Director and Head of Practice - Commercial Litigation Department

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Salary: Negotiable Monthly
Recruiter: Supreme Staffing Solutions
Job Ref: JHB000157/LM
Summary: Northern Suburbs Law Firm based in Sandton seeks a Director and Head of Practice for their Commercial Litigation Department who is available to start immediately - negotiable



Job Description

Job Description and Requirements:

Job Purpose:

  • The head of the litigation practice will lead an area of practice for collaborate, winning and delivering client work in line with the firm’s line pride model of inter-dependency, teamwork and trust.
  • The head of practice will work with Mancom who in return will support the head of litigation practice to develop his/her expertise and capabilities as an emerging leader within the firm.
  • The head of litigation practice role offers a chance to learn, grow, develop excellent practice and build a reputation within the sector as an emerging leader and innovator.
  • The head of practice is an important and client-facing role for the firm. (S)he will win, which will develop over time into new business areas (by function, geography or client) for the firm
  • (S)he will be expected to operate independently and with freedom to develop relationships with clients, but within a framework of
  • The head of litigation will have a vital role to play within the firm and the team and in the development of its thinking, culture and practice.
  • (S)he will be expected to contribute to strategic direction, intellectual capital and the written output of the organisation.
  • (S)he will be encouraged to build expertise in his/her defined practice area, including cultivating external networks, speaking at events and conferences, and building relationships that can further develop our thinking and practice base.
  • As a key team member, (s)he will be expected to contribute to a positive and collaborative working culture, and to grow as an ambassador for the firm and its values.

Job Accountabilities:

  • Demonstrate sound legal technical ability, knowledge of South African Law including procedural law applicable to all types of South African Courts and Tribunals.
  • Provide legal advice and drafting opinions on commercial litigation matters.
  • Develop litigation practice draft and review legal documentation, with emphasis on pleadings and notices.
  • Design and deliver a range of client-facing projects within the litigation department.
  • Develop new specialist practice areas within the litigation department practice in collaboration with other teams.
  • Develop expertise as an intellectual leader in this space, developing junior professionals as experts in litigation supported by the management committee of the firm.
  • Win new business, sectors as best fits with the firm and supported by Mancom (business development) to bring in new revenue for the firm from new or existing clients, through building lasting client and peer partnerships – at least to the value of R----- each year in the first year (this value will be reviewed on an annual basis and will increase over time).
  • Ensure that resources within the litigation team, litigation team performance, quality control and assurance, and relationship management are of a high standard to deliver both client and the firm’s objectives for every piece of work undertaken in the department.
  • Work on complex legal principles/concepts without the use of precedents.
  • Managing and advising in commercial litigation matters.
  • Providing advice in various litigation matters Drafting pleadings and notices (mainly high court).
  • Case management including briefing of counsel and experts.
  • General management of a legal practice including opening of new file, passing and collecting of fees, maintaining relationships with other team members working closely and delegating work to secretaries, senior associate, associate and candidate attorneys.
  • Good drafting skills of pleadings and court documents.
  • Timeous billing and invoicing of clients.
  • Ensuring that the financial discipline policy of the firm is always adhered to and develop. strategies of improving the financial discipline policy.
  • Build, manage and maintain relationships with clients and colleagues Head of litigation department will deliver client-facing services to external clients.
  • This may involve working alongside other directors, with other members of the team, with associate individuals or organisations. The head of litigation will be encouraged to develop and refine the firm’s approach through these engagements, contributing to the continuous iteration of the firm’s products, and to his/her own development as a practitioner.

Experience and Qualifications:

  • Post Graduate LLB and LLM degrees (BCom LLB degrees would be advantageous).
  • South African admitted attorney.
  • 10 – 15 year’s post qualification experience.
  • Commercial Litigation experience a must.
  • Demonstrable record of offering intellectual and managerial leadership within the team and externally in the litigation department.
  • Demonstrable ability to lead litigation practice at the highest level.
  • Proven record of winning and delivering client work.
  • Experience to manage, train, delegate and develop people in a leveraged triangular team i.e. a bottom-heavy team composed of professionals at different levels of skills and experience.
  • Ability to set, manage and achieve financial goals for the team.
  • Experience to manage complex matters in profitable manner.
  • Experience to draft and supervise drafting by professionals with limited involvement of counsel.
  • Demonstrable ability and experience to attract new clients and to farm work from existing clients.




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