A law firm focused on people and collaboration. For the past 125 years, Withers has supported some of the world's most remarkable people and organisations at defining moments in their lives. We are the only international law firm focused on successful individuals and private capital, working closely with founders, investors and family offices. We also advise governments, charities, global brands and start-ups of all shapes and sizes. Many of our clients are shaping the future and creating solutions to tackle many of the world's problems. It makes for a fascinating and challenging practice. Our role is to get to know each individual client, find out where they want to be, and help them to get there – whether they are building a business, looking after their family, involved in a complex dispute or protecting their finances for the future. To meet their unique needs we are exceptionally collaborative, working together across teams and time zones. We are agile, focusing on strategy rather than rigid ideas and traditional hierarchy. It is a truly flexible working culture that puts people first. Join us to be part of a team that is always looking to the future. Where initiative, big ideas and bold moves are always encouraged. Where you can truly be yourself.
What are we looking for?
The Financial Controller (FC) is a key role in our Finance management team, supporting the Firm’s senior management and legal divisions and overseeing the financial accounting function. The role focusses on improving profitability through better provision and use of information for decision making, assistance with the formulation of divisional business plans, improved cost management, financial education, advice and support. The FC role is responsible for overseeing the preparation and audit of the Firm's accounts, including all UK and international subsidiaries, under relevant accounting standards. This role also works closely with the Tax team to deliver partner accounting and tax filings.
The FC has responsibility for the Firm’s European offices, but the role will also involve working in liaison with the APAC and US finance team.
The ideal candidate will be willing to go the extra mile, joining a team who are dedicated and committed to supporting the firm in its client-focussed work. We are looking for a candidate who is strong willed – but calm, and who is eager to take responsibility and drive projects forward. You will be comfortable with a hands-on role, an excellent communicator, inquisitive but discrete, enthusiastic and willing to work with lawyers and support staff at all levels and in differing jurisdictions. You will have excellent organisation skills and have strong management skills as these attributes will be the key to success in this very busy role.
Areas of focus and responsibilities
- Day-to-day managerial responsibility of the London finance team including their recruitment, training, development, goal-setting and performance measurement.
- Support the finance functions in overseas offices in Europe, liaising as appropriate with the APAC and US finance teams.
- Administration and control of the global banking facilities (revolving credit facilities, overseas office funding requirements and the preparation and submission to our bank of monthly management information and quarterly covenant information) and cash flow management, including forecasts and monthly FX Swaps.
- Review of the EU monthly management profit and loss account and balance sheet including variance analysis and full commentary are delivered within the month end close timeline.
- Ownership and responsibility for the integrity of the general ledger ensuring that appropriate reconciliations are performed for the balance sheet including control accounts.
- Develop relationships with key stakeholders including ensuring that budget holder meetings are effective, timely and ensuring that costs are as expected and appropriately accounted.
- Ensure all regulatory and compliance requirements are met in line with the Solicitors Accounts Rules, including review of static client balances.
- Oversee production of the Annual Report and Financial Statements in respect of Withers LLP, Withers Professional Services Limited and other related entities.
- Oversee the SAR and LLP audits.
- Oversee the preparation and reconciliation of VAT returns.
- Review of payment practice reports, filed at Companies House biannually.
- Play an active part in the preparation of the annual budget and of forecasts during the financial year. Responsible for the preparation of the budgeted cash flow and analysis of the resultant covenant results.
- Assist in the Firm’s commercial decision-making, strategy and business planning.
- Review of Europe bank reconciliations.
- Oversee the reconciliation and maintenance of partner reserves within the general ledger (profit, drawings, and capital accounts), including the payment of monthly drawings and quarterly distributions and preparation and review of partner leaving statements.
- Liaise closely with the Tax team on Partnership matters.
- Oversee the preparation of quarterly commission calculations in respect of consultancy agreements.
- Review of the monthly UK payroll (and others as required) with a view to authorisation and ensure control over salaries and deductions.
- Contribute to the change agenda as it impacts financial reporting and control including improvement of our reporting through changes to working practices and better use of technology.
- Develop content and deliver Finance training to new partners, fee earners and business services employees in conjunction with an external trainer.
- Review of reports circulated to the EU Credit Committee and chairing the monthly meetings with the Regional Divisional Leaders and Revenue Control Manager.
This list of duties, responsibilities and deliverables is not exhaustive. It is intended to describe the general content of, and requirements for the performance of this job, and as such, the role may also include the undertaking of additional tasks as required.
Technical skills and experience
- Professionally qualified (ACA, ACCA, CIMA) accountant with minimum 5 years’ PQE.
- Experience in the legal or professional services sector and working in an international environment.
- Managing a high volume of competing deliverables
- Proven experience in a management position with strong leadership skills and the ability to motivate a team.
- Knowledge of UK GAAP/Reporting Standards and SAR.
- Experience of working in an international and multi-currency business.
- Highly PC literate with experience of financial modelling and analysis
- A high level of commercial acumen and numerical reasoning skills.
- Excellent people management skills and a team working ethos.
- Ability to win the confidence and respect of Partners.
- The energy and enthusiasm to manage new initiatives, challenge the norm and strive towards excellence and innovation.
- The ability to stay calm and work under pressure whilst maintaining a high level of attention to detail.
- A flexible and adaptable approach to work.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- Excellent attention to detail and accuracy, with a high level of professionalism, integrity and responsibility demonstrated daily.
- An organised approach to work which allows you to manage conflicting deadlines and priorities.
- 9.30am to 5.30pm but flexibility is a must
- 12 week probation period
- 12 week notice period
- Flexible benefits package including pension, season ticket loan, subsidised gym memberships, lifestyle discount scheme, on site café plus more
Information for Recruitment Agencies
Withersworldwide endeavours to recruit and fill vacancies directly. However, when we do need to engage with agencies, Withersworldwide operates a preferred supplier list and will not be accepting unsolicited applications from non-PSL agencies for this role.
Equal Opportunities Employment Statement
It is the policy of Withersworldwide to provide equal opportunities for all employees in relation to recruitment, training and promotion. Decisions in these areas will be made only by reference to the requirements of the job and shall not be influenced by any consideration of ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation or disability.