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Head of Risk – Risk & Compliance – Firm Wide

Vacancy details

An exciting opportunity for an experienced solicitor to head up our established risk function. You will have particular experience of professional negligence claims and a detailed knowledge of the SRA Regulatory framework. The role is varied and sits within an established risk function which combines Onboarding (AML/Conflicts), Information Security & Data Protection, Risk, Compliance and Best Practice. You will join established “Risk Heads” in the areas of Onboarding, ISDP and Best Practice & Compliance to ensure the firm’s risk strategy is implemented.

Role: Head of Risk
Location: Firm Wide
Hours: Full Time or Part Time
Term: Permanent
Vacancy Reference: 1154-BBL

Who we are

You’ll be joining a national law firm that enjoys a strong reputation, made possible by our exceptional people – each chosen for their industry knowledge and passion for their field. We want to help you to reach your full potential, love the work you do and deliver the best results for your clients. It’s our goal to make you feel great about working with us, and we work hard to cultivate a culture that makes it easy for you to stay with us for many years.

We work flexibly and you’ll be empowered to work where you do your best work, balancing your individual needs with the need for us to engage as teams and deliver excellent client service.

Most of our people choose to work in a hybrid fashion, working from home and attending our offices on occasion. Our offices are in Bristol, Birmingham,  Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton, and Taunton.

Day to day, you’ll be successful in this role by:

Reporting to the Director of Risk & Best Practice, you will supervise our Risk Team. Our Risk Team is comprised of an Associate, a Solicitor and a Project Co-Ordinator.

Provide support and assistance, as required, to the firm’s Director of Risk, MLRO, MLCO, COLP and COFA including but not limited to:

  • Professional Negligence Claims & Complaints: Supervise the Claims and Complaints Associate but retain ultimate responsible for management and active handling of claims against the LLP. With the Director of Risk, maintain good relations with PII underwriters and brokers and prepare for our annual renewal. Experience of professional negligence claims handling from either fee earning or risk team perspective desirable. Support the Client Care Partner where complaints are escalated to the Legal Ombudsman. Ensure trends are analysed and fed into conversations with the Risk Heads to determine training or improvements identified from claims and complaints data.
  • Audit and Risk Committee: prepare agendas in line with the Committee’s mandate and annual plan, attend and minute all meetings and follow up on actions. Maintain and acquire where necessary high level technical expertise in relation to the regulatory regime applicable to legal practices.
  • Policies: Working with the Best Practice & Compliance to keep under review the firm’s policies and procedures for compliance with the Code. Own the firm’s retainers, terms of business and email footers and ensure they are reviewed and maintained.
  • Project/Change Management: be a member of the change management group to ensure that our legal and regulatory requirements are considered as part of change programmes.
  • Onboarding: be a point of contact for the analysts to escalate complex conflicts of interest. Support the learning and development of the conflicts team.
  • Business Continuity: Be deputy Major Incident Controller and work with the Project Coordinator to plan quarterly testing of the plan. Advise and make recommendations to the ARC in relation to BCP generally.
  • Information security management: Assist Information Security as necessary to achieve ISO 27001 and sit on the internal Information Security Management Forum.
  • Data protection: Assist the Data Protection Officer as necessary with SRA and GDPR compliance.
  • Annual Renewals/Applications: support as required the process for renewal of professional indemnity, management liability, cyber and office insurances and the bulk renewal of the firm’s practicing certificates.


  • Manage the Risk team on a day-to-day basis. This will involve recruitment and selection, performance reviews, disciplinary action, managing staffing levels within the team and training, seeking the support of HR as appropriate.
  • Drive forward new projects and initiatives. Maintain high level awareness of risk and compliance issues for the legal profession to inform such projects and initiatives.
  • Continuously promote the highest levels of compliance to the partners and staff across the business including delivery of training.
  • Raise the profile of the role and the risk team internally and externally, being visible and approachable to all members of staff.
  • Participate in professional groups and networks, in particular the Bristol Risk Management Group.

This role is right for you if:

You will, ideally, have at least 3-5 years previous experience of working in a risk and compliance role within a law firm or in a professional negligence fee earning team. This is a role that may suit an experienced solicitor who is looking for a career change and to move away from a fee earning / client facing role.

You will have a robust, meticulous approach to ensuring compliance, combined with a diplomatic, professional and collaborative manner.

A flexible approach and confidence liaising with colleagues across the firm at all levels is essential.

What we can offer you:

A career at Clarke Willmott will feel different to other law firms. We thrive on our individual differences and diversity because as a team, we are united by our shared values and mutual respect. Working with us you will feel empowered, valued and free to be yourself in a safe and supportive environment.

Our mission is to help you realise your full potential whilst maintaining a positive work-life balance. We provide a comprehensive learning and development programme and a range of wellbeing initiatives to support your career journey.

There’s no doubt we expect the best from our people and even the occasional extra mile. In return, your dedication and commitment to the continued success of the firm will be rewarded with a comprehensive range of flexible benefits.

Listen to what a few members of our team have to say about what life here at Clarke Willmott is really like, to see if it’s the right fit for you.


Apply now

Apply now – TC

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