Practice Manager

Company
North Yorkshire County Council
Date Posted
12th July 2018
Reference
RQ317270
Sector
Legal
Location
Northallerton
Benefits
Inside IR35
Salary
£16 to £25 Per Hour

We require a practice manager to assist in running a new legal solicitors firm that is wholly owned by the Council. We need someone who has experience of being a practice manager in the private sector who can assist us in the short term.

 

CENTRAL SERVICES

 

LEGAL AND DEMOCRATIC SERVICES

 

JOB DESCRIPTION

 

POST: 

Practice Manager

GRADE:        

Band 15

RESPONSIBLE TO:

Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services)

(ACE(LDS))

STAFF MANAGED:

  • 1 fte Senior Legal/Democratic Technical Support Officer (Band 10)
  • 5 fte Legal Technical Support Officers (Band 6)
  • 1 fte Appeals Assistant (Band 6)
  • 1 fte Democratic Services Assistant (Band 6)
  • 1 fte Legal and Democratic Services Apprentice (Band 2)

 

POST REF:

LDS200

JOB FAMILY:

JF3

JOB PURPOSE:

The core focus of this job is to assist the ACE(LDS) with the management of North Yorkshire Legal and Democratic Services and strategic development and direct management of the Support teams.

 

The post holder will do this in relation to:

  • Performance monitoring, including the achievement of Lexcel accreditation.
  • Financial control of budgets, expenditure and cash-flow
  • Client relationships, costs information and complaints handling
  • As part of Central Services
  • Human resources
  • Technology and Change
  • Service planning
  • Operational management

 

JOB CONTEXT:

  • Legal and Democratic Services (LDS) are part Central Services. NYCC provides a range of services to the County of North Yorkshire, and the role of the (LDS) is to support the provision of a comprehensive and efficient legal service to the Directorates, the Council’s Executive, full Council, Committees and Members, and external clients. The nature of the work requires a flexible and versatile approach as it will change from time to time in response to the changing needs of the Council, and its developing initiatives. The post is required to work with colleagues and Members at every level within the organisation, with external clients and partners, and to manage the performance of staff within its responsibility.

 

  • The budget of the service is in part dependent on income from external sources and the post must play its part in ensuring successful income generation.

 

  • The post holder will ensure compliance to the Law Society Professional Standards and in particular with Rules 2 and 5 of the Law Society Code of Conduct in respect of financial control of budgets, expenditure and cash-flow, client care, costs information, complaints handling and effective arrangements to "provide for" competence levels to be maintained, i.e. for training to take place and CPD points to be achieved for the legal team.

 

 

ACCOUNTABILITIES / MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES

 

People Management

 

 

To manage and supervise the Practice Management team and work experience students on placement to Practice Management and to plan the workload.  The team comprises the staff set out in the organisation chart below.   The post is responsible for: 

 

  • Supervision
  • Performance appraisal
  • Recruitment
  • Development and training
  • Induction

 

The post is also expected to participate in the people management aspects of (LDS) as a whole as part of the Senior Management Team.

 

 

Legal and Democratic Services Management

 

 

To contribute to the development and management of (LDS) by:

 

  • Participation in team and management meetings, including membership of the Senior Management Team.
  • Attendance at training courses.
  • Preparation and delivery of training sessions relating to Practice Management and any other relevant topics.
  • Participation in the staff development process.
  • Contribution and production of the (LDS) Service Plan.
  • Contribution to briefing papers and newsletters on practice management matters prepared for (LDS), NYCC members and other (LDS) clients.
  • Production, review and development of (LDS) Practice Manual.
  • Responsible for performance management within the areas covered by the Practice Management Team.
  • Ensure compliance in relation to the Practice Management Team with Council policies including:
  • health and safety
  • equality and diversity

and all other relevant Council policies.

 

 

Committee and Member Support

 

Ensuring the provision of support to the Manager Democratic Services by:

  • Ensuring the preparation of the annual calendar of committee meetings;
  • Ensuring the collation/distribution of hard copy committee papers and the publication of electronic versions, to comply with Access to Information statutory time scales - on behalf of the County Council and fee paying external clients.
  • Ensuring the provision of support to members including: the issue and monitoring of consumable items; provision of general signposting and advice; maintenance and publication of the register of members interests; maintenance of the outside bodies database; and recording attendance at committees.
  • Ensuring that the necessary arrangements are made for all committees and appeals including internal and external room bookings; transport and equipment; and audio visual support as required on the day of meetings.  

 

 

Quality Control and Customer Care

 

 

To play an active part in ensuring that (LDS) provides a quality service to clients.  This responsibility includes:

 

  • Compliance with:
  • Law Society Practice Management Standards and other professional requirements including the Law Society Professional Conduct Rules
  • Lexcel standards
  •  (LDS) quality standards
  • Participation in quality standard audits
  • Compliance with and operation of (LDS) Risk Management Policy.  This obligation applies to the postholder’s duties generally but with particular relevance to ensure risk assessments are undertaken on each item of casework by the fee earners.

 

 

Professional Duties

 

 

Responsible for supporting the provision of a comprehensive, efficient and effective legal service to the Council, and external clients, and the management and supervision of the Practice Management Team in providing that service including:

 

  • Responsible to the ACE-LDS for all aspects of the business planning process for (LDS) including:
  • Consultation
  • Drafting the Plan(s)
  • Allocation of targets
  • Circulation of the Plan(s). 
  • 6 monthly review

 

  • Assist the ACE-LDS and the Senior Management Team to maintain and develop the legal service provided to all clients, in accordance with the Service Plan, so that the service is effective and efficient and meets the needs of the clients.

 

  • Delegated responsibility to open tenders.

 

 

Resource management

 

Responsible for the day to day financial management of (LDS) and keeping the ACE-LDS and the Corporate Director of Finance and Central Services informed of the financial position monthly:

  • Budget management, planning and projection
  • Liaison with the (LDS) accountants (in Finance and Central Services)
  • Costs information for clients and cases
  • Monitoring of legal services and expenses spreadsheets
  • Analysing costs and preparation of invoices
  • Negotiating fees with external advisers including Counsel when required

 

 

Performance Management

 

  • Maintain and develop the Practice Manual containing the necessary policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the Law Society’s Practice Management Standards and other standards applicable to (LDS).

 

  • To assist the ACE-LDS in the Performance Management of the Service including identifying sources of information, collecting, analysing and reporting on benchmarking data. 

 

 

Operational Management

 

 

  • Responsible for the management, development and promotion of the (LDS)   time recording and court bundling software to reflect changing needs of (LDS) and NYCC e.g. organisational changes, changes in work etc.
  • Producing and analysing reports.
  • Resolving problems.
  • Interrogating the system.
  • Training staff on the system.
  • Advising staff of the range of reports available from the system and identify the most appropriate for their needs. 

 

 

Partnership and Corporate Working

 

 

  • Participate in the national Business Support Managers Special Interest Group.
  • Participate in the Neighbouring Authority Group
  • Participate in the IKEN user group
  • Participate in corporate groups such as the, CS Workforce Planning Group, CS Procurement Group, representing CS on the Business Support Client Group, 2020 Organisational Development Group, 2020 CS Programme Team, Senior Managers etc  as necessary.

 

 

Systems and Information

 

 

To assist (LDS) in the achievement of all e-Government policies and practices and, in particular, is required to use ICT systems including: 

 

  • (LDS) case management
  • EMail system
  • Internet
  • Intranet
  • Research tools e.g. Lexis Nexis
  • Developing and maintaining information held on the Council’s Internet and Intranet sites.

 

 

Strategic Management

 

Assist the ACE(LDS) in ensuring the legality of the Council’s operations.

  • Assist the ACE(LDS) with the planning and development of the Legal and Democratic Service in accordance with Council and Service objectives, and to achieve the most efficient and effective ways of working.
  • Contribute to the development of effective mechanisms to measure the Service’s performance, and of policies and procedures necessary for the proper functioning of the Legal and Democratic Service in accordance with Law Society requirements and for the securing of accreditation
  • Manage, co-ordinate and prioritise the work of the Practice Management Team

 

 

Data Protection

 

  • To comply with the County Council’s policies and supporting documentation in relation to Data Protection, Information Security and Confidentiality.

 

 

Health and Safety

 

  • Be aware of and implement your health and safety responsibilities as an employee and where appropriate any additional specialist or managerial health and safety responsibilities as defined in the Health and Safety policy and procedure.
  • To work with colleagues and others to maintain health, safety and welfare within the working environment.

 

 

Equalities

 

  • We aim to make sure that services are provided fairly to all sections of our community, and that all our existing and future employees have equal opportunities.
  • Ensure services are developed and delivered in accordance with the aims of the Equality Policy Statement in response to the needs and aspirations of service users.

 

 

Flexibility

 

·North Yorkshire County Council provides front line services, which recognises the need to respond flexibly to changing demands and circumstances.  Whilst this job outline provides a summary of the post, this may need to be adapted or adjusted to meet changing circumstances. Such changes would be commensurate with the grading of the post and would be subject to consultation.  All staff are required to comply with County Council Policies and Procedures. 

 

 

Customer Service

 

·The County Council requires a commitment to equity of access and outcomes, this will include due regard to equality, diversity, dignity, respect and human rights and working with others to keep vulnerable people safe from abuse and mistreatment.

  • The County Council requires that staff offer the best level of service to their customers and behave in a way that gives them confidence.  Customers will be treated as individuals, with respect for their diversity, culture and values. 

 

Date of Issue:

Reviewed November 2016

 

 

 

 

Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services)

 

Structure:

 

 

 

           

PERSON SPECIFICATION

 

  JOB TITLE:  _Practice Manager__   

 

Essential upon appointment

Desirable on appointment (if not attained, development may be provided for successful candidate)

Knowledge

  • Understanding of Law Society standards and requirements to achieve Lexcel accreditation.
  • Understanding of Financial Regulations and Standing Orders and the budget management process
  • Understanding of NYCC policies
  • Understanding of risk management techniques
  • Knowledge of benchmarking techniques

 

  • Familiarity with ICT systems including research tools, internet and time costing systems.
  • Advanced ICT Skills
  • Time management skills.

 

Experience

  • Can demonstrate significant team leadership and strong people management ability as well as being able to work successfully as part of a team.
  • Can demonstrate significant experience in use of information technology, particularly database and spreadsheet functions and financial management.
  • Has ability to analyse and present numerical data to identify trends and projections.
  • Has developed procedures and systems to ensure effective operation.
  • Significant experience of quality assurance systems
  • Can co-ordinate, monitor and review the use of financial resources.
  • Has a track record in working productively under pressure, achieving deadlines and targets whilst effectively coping with conflicting and complex demands to achieve objectives despite setbacks and challenges.
  • Experience of working in local government or other public sector at a senior level.
  • Experience of formulating business planning strategy
  • Experience of working with lawyers; of marketing and business development.

Occupational Skills

  • Able to lead meetings in order to achieve their objectives.
  • Clear, concise and logical verbal and written communication skills.
  • Good presentation and interpersonal skills.
  • An ability to interact positively with colleagues, clients and elected Members.
  • Use creativity and innovation to generate solutions for difficult issues to minimise future occurrence.
  • To confidently use persuasion, influencing and/or negotiation techniques to influence others in difficult situations.
  • Ensure compliance with Health and Safety procedures and promote best practice.
  • Ability to analyse, evaluate and present outcomes from a variety of information. 
  • Have the ability to create, implement, monitor and review a business plan.
  • Confident to use a range of IT software and programmes such as Microsoft Office, Oracle, Risgen, court bundling and case management software.

 

  • Commitment to use of plain English and evidence of plain English skills.
  • Ability to manage time and prioritise work
  • Outcome focused - with ability to identify and implement solutions.

 

Qualifications

  • Possession of a recognised management qualification
  • ECDL

 

  • Possession of recognised qualifications in accountancy would be an advantage.
  • Intermediate/Advanced ICT Skills (Microsoft Office)
  • A level in Law or equivalent

 

Other Requirements

  • Commitment to NYCC key policies including equalities and customer care.
  • Professional appearance and manner.
  • Self motivated, flexible and decisive.
  • Ability to act calmly during difficult circumstances and recover quickly from setbacks.
  • Proactive approach.
  • Flexible approach to working practices and times.
  • Understanding of and commitment to public sector values.
  • Driving licence.

 

 

 

 

Behaviours

 

One Council

At the level of your post:-

You work with your team to ensure they understand the One Council vision and its principles.

 

You ensure that staff understand their individual contribution and that of the team to delivering the council’s objectives and outcomes for customers. You empower staff to respond flexibly to the needs of customers, to secure the best outcomes using innovative means of delivery. You identify opportunities to reduce the costs of service delivery, whilst improving the customer experience and ensuring service excellence.

 

You demonstrate visible and effective leadership and communication. You promote a strong focus on performance at individual, team and council level and ensure that staff are clear about what is expected of them, priorities and service standards. You use flexible working arrangements to maximise available resources and meet customer needs. You ensure that staff are well motivated, well trained and empowered to be responsive to customer needs. You support staff to improve, innovate and share best practice. You encourage and enable your team(s) to standardise, simplify and share working practices and resources with a focus on delivering better customer outcomes and reducing costs.

 

You promote the use of self service options for staff and customers whenever possible.

 

You bring people together to think, create and plan future services in line with the One Council vision. You balance risks and threats when planning future development opportunities. You develop and implement staffing structures that meet the corporate standards for spans of control and number of management tiers. You learn from what works and make changes when it doesn’t and you identify opportunities to standardise, simplify and share.

Effective Performance (level 3 )

  • In line with your service plan you actively lead and manage the quality of service provision whilst monitoring a budget.
  • You make it clear to the team you manage that a high level of work is expected from all.
  • You continuously manage improvements to services in your area of responsibility to achieve positive outcomes.
  • You encourage innovation and share knowledge about how improvements can be made across the organisation.

Keeping it Professional (level 3 )

  • You effectively lead and manage others to ensure they operate within the legal, regulatory, ethical and social requirements.
  • You interpret new guidelines and legislation, you ensure others are effectively informed of them and ensure the new guidelines are integrated into your team’s/area’s working practices.
  • You ensure safeguarding is embedded throughout the workforce, and that staff operate within appropriate boundaries.

Working Together (level 3 )

  • You manage a team approach to partnership working, internally and/or externally to ensure effective service delivery is taking place.
  • You actively demonstrate commitment to working, engaging and communicating constructively with partners and other stakeholders.
  • You enable partners to work collaboratively including developing joint working arrangements and reviewing their effectiveness.

Community and Customer Focus (level 3 )

  • You understand the groups of customers you are responsible for, including the communities that you support.
  • You show an active commitment to providing and commissioning services that reflect customer needs. To achieve this you lead and manage effective communication that promotes positive outcomes for people.

Know and develop yourself and others (level 3 )

  • You manage and develop yourself and your workforce.
  • You act as a role model for staff in your area of responsibility by visibly demonstrating your commitment to personal development for all staff and actively support a learning culture within the area you manage.
  • You evaluate learning and development activities in terms of impact on individual, team and service performance.
  • You are knowledgeable about the current best practice requirements for your area and ensure these are integrated within your work and the work of others you are responsible for.

Managing Change (level 3 )

  • You develop strategies to achieve required changes and provide a lead to implementing and embedding change across your area of responsibility.
  • You view change positively and communicate this attitude, and the need for change, to others.
  • You involve and consult with staff when planning change.
  • You actively seek to continuously improve the services in your area of responsibility to achieve positive service outcomes.

Inspiring Others (level 3 )

  • You provide positive and enthusiastic direction to people to enable, inspire, motivate and support them to achieve the organisational objectives.
  • You create the conditions for others to excel.
  • You encourage others to bring forward ideas that could potentially improve service outcomes.

NB – Assessment criteria for recruitment will be notified separately.

 

Optional - Statement for recruitment purposes:  You should use this information to make the best of your application by identifying some specific pieces of work you may have undertaken in any of these areas.  You will be tested in some or all of the skill specific areas over the course of the selection process.

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