliver the software and IT services that is best developed in house to meet the needs of our people and clients across the UK and increasingly our other national businesses.

The role will be responsible for developing, commissioning and operating these bespoke IT platforms based on the requirements specified by the OC Solutions UK Client & Consulting team or by Business Analysists in the firm's IT or Operations Programmes and Projects teams.

Holding a senior position within the firm, you will also be accountable for the creation and delivery of the firms strategy associated with software development in-house and will work closely with the IT Director, Head of IT Operations and Head of IT Applications to develop the firm's overall IT architecture vision and strategy.

Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to;

  • Leading and managing the IT Development team in the UK to deliver software, infrastructure and architecture that meets the needs of our clients that is aligned with our firm strategy
  • Managing team workloads and client expectations appropriately through good resource management and planning using the tools the firm has available (currently Changepoint Daptiv)
  • Collaborating with the appropriate functions, people and clients generally to evaluate and identify technology platforms upon which to deliver our services to our clients
  • Developing, in conjunction with the OCS Client & Consulting Teams, and delivering a strategic technological vision and direction in relation to in house software development for use by our clients at Osborne Clarke that supports our 2025 IT and firm strategy
  • Being responsible for setting up, in conjunction with the OCS Client & Consulting Teams, and supporting bespoke IT platforms for our clients
  • Implementing mechanisms to monitor, manage and provide progress on all client software development activities and take ownership of those mechanisms (currently MS Azure DevOps)
  • Ensuring all initiatives and projects are appropriately scoped, prioritised and approved before commencement, then working effectively with internal and external stakeholders to ensure delivery against those priorities
  • Putting in place the relevant software development methodologies and processes required across the team and ensuring they are both continually enhanced and adhered to
  • Creating, implementing and maintaining a continuous improvement plan for software development through input to the firm's Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) policy including testing (both unit and automated) frameworks, quality assurance arrangements, our approach to release management and deployment
  • Identifying and recommending external partners to support the delivery of best in class development and client platform technologies
  • Reviewing and applying best practices to establish architecture and frameworks consistent with and supportive of our IT Strategy
  • Ensuring that security is paramount at all times and that our Information Security principles are embedded within all processes and methodologies operated by the team along with appropriate audits and relevant security monitoring mechanisms put in place

Who we're looking for

As a senior hire, we are looking for someone who has extensive experience in a similar role and is knowledgeable in all aspects of software development. You'll need to have experience of a range of common programming languages (e.g. css, html, javascript, nojs, react, etc.), knowledge of low code platforms and platform integrations.

More specifically you'll have;

  • A degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering or a related discipline or equivalent experience
  • Client and Industry Knowledge - Possess an understanding of the business and commercial context of our clients as well as the needs and objectives of OC
  • Corporate, Industry and Professional Standards – Strong knowledge of different software development methodologies such as Agile, Waterfall, Rapid, etc. as well as a good understanding of the ITIL framework
  • Quality Management – Be experienced in systems/methods for the management and measurement of quality within an organisation
  • Software Development Economics – Experienced in contributing to the construction of project proposals and annual budgets. Financial management skills covering budgeting, effective resource allocation and reporting and overall financial control to ensure return on investments
  • Relationship Management - Display good interpersonal skills at all levels of contact and in a wide variety of situations
  • Decision-making – Makes and takes responsibility for sound decisions on IT delivery at the appropriate time, taking into account the needs of the situation, priorities, constraints and the availability of necessary information
  • Communication - Excellent written and verbal communications skills with proven ability to communicate to diverse audiences of all levels. Openly communicates within and across OC to inform, influence, persuade and encourage others in respect of IT Development goals and objectives
  • Team Management – Has the ability to build a team that delivers great software development services and platform operations in an efficient manner, delegates well and is able to create a sense of community within the team
  • Delivery – Has a proven track record in delivering software development projects on time and in budget
  • Customer Focused- Acknowledges the customers view point. Identifies and gives priority to their needs and expectations; cultivates mutual trust and respect and delivers the agreed outcome
  • Collaborative - collaborates transparently with others and grows long-term alliances with internal and external customers
  • Trusted - builds, maintains and promotes honesty, belief and confidence with all internal and external customers
  • Responsive - understands and can appropriately be proactive/reactive to address emerging customer needs. Helps others, regularly setting new standards and goals, and reviewing progress against them
  • Creative - understands and can communicate the firm's IT vision and is able to think through and translate that for the relevant audience as necessary


At Osborne Clarke we welcome direct applications. If you have any questions please contact Philippa Watson (Recruitment Advisor) in confidence on Philippa.watson@osborneclarke.com.

Please note that although we include closing dates for our roles as a guide, we review and progress applications on a rolling basis.

No agencies please.

*Services in India are provided by a relationship firm

At Osborne Clarke, we are known for our open and inclusive culture. We believe that by investing in the diversity and wellbeing of our people, we create an environment where everyone can thrive to be the best that they can be. This means recognising that our people have lives and commitments outside of work. We have invested in connected working for our people and, where possible, we will accommodate flexible working for all our roles.