Legal Assistant

Job Title: Legal Assistant - Residential & Commercial Property
To contribute to the attainment of the firms business objectives by
1. Providing a fully effective service to clients by proactively progressing client files under the direction of the appropriate solicitors.
2. Providing secretarial and administrative assistance to the group and adopting a team orientated approach at all times to ensure consistently high level of service is provided to the fee earning team.
Key Responsibilities will be varied and will include, but are not limited to the following:
Client Services
· Taking initial client enquiries and id documentation and handle tasks under the lawyer's instructions. This may include amongst other things, dealing with accounts when a matter is concluded
· Ensuring that work sent to clients and related parties is correctly prepared in accordance with the firms standards and precedents
· Observing the code of practice in all areas as detailed in the Solicitors Code of Conduct including the requirements of the Solicitors Accounts Rules and Lexcel requirements
· Report complaints from clients or third parties to the PGL
· Recording matter related time with a view to fees being billed for lawyers or for self (if requested)
· Introducing clients to lawyers in different departments as appropriate and particularly to consider this at the conclusion of a matter
· Keeping client databases up to date by amending existing entries or by adding new clients
Transnational tasks
· Carry out appropriate searches on direction of lawyers and follow up as necessary.
· Download documents as required from relevant authorities, Land Registry etc.
· Prepare necessary Land Registry application forms, SDLT Returns and deal with follow up under supervision of lawyers.
· Preparing initial draft documents, reports and drafting letters.
Matters Administration
· Maintaining control of the matters to ensure that standards of matter conduct, file management, administration, time-recording and accounting are maintained at all times.
· Be fully conversant with the firms computer systems
· Work in a tidy organised manner by reducing clutter and ensure files are relocated in the cabinets provided.
· Assist in collecting all outstanding costs and disbursements from clients and alerting the lawyers if levels of unpaid costs exceed those levels recorded as budget estimates.
Secretarial/Administrative
· Opening, maintaining and closing client and internal files in accordance with standard procedures including performing on-line money laundering and identification checks and ensuring they are up to date at all times, preparing the relevant forms. Carrying out conflict checks on new transactions.
· Answer the telephone or meet clients who call into the office without an appointment on behalf of the Lawyers, answering queries and taking messages where appropriate and making appropriate file notes.
· Setting up and maintaining documents in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Oyez if required.
· Picking up and passing on voice mail messages where secretaries or lawyers are away from the office or desk and making appropriate file notes.
· Maintain lawyers diaries and make appointments.
· Organise internal and external meetings including meeting room bookings and if appropriate organising refreshments.
· Manage incoming and outgoing post and emails as required.
· Undertake typing duties for fee earners (audio and copy)
· Collate work received from the outsourcing company (such as Voicepath) including arranging necessary enclosures.
· Liaise with the Accounts Department as appropriate to ensure timely and accurate accounts administration - to include paying in and request cheques, complete expenses and client entertainment forms, CHAPS payment forms.
· · Work as part of a team, assisting with secretarial and telephone cover as required.
· Act on instructions from lawyers to perform tasks in connection with client/administrative matters.
· Initial handling of client queries that arise from "drop ins" and enquiry calls. Completing and passing on new matter enquiry form as required.
· Dealing with enquiries regarding deeds and/or historic files and liaising, as appropriate, with relevant lawyer and/or archivist.
· Ensure all files are compliant with SRA and Lexcel requirements under supervision of lawyers.
Skills and attributes
· Experience of working within a Property Department of a Law Firm or relevant legal qualifications would be preferred.
· Secretarial experience in a Law firm is desirable.
· Knowledge, experience and passion for property law and practices.
· Adopts a client-centered focus at all times, taking responsibility for the level of client service they provide and takes proactive steps to maximize and improve client relationships.
· A team orientated approach, particularly during the absence of other legal assistants, to ensure high quality support is provided at all times to the fee earning team.
· Creative problem-solving ability.
· Good written and verbal communication skills.
· Fast and accurate keyboard skills.
· Good grasp of grammar and spelling.
· Good computer literacy skills in relevant software packages such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Oyez.
· Ability to multi-task, organise, prioritise and plan accordingly.
· Ability to work calmly under pressure and with a demanding work load.
· Confident with the ability to interface and develop relationships with a variety of people.
· Show initiative when required.
· Ability to follow instructions given.
· Good time keeping.
· Professional appearance

Tate is acting as an Employment Agency in relation to this vacancy.