Risk & Compliance Lawyer
Simmons & Simmons are looking for a Risk & Compliance Lawyer to join our growing Risk team to be based in either our Bristol or London office. This role will assist the firm's General Counsel and Head of Risk & Compliance in the provision of risk-related support to the firm, with particular focus on conflicts of interest.
Main duties and responsibilities
- Assisting the firm's General Counsel and Head of Risk & Compliance in advising and supporting the firm in relation to mitigation of its general legal and regulatory risks. Although the candidate's particular are of focus and responsibility will be conflicts of interest, he/she will need to have a basic understanding of the all of the main components of risk affecting a law firm i.e. the SRA Code, the AML rules, sanctions, and any other relevant legal obligations (such as anti-bribery, Modern Slavery, DAC6, failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion etc) in order to assist, as part of the legal Risk & Compliance team, with keeping the firm's risk management policies and processes up to date and dealing with queries from lawyers and business services on these issues.
- Working with the Conflicts Team Manager to ensure that our new client/matter processes are fit for purpose in identifying and managing conflicts, , and that they are efficient and comply with our legal obligations
- Advising lawyers in relation to conflicts queries and assisting them in resolving any issues, including the creation of information barriers, providing drafting on the conflicts position for inclusion in engagement letters, acting as an intermediary between partners where material confidential information could be involved etc
- Dealing with day to day queries from the Conflicts Team in relation to conflicts and escalating to the Head of Risk & Compliance or General Counsel as appropriate
- Providing training to lawyers, business services staff and the Conflicts Team on the conflict of interests rules and the relevant policies/processes of the firm (in person and using e-learning)
- Assisting the Head of Risk & Compliance and General Counsel with risk management projects on an ad hoc basis (e.g. client audits, , reviewing and ensuring compliance with new rules and legislation etc)
- The candidate must:
- have a degree level qualification; and
- ideally have experience of working in a commercial law firm; and either
- be a qualified lawyer who has a strong appreciation for the circumstances when risk management considerations (particularly conflicts issues) will be relevant; or
- have a legal background and experience (i.e. a legal executive/paralegal), including strong experience of advising on conflicts issues within a law firm.
Knowledge and technical skills
- The applicant will have a good understanding of the conflicts rules and how they apply to law firms and will be able to apply this knowledge in drafting, updating and implementing relevant policies and procedures, and in advising lawyers on whether they can accept potential new instructions and what mitigating steps they need to take (e.g. information barriers, client consent etc).
- The applicant will need a good understanding of the types of work undertaken by the firm (or an ability to gain the understanding quickly), and will be expected to become familiar with the operations of the various business services functions of the firm.
- The applicant will quickly need to gain an in-depth understanding of how the firm's Dynamics AX Enterprise Portal (the IT system used for on-boarding and recording new client/matters) works, and also Intapp Conflicts (which the firm will soon be incorporating and using for conflicts clearance). He/she will also need to become familiar with the electronic search tools used by the Conflicts Team. The role therefore requires a candidate who is fully IT literate and comfortable working with different IT systems.
- The role requires clear skills in drafting (policies, guidelines, training, engagement letter wording etc).
- The applicant will need to have the confidence and ability to engage with partners, associates and business services staff at all levels, and have the skills which enable them to build trust in relationships with those people. This will include the ability to deliver training to the firm on AML, sanctions and conflicts.