VACANCIES: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS

North Kensington Law Centre (NKLC) is seeking to recruit a Director who will lead and develop the charity. As NKLC’s new Director you will be leading the organisation in a very uncertain world, with the UK feeling the effects of a global pandemic and facing the reality of life outside the European Union. You will inherit a well-resourced, an effective and well-regarded organisation with a dedicated and friendly staff team. You will be well-supported by a committed group of Trustees. While your role will be multi-faceted, it will be hugely rewarding.

BACKGROUND TO THE ROLE

We are looking for a person with experience of running an organisation (or comparable sized team and budget), who is an effective fundraiser and who can sustain our current levels of service provision and grow the organisation in line with objectives as set out in our business plan.

ABOUT NORTH KENSINGTON LAW CENTRE

NKLC was founded in 1970 and was the first Law Centre in England to provide access to justice for the local community through the provision of high-quality legal advice and representation. Now located in new offices near Latimer Rd tube station, NKLC continues to focus on meeting the needs of the most vulnerable members of the North Kensington community and beyond, while providing a broad range of legal advice in the areas of housing, immigration, welfare benefits, employment and criminal defence. We operate an open-door policy and assist as many as 3000 people a year. We also run regular pro bono ‘first come first served’ legal advice surgeries in immigration, housing and welfare benefits and have several projects running, most notably supporting people affected by the Windrush Scandal to claim compensation, supporting people affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower with their legal needs, providing legal observers at Carnival and educating young people on their rights within the criminal justice system.

SUMMARY JOB DESCRIPTION

Title Executive Director
Main Purpose The Director is responsible for the overall operational management of NKLC: for fundraising, financial planning and communications. You will contribute to and work with the Board of Trustees (Management Committee) to develop and implement the strategic plan, the business plan, staff supervision, office management and oversight of regulatory and compliance matters (together with the senior solicitor).
Salary £45,900 per annum (plus pension contribution)
Hours Full time (35 per week)
Accountable to The Board of Trustees (Management Committee)
Location: Office based however temporary arrangements for home working are currently in place because of Covid-19. For the duration of the pandemic some staff are currently working from home whilst others are in the office depending on the needs of the organisation and desk space availability but this is a temporary arrangement and we expect staff to return to normal office working as soon as we deem it safe and practical to do so, and we will notify staff when this is the case. In any case we reserve the right to ask you to go to the office at any point if this is considered necessary.

HOW TO APPLY

Applicants should send a CV with a detailed letter (no longer than 2 A4 pages) showing how they meet the person specification by no later than 9am on Monday 11th January 2021 to m.j.wolfe7@gmail.com with APPLICATION FOR POST OF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR in the subject header. Aiming to interview in mid to late January.

DETAILED JOB DESCRIPTION

The Director is accountable to the Management Committee and will be directly supervised by the Chair. The Director is expected to report in a timely way each month to the chair and the Trustees.

The Director is responsible first, for the financial viability of the Law Centre, and then the delivery of legal services to the community. This includes the supervision of all staff (together with the senior solicitor) including solicitors, caseworkers and trainees. The Director is supported by the Practice Manager. The Director has overall responsibility for the day-to-day running of the organisation but would be expected to delegate where appropriate.

FUNDRAISING AND PARTNERSHIP

The Director is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with new and existing stakeholders which will involve:

  • Applying for grants and other means of funding new and existing services and developing the organisation in accordance with the strategy and business plan
  • Identifying gaps in service provision and new services which the Law Centre could offer either alone or in partnership with other organisations and developing appropriate funding strategies
  • Building relationships with external stakeholders and supporters
  • Keeping abreast of national and local policy and practice and how this affects the Law Centre’s work.

COMMUNICATIONS

The Director is responsible for devising and implementing a communications strategy, including:

  • Representing the organisation externally.
  • Regular and appropriate social media commentary
  • Developing the law centre’s membership and communicating with members

GOVERNANCE

The Director will work with the management committee to set the strategic goals and is responsible for implementing this strategy and business plan. This will involve:

  • Preparing the proposed business and strategic plans for discussion with and approval by the management committee
  • Reporting to the management committee and other committees on a regular basis and preparing agendas and papers for such meetings
  • Maintaining the risk register and providing regular management financial information and non-financial key performance indicators to Trustees
  • Assisting the Trustees in ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory compliance in relation to the Law Centre as a charity a company limited by guarantee and in relation to the Law Centre’s pension schemes
  • Working with the senior solicitor to ensure that the Law Centre is compliant with the regulations of the Solicitors Regulation Authority
  • Organising and preparing for the annual general meeting (AGM)

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

The Director has overall responsibility for managing the income and expenditure of the Law Centre and for budgeting and reporting. This will involve:

  • Preparing annual budgets and monitoring performance versus budget
  • Providing financial information to the bookkeepers and working with the accountants to ensure the accuracy of the audited accounts.
  • Maintaining the Law Centre’s contracts with the legal aid agency
  • Approving all expenditure
  • Preparing management accounts and reconciling them monthly
  • Working with the fee earners to monitor the value of work in progress
  • Supervising the external payroll service provider
  • Ensuring the Law Centre’s pension schemes and other employee benefit arrangements are appropriately administered
  • Working with and providing assistance to the treasurer on financial management and planning matters

HR

The Director is responsible for the management and oversight of all other employees. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring a safe and supportive working environment for all staff and those visiting the office
  • Line management of all staff and together with the senior solicitor’s supervision of the caseload of legal staff and volunteers
  • Holding regular staff meetings
  • Carrying out annual staff appraisals
  • Working with fee earners to agree realistic financial targets
  • Supporting fee earners to achieve financial targets
  • Monitoring fee earner performance
  • Managing contract staff including consultants that might from time to time be used, payroll, bookkeeping and billing.
  • Implementing HR policies in line with the office manual and Staff Handbook
  • Drafting and developing new polices as and when the need arises.
  • Work with Trustees to secure approval for the creation and recruitment of any new posts and changes to existing posts.

LEGAL CASEWORK MANAGEMENT

  • The Director is jointly responsible, together with the Senior Solicitor, for ensuring that the legal practice is compliant with the requirements of Lexcel, OISC, Solicitors Regulation Authority and that all casework is compliant with the requirements of the Legal Aid Agency (if applicable) and is capable of being billed and disbursements recovered.
  • The Director is expected to monitor the financial and operational efficiency of the Law Centre’s casework arrangements, to report to the Trustees on such matters and make appropriate proposals in relation to the development of the casework team.

PERSON SPECIFICATION

  • At least three years’ experience in leading a small charity/not for profit or equivalent senior management experience in a larger charity/not for profit
  • At least five years’ experience of line management of staff
  • Experience of fundraising from grant-making trusts and foundations, with a track record of making successful grant applications
  • An understanding of good governance and legal responsibilities and the ability to work successfully with a board
  • Knowledge of the field of social welfare law and the regulatory environment within which NKLC operates
  • Experience of effectively managing a Legal Aid contract.
  • Experience of participating in (preferably leading) organisational strategic planning
  • Strong strategic and cultural leadership skills with a collaborative approach to working internally and externally
  • Ability to externally represent and advocate on behalf of NKLC to different audiences e.g. media, politicians, community groups
  • Excellent people management skills with the ability to inspire and enthuse others
  • Diplomatic and respectful approach when dealing with other people
  • Excellent financial skills including the ability to lead an organisation through the cycle from budgeting to audit and presentation of accounts
  • Project management experience with demonstrable ability to bring in projects on time and within budget
  • Excellent time management skills including the ability to prioritise and work calmly under pressure
  • Strong IT skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including writing and editing skills
  • Commitment to Access to Justice
  • Commitment to equality of opportunity and inclusion, including specifically antiracism
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