Ashurst is a leading progressive global law firm with a rich history spanning more than 200 years. We are proud of our history and are future-focused, having expanded into new technologies through our NewLaw division, Ashurst Advance, and our consulting arm. Our in-depth understanding of our clients and commitment to providing excellent standards of service have seen us become a trusted adviser to local and global corporates, financial institutions and governments in all areas of commercial law. To find out more please visit www.ashurst.com .
Client Growth & Innovation team plays an integral part of the Firm's growth strategy driving the development and performance of the Strategic Client Portfolio (Priority Clients Program). A newer pillar within Clients, Markets and Growth function, this department represents a true focus on transformation to the way the firm manages and grows our most strategic clients globally.
The team are undergoing a recalibration of their purpose and deliverables and have identified the need to recruit senior capability into the team, supporting some of the global strategic client portfolio.
The role of the Client Relationship Manager (CRM) constitutes a leadership role within the individual strategic client team, and an important role within the Client Growth & Innovation infrastructure. The CRM team are primarily responsible for proactively driving purposeful, impactful internal collaboration and client engagement, leading to excellence in client performance, diversification of relationships and strategic growth.
There are six core areas of focus for this role:
Voice of Clients
Seeking and interpreting the voice of our clients is an essential element of relationship management. The CRM team is responsible for leveraging the firm's Voice of Client program and framework to coordinate, undertake, interpret and/or respond to appropriate client listening and feedback activities. Responsibilities include:
- Working with the internal Voice of Client program champions, understand the range of feedback activities and programs to support each individual client relationship.
- Proactively arranging and attending client listening sessions (including general relationship feedback, industry needs analysis conversations and specific feedback related to major matters and/or pitches) to gather feedback and insight across priority client teams.
- Arranging client insights to be captured, synthesised and fed back into the firm's Voice of Client insights program.
- Regularly reporting back to CRPs on results, trends, opportunities and risks identified throughout client listening activities, taking a leadership role in developing a response in collaboration with CRPs.
The role of the CRM team is not purely operational. Members of the CRM team are empowered to work with CRPs in an appropriate client-facing capacity.
- Build out your own relationships with strategic contacts at your client/s, supporting CRPs as a primary Ashurst relationship contact at the client.
- Be the central contact point for panel arrangements, client operations and billing and pro bono/ID&B initiatives. This includes positioning within the internal client team as the expert across these areas for clients within your portfolio.
- To act as an internal advocate/voice of the client in decision-making amongst the CRP and senior client team.
- Confidently able to facilitate (host) social and CLE related engagements between the client and the firm.
As the relationship manager of the Firm's strategic clients, it is essential that the CRM team take a leadership role in monitoring and driving performance excellence as befits this client group by:
- understanding and curiously reviewing firm reporting;
- demonstrating an ability to articulate challenges; and
- collaborating with CRPs to drive behaviour and process change to achieve or exceed performance benchmarks.
To support this, the CRM team should:
- Have a thorough understanding of the suite of client reports (financial and activity) and the various key metrics which comprise the firms priority client performance measurements (KPIs/OKRs and financial metrics).
- Throughout the account planning process, to work collaboratively with CRPs and other stakeholders to set relevant performance improvement KPIs/OKRs.
- Work with the Ashurst Service Central (ASC) and other internal teams to ensure regular high quality financial and non-financial reports for clients and internal stakeholders.
- Proactively manage the client's revenue, profit and working capital management profile, as well as identify areas for improvement.
The CRM team plays a key role in facilitating and managing multi-dimensional account planning process. This incorporates driving the annual relationship review and recalibration around the strategic focus of each strategic client. CRMs are also responsible for the firm's response to key opportunities or risks identified throughout the course of the year, considering alignment to strategic priorities.
- Jointly develop client strategy aiming for performance excellence and profitable revenue growth with the CRPs and client teams.
- Identify client needs and opportunities through the Voice of the Client program and develop and implement strategies to convert key opportunities.
- Proactively manage strategically important pursuit opportunities,, working with the Global Bids team and internal teams to ensure pitches are delivered on time and to the highest standards.
Market and Industry Insights
CRMs are required to maintain a robust understanding of market and industry insights across their client portfolio. This includes high levels of collaboration with the Industry BD team as well as Risk Advisory and Ashurst Advance, ensuring the strategic client portfolio is being proactively engaged around challenges or opportunities facing similar organisations. The CRM team is responsible for driving an activity program around insight sharing.
- Proactively guaranteeing that the CRPs and client teams have a clear understanding of client priorities, ensuring we are responsive to client needs and bringing insight regarding our clients' most pressing issues and opportunities.
- Personally identify and propose market opportunities to generate client insights to develop the client relationship.
- Promote and facilitate sharing of client insight, movements and intelligence across the client teams.
- Work with the CRPs and relevant Expertise Lawyers to develop and execute a thought leadership strategy, designed to reinforce our drive towards market leadership.
- Be the 'centre of BD information' by maintaining a deep connection and collaboration with the industry teams and anticipate key client priorities and future themes and opportunities.
Internal Coordination and Resource Management
A primary aspect to the CRM role is facilitating the coordination of internal process and client engagement. This involves leveraging the resources across the firm to ensure highest and best use of various teams and individuals involved in delivering 'excellence'.
- Facilitate a coordinated, joined-up and cohesive international team and promote client relationship management best practice and ensure that activity is strategic, proactive and targeted.
- Working with CRPs, develop an engaged and motivated core team that aligns to, and supports, key priorities.
- Coach partners and lawyers to maximise CRM effectiveness while ensuring appropriate, targeted and timely client engagement while leveraging the firm's key initiatives and cross-practice service offerings.
- Risk and Control: Ensure that all client activities and duties are carried out in full compliance with our regulatory requirements, internal policies as well as the delivery of Relationship Agreement commitments including coordination of secondments, pricing agreements and other value add services.
- Actively manage BD budget and spend, ensuring alignment of spend to strategic objectives and return on investment.
- Power of collaboration - know the firm, including broad understanding of the practice areas, ID&B and Ashurst Advance, to bring the best of the firm to the client
- Client empathy - think about things from the client's perspective. Empathy is one of the strongest ways to build a relationship
- Be authentic - take a genuine interest in your clients on a human level. Maya Angelou: 'People will forget what you said, what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'
- Share - make the best of the firm by sharing knowledge of a client and introducing contacts to others in the team. Think internationally and use the best of each industry, practice area and jurisdiction.
- Be curious - understand the wider world and be curious and interested in understanding the business priorities of the client.
Essential skills and experience
- Demonstrated experience in managing multiple clients with proven results in developing strong client relationships, identifying and driving opportunities that directly contribute to revenue.
- Client/account management or similar relevant BD experience, ideally gained within law or another professional services environment.
- Previous experience in a client facing capacity including client listening experience.
- Strategic thinker but also willing to roll up the sleeves to get the job done.
- Ability to influence credibly and effectively at all levels of the organisation with strong executive presence.
- Strong interpersonal skills, with a proven ability to build trusting relationships with the partnership and business services.
- Comfort and proficiency in effectively influencing partners
- Familiarity with trends and issues that create opportunities to add value to the client's business.
- Ability to make clients and their needs a primary focus; initiates, builds and sustains productive client relationships resulting in quality service and client satisfaction.
- Creates a good first impression, commands attention and respect, shows an air of confidence, and deals comfortably with clients and colleagues at the highest levels, interacts appropriately and strategically with clients.
- Inherent drive to succeed, and proven ability to develop and execute solutions to short term barriers and setbacks.
- Flexibility and willingness to go the extra mile.
To comply with regulatory and client requirements, Ashurst will undertake appropriate vetting of staff. When applicants accept a job offer, Ashurst, alongside a specialist provider, will undertake professional verification and background checks. These checks are only undertaken with consent, and in accordance with our legal and regulatory obligations.