HR Specialist

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Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full-time
Department: Human Resources
Location: London
The firm

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is one of the world’s leading international law firms. The Firm was established in 1884 and has more than 1,000 lawyers. Headquartered in New York with offices in Beijing, Brussels, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, São Paulo, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., the Firm provides coordinated legal advice and transactional capability to clients around the globe.

Description/Job Summary

To provide a comprehensive operational and strategic HR service to the London office. To act as an agent of change in the HR department and the business at large, working across all aspects of the HR function’s remit. To work in partnership with managers and partners to provide professional, customer focused HR advice and solutions that support and build organisational and people capabilities and an excellent working environment for staff.


Employee Relations and Engagement

  • To keep abreast of any developments in employment law and best practice, and to ensure that office employment policies and procedures are updated and communicate to the business to reflect any changes in legislation;
  • To provide guidance on the interpretation of HR policy to managers and partners in conjunction with UK employment law;
  • To assist with communicating and reinforcing various legal personnel policies, such as diary compliance, vacation tracking, processing and approval of related time & expenses and compliance;
  • To ensure that there is effective communication in place within the office to promote open working relationships and to support the overall collegial culture of the office;
  • To support with all performance management processes;
  • To lead on complex case management (including sickness absence and performance issues) and ensure any follow-up action is taken (e.g. occupational health referrals);
  • To assist with conduct and capability, grievance and disciplinary issues, and a broad range of employee relations matters involving all London employees; and
  • To work on initiatives that increase engagement amongst all staff.



  • To assist with all work placement arrangements; and
  • To ensure all staff receive a probationary review and to following-up on any issues where necessary.


Compensation and Benefits

  • To participate in the regular review of the office’s compensation and benefits strategy, undertaking market analyses and taking into account other relevant factors to ensure our offering is competitive;
  • To make suggestions on how the firm’s compensation and benefits offering can be improved;
  • To keep abreast of market trends in remuneration, particularly in law firms;
  • To maintain appropriate networks, in order to have a good understanding of what is happening in the market;
  • To assist with the annual salary review process for business services staff; and
  • To keep abreast of all pension legislation and ensure the firm has appropriate pension arrangements in place to reflect this.


Learning and Development and Career Progression

  • To liaise with managers and partners and assess feedback from performance reviews to identify skills gaps throughout the business and work with the learning and development manager to address this; and
  • To assist the learning and development manager with training programmes for all staff where necessary.


Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

  • To assist the diversity and inclusion manager in support of any equality, diversity and inclusion policies and procedures where necessary; and
  • To promote equality, diversity and inclusion within the Office. 


Operational Human Resources

  • Provide an effective operational HR service to the business;
  • To develop and enhance procedures in place to deal with holiday requests, absence, sickness, maternity, paternity and shared parental leave, occupational health referrals, flu jabs, flexible working requests, leaving administration, disciplinary procedures, grievances etc. where necessary;
  • To oversee the production and maintenance of HR records (including offers, contracts and any changes to terms and conditions of employment) and ensure these comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR);
  • To ensure that any changes to terms and conditions of employment are communicated to payroll if necessary;
  • To deal with any queries relating to maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption leave and pay; and
  • To manage flexible working requests.


Health and Wellbeing

  • To support the health and wellbeing of personnel through identifying need for occupational health checks, medicals, flu jabs, ergonomic assessments and insurance support; and
  • To assist with the firm’s health and wellbeing programme and implement and review  various initiatives in the London office.


Legal Personnel and Professional Development

  • To take responsibility for their professional development, ensuring they keep up to date with changes in the law and best practice which affect the effective operation of the HR function;
  • To develop and mentor the HR assistants and ensure they receive appropriate training and development;
  • To oversee new lawyer integration, including the induction programme for associates, compliance and  I.T. training;
  • To gather and analyse data linked to associate feedback  and associate retention. To suggest business improvements which can be implemented in response to this data;
  • To serve as first point of contact for associates for questions and logistics regarding departure-related responsibilities, lawyer departure, exit interview and transition.
  • To coordinate the mentoring programme; and
  • To oversee secondment arrangements.


Other duties/responsibilities

  • Contribution to any other office initiatives as and when required or requested.


This is not an exhaustive list of duties and responsibilities which may be subject to change over time.

Required Skills

Skills and experience

  • Minimum five years generalist HR experience at advisor level within legal services;
  • A Bachelor’s degree is strongly preferred;
  • CIPD qualified is strongly preferred;
  • Knowledge of current employment legislation, best practice and potential developments;
  • Knowledge of employee relations, resourcing, change management and performance management experience;
  • Knowledge of and interest in HR Systems;
  • Highly effective writing and communications skills (both verbal and written) and the ability to communicate credibly and diplomatically at all levels;
  • Ability to manipulate and present qualitative and quantitative data in a meaningful and persuasive way;
  • Excellent time management and organisation skills, and the ability to simultaneously manage multiple highly detailed projects;
  • Ability to manage a very busy workload within deadlines;
  • Excellent attention to detail and follow-through skills;
  • Ability to maintain professionalism under pressure;
  • Ability to keep confidential any information, observations or viewpoints regarding office personnel or matters;
  • Ability to solve problems on an immediate basis and work using initiative;
  • Ability to demonstrate a flexible and hands-on attitude;
  • Previous experience of working on HR systems e.g. HR Select or Workday, and the implementation of them;
  • Previous experience of international visas and international mobility; and
  • Excellent IT skills including Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel and PowerPoint).


Personal attributes

  • Approachable;
  • Good attention to detail;
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills (both written and oral), coupled with the ability to listen;
  • Willing and conscientious;
  • Calm under pressure;
  • Team player;
  • Well-presented and professional demeanour;
  • Pro-active approach;
  • Good analytical and numerical skills;
  • Commitment to support the values and activities of the office; and
  • Commitment to own personal development.
Equal Opportunities

Simpson Thacher is committed to ensuring that everyone can reach their full potential, irrespective of background, identity, or circumstance. We know that we are at our best when we bring together diverse experiences and perspectives. This is why we are focused on fostering a collegial environment which maximises collaboration, empowering every individual to thrive and succeed.