Husch Blackwell LLP is a full-service litigation and business law firm with multiple locations across the United States, serving clients with domestic and international operations. We have an immediate opening for a Conflicts Counsel in our Kansas City, MO or St. Louis, MO office.
The Conflicts Counsel directs and conducts specific processes in the Conflicts department, including identification and resolution of conflicts of interest, preparation of conflicts waivers, ethical wall implementation, review of client contracts, and other compliance activities. The Conflicts Counsel exercises discretion and independent judgment while working under the general direction of the General Counsel (GC), the Senior Conflicts & Ethics Counsel, and established Firm policies and procedures. This position is responsible for assuring compliance with applicable Rules of Professional Conduct, assisting and managing other loss prevention functions, and assuming responsibility for portions of the operations of the Conflicts department. Essential duties are performed personally or through delegation/supervision of subordinates.
The Conflicts Counsel is a staff attorney who understands the rules that govern legal practice and can design and implement practical operational processes to ensure compliance with those rules. The Conflicts Counsel does not practice law for any client other than the Firm and maintains professionalism and strict confidentiality in all client and Firm matters. Essential job functions include:
- Maintains a thorough working knowledge of the technologies that support the daily operations of the Conflicts department, including the computerized conflict checking system.
- Serves as resource for Conflicts Analysts and support staff on legal questions involving how to run and clear conflicts of interest.
- Discusses conflict of interest and loss prevention issues with Attorneys, Conflicts Analysts, other Conflicts Counsel, the Senior Conflicts & Ethics Counsel, Assistant General Counsel, and General Counsel to identify and resolve potential conflicts of interest, while maintaining objectivity and professional independence.
- Reviews conflict of interest reports escalated for review and provides a concise and complete evaluation of potential conflict issues along with recognized steps for resolution. Documents resolutions in conflict checking system.
- Prepares all routine conflicts waivers, assists firm partners with revising waivers, identifies need for unusual conflicts waivers and assists with preparation of same, and monitors obtaining necessary waivers before matters are opened.
- Reviews closed firm matters to determine whether new matters are substantially related for conflicts purposes.
- Reviews language in waiver and engagement letters to ensure that it adequately addresses conflicts and engagement issues.
- Confirms need for ethical walls to screen individuals from particular clients and matters as part of the conflict clearing process.
- Reviews client outside counsel guidelines and engagement agreements to identify deviations from the Firm’s policies. Works with billing and relationship Partners to appropriately address deviations.
- Assists with the clearance of new hire candidates, including complete conflicts analysis and resolution, drafting engagement agreements and waivers, and working with the Intake Dept. to ensure that all cleared clients/matters are opened in a timely and efficient manner.
- Assists Client Development team and partners in reviewing and responding to Requests for Proposals and similar business opportunities.
- Maintains up-to-date knowledge of the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct as adopted in each state in which the Firm maintains an office, and jurisdictional differences in all states and practice areas in which the Firm conducts business.
- Participates in professional organizations that promote the ongoing education and development of professional ethics in the legal industry.
- Other duties as assigned by the Senior Conflicts & Ethics Counsel, the GC/AGC, Ethics Partners, or other members of Husch Blackwell leadership.
The physical activity of this position:
- Reaching. Extending hand(s) and arm(s) in any direction.
- Pushing. Using upper extremities to press against something with steady force in order to thrust forward, downward or outward.
- Pulling. Using upper extremities to exert force in order to draw, haul or tug objects in a sustained motion.
- Fingering. Picking, pinching, typing or otherwise working, primarily with fingers rather than with the whole hand as in handling.
- Grasping. Applying pressure to an object with the fingers and palm.
- Feeling. Perceiving attributes of objects, such as size, shape, temperature or texture by touching with skin, particularly that of fingertips.
- Talking. Expressing or exchanging ideas by means of the spoken word. Those activities in which they must convey detailed or important spoken instructions to other workers accurately, loudly, or quickly.
- Hearing. Perceiving the nature of sounds at normal speaking levels with or without correction. Ability to receive detailed information through oral communication, and to make the discriminations in sound.
- Repetitive Motion. Substantial movements (motions) of the wrists, hands, and/or fingers.
The physical requirements of this position:
- Sedentary work. Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time.
The visual acuity requirements including color, depth perception, and field vision:
- The worker is required to have close visual acuity to perform an activity such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal; extensive reading; visual inspection involving small defects, small parts, and/or operation of machines (including inspection); using measurement devices; and/or assembly or fabrication parts at distances close to the eyes.
The conditions the worker will be subject to in this position:
- The worker is not substantially exposed to adverse environmental conditions (such as in typical office or administrative work).
- Ability to deliver superior service to all internal and external customers and communicate effectively.
- Ability to interact in a professional and courteous manner with clients and employees at all times; professional appearance required.
- Ability to successfully perform position requirements with excellent organizational, time-management and prioritization skills required.
- Ability to work collaboratively within a team; ability and willingness to adapt to changing business demands.
- Ability to produce acceptable amount of work efficiently and accurately; ability to produce quality final work product.
- High level of professional integrity required; ability to maintain confidentiality and build trust.
- Juris Doctorate required and active Missouri law license (or active license in another state and willingness to obtain Missouri law license within one year).
- Two or more years of private practice legal experience desired, preferably in a large firm environment.
- One or more years of conflicts-related experience preferred; alternatively, 2 or more years of other risk management experience.
- Computer proficiency in all Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, and Outlook) required. Experience with on-line reference materials and Boolean searching techniques preferred.
- Ability to learn and utilize specialized internal conflict checking software. Issue tracking, follow-up, and resolution skills are essential.
- Outstanding analytical skills requiring an aptitude for detail, precision, and logic in order to conduct detailed analyses of complex conflict documentation, prior legal affiliation forms, conflict resolutions and waivers, and process large volumes of detailed confidential information.
- Ability to identify and analyze complex conflict of interest issues and problems and to recommend and implement solutions. Ability to respond effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints.
- Strong legal writing and legal research skills with the ability to translate legal requirements into plain language.
- Ability and availability to travel to other Firm locations on occasion as needed.
We offer competitive compensation and a comprehensive benefit package including medical, dental, vision, 401K, and much more.