Head of Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility, US (New Haven, Greenwich, or New York)


Permanent - Full Time


New Haven

Job Role

Risk and Compliance

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What are we looking for?

This is an exciting opportunity to support the International Risk & Compliance Director of an international law firm (who is based in London) and the firm's US claims counsel in relation to Risk & Compliance issues in the US.   This role is suited to an ambitious individual with experience in the legal sector. 

As the leader of a team, the successful candidate will assist in identifying areas of risk inherent in the firm’s practice and ensuring that there are in place best practice mechanisms and procedures to respond to and manage those risks, oversee all activities of the US Risk & Compliance team (, and be committed to developing the Risk & Compliance function throughout the US, working alongside teams in London and Asia.  Knowledge of legal regulatory and legislative requirements for individual attorneys and law firms, and an understanding of risk in the legal services environment, would be beneficial. 

Areas of focus and responsibilities

  • Assist the US Loss Prevention Partner in the provision of regulatory, professional ethics and compliance matters relevant to partners, other fee-earners and support staff throughout the firm's US offices.
  • Identify changes in applicable rules, regulations and standards within the US that are relevant to the Risk & Compliance team and propose necessary modifications to policies and procedures for consideration by the International Risk & Compliance Director, US Claims Counsel, and the US Loss Prevention Partner.
  • Implement, maintain and monitor the use of standard forms and compliance with policies and procedures throughout the US, providing practical guidance as necessary.
  • Liaise as appropriate with other members of the Risk & Compliance team, the firm's US Claims Counsel, and the firm's US Loss Prevention Partner in relation to resolving complaints and claims and reducing the likelihood of them happening again.
  • Ensure registers are properly maintained, draft regular reports to keep the US Regional Practice Leaders in each Department informed of relevant risk and compliance issues and liaise with the International Risk & Compliance Director and US Claims Counsel regarding issues of which they should be aware.
  • Ensure that Risk & Compliance Manuals relevant to the US are kept updated.
  • Review conflict checks received via the New Business Initiative ('NBI') workflow process as necessary.
  • Ensure that all clients and matters created via the NBI workflow process and any amendments to them are processed correctly and, where necessary, liaise with the Finance and/or Risk & Compliance teams in other offices.
  • Supervise the setting up, management and updating of restricted groups and information barriers.
  • Ensure that accurate records of client due diligence data are obtained where required, sending out reminders regarding outstanding client due diligence and pursue and secure its timely collection as necessary.
  • Supervise the carrying out of research and analysis regarding potential clients as required.
    • Ensure the High Risk Register is kept up to date and properly monitored.
    • Deal with queries promptly across the different US offices (for example, regarding client identification where work is to be transferred to non-US offices, cash policy, etc).
  • Liaise with relevant personnel within Withersworldwide regarding concerns about money laundering or terrorist financing and assist in relation to any reporting required.
  • Undertake compliance and risk management training for staff in the US.
  • Oversee the Market Abuse/Insider Dealing requirements applicable in the US, liaising with appropriate partners.
  • Contribute to the preparation of the US Annual Declaration and ensure its timely completion.
  • Work with the Crisis Management Team for the US to protect business continuity.

This list of duties and responsibilities is not exhaustive.  It is intended to describe the general content of, and requirements for the performance of this job, and as such, the role may also include the undertaking of additional tasks as required.

Additional skills, knowledge and competencies required

  • JD required.
  • Excellent attention to detail together with a methodical and organized approach.
  • Strong communicator, inquisitive and enthusiastic and willing to work with lawyers and support staff at all levels and in differing jurisdictions, able to handle queries efficiently with diplomacy and tact, gaining confidence of partners and staff.
  • Able to manage workload effectively and move projects forward.
  • Able to influence and build strong working relationships with internal clients and colleagues in a collaborative and supportive manner.
  • Strong commercial aptitude.
  • Solutions focused, proven initiative, pro-active approach and independent thought. Knowledge of legal regulatory and legislative requirements for law firms, and an understanding of risk in the legal services environment, would therefore be beneficial. 

The essentials

  • Highly PC literate particularly with good Excel and database management experience.
  • Be proactive in the identification of risks and identifying solutions to mitigate them.
  • You will be based on the US East Coast and willing to travel between its three offices there and the four offices in California, as necessary, and to make occasional trips to London.  This is a permanent, full-time position, working Monday to Friday, 40 hours per week although flexibility is required.


About Withersworldwide

Withersworldwide has been acting for successful individuals, families and institutions for over 100 years.  We advise clients on their business and personal legal needs both at home and abroad.  In this fast moving and increasingly regulated world the need for integrated and timely advice has never been more urgent. We have 580 lawyers at our 16 offices worldwide

We are recognized as the only dedicated international law firm for successful people, their families, their businesses and their philanthropic work.  With offices in the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Caribbean we provide coverage that other law firms focussed on the individual cannot.   We continually look for opportunities to ensure we are based in the same locations as our clients and their wealth.  We have represented 42% of the UK Top-100 ‘Sunday Times Rich List’, as well as a significant number of the top 100 people listed in the US (Forbes) and a significant number in the Asian (Hurun) Rich List.


Equal Opportunities Employment Statement

It is the policy of Withers Worldwide to provide equal opportunities for all employees in relation to recruitment, training and promotion.  Decisions in these areas will be made only by reference to the requirements of the job and shall not be influenced by any consideration of ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation or disability.


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