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Owen Reed Legal Recruitment

Practice Assistant, Dispute Resolution - Commercial Litigation 

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Owen Reed Legal Recruitment

Practice Assistant, Dispute Resolution - Commercial Litigation

Website Owen Reed

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Owen Reed is looking to recruit a Practice Assistant, Dispute Resolution - Commercial Litigation to join a top law firm in London.

The Department

For many law firms, litigation is predominantly a support function for their transactional teams. For us, dispute resolution is the focus of our firm. We are one of the largest disputes teams in London with over 300 litigators. Unusually, for a firm of our size, we remain largely conflict free and able to act against banks and other financial institutions, the 'big four' accountancy, consulting and audit firms and all major insurers. We act for all manner of businesses, ranging from start-ups to multinational conglomerates. Our leadership of the International Fraud Group and membership of LegalLink gives us a reach far beyond London, Singapore and Hong Kong. Our Commercial Litigation department is at the heart of the disputes team. We recognise that litigation is a distraction for our clients. We work to resolve their commercial disputes quickly and cost-effectively, so that they can get back to running their businesses as soon as possible. Our advice is always risk-based and commercial. We have excellent links to litigation funders and have experience of co-ordinating group litigation claims and shareholder actions, allowing corporate entities to leverage claims as a potential asset. In addition, we have developed a litigation finance venture in partnership with one of those funders, Harbour, one of the largest dedicated litigation and arbitration funders in the world, giving our clients greater access to funding for claimants wanting to mitigate their exposure to risk. We recognise each dispute requires a bespoke solution. When we do litigate, we are known for our assertive style.

The Role

The Practice Assistant is primarily a Partner focussed role, based within a practice area in one of the Firm's fee-earning departments. The Practice Assistant will work with specified Partners and/or other senior fee earners to provide proactive, timely and high quality administrative/co-ordination support.

The Practice Assistant will need to be a self-motivated organised individual, who will be able to manage a busy workload and take responsibility for following tasks through to completion.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Acting as a first point of contact on behalf of the fee-earners, fielding calls, emails, correspondence and meeting requests (both internally and from clients), responding on behalf of the fee-earner, if appropriate.
  • Full proactive and advanced calendar management for assigned fee-earners, including scheduling calls/meetings (ensuring all supporting papers/information are available for each meeting), looking ahead and following-up as needed to ensure best use is made of fee-earners time).
  • Ensuring the fee-earners working on the case are fully prepared for all client meetings by collating required information (and input from others), preparing background information and notes as needed, supporting the follow-through of action points etc.
  • To work with the client lead Partner and BD team to plan and deliver the Client Care programme, including meetings, mailings and events and to co-ordinate and share client related news searches.
  • To develop a strong working knowledge of the Firm's billing systems, including processes, IT systems and specialist support available internally, to support the fee-earners in being able to prepare and issue timely and accurate bills to clients.
  • Supporting fee-earners with monitoring and addressing unpaid bills, liaising with Credit Control as required.
  • To co-ordinate the WIP lists and billing on behalf of Partners, including liaison with billing team. Pro-active monitoring of time and bills against the estimate.
  • To support fee-earners in the smooth running of the client/matter lifecycle, following documented procedures, and working closely with internal client on-boarding and compliance specialists to ensure all required information/documentation is obtained, issued and correctly stored on the Firm's systems. This will involve pro-actively chasing fee-earners and their clients for any missing information as well as full management of client files etc.
  • To track and monitor client engagement with Firm-wide communications, mailings and events and to update client Partner. To co-ordinate smaller events, and to help prepare content and presentations to the client. Where applicable, to manage Client Handbook and to keep central CARE BD status report updated monthly.
  • Assisting fee-earners keeping their LinkedIn and profiles up to date.
  • Organising business breakfasts, dinners or smaller events and assisting fee-earners with expenses.
  • Researching company/client information and biographies.
  • Logging referrals and contacts to interaction and management of Interaction lists.
  • To oversee and monitor the MQ2 checklist for the relevant matters and to support the fee-earning staff to ensure compliance with the Firm's documented Mq2 (Compliance) checklist and guidelines, particularly around subsidiaries, new matters, conflict checks, searches etc.
  • Full management of travel and expenses for assigned fee-earners, ensuring business travel is booked via the Firm's in-house provider. This will include both routine and more complex travel arrangements, ensuring that fee-earners are provided with full itineraries, supporting materials and that business expenses are captured, approved and processed for payment in line with policy.
  • Ensuring all documents are maintained and filed in line with the Firm's electronic and hard copy filing protocols.
  • Prepare, amend and proofread documents (e.g. letters, reports, attendance notes, memos, emails, pitches, presentations, articles etc. ensuring these are produced to the required standards and in line with House Style, and that they are retained and filed accurately.
  • If hired within the team, collaborating with Administrative Assistants to ensure that they provide support with filing and archiving, scanning, photocopying, updating contacts on Interaction and arranging couriers etc.
  • Working closely with internal document/presentation experts for more specialist tasks, such as the preparation of longer or more complex documents, pitch/presentation materials etc.
  • Liaising with other internal departments to obtain specialist input as needed, taking ownership of issues and following up where appropriate.
  • When required stepping up to cover the Division Assistant, Client Co-Ordinator/Case Administrator or other Practice Assistants.


  • Previous experience gained in an administrative role supporting a team in a similar professional services environment (ideally legal).
  • Strong time management skills; will need to juggle a number of tasks at any given time, plan ahead, and have the ability to re-prioritise and adapt to changes in requirements.
  • Previous experience managing calendars for multiple individuals, with the ability to apply judgement and common sense to ensure the best use of people's time is made, and that any potential diary clashes are pro-actively identified and addressed.
  • Excellent attention to detail, with the ability to deliver work to a consistently high standard of precision (even under pressure) in an environment where accuracy is prized.
  • A flexible approach to work: able to respond positively and willingly to changes to requirements, schedules, work required etc.
  • Organised and methodical, and able to operate effectively within structured work processes, in particular, with compliance/quality control frameworks.
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills, with the ability to work effectively with a range of people and working styles.
  • A strong team player, willing to take on work for additional fee-earners and/or help with other tasks as needed in order to meet the needs of the business.
  • Able to communicate effectively, with warmth and professionalism, to clients and colleagues both orally and in writing, including drafting business emails/correspondence.
  • High levels of discretion, with the ability to deal effectively with sensitive or confidential information.
  • Previous experience using bespoke in-house systems (e.g. client contact databases, matter management systems, billing systems etc.) with the willingness and potential.

Please note that this job profile is not an exhaustive list of duties but merely an outline of the key components of the role. You may be required by your line manager to take on additional responsibilities when requested.

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