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Legal Assistant (Trust and tax) Putney 2023

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DEADLINE 1st December 2023

We are seeking a confident, proactive, flexible full time Legal Assistant / Paralegal to join our Private Client team based in Putney.

The Private Client team at Russell-Cooke has a well established reputation and broad experience over the entire sector, with a particular focus on cross border issues. Our client base is extremely varied, including high net worth individuals and international clients. The Private Client team deals with all aspects of estate, succession and inheritance tax planning, including the preparation of Wills; estate administration and probate services; trust creation, taxation and administration; mental capacity expertise including Court of Protection work and Lasting Powers of Attorney. The Trust and Tax Administration team is part of the Private Client team and has developed excellent niche tax and accounting knowledge and experience.

Role Description

The person in this role will work closely with our Trust Accountant, who has many years’ experience in this area, to provide assistance to the lawyers in the Private Client team, and clients, with the preparation of estate accounts, estate tax returns and tax administration work.

There will also be elements of work involving the Trusts including assisting with the preparation of trust accounts, data entry, trust tax returns, trust administration and Trust Registration Service as required.

It will involve significant interaction with the Private Client team to ensure a complete service to clients. The work can be complex and will include analysis of property and share portfolios, discretionary trusts, life interest trusts, family wealth management, and also general tax and accounting advice on other specific matters.

Russell-Cooke is a full service Top 100 law firm and often legal advice is provided to clients by several teams within the firm. The private client team work particularly with the real estate, residential conveyancing, property litigation, charity and social responsibility, family, corporate and commercial and trust and estate dispute teams.

The person in this role will also assist with operating the firm’s trust company, Russell-Cooke Trust Company (RCTC), which acts as a professional executor, trustee and attorney.

This role is based in our Putney office. Attendance at our other offices in Holborn and Kingston will depend on client need. We have an agile working policy which includes working from home up to 2 days a week.

You will have a reasonable understanding of the firm’s values and culture and will be keen to raise the profile of the team. You will represent our clients to the highest standard and you will be eager to broaden your range of expertise and skills. You will be enthusiastic and independent.

Russell-Cooke offers an excellent opportunity to join a stimulating work environment, working alongside friendly and supportive colleagues. The Private Client Team is client-focused in its approach and offers superb career development opportunities

Main Duties:

  • The role is that of a fee earner undertaking chargeable work with a personal time and fee target.
  • As with any fee earner, Legal Assistants will be expected to carry out non-chargeable work in addition to the chargeable work required. This may include, but is not limited to, providing assistance with marketing activities and undertaking appropriate training.
  • Legal Assistants will generally be expected to be self-supporting in terms of typing and administration and will have an hourly rate and fee target set accordingly, but where it is commercially justifiable, they may be provided with appropriate administrative support.
  • The Legal Assistant’s enthusiasm and energy are expected to allow them to make a full contribution to the dynamic operation of their team.
  • They will take responsibility for their own success seeking continuously to improve their own skills and to provide good value to clients in the services they provide.
  • The Legal Assistant will operate under the supervision and responsibility of a designated lawyer.
  • Legal Assistants are expected to participate fully in training and activities designed for the Legal Assistant cohort across the firm.

Specific Duties :

  • Assisting with the preparation of full and detailed estate accounts, estate tax returns and beneficiary income statements
  • Preparing 60 day Capital Gains Tax (CGT) returns for estates and trusts
  • Co-ordinating tax payments and tax clearance for estates and trusts
  • Data input for estate and trust accounting of bank, brokers and dividend information into the firm’s pro-forma estate accounts and trust account software
  • Reconciling third party and internal accounts records
  • Contact with other professional advisors as well as clients
  • Supporting the RCTC board of directors with reports on the estates and trusts where RCTC is appointed executor, trustee or an attorney
  • Updating HMRC Trust Registration Service details and HMRC agent authorisations

Client Relations:

  • To provide a high quality service to all Russell-Cooke clients (within team and externally)
  • To develop and maintain good client relationship skills, gaining clients’ confidence and that of other professionals
  • Prioritising requests for assistance from team members with trust, tax and estate tax and accounting tasks

Personal Development:

  • Support internal procedures and systems of Russell-Cooke including file and financial management
  • Participate in team meetings and events
  • Attend internal training and external training as and when required
  • Maintain high standards of professional conduct while generating adequate practice income, ensuring that the fees earned sufficiently exceed total costs and expenses incurred

Person specification

Qualifications & Experience

  • We are looking for a graduate who wants to develop their professional skills
  • Highly numerate, IT literate, with excellent working knowledge of Excel. These are essential for the successful candidate
  • Some Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax practical knowledge would be useful
  • Previous experience of using CCH Personal Tax software, CCH Trust Accounts software or similar software is an advantage but training will be provided, if required. These are used for the management of long-standing trusts and will be of use for tax returns and some aspects of estate accounting.

Motivation & Competencies

  • Whilst the successful candidate will receive close supervision and support from experienced Solicitors, they will be required to manage their workload autonomously.
  • Strong organisational and time management skills are required as the role will involve the efficient and cost effective management of multiple files, working to strict deadlines.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills are essential to demonstrate understanding of our clients’ needs and expectations and when communicating with colleagues, demonstrating professionalism in all dealings.
  • Evidence of interest in, and commitment to, the success of the firm.
  • Relevant experience within a professional services firm would be an advantage.
  • Understanding of and commitment to Russell-Cooke’s values and ethos which can be seen at
  • Excellent communication both written and verbal - the role involves liaison with internal and external people at a senior level
  • A self-starter, able to demonstrate high levels of initiative and motivation, but also work closely with other team members and displaying trust and loyalty
  • The successful candidate will be highly organised with an ability to manage assigned tasks in an assertive, efficient and timely manner
  • Exceptional attention to detail and a positive professional attitude
  • Must be able to multitask and keep calm under pressure
  • The flexibility to work outside normal office hours as may be required from time to time

Your career development

Russell-Cooke’s lawyers are rounded professional advisers with strong commercial awareness and a commitment to exceeding client expectations. All our lawyers benefit from our cohort based career development programme. We understand the importance of building an internal network and have developed this excellent cohort programme to allow our lawyers to work together across practice areas and share their knowledge, experiences and networks.

At each stage of your career, and as you move through the cohorts, a bespoke training programme will be provided to support you with your development and progression.

We welcome direct applications. If you would like any further information about the firm please contact a member of the HR team.

We have a diverse workforce and aim to attract high calibre applicants that reflect the demography of our geographical location and client base. Individuals will be employed solely on merit and the requirement of the position. No applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of sex, race, marital status, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender Identity or religion. Reasonable adjustments will be made to eliminate or reduce disadvantage.

DEADLINE 1st December 2023