SMBC Group

Director of Legal Operations

Job Locations US-NY-New York
Posting Date 4 weeks ago(7/2/2021 9:34 AM)
Career Category
Compliance and Legal
Corporate Title


The Director of Legal Operations (DLO) for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation will work within the Legal Department and report to the General Manager, Deputy General Counsel and Head of Legal Department.


Primary responsibilities of the DLO will be:


Work with the General Counsel and the Head of Legal Department to oversee the various workstreams in improving administrative operations of the Legal Department, including but not limited to the selection and implementation of legal technology solutions, improvement and implementation of outside counsel relationship management and billing, participating in the strategy development for the operational aspects of the legal transformation efforts for SMBC’s Americas Division, and to function as the project manager of the transformation efforts.


Improve and implement effective operations management over the Legal Department support services and administrative functions, including Legal Department’s IT, vendor, administrative staff, and project management.


Supervise the administrative and support staff of the legal department, and act as point of contact with various support functions across the organization.


  • Partner with the General Counsel and the department management to develop and implement the strategic plan to improve the legal department’s organization, technology, and efficiency. Lead transformation project work streams on behalf of department management including a workstream to upgrade technology for the department. This includes finalizing the implementation of contract and document management systems and ensuring that the department’s technology meets the continued needs of the lawyers in the department and continue to evaluate technology solutions. Develop and manage the legal IT function. 
  • Develop and execute short and long term operations plans for the Legal function over Americas Division. Create metrics, measure progress of the strategic plan and transformation objectives.
  • Manage the day to day department operations, at the direction of the General Counsel and the Head of Legal Department. Supervise the support staff, including but not limited to, the paralegals and administrative staff, and temp staff, to create an efficient support system for attorneys.
  • Provide strategic and practical advice to the department management to improve and monitor efficiency and quality of the legal department’s operation. Work with the General Counsel and the Head of Legal Department to assist in the planning process over future head count and spend by practice areas and client needs. Create and manage periodic benchmarking process over department operations, and identify improvement opportunities, including assessment of financial data to identify spending trends, potential cost savings, and opportunities for efficiency.
  • Manage the resources for the department operation, including reference materials and legal technology. Responsible for obtaining and maintaining licenses and subscription, implementation, and operation of said resources.  Support education and training programs for the department.
  • Lead the planning process on behalf of department management to develop improved procedures for the law firm and vendor engagement process, from engagement, matter creation, and billing. Negotiate and document engagement letters and conflict waivers at the supervision and instruction of senior department attorneys.  Maintain a database of the law firm engagements, organizing and evaluating the data to leverage for future engagements and negotiations.  Implement an RFP process for approved panel law firms and the procedures to improve business clients experience in selecting and engaging approved law firms.
  • Review, update, and maintain the department policies and procedures. Develop and implement the communications initiatives (staff meetings, newsletters, websites) work with Communications and Technology teams to improve and maintain the department’s online presence on the intranet, work with the department management to foster the department’s reputation and presence across the organization. Develop and optimize knowledge management process for collection and sharing of institutional knowledge, centralization and management of templates.
  • Work with the attorneys, to improve quality of work (culture, satisfaction, engagement), access to training resources, and efficiency.


  • 10 years minimum experience as in business/administrative operations within a corporation or a law firm, including senior leadership roles in development and implementation of strategic initiatives on business operations. 5 or more years of experience managing direct reports.
  • Excellent operational management, project management, and communications skills. Experience with law firm billing practices, alternative fee arrangements, law firm/vendor fee negotiations.
  • Familiarity and expertise with Legal technology, including but not limited to electronic billing, document management, e-discovery solutions, knowledge management, workflow management.
  • Strong communications skills, technical drafting skills, ability to work under pressure, and cross-cultural sensitivity required. Must be a team-player.
  • A proven ability to comfortably operate in a fast-paced, constantly changing environment.
  • The perseverance and patience necessary to work through ambiguity and see a matter through to completion.
  • The ability to see past the question and understand the wider strategy.
  • The ability to think tactically to get to the best result for the Legal Department.
  • Financial services experience preferred, but not required.
  • Bachelor’s in Business, Finance, or Information Technology required, MBA or JD preferred.


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