Chief Operating Officer

Monday 06 Mar 2023

Ref: 556

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Totum Partners are delighted to be working with Dehns, a 40 partner, 250+ headcount patent and trademark attorneys, on the appointment of a new firmwide Chief Operating Officer. Replacing someone retiring, this is a board level hire. During his tenure the current incumbent has played a consistent and important role in the ongoing success of the firm. Having recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary, protecting the firm’s legacy and creating future growth and prosperity remains the senior management team’s key priorities. They recognise the critical importance of recruiting someone with the expertise, ability and drive to fill this strategically vital position. As one of Europe’s largest Intellectual Property firms finding someone to lead and develop the business support infrastructure in a growingly complex environment is now a priority.


The Dehns Chief Operating Officer (COO) has oversight of all the non-fee earning teams in the firm. Totalling just over 100 members of staff, the team members sit in various locations in the firm’s six UK offices. The management team within this structure are experts in their respective areas and the COO is relied on for coordinating them to achieve firmwide goals; overseeing and leading major projects; reviewing and updating the teams’ structures; acting as the conduit with the business support teams and the board; and giving ongoing advice, guidance and leadership to the Heads of Departments and their reports. The new COO will be expected to substantially contribute to the regular senior management discussions, including Management Board and Equity Partner meetings, giving support and opinion in the development and implementation of the firm’s strategy. The Partners will look to the COO to provide high level financial review of all strategic and operational plans, explaining the potential risk and reward for them in a coherent, comprehensive manner. There remains an appetite to continue to grow the firm’s headcount and revenue in a sustainable way and the COO will play an important part in making sure that these plans are seen through in a prudently ambitious fashion. As well as the six locations in the UK, Dehns also has German and Norwegian offices and the COO will have responsibility and influence over how these operates. The role holder will offer support and advice when required either directly or via members of the teams below them.


Applicants for this opportunity should have previous experience of working in a role managing all or a good proportion of the business support functions within a professional services partnership environment of at least a similar size as Dehns. Because of the reliance on the COO to provide the senior level financial analysis and advice, either an accounting qualification or high quality accounting expertise is required. Prior experience of working in a senior leadership role during a time of expansion is highly desirable, any demonstration of designing and implementing new processes and systems to cater for growth being of particular interest. Dehns has a collaborative, progressive environment and as well as hiring individuals who are talented and ambitious, it also provides a friendly, respectful space for its staff to flourish in. Any applicants will be expected to consistently operate in this way.


Equal Opportunities

As a responsible business, it is important that we represent the diversity of our people, our clients and our communities. We believe that the firms that thrive are those with the most diverse team; that's why we work so hard to source the best talent from the broadest pool possible. As an equal opportunities employer we strive to accommodate anyone who may have specific needs. If you require reasonable adjustments to be made during the selection process, please talk to a member of the recruitment team so that any required adjustments can be made in advance.