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Working Capital Controller (12 month contract)

A&O Shearman
London (Central), London (Greater)
Closing date
14 Jul 2024

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Vacancy Type
Contract Type
Experience Level
Officer / Analyst / Engineer / Executive / Coordinator
Role Classification
Other Professional

Job Details

Job description

We are currently recruiting for experienced Working Capital Controllers to join our London office on a 12 month contract.  The Working Capital Controllers liaise with partners and fee earners in London to ensure bills are accurate, rendered on time and adhere to client agreements, Solicitors Accounts Rules and VAT regulations. The role has responsibility for  controlling the office's "Work In Progress" and accounts receivable assets and ensuring that both partners and clients receive accurate and timely financial information. Each controller has a list of partners that they work with (normally 10-12  partners) and they will be responsible for controlling the whole working capital cycle for those partners.

Role and responsibilities
Pricing and Business Partnering

  • Assist Partners on profitability forecasting for individual matters (e.g. based on various scenarios around  billing  and write offs)

Net Investment Management

  • Assist in monitoring the effectiveness of client billing and collection processes and suggest improvements to enhance the quality of service
  • Review the client revenue and net investment balances (WIP and Debts) for partners you are allocated, take ownership of reporting regularly on positions and escalate increasing client exposures
  • Liaise with partners and the Shared Service Centre (SSC) Credit Control team to improve the speed of cash collection
  • Provide relevant reports (e.g. WIP and Debts) for monthly meetings with partners
  • Review billing write offs and ensure any material amounts are escalated to working capital manager
  • Review unbilled disbursements account balances and disbursements written off for your partners on a monthly basis and investigate any significant movements

Matter profitability and project management

  • Analyse current billing and profitability information and other items of a complex nature for  reporting and problem-solving including calculating PPP analysis of individual matters
  • Assist partners in the preparation of matter budgets  
  • Delivery, design and preparation of financial presentations, and ad hoc client reviews

Relationship Management

  • Develop close relationships with the particular partners that you work with
  • Develop close relationships with central pricing team in London and relevant client relationship teams
  • Provide support for internal and external client meetings – determine nature of meeting and provide succinct financial advice in relation to billings and collections
  • Ensure IT systems reflect agreed engagement terms by working closely with the Finance Systems Group.
  • Establish good working relationships with the offshore SSC Finance Teams (Revenue, eBilling and Credit Control)

Ad-Hoc duties required from time to time may include the following:

  • Involvement in ad hoc projects
  • Reporting on specific clients or client groups
  • Ad hoc reports specified by legal department
  • Various reporting to clients (e.g. accruals)
  • Calculating and posting volume discount accruals

General responsibilities

  • Meet with partners at least monthly to review current matters, ensure pledged bills materialise and credit control issues are also dealt with
  • Comprehensive follow-up of action items, such as time transfer, time write off, dispatch of billing guides, disbursements, queries etc. This also includes follow up of all debt collection discussions
  • Drafting narrative in support of bills, drafting monthly and quarterly bills for clients
  • Preparation and processing of bills to ensure time and disbursements are accurately charged and allocated
  • Preparation and processing of e-bills to ensure time and disbursements are accurately charged and allocated along with clearing rejected e-bills
  • Maintenance of billing profile ensuring regular updates to give accurate estimates
  • Checking bills thoroughly before sending to partners and clients
  • Liaison with the SSC Teams in Belfast (Revenue, eBilling and Credit Control) and participate in relevant meetings
  • Keep partners and clients advised on a daily/weekly basis of how fees are being accrued
  • Promoting and creating the use of the Pricing Model and providing appropriate support and assistance to partners and associates
  • Providing technical 3E support to Legal PAs if required
  • Managing Working Capital Lock Up Days – to regularly review WIP and debtor lock up days for partner matters and to monitor trigger points of billing / write offs, so ensuring early revenue action to maintain optimum working capital hygiene from a WIP perspective. To also flag any debtor issues to partners that may be impacting the Lock Up profile to ensure the partner is well informed of any exposures
  • Work closely with partners on credit control issues to unlock debts as quickly as possible. Key examples are influencing partners to allow normal debt-chasing processes on all their bills, highlighting any queries or disputes where partner intervention is required, highlighting the oldest debts
  • Ensuring all the financial aspects of new matter set-ups are correctly completed

Key requirements, skills and experience

  • Commitment to providing professional, responsive and effective relationships. Gains respect and makes a credible contribution.
  • Active team member who supports and engages with others and works effectively in a team
  • Shares knowledge and skills, and provides and accepts feedback
  • Excellent communicator and confident in interaction with others. Listens and understands issues from all perspectives and values other opinions
  • Delivers tasks in a professional and organised way with limited supervision and responsive to immediate priorities.
  • Able to work under pressure and multi task to meet deadlines
  • Committed to the maintenance of established processes and systems
  • Enthusiastic and proactive approach
  • Ability to assimilate large amounts of information quickly and interested in rapid learning. Must be confident in the application of key compliance functions around SRA Accounts Rules, sales taxes and VAT in accordance with the firm’s documented procedures, clients’ e-billing and other client-specific requirements
  • Good influencing skills
  • Able to understand the wider business issues and to generate and develop new ideas to add value
  • Experience within a Finance function is essential and experience within working capital would be beneficial
  • Good numeracy and literacy skills
  • Computer literate with experience in Microsoft Office, including Excel, Word and Outlook
  • Experience of a legal practice management system would be beneficial

Should you require additional support at any stage of the recruitment process due to a disability or a health condition, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our recruitment team who will work with you to provide any adjustments as required.

We recognise the value of flexible working and embraces hybrid working, allowing our people to work from home up to 40% of their working time. We do however remain committed to working together in person for the remaining 60% of time so that we can learn, grow and succeed together.

Additional information - External

A&O Shearman is a new global industry-leading law firm, with 47 offices in 29 countries worldwide. Our fluency in English law, US law, and the laws of the world’s most dynamic markets, enables us to provide unmatched insight and seamless delivery to clients. We work on challenging and important deals and disputes that have the potential to shape the future.

We offer exceptional opportunities for our people; opportunities to work for the world’s leading businesses; to transform the status quo, and to deliver your best work, helping you and your career to thrive, while delivering unparalleled outcomes for our clients.

Whether you're helping clients solve complex challenges, transforming the ways we manage our business, or ensuring the smooth-running of our operations, this is an environment where you can belong and excel. We provide first-rate training and development, we are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and we provide support and ways of working that help you optimise your wellbeing.

What truly defines a career with us? We recruit the best and ask for the best of you. And together, we will redefine success.


A&O Shearman is global industry-leading law firm with 48 offices in 29 countries. We are a partner and trusted advisor to some of the world’s most sophisticated companies, governments and financial institutions. With the combined strengths of our legacy firms, Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling, we offer unmatched global breadth and depth, a forward-thinking perspective on the future and a one-firm culture of excellence to achieve unparallelled outcomes  for our clients and for each other.

We're at the start of an exciting journey, and this offers exceptional opportunities for our people. Whether you're helping clients solve their most complex challenges, transforming the ways we manage our business, or ensuring the smooth-running of our operations, this is an environment where you can belong and excel - whether you’re starting out, or taking the next step in your career.

We work to attract and retain the very best people – and we support them to build their future with us. As part of our high-performance culture, we have high expectations of one another in everything we do. We foster a working environment based on collaboration and mutual respect, where everyone is trusted to do their very best work in the way they see fit, to a standard we all share.

With us, you will constantly be learning and growing. We invest in you by offering exceptional professional and personal development – providing training, mentoring and practical support. And we nurture an environment and ways of working that promote positive wellbeing.

We have a powerful commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Your unique perspective, attributes and experiences are valued here and we invite you to bring your whole self to work.

What truly defines a career with us? We recruit the best, we ask for the best of you, and we support you to achieve your potential. And together we excel.

Company info
+44 (0) 20 3088 0000
One Bishops Square
E1 6AD
United Kingdom

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