European Finance Manager - Law Firm

European Finance Manager - Law Firm

Job Title: European Finance Manager - Law Firm
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: London
Salary: £75,000 - £120,000
Contact Name: Molly Hogan
Job Published: March 10, 2020 13:27

Job Description

European Finance Manager

International and Fast-Growth Law Firm

A survey I recently conducted revealed that finance professionals have three main priorities when assessing a new career move:


  1. The firm having a historically strong financial performance and ambitious future growth plans.
  2. A healthy, positive and collegiate company culture. 
  3. An impressive mentor invested in your development - someone to learn from who will coach you

This opportunity has all three.



Let me set the scene.


The business, a top US law firm, has seen 6-7% year-on-year growth consistently for the past 10 years. Firm-wide they've grown by over £500m in revenue over the past 5 years and have doubled the size of their London office. 


However, as the old saying goes, turnover is vanity and profit is sanity. So how is their bottom line looking? Short answer - extremely profitable - with a 50% profit margin. 


But it's not just about the numbers. A key part of their success is down to the values, people and culture. To quote a member of their team:


"We have a really good culture here, it's a great environment and very grown-up. Wellbeing isn't just a box-ticking exercise, the business genuinely seems to care about people and their careers. Which is why we have such good tenure, not only in finance but in the wider business too."


Recognising this growth trajectory and continued success, they brought in an incredibly impressive European Finance Director with a track record of transforming finance teams into value-adding, commercially orientated functions.


It's now three years down the line and the Finance Director is ready to move into their next phase of growth and transformation. 


Enter you, stage left.


Joining as European Finance Manager, reporting directly into the European Finance Director, you would be a vitally important hire into the team, integral to the future growth plans of the business. The London finance function has ownership over the UK and European regions, which include a London office and 4 offices in mainland Europe. The group finance function is located in the US.


The remit? To help the European Finance Director to mould the finance team into a strategic and value-creating function, build relationships with key stakeholders and create a demand for advisory services from finance across the business by improving the quality and delivery of information. This role will be high impact across those areas with a forward-looking and commercial approach, supporting and advising other business and practice areas around their strategic and operational decision-making.


There are 4 key parts of this role:


1. Financial Management & Governance

  • Being accountable for both financial governance and the identification of financial risk.
  • Being a key figure in developing a regional centre of expertise on VAT and tax compliance.
  • Providing analysis and insights on various issues (e.g. working capital management, pricing decisions on alternative fee arrangements, etc).
  • Cashflow management.
  • Act as deputy COFA.
  • Being responsible for the review of the UK & European bank accounts on a monthly basis.
  • Promoting compliance in line with firm & finance team policies, enforcing and escalating where necessary.
  • Work with the firm-wide accounting team to ensure compliance with the firm's global reporting standards. 


2. Business Partnering & Driving Performance

  • You would drive improvements around client profitability, specifically by influencing and challenging decision-making around pricing and job profitability. The goal would be to use KPIs such as realisation percentage and leverage to encourage more financially-focused thinking prior to any proposals and engagements being submitted or taken on.
  • Work closely with the European Finance Director to proactively identify opportunities for the firm and create financial strategies to meet business objectives and mitigate financial risk. Creating robust financial analysis to support the approval of business cases. 
  • Create & present industry, competitor and economic analysis - providing context and information for key decision-makers. 
  • Lead process improvement projects, with a focus on creating efficiencies.
  • Work alongside the international HR Advisors and Office Managers to identify productivity issues regionally.
  • Build, nurture and improve relationships between finance and the wider business (across partners, lawyers, HR, marketing, etc.). Your role will be key in getting the buy-in for finance firm-wide by building trust and confidence. 


3. Talent Management

  • Managing a team of 5, but also contributing to the development of the wider European accounting team. 
  • This is something incredibly important to the firm - they are seeking passion for people management; someone who will mentor, develop and coach the team whilst also being someone to look-up and aspire to. 


4. Project Management 

  • Due to the business being in a period of transformation, evolution, and growth - there will be a number of exciting projects for this person to sink their teeth into. 
  • This could involve contributing to or directing projects at a finance function, regional or firm-wide level.

Gandalf the Grey to Gandalf the White

Any good story needs character growth and development. So what could the long term look like for you?

There is a very clear career trajectory for this role and the European Finance Director is going to give hands-on mentoring to get you to that position.

Business growth breeds opportunity - to paraphrase a famous quote - when you're offered a seat on a rocketship, get on! It will take you places. 

What do you need?

  • You're emotionally intelligent, articulate yet authentic. 
  • You've got experience in the professional services sector (extra points if it's within a law firm!)
  • You've got management experience, and it's a part of your role you excel in.
  • You're ambitious, you don't want to drift through your career, you want to be in a firm where your opinion is valued and listened to, somewhere where you can enact real change. 
  • You're fully qualified - CIMA, ACA, ACCA or an international equivalent. 
  • You know how to get buy-in from people, you're analytical and have experience guiding commercial decision-making. 
  • You're also technically strong and have a full grasp over financial management and governance. 
  • You've had experience in international businesses and you want to work in a global business.

Apply here or if you want to learn more, contact me on or 0203 805 5233.


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