Head of Legal Operations, Open to flexible working

London (Central), London (Greater)
16 Sep 2020
16 Oct 2020
Contract Type

Increasingly in-house Legal teams are introducing this role at a senior level. It is the GC’s COO for the Legal Function. Diageo’s expectations of the GC on strategic and financial matters require this resource and focus to provide the right level of effectiveness and prioritisation.  

This role reports to the GC Africa, CR & Legal Operations and will have accountability for Financial Management of the Function, Technology & Systems, Knowledge Management, Capability Building, Communications, Strategic and Organisational planning. Whilst the role has no formal direct reports, it is expected to closely oversee the other 2 roles in the Legal Operations team – the Legal Systems Manager and the Rest of World Finance Manager (as well as the equivalent role for North America). The role and the reports are based at our Headquarters in London.

Purpose of Role

Enable the end to end Legal Function to provide fit for purpose legal services through applying external best practice and implementing Diageo wide efficiency and cost saving initiatives with focus and prioritisation.

Function Complexity

The Market/GF structure of Diageo and Diageo systems (especially SAP) means that understanding and tracking spend outside the GF Legal cost centres is challenging.

The way that legal services are delivered is changing with increasing speed. However, not all innovations and trends are relevant or cost effective for Diageo.

Leadership Responsibilities

  • Lead the preparation of the Function strategy and budget and agreement of the targets for Organisation Effectiveness and Zero-Based Budgeting (ZBB) savings with input from the LLT and hold the LLT to account for both input into planning and delivery of the agreed plans and targets
  • Lead discussion of strategic direction with the Global Cost Category Owners (GCCO), ZBB team and Procurement for Diageo wide legal costs and savings targets and recommend way forward on key points to the GC (e.g. amount of targeted savings).
  • As the centre of excellence on internal legal function best practice management ensure the adoption by the Legal Leadership Team (LLT), Global Functions and market lawyers of such practice.
  • Challenge at all levels in the end to end Function existing ways of working to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness (for example the assessment of what activities can more cost effectively be outsourced or discontinued completely or reduced without material risk being created).
  • Develop and use the team to achieve maximum effectiveness

Top 3-5 Accountabilities

This role drives the Function’s strategy (efficiency, financial, technology and capability) by:

  • Developing a comms and engagement agenda for the Global Legal Function
  • Driving the ZBB agenda within the end to end Legal Function to ensure accurate budget forecasting, reporting, accruals and tracking of external legal spend to identify risks or opportunities as they arise throughout the financial year; dealing with the ZBB team and the GCCO throughout the year in tracking and setting budgets; undertaking and interrogating benchmarking to ensure performance is in line with peers and recommending actions to be taken.
  • Providing external lawyer best practice management which includes creating panels; tendering; tracking both cost and performance related metrics; identifying “value adds”; opportunities to partner with alternative legal service providers; understanding alternative pricing structures and cost – effective billing solutions
  • Responsible for driving legal knowledge management and capability building on a global basis. Develop and maintain the knowledge management infrastructure, leveraging internal and external resources to provide streamlined and easily accessible tools, training and materials the legal team can use to make them more effective and efficient, setting and making best practice readily available.
  • Developing an effective strategy for legal technology in particular the capturing and managing of data; using data to assess opportunities for using technology to address process and efficiency issues and the use of technology to simplify lawyers workload to free up time to focus on key risks and issues facing the business; ensuring the smooth running and maintenance of existing systems

Qualifications and Experience Required

  • A solicitor or finance professional with at least 7 years post-qualification/work experience, of which preferably five years will have been dealing with/working for a large corporate ideally with an in-house legal team.
  • Strong commercial and pragmatic approach.
  • Strong interpersonal/communication skills.
  • Ability to lead, influence and engage a global audience on a challenging agenda.
  • Self-starter with high levels of discipline, strong delivery of targeted performance, project management skills.
  • Excellent professionalism, commitment and integrity, Passion for and experience of inspiring and leading people; Confident in and sensitive to different cultures and a passion for Diageo’s success
  • Ability to delegate, while maintaining sufficient involvement to manage and influence effectively
  • Strong financial acumen and competence in both project management and handling large complex data sets; experience of budget setting and tracking

Leadership Capabilities

Key leadership capabilities:

Creating Possibilities

  • Ability to stand in the future, anticipate and help shape the strategic agenda for the Global Function and be active in shaping the destiny of the function.
  • Energising and inspiring others to go beyond the norm and actively contribute to delivering critical commercial objectives

Creating the Conditions for Success

  • Building alignment across the business, including effectively leading and influencing a wide range of people at all levels of the organisation (often in relation to complex issues) 
  • Excellent pro-active relationship building skills, creating the conditions for success, enabling others to grow capabilities and effectively contribute to achievement of outcomes through & with others

Consistently Delivering Great Performance

  • Demonstrating deep personal accountability for great performance, moving effectively between strategy & operational detail, staying focused on commercial priorities & critical business agenda
  • Knowing and being responsive to external influences on the business and knowing when and where to intervene / stand ground