Business Manager - Intellectual Property

Baker McKenzie
South East England
02 Aug 2017
30 Aug 2017
Contract Type
The Role

We are currently looking to recruit a Business Manager for our London Office on a full time - 4 / days a week basis.

Providing first class management support (strategic and operational), to Intellectual Property (IP), with the aim of driving and optimising departmental performance, efficiency and profitability. The successful candidate will be highly commercial, a strategic and analytical operator, and have the ability to influence and challenge for positive change whilst possessing strong implementation skills.

Department Strategy & Business Planning

The Business Manager role will provide first class support to the Department Manager, Sub Group Leaders and other Partners and senior lawyers in the formulation and implementation of department strategy and business plans, which are focused on growth, improving departmental financial performance and market profile and are aligned with the Global and London Office Strategy.

Strategy Alignment and Implementation

The Business Managers as a community play a key part in the implementation of the Global and London Office Strategy by working collaboratively with the Management Committee, the other Business Managers and Business & Secretarial Services to implement the Firm strategy within their respective departments.

Best Practice

The role will focus on developing a best practice approach within the department, using critical and commercial thinking to improve the efficiency of processes, pricing and freeing up Partner time to enable them to focus on client-facing work and client business development. The Business Manager will be expected to collaborate to develop and share best practice across the office and globally.

In particular, the role will involve:

The main responsibility of the Business Manager is to work with the Department Managers, Sub Group Leaders and partners across practice group to help formulate and drive the implementation of the departmental strategy, business plans and annual budget, ensuring alignment with the London Office. In particular, the role will:
Provide high quality management support, both strategic and operational, with the purpose of driving and optimising departmental performance (financial performance, talent development, BD/client & practice development, strategic growth plans), optimising pricing, driving and improving efficiency and effectiveness of processes.
Manage effectively the day to day operational and financial management of the practice group by managing and working collaboratively across the key functional areas. This will include regular contact with functional managers of Business Development & Marketing, HR & Development, Finance & Accounting, Knowledge Management and the wider Business Manager group to help drive the Global and London Office Strategy.
Work collaboratively with the Management Committee and the Business Manager community to share best practice and drive the overall office strategy, in particular in the areas of pricing, project management and process improvement.
Provide support to other practice groups, business managers and in relation to firm wide initiatives in London.

The role will be responsible for the implementation of the Department Business Plan in three key areas of delivery:

1. Financial Performance

To drive profitability within the department by understanding the key drivers and ensuring the operation of the department (client development, resourcing etc.) are aligned to maximize profitability
To agree the department's budgets, and monitor financial performance against that budget, reporting regularly on financial positions and translating financial data into insight through commercial financial analysis and critical evaluation. To review and report on time and cost write-offs to keep margins under control and help the department's proactively manage their WIP and AR targets.
To drive and monitor the pipeline of work, collection targets and utilisation levels to ensure that the department is highly profitable. Highlight any areas of concern to relevant Partners and be responsible for any action plans to address these. Ensure that time is accurately recorded and inputted in a timely manner across the department in accordance with office policies.
To provide guidance and support on pricing and profitability by working with the department's project managers to adapt our service delivery to preserve margin and improve realisation.
To support Partners on major client opportunities in terms of preparation of fee estimates and fee modelling, contributing to pitches and monitoring processes for effective billing to clients.

2. Practice/Client Development

To drive, monitor and ensure the effective execution of the Practice and Client development activities in the business plans, working closely with central and practice BD to ensure effective implementation.
To identify and promote opportunities for Partners to collaborate around client and business development both within the two practice groups and with other departments of the Office.
This includes oversight and monitoring of business development, market profile development, client intelligence gathering and ensuring an effective system is in place for regular client feedback reviews. To periodically provide the partners a summary of client feedback key themes and ideas to refresh our client propositions and service delivery.
To hold joint reporting lines for the BD Managers in the Departments and work closely with the Head of Business Development to ensure a consistently high level of delivery for the Department. Actively contribute to the professional development and performance management of the BD Managers and Executives as part of the wider BD community.
To oversee Department BD, KM & PSLs to develop compelling client products that can be scalable and leveraged across the wider firm to help institutionalise client relationships.

3. Talent Development

To develop, in conjunction with HR, a resourcing model and plan that creates the right leverage model for the department. To oversee, monitor and work closely with the Partners and HR Business Partner to develop a departmental talent pipeline, including robust performance management and training and development at all levels. Offer support to Partners around the promotion process, in particular the drafting of business cases for Junior Equity Partners, Equity Partners and lateral hires.
To actively encourage talent management at all levels through effective communication, influencing skills and the ability to challenge un-collaborative behaviour.
To provide assistance to the Partners as necessary in relation to recruitment, evaluations and performance reviews of both professional and support staff within the Department, working closely with the HR Business Partner and the Partners.
To liaise with the Global Practice Group Heads and Directors of Practice Operations to ensure coordination of all activities within the framework of both the practice group and the wider firm.
To work with the HR Team in relation to secretarial support to ensure that the right support model is in place for the department to ensure cost and efficiency savings.

Inclusion & Diversity

Respects and enjoys the diversity of cultural, social and academic backgrounds found in the Firm

The Team

This role will be supporting one practice group in the London office:

Intellectual Property

Our Intellectual Property Department has remarkable depth and breadth of intellectual property knowledge, founded on a unique combination of domestic and global IP capabilities. We represent many of /the world's best known IP owners in industries as diverse as FMCG, fashion, retail, IT, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, biotechnology, energy, hotels, manufacturing and media/entertainment.

At the cutting edge of IP law developments, we provide innovative advice in both contentious and transactional situations across the full range of IP: including trade marks; copyright and designs; confidential information, and patents. We provide a dedicated IP enforcement and anti-piracy service, and offer a uniquely integrated IP and trade mark prosecution service.

Our global IP practice group comprises more than 450 lawyers who are considered leading practitioners in their local markets, and who work together daily to provide a seamless and fully integrated service. Indeed, the ability of our global practice group to deliver multijurisdictional, value added advice is one that no one else can match.

Key Skills and Experience Required

Proven track record of success within a similar role at a senior level in professional services
Experience of collaborating and working with other teams, either through cross functional projects or as part of a multi-disciplinary team (e.g. BD, HR, Finance)
A recognition of the relationship between strategy and implementation, and a proven track record in delivering both effectively
Critical thinker with the ability to assimilate data and provide commercial insight
High degree of emotional intelligence and the ability to engage comfortably at all levels within the organisation
Ability to influence at the most senior level
First class numeracy, analytical and IT skills
Experience working with a team of high-achieving individuals who work in a pressured environment.
Project management and leadership capability, with the ability to collaborate for change
Creator-innovator but with an ability to implement pragmatic solutions and complete projects.
Collaborative, team oriented and 'Firm first' mind-set...... click apply for full job details

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