Kerry Phillips

Kerry Phillips Secretarial Co-ordinator

Overview

Before joining Burges Salmon, I undertook a Legal Secretarial Diploma course at the City of Bristol College in 2000. In order to meet the criteria to pass the course it was necessary for me to carry out work experience at a firm of solicitors. I sent a covering letter and CV to the HR department and my work experience started in January 2001.

During this time I helped out in different departments but I found the real estate department the most interesting. At the end of my work experience I was offered full time employment within the real estate department as a junior secretary and I started in July 2001. I initially worked for a solicitor who had recently joined the firm. While working for him I undertook various training sessions which enabled me to develop my skills and gain a great understanding of the firm.

I carried on in this role until the lawyer I was working for left the firm to relocate. A vacancy then arose working for a partner who was always providing me with new challenges in order to further develop my role. The role was very varied and I really enjoyed it but after 6 years felt that I needed more of a challenge so I applied for an internal vacancy as PA to the director of human resources, director of knowledge management and head of best practice. My application was successful and I became a central PA.

My main duties were diary management, minute taking and general PA administration. During this time I became very interested in the learning and development aspect of HR and became responsible for organising and facilitating development centres (a day designed specifically to develop our senior associate lawyers). This role was extremely varied and challenging and the amount of experience I gained was invaluable. It also helped me understand that the development of people was something I was really interested in and that I wanted more opportunity to lead and develop a team.

In August 2011, I applied for a position as a central co-ordinator. This role involved acting as first line manager to teams of secretaries during other coordinator absences. This central role gave me exposure to various legal departments within the firm and enabled me to build my confidence.

In 2013 I had a short break to have my first child and I returned in 2014 as co-ordinator to the projects department. I am now responsible for a team of 10 secretaries, one administrator and two document specialists. My role involves day-to-day management of my team, responsibility for their performance and development, workflow coordination and absence management. I thoroughly enjoy my role and look forward to further developing myself in the future.