Head of HR – Global Transactions (12 month FTC)

November 13, 2023

Job Description

Job title: Head of HR – Global Transactions (12 month FTC)

Company: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Job description: Role summary/purpose of job

The Head of HR – Global Transactions will focus on the development and implementation of a progressive people strategy for their Practice Group globally including providing strategic support to the Global Practice Group Leader and Partners and successfully delivering strategic change initiatives. They will take personal responsibility for effecting people and HR function change working closely as a strategic advisor to the Practice Group Leader for all significant people priorities.

The Head of HR – GT will work closely with the Head of HR – US, and with the Global Chief People Officer and HR Leadership team to deliver the global people strategy and will draw on expertise from the specialists in the Global Centres of Expertise and champion the new operating model using HR Shared Services and HR Technology.

Function Overview

The HR function partners with all areas of the business to deliver against our core strategic priorities of providing a culture we care about; outstanding career development; an inclusive working environment; and a rewarding deal for all. We promote a culture of continuous improvement and embrace innovative ways of working to ensure we keep pace and remain competitive within the rapidly evolving market we operate within.

HR Business Partnering creates value for the firm by attracting and developing the best talent, building a culture of high achievement, and delivering excellent HR processes. Supporting over 2800 lawyers, working in 150+ countries across 5 different Practice Groups – Antitrust, Competition & trade, Dispute Resolution, Global Transactions, People & Reward and Tax.

Key responsibilities and deliverables

· Play an active and highly participative role as a member of the Practice Group leadership, contributing effectively at the highest level

· Provide strategic HR support and advice to the Practice Group Leader and partners

· Provide leadership and mentoring to the Practice Group HR Business Partners, resulting in regular engagement with partners across the Practice Group and take the necessary action to ensure the function is an effective and respected business partner

· Drive people and organisational initiatives that contribute actively to a ‘one firm’ approach across Freshfields

· Develop ways to reinforce important elements of our culture with a view to continually striving to improve behaviours, encourage respect, modernising the way we work and further supporting progressive working practices trusting the team and colleagues

· Develop and deliver the HR strategy ensuring global alignment across Practice Groups where required and local coordination

· Develop and provide reliable core people data to facilitate effective analysis and insight about the business enabling people decisions to be taken at the right time

· Conduct regular reviews of the staffing model and make recommendations for changes to reflect the future business plans and the need to attract, retain and develop top local and international talent

· Support the internal promotions process for Partnership and Counsel (P&C)

· Facilitate the delivery of an effective performance management approach that drives excellent performance. Coach partners and others in giving effective feedback, including the annual 360 process

· Build relationships with the HR Leadership team, connect on a regular basis, manage interfaces with HR contacts across the function and contribute to global HR projects

· Facilitate the implementation of the firm’s approach to diversity and inclusion both in its attraction of new talent and in retention and development of existing staff

· Facilitate effective communication and engagement between the Practice Group and global HR

· Manage the Global Practice Group HR people budget

Key requirements

Key attributes will include:

Actively explore new ideas and push boundaries; display comfort with risks and has confidence that possibilities are endless

Thrive in a collaborative environment and prioritise relationships with colleagues to ensure successful deployment of talent solutions throughout the business

Passionate, challenge yourself to constantly improve, and share your knowledge to empower others

A global perspective and a good understanding of the various cultural differences that exist

Able to demonstrate the ability to work effectively with diverse workforce and provide leadership in organisational transformation

Strong work ethic: a high energy, highly motivated, team player and leader

Well-reasoned, logical, and concise communication style, capable of persuading a highly intellectual client base

Excellent organisational skills and attention to detail, with the ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines with a flexible and professional approach

Strong communication and presentation skills with the ability to independently chair meetings/forums and engage senior stakeholders

Set standards of performance, appraises, evaluates and feeds back effectively, imparting difficult messages courageously and frankly, whilst respecting the collegiate nature of a legal partnership

Thoughtful, tactful, consultative, and diplomatic, but nevertheless action orientated

Consultative, with a willingness to listen and ability to communicate effectively on an empathetic but practical level, gaining early buy-in and enthusiasm for ideas and future plans

A pragmatic modus operandi firmly rooted in the commercial realities of the modern law firm and of the firm’s business objectives

Natural networking and relationship-building skills, able to work effectively in the people-sensitive environment of a partnership

An international perspective and a good understanding of the various cultural differences that exist

Creativity: avoiding being reactive or hidebound by norms, whilst considering the political nuances of a partnership

A high level of personal integrity and confidentiality


Qualification in Business or People Management (such as MBA, CIPD, CHRO)

An experienced HR leader who has gained significant exposure to “best practice” HR methodologies

A considerable number of years HR experience in an international organisation in a senior HR leadership position where HR is a respected business partner, contributing on a consultative and participative basis to business success and introducing and embedding best practice

Has worked internationally, in different countries

A strong HR generalist with exposure to organisational and leadership development, succession planning, performance management, compensation & benefits and experience managing sensitive people related matters

Relevant transformation experience in managing organisational / people change

Excellent interpersonal skills with a track record of effectiveness as a people leader, team player and project leader who gets results

Flexibility and ability to adapt to and drive results under changing conditions

Experience influencing and building credibility with stakeholders across all levels

Capacity to effectively initiate relationships and build rapport with senior leadership

Excellent with written and oral communication, including persuasive negotiation skills

Fluency in spoken and written English, proficiency in other languages advantageous

Freshfields Overview

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is a major international law firm, providing business law advice of the highest quality. We want to be the law firm that clients turn to for legal advice where it most matters, wherever in the world that may be. The Firm has over 2,400 lawyers in 28 offices around the world, providing a comprehensive service to national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments.

Our people make our firm – we are a people business and want to create a welcoming and supportive environment where all can flourish. We see diversity as a strength which creates fresh perspectives and generates new ideas. We enjoy our work and are determined to do an outstanding job. We deliver best when working in teams. Our culture is a product of the combined mindsets and behaviours of our people which is through the Being Freshfields principles, outlined below:

we show respect to everyone

we are there for one another

we are open with each other

we are positive role models

We think and work globally – we don’t just say we are one firm; we act like one firm right across the world. We work wherever our clients need us. This is how we define ourselves, not by reference to where we have offices. Cross-border work isn’t just what we do, it is what we excel at. We understand what it really takes to work across different legal systems and commercial environments and to bridge language and cultural gaps.

We aim to add value in everything we do – we are passionate about helping our clients succeed. We use our experience and creativity to help clients make judgements and achieve their goals. In everything we do, we seek to make a real difference to the communities in which we operate.

Freshfields is committed to promoting equality and diversity and to developing a culture that values differences, recognising that employees from a variety of backgrounds make important and positive contributions to our business and how we service our clients.


Freshfields is an equal opportunities employer and all applications received by the firm will be considered by the firm on the basis of their merit alone and we welcome applications from all suitably qualified individuals regardless of background. All offers of employment will be conditional on the candidate having/securing the right to work in the UK and providing the firm with evidence of that right (as required by the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006) prior to employment commencing.

Freshfields is a Ban the Box employer. We ask applicants to disclose criminal convictions only when a conditional job offer is made. A conviction does not automatically lead to withdrawal of the offer: we make decisions on a case by case basis and take a number of factors into account (eg the role you are applying for and the circumstances of the offence). You would have the opportunity to discuss the matter with us before we make a decision.

Expected salary:

Location: London

Job date: Sun, 05 Nov 2023 23:04:31 GMT

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