What is business management you may ask?

Generally speaking, it means someone who has broad, overall responsibility for a business or business unit. The role is particularly common in larger organisations, but we are seeing an increase in smaller and mid-sized firms. Quite often they are organised along service lines or client groups.

The Business Manager may typically be responsible for strategy, structure, budgets, people, financial outcomes and overseeing daily operations. Quite often they will focus on one area, for example, Finance, HR, Marketing, Communication, and so on. Overall, they will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the group or business unit.

In our experience, business management encompasses many job titles and varies from business to business. But we would include within the term business management (BM) titles such as Practice Manager, Sector Business Manager and Operations Manager.  The duties of a law BM will depend upon the specific role and its purpose. No one size fits all and this can make it more difficult for a candidate to find the perfect fit.

Becoming a Business Manager


An individual in a BM role is a generalist who is familiar with all areas of the business and can coordinate processes and operations across the organisation – from business planning, operational delivery, process improvement, communication, compliance and more. 

A BM may need to speak the languages of finance and accounting, operations, sales, marketing and human resources.  If they do not specialise in one of these areas they will certainly need to have an understanding of each and how they work together. They are responsible for much of the day-to-day management of the group they work within, ensuring the correct systems and support are in place for the efficient and effective running of the group.

Your suitability


In a nutshell, what kind of people would be perfect for these roles?

Someone who has:

  • Significant experience in multi-disciplinary operational management
  • Exceptional commercial acumen
  • Strategic skills in structural and cultural management
  • Strong influencer skills
  • The ability to drive innovation, create or introduce new ideas, working methods or processes
  • The willingness to roll up their sleeves, get stuck in with first class co-ordination and communication skills, to support clients and strategise with senior partners.

As well as ….

  • A professional services background, although this is not a must.  Increasingly law firms are looking outside their sector for good candidates.

The opportunity


Why would you be interested in these types of role?

  1. Good level of autonomy within your business and the wider firm
  2. Ability to impact the strategy of the business
  3. No need to specialise – no chance of being bored!
  4. Ability to gain far-reaching industry knowledge
  5. Ability to multi-task

If you would be interested in having a chat about any aspect of your career going forwards, please get in touch with Roisin Ashmore.


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