Process Innovation Lead

Shearman & Sterling

London, UK

Full time

May 13

This job is no longer accepting applications.

The Global Legal Project Management (LPM) team focuses on innovation and efficiency, working with our business services professionals, lawyers and top clients to deliver innovative and efficient legal solutions, as part of the wider Client Value Team. The Legal Project Management (LPM) function adds value to the firm and our clients, with three main offerings:

  1. Legal Project Management: Targeted support offered at key stages in the end-to-end project lifecycle: scoping, planning, budgeting and internal/external reporting.
  2. Process Improvement: Working collaboratively within each Business area and Practice Group to identify process improvements that add tangible benefit to our business and clients.
  3. Business Analytics: enabling and undertaking data analytics, turning our data into intelligent action, informing partner, client and firm strategy.


The primary objective of this position is to own and lead our Process Innovation capability, providing support to our business professionals and legal teams, continuing to embed a process led mindset and maturing our process capabilities globally. This role also plays a managerial role across the wider LPM team, ensuring operational excellence, undertaking people management for a limited number of junior team members and supporting broader LPM strategy.

This role requires strong process improvement and legal project management expertise and experience, and the interpersonal skills, flexibility and pragmatism required to meet the needs of business professionals, lawyers and clients. Candidates must have a track record of running complex delivery process improvement projects and working within professional services environments, with the ability to challenge the status quo.  

Key Responsibilities

  • Execute on the Process Innovation Strategy, owning and delivering process improvement projects and initiatives globally;
  • Deliver measurable improvements in efficiency, risk control, client value-add and time-cost savings; to both lawyers and business professionals;
  • Act as a subject matter expert for process improvement, further embedding the capability and process driven culture across the firm;
  • Contribute to the continuous improvement of the firm’s process improvement toolkit, technologies and approaches, including further formal development of the process champion community, with coaching responsibilities;
  • Work with partners, legal staff and relevant business services personnel to identify additional opportunities for process improvement that align with firm priorities;
  • Work closely with the Knowledge Management team to further enable innovative application of legaltech aligned to business problems;
  • Contribute to the Client Value Team's wider transformation projects including ownership / oversight of business process elements of broader strategic firm projects;
  • Where necessary, guide legal teams through the LPM process including scoping, planning, budgeting, executing and controlling the work, cost and resources on a matter;
  • Train, coach and mentor attorneys and business services personnel on how to employ LPM and process improvement, including leading or assisting with formal training programmes as required;
  • Manage a small number of juniors in the LPM team, ensuring that the team are engaged and supported, with clarity on priorities and direction;
  • Provide broader operational direction and governance across the LPM team, including periodically running team meetings, and supporting the Global Director to advance wider strategic priorities.

Knowledge, Skills & Attributes

  • A proactive self-starter with sound expertise in LPM and process improvement methodologies in a legal environment;
  • Experience in leading complex projects and implementing change in a global organisation, as well as the ability to influence stakeholders at all levels to deliver sustainable and measurable improvements;
  • Communicates effectively and collaboratively at all levels. Diplomatic and skilled at building rapport with the ability to succinctly capture and convey management information in writing and in presentations;
  • Able to work and direct others under tight deadlines, handle multiple projects and shifting demands simultaneously, prioritising and delegating appropriately;
  • Strong people management capabilities, driving a high performing team environment, supporting and developing direct reports; 
  • Significant experience and qualification in Lean, Lean Six Sigma and/or Design Thinking with a track record of practical application including recent project delivery;
  • High level of comfort and skill with MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Visio. Knowledge of IBM Blueworks beneficial.

Additional Person Specification

  • Extended hours may be required at short notice;
  • Ability to respond to calls during off hours, including weekends;
  • Ability to travel to offices as needed.
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Shearman & Sterling

We have been advising the world's leading corporations & financial institutions, governments & governmental organizations for nearly 150 years.