Legal Project Manager

  • Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
  • London, UK
  • 24 Apr, 2019
Permanent Legal Project Manager

Job Description


In conjunction with the Disputes Practice Group and the senior members of the Legal Operations team, determine, lead and manage key Legal Project Management priorities for the Practice Group, including the following areas of focus:
Current state responsibilities

  • Developing a sustainable model of Legal Project Management best practice (including through education and tools) within the Practice Group to assist in driving efficiency, increasing profitability and reducing distractions for the legal teams;
  • Contributing Legal Project Management content to RFPs; and
  • Building relationships and acting as an interface between the different legal teams (including specialist teams and international teams, where appropriate), Legal Operations, relevant internal stakeholders and aligned functions.
  • Working within matter teams to define, monitor and control work flows and work stream progression and pro-actively identifying areas of delivery risk
Client-focused responsibilities
In consultation with the Disputes Partners and as determined to be necessary and appropriate;
  • Lead work with the Partnership to identify and develop solutions for Practice Group and/or client challenges; and
  • Liaise with the client (as required) and identify and assist the legal teams to deliver the client’s operational needs.
  • Assist the client and HSF legal functions in the proactive management of matter portfolio
Future-focused responsibilities
In conjunction with the Disputes Practice Group,  the broader Legal Operations team and other internal SMEs;
  • analysing and modelling key practice specific work types (existing and new) to:
    • achieve the best results for clients and deliver exceptional legal services;
    • inform future scoping and pricing; and
    • improve sustainable productivity and reduce the cost of service.
  • ensuring Alternative Legal Services and third party suppliers are used effectively;
  • identifying trends, challenges and opportunities within the Practice Group including through analysing data and working with the Partnership to identify and develop operational solutions for Practice Group and/or client challenges;
  • consulting with the Practice Group to identify and facilitate use of automation, technology and new ways of working to support matters and projects in a manner that is coordinated with the broader strategic goals of the Practice Group and of the firm; and
  • Contributing to long term behavioural change through Legal Operations coaching to ensure operational best practice is a core competency of all Disputes lawyers.




  • Have a base knowledge of Litigation Finance (Third Party Funding and Insurance)
  • Foundational understanding of litigation and arbitration processes, with a base knowledge of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) and major international arbitration institutions
  • A good understanding of AFAs including DBAs & CFAs
  • Degree qualified (or equivalent knowledge or skill)/ Legal qualification required.
  • Formal Legal Operations qualification (e.g. Agile, Lean Six Sigma, PRINCE2 or equivalent) is desirable.
  • Comprehensive understanding of the legal process and typical work product in a law firm environment (including managing large transactions).
  • Strong stakeholder management, influencing and relationship building skills including experience in building strong relationships of trust with senior stakeholders and/or clients.
  • Demonstrated financial acumen and understanding of key financial performance indicators.
  • Demonstrated ability to simplify complex concepts to understand and communicate information.
  • Strong systems skill set and an ability to rapidly pick up new systems.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team; and
  • Experience of using a Financial Practice Management System e.g. Elite or Aderant expert.
  • Knowledge of relevant IT packages: e.g. Excel, Jira, Visio.



Corporate Services


Our Corporate services group is comprised of a number of teams from the firm's central management functions, which support key activities both within the firm and in the external market. They coordinate common initiatives, improve communication and drive greater efficiency across our operations. These teams are Legal Operations, Management Services, Pro bono and citizenship, Internal/external communications and the Business Services Programme Management Office (BSPMO).

Legal operations

In response to the needs of clients, we have combined specialist skills that provide a range of critical business support services for our clients and their in-house lawyers, notably legal project management, pricing, research, innovation and contract automation services. This single integrated team, called Legal Operations, is a ‘single place’ where our clients and partners can go to access these services. As well as aligning to the needs of our clients, we aim to provide clients with greater certainty on commercial outcomes in matters (price, budget) and greater efficiency in delivery (time, cost and scope). Additionally, we bring innovation, automation and process improvement in our service to clients, both to drive efficiency and build opportunities to transform the client's business and operating environment. Our goal is to make Legal Operations easy to access for our clients and partners, give them a consistently positive experience, and provide exceptional service that meets and anticipates their needs.

Management services

This team is formed of a number of partners and consultants who provide leadership in developing our management and strategic direction, and in spearheading key strategic initiatives. Within this team, you’ll be supported by our strategy and planning team, which provides analysis to inform decision-making, develop business plans and project manage agreed initiatives and strategic reviews.

Pro bono and citizenship

Within this team, you’ll focus on:
• providing pro bono legal services to members of the public through legal and community centres, and sponsoring legal clinics in association with law faculties
• sustainable development, working with non-governmental organisations, supporting rule of law initiatives, and training on behalf of local bar associations in African and South East Asian countries
• building community through financial and in-kind support to community partners with a focus on those organisations that promote access to justice and opportunity; and
• reducing environmental impact, including targets for reducing energy and carbon, food waste, recycling and encouraging more environmentally friendly travel options

Internal/external communications

These teams are responsible globally for advising on and supporting our communications activities in all media, both internally and externally, and including the development of our communications strategy and new communications initiatives.

Business Services Programme Management Office (BSPMO)

The BSPMO manages an extensive portfolio of global firm-wide projects, including new systems and major transformation programmes. Services offered include programme/project management, change management and business analysis.


Private Practice