PSL – Commercial Financial Services

Permanent Shoosmiths Email Job
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Job Description

PSL – Commercial Financial Services

PQE: 6 years +
Term: Permanent
Team: Commercial Group
Location: Any regional office
The firm
We are a top 50 law firm with over 200 partners and around 1,600 staff in total.  We have 13 locations in the UK and a significant international network.  Our clients include some of the largest financial, automotive, and technology businesses in the UK.

We champion diversity and inclusion, and our mission is to attract and nurture a diverse group of people and to create an environment and culture that is genuinely inclusive, in which every member of staff feels valued for their contribution.  We have been awarded Gold status in the Law Society Diversity and Inclusion Charter in recognition of our commitment to this.  We were also the first major law firm to achieve “Gold Standard” Investors in People.

We have received numerous accolades which reflect the quality and efforts of the firm, perhaps most notably we were named National Law firm of the year at The Lawyer Awards 2019.

As a key route to market, the firm also supports and promotes five Sectors, representing those parts of the UK economy where we feel we can really make a difference for our clients by being a truly market leading law firm in those markets. One of those Sectors is Financial Services, which is headed by a designated Sector Head, Stephen Dawson.

The team
The Business Advisory Division is one of Shoosmiths’ 4 operational Divisions.  The Division provides commercial legal advice and services to the firm’s clients, primarily supporting their trading and related activities.

The Division consists of 4 Departments:

  • Commercial
  • Employment
  • Pensions
  • Risk & Litigation Services

Our clients consist predominantly of medium to large corporates and financial institutions (many of whom are well known household names) and other entities including public bodies, SMEs, charities and pension fund trustees. Occasionally the Division will act for individuals in as far as the mandate relates to the individuals employment status and / or commercial activity.

Our specialist financial services (advisory) team  sits in our Commercial group and pulls together a team of experts, known for superb client service across the UK and internationally. This is a team trusted by many major international finance companies, well-known high street banks, niche financial services businesses, brokers, insurers, retail businesses and leasing companies.

The role
We are keen to speak with accomplished commercially orientated Financial Services lawyers who are looking for an alternative role – ideally of around 6 yrs PQE upwards. Ideally as an expert in your field you will have PSL experience to date but we would also be interested to hear from those in legal financial services fee-earning roles with an interest in making a change.

To help maintain focus, you will work closely with the national head of our Financial Services Sector (whose role spans the Divisions) helping the firm to build on its FS strategy of visibility, reputation, clients and expertise. You will also work with the partners / legal advisors within the Business Advisory Division whose roles include acting for financial services clients across each of commercial, employment, pensions and risk / litigation.

You will be the only designated FS PSL working across the four Departments in BAD and within a small team of Professional Support Lawyers supporting the activities of the Business Advisory Division.

With a focus on our loyal client base, the candidate in this role will be central in helping us to achieve our ambitions for developing our internal expertise and systems and helping us drive our external brand forward.

We are proud of our commitment to creating a positive working environment and exploring flexible options for our people. The events of this year have changed expectations around where and how we work and we would be happy to receive applications from those requiring flexible working arrangements.

We place a lot of belief in culture and community, and genuinely think we have something different to offer you at Shoosmiths.   This is reflected in everything we say and do from our use of technology to enable effective cross-office working, to the team spirit and culture (and the many events and activities we organise).

We are a values-driven business – our values are at the core of the firm and we evaluate how we behave in accordance with these values through a competency framework. This role is likely to sit at competency Level 2 or 3 in our internal framework, depending on experience.

We are currently looking to fill this role directly rather than using Recruitment Agencies so please follow the link to make your application. We appreciate this could be a change of direction for your career so if you have any queries about this prospect or life at Shoosmiths before deciding whether to apply, we are always happy to have a confidential discussion with you.  Please get in touch with Rachel Charlton in our recruitment team (

Main responsibilities
This PSL role offers a fantastic opportunity to develop various aspects of our FS offering in different ways. Our intention is to work with you to deploy your talents, skills and interests in the most effective way to fulfil the main responsibilities, which may include (dependent on experience and opportunity):

Knowledge Management

  • Know How: to support the development of an FS  internal intranet site including knowledge bank.
  • Precedents:  To support the production of  new, and maintaining, precedents and know how notes.
  • To deal with and respond to ad hoc enquiries received from across the Division and across the firm.
  • Research: to support those lawyers involved in FS work by being able to answer/respond to specific legal queries on client matters, ranging from straightforward questions through to larger more complicated research tasks.

Business Development

  • Article production: write articles for production on own account by the PSL team and with/for other FS partners and legal advisors. To include technical articles but also demonstrate thought leadership.
  • Technical and other presentations: support with presentations to be given by other FS partners / legal advisors either internally or externally.
  • Client bulletins and client training; working with relevant colleagues to prepare client bulletins and to provide advice on the content of and deliver client training programmes.
  • Website:  to support the FS partners / legal advisors with the production and publication of articles on the Shoosmiths website.

Technical Legal Training

  • Monthly legal update training sessions for our FS team.
  • Programme development: to support and improve the current training programme.
  • Programme delivery: to lead and deliver elements of the training programme as part of the PSL team (including but not limited to the Quarterly Legal Updates, the Developing Lawyer Programme and such other training as required).
  • Inductions:  to support the delivery of our Legal Advisor induction programme.
  • Annual Training Weekend:  to support in the planning and delivery of the annual national Business Advisory training weekend (if applicable).

Business Advisory Projects 

As part of a team of 5 PSLs you’d also have the chance to lead on Division-wide projects including:

  • Compliance – support the Divisional Head in overseeing and maintaining the Divisional compliance framework.
  • Business Advisory Intranet: to support the maintenance and development of the intranet site to keep it up-to-date with all internal reports, guidance notes, protocols and other information as required.
  • Process enhancement – support the development and implementation of IS and other process / efficiency enhancement project roll outs across the Division.
  • Knowledge Management – working with the national Head of Knowledge Management and firm wide PSL group support the development and implementation of the national knowledge management and training strategy.
Equal opportunities
Shoosmiths is a committed Equal Opportunities employer promoting equality of opportunity. This means that everyone who either applies to or works for the firm is treated equally, whatever their gender, age, ethnic origin, nationality, marital status, disability, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.

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