In- House Counsel

Synopsis

An exciting new opportunity has just become available at a top law firm located in Sandton, Johannesburg. Our client is looking for a candidate who will be responsible for supporting the General Counsel Head with the day-to-day implementation and maintenance of the Firm’s Risk Management and Compliance strategy


Minimum Requirements

Qualification & Experience:

• Qualified Associate/ Senior Associate Attorney and/or Know-How Support Lawyer with a minimum of 3 years working experience as a practicing attorney in a leading law firm.
• Previous exposure to compliance and risk management concerns and trends within a medium to large law firm environment would be helpful i.e. previous exposure to FICA, Confidentiality, Privacy of Information etc. This includes exposure to internal review processes and/or the conducting of compliance assessments/ audits within the firm.
• Must possess a recognised ability to successfully build strategic partnerships/ alliances with key stakeholders in the firm.
• Previous project and/or matter management experience is preferable.

Competencies:

The role requires a confident, driven and proactive individual who has the determination and ability to influence, persuade and coach others.
Excellent written communication and interpersonal skills are essential requirements – including a firm but diplomatic style.
The role engages in operational analysis and management and is required to critically examine and communicate how the firm’s governance, risk & compliance strategy can be translated into feasible and pragmatic policies, procedures and controls.
The role is future-orientated and requires the incumbent to think ahead to generate insights that require a balance between short-term optimisation and a longer-term view.
Requires a good understanding of types of work undertaken by the Firm and its non-legal support functions in order that legal industry related risk and compliance issues can be identified and appropriately addressed. This would include matters such as professional liability and conflict of interest.
Requires a general knowledge of client intake, relationship management, practice management, billing processes & procedures, HR management & financial management policies and procedures.
Project management skills i.e. must be able to oversee the management of a number of initiatives with multiple stakeholders.
Requires a current knowledge of changing trends in the legal industry.
Knowledge of professional ethics and electronic privacy issues.
Knowledge of workplace health and safety issues/ trends.


Role Description

Input into and Implementation of the Risk Management & Compliance Strategy:

• To provide input into the development of an effective risk management & governance framework, including a comprehensive best practice plan, by researching and keeping abreast of significant legal developments and new legislation or regulation that will impact the Firm and increase the likelihood of risk exposure.

• To assist the Risk and Compliance Head with the day-to-day implementation and maintenance of the Firm’s Risk Register. This includes:

Ensuring that risk categories and requisite risk controls are identified, prioritised, analysed and addressed on an ongoing basis.
Ensuring that risk management systems, protocols, and procedures are kept up to date and complied with on a day-to-day basis.

• To support the Risk and Compliance Head in the proactive establishment, maintenance and communication of:

a) Ethical financial management policies, practices and controls in accordance with the Firm’s fiduciary duties;
b) Risk management controls to mitigate against malpractice claims and loss.

Risk Management & Compliance Advisory/ Support Services:

• To provide a diagnostic and advisory service to the firm, individual fee earners and non-legal support staff on risk and compliance issues as these pertain to FICA regulations, conflicts, claims, complaints, professional ethics and the LSSA code of conduct

This includes:

Advising on due diligence and risk assessment of clients and supplier engagements, including engagement letters and terms of business.
Analysing risk and compliance related matters, including identifying, investigating and resolving complaints, conflict, confidentiality and privacy issues, as well as implementing and managing protection of information controls/ barriers.
Providing guidance on and implementing review systems and controls to ensure that clients/ suppliers have signed engagement letters and/or waived potential conflicts of interest in writing, where appropriate.
Checking and investigating all non-compliance and deviations from applicable rules of professional conduct, ensuring that these deviations are reported to the relevant disciplinary authorities if required.

Education & Training Support: Creating a Compliance Culture:

• To support the Risk and Compliance Head in keeping the Firm updated and aware of risk and compliance issues and/or regulatory, legislative changes.

This includes:

Designing and providing on-going training to partners, fee earners and other relevant staff to raise risk awareness and an understanding of risk management.
Providing input into the induction training of all incoming partners, fee earners and support staff.
Drafting, implementing, maintaining and monitoring firmwide manuals, policies, procedures and practical guidelines as these pertain to ethical conduct, compliance and risk management practices.
Researching and developing know-how on new areas of law and practice, in collaboration with the Knowledge Management area, in order to advise and direct fee earners to potential risks and compliance requirements.

Managing and/or Participating in Risk & Compliance Projects:

• To create and execute Risk & Compliance project plans and revise as appropriate to meet changing requirements.

This includes:

Managing project resources and stakeholders in conjunction with the Risk & Compliance Head.
Determining the scope of projects.
Planning and scheduling project timelines and milestones using appropriate tools.
Managing the day-to-day operational aspects of the project(s).
Monitoring and reporting on project progress, including schedule, cost, risk & change management.
Liaising with project stakeholders on an on-going basis as part of an effective communications plan.
Identifying and managing project dependencies and critical pathways where applicable.
Tracking and reporting on project milestones and deliverables


City: Johannesburg

Salary: R560k- R640k

Duration: Permanent