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Job Title Head of Financial Crime
Job Location London
Job Category Business Services
Practice Group Banking & Finance - Banking
Support Department Risk & Compliance

Role Purpose

To provide specialist advice and support to the London Office of Baker McKenzie (the "Firm") (MLCO, MLRO, Partners, lawyers, and business services professionals) on all aspects of financial crime regulations, including AML and Sanctions advice.

We are looking for applicants who are either currently engaged as a Financial Crime lawyer, Head of Financial Crime, or equivalent, or working as a private practice financial crime/financial services Associate and looking for an alternative career path. In all cases, a good understanding of the types of clients, transactions, and matters being advised upon by an international firm and a good working knowledge of new business intake/onboarding controls and processes are key.

The successful applicant will work closely with the Risk & Compliance team, the Firm's MLRO and MLCO as well as the Firm's Partners and the global AML and New Business Intake team.

The Risk & Compliance team is led by the General Counsel/Head of Risk & Compliance/MLCO, and comprises one Senior Risk Lawyer, two Risk Lawyers, an AML Compliance Manager, a Deputy AML Compliance Manager a team of AML Analysts, a Paralegal, and one PA.

Main Responsibilities

  • Act as a subject-matter expert and adviser to the Firm on the Firm's compliance with anti-money laundering and sanctions laws and obligations
  • Day-to-day management of the London AML team will reside with the AML Compliance Manager, but the successful candidate will act as manager and sounding board to the AML Compliance Manager and will assist in the analysis of complex CDD/risk assessment queries
  • Responsible (in collaboration with the MLCO) for oversight, review, and refresh of the Firm's AML and Sanctions policies, controls, and procedures
  • Responsible (in collaboration with the MLCO) for oversight, review, and refresh of the Firm's Firmwide Risk Assessment
  • Keep up to date with developments in financial crime laws and legal sector guidance and ensuring the Firm's PCPs are updated in line with the same
  • Support the MLCO with evaluation and advice in respect of reputational risk issues presented by high-risk new and existing clients and matters
  • Support the MLRO with analysis of internal suspicious activity reports (SARs) and assisting with drafting SARs for submission
  • Assist the MLCO and MLRO with responding to requests for information from law enforcement (production orders) and regulatory requests from the SRA
  • Lead on the instruction of the Firm's regular independent AML audit and the implementation of recommendations provided by the auditor
  • Responsible for designing, leading, and supporting the AML team with the delivery of the programme of AML/Sanctions training the Firm and the AML team
  • Work with the Firm's global AML and NBI teams to share knowledge, work on European-wide projects, and support compliance with good practice across the global Firm

About The Team


The London Risk & Compliance team has a wide remit, including fulfilling the following functions:

  • Firm risk management
  • Legal, regulatory, and policy compliance
  • General Counsel and advisory
  • Partnership Secretariat
  • Business Protection

This role will report to the General Counsel/Head of Risk & Compliance/MLCO and MLRO.

The direct report of this role is the AML Compliance Manager.

The key relationships of this role are with the London AML team, London Risk & Compliance team, London office Partners, Managing Partner, fee earners, and business service professionals, Global AML and NBI team.

About The Candidate

Technical skills, qualifications and experience

  • Qualified lawyer with approx. 5+ PQE and experience operating as a Financial Crime lawyer, whether in Private Practice or within a Law Firm environment
  • Background/experience in a City/international law firm and/or leading regional firm environment
  • Ability to work well in a team environment whilst building excellent working relationships with other departments and stakeholders across the office
  • Commercially minded with experience in drafting policies and advice with good attention to detail and commercial judgment
  • Strong academic background and written and oral communication skills
  • Confidence in working with and advising Partners/senior stakeholders across the Firm including globally
  • Confidence in public speaking to a range of audiences
  • Show respect and enjoy the diversity of cultural, social, and academic backgrounds found in the Firm

Personal qualities

These personal qualities represent the shared characteristics of high performers across Baker McKenzie, regardless of job level and location.

Know how

  • Demonstrates the ability to identify the real issue, and to anticipate requirements and potential consequences; distills a range of possibilities by thinking in a considered, prudent manner
  • Has the capacity to take on new ideas and develop knowledge and think holistically about business and address media, analyst, employee, and client audiences
  • Able to move through a variety of tasks requiring different approaches, knowledge, and expertise, with the agility of mind and capacity for analysis and synthesis


  • Driven by a strong personal sense of integrity and upholds exemplary quality standards
  • Prepares thoroughly, takes responsibility, uses initiative and is self reliant to ensure work progresses to the fullest extent possible
  • Hardworking and diligent with a keen understanding of client demands
  • Demonstrates composure when dealing with difficult situations

Personal Impact

  • Uses complex, coordinated influencing/negotiation strategies, adapted to people, organizations, and/or the situation, e.g. networks
  • Leverages direct reports to facilitate increased collaboration across the organization
  • Builds partnerships based on a common agreement that acknowledges individual differences but creates a new commonality beyond root belief large-scale
  • Creates a positive impression at all times; develops relationships through collaboration and reciprocity
  • Negotiates to achieve mutually satisfactory outcomes; shows good judgment on when to stand strong and when to compromise
  • Invests in, nurtures, and builds a network of productive relationships


  • Respectful to others, regardless of their position, and earns the respect of others by being transparent
  • Has care and concern for others and a genuine interest in others as people
  • Treats delicate or confidential issues with grace and discretion.

Why Join Us?

Baker McKenzie is a truly global law firm. Founded in 1949, we advise many of the world's most dynamic and successful business organisations through our 13,200 people in 74 offices in 45 countries. Yet big does not mean impersonal. We work hard to ensure that everyone knows their role and has the support they need to perform it to the highest standard. Our culture encourages this - how we work, think and behave in a collaborative and fulfilling way.

In London you will be part of a 1,000 person office, which is also our largest office globally. Originally opened in 1961, Baker McKenzie London is well established in the UK as a leading international law firm and is regularly involved in some of the country's most high-profile legal matters. We can offer you the work, pride and experience of being part of a leading law firm but in a local office environment that is hardworking, friendly and supportive.

The strength of the firm and our culture is evidenced by a number of recent awards, including:

  • Thomson Reuters (formerly Acritas' Sharplegal) Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index, 2010- 2022 - ranked 1st
  • The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers 2021-2022: currently ranked 52nd
  • Thomson Reuters ranked the Firm No. 1 for cross-border deals for the last 12 years. More than 70% of our deals are cross-border.
  • For the 14th consecutive year, the Firm was ranked first for deals with emerging market involvement, by both number of announced and completed deals.
  • Law360 ranked the Firm as one of the 400 Largest US Law Firms in in its annual survey in 2020.
  • Identified as one of the Hall of Fame for best law firms for women by Working Mother magazine, 2011-2021.
  • Received a a Gold Award in Stonewall's Global Workplace Equality Index of Top Global Employers for LGBTQ+ Inclusion.
  • Ranked as one of the Top 20 Employers in the 2023 Social Mobility Employer Index.
  • Received Double Certification for earning top marks in the 2022 Corporate Equality Index and Equidad MX of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
  • Winner of the Europe Mentorship Programme - International Firm award in the Euromoney Women in Business Law Europe Awards 2021
  • Winner of the Gender Diversity International Firm, Talent Management International Firm, and Work-Life Balance International Firm awards in the Euromoney Women in Business Law Asia Awards 2021

Have a look at our YouTube channel to find out more about us!

To Apply

Please click on the Apply icon to start the online application process for this role. We will then be in touch with you once we have reviewed your application.

For more information about this position or to discuss any adjustments you may require during the process please contact in confidence, David Roberts, Recruitment Manager, at David.Roberts@bakermckenzie.com

Please review our Applicant Privacy Notice here


Please note Baker McKenzie does not accept unsolicited CVs. Please click here for details of our Agency Policy and commitment to sourcing directly.

Commitment to Inclusion, Diversity & Equity

As the first truly global law firm, diversity and inclusion are foundational to our culture and strategic vision. We are a Firm of individuals from across the globe with different backgrounds, ideas, and points of view who collegially work together to solve complex problems and design practical solutions for our clients. Our multiple perspectives come from many sources, including the diverse ethnicity, culture, gender, nationality, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, parental status, education, social background and life experience of our people.

Our global strategy is focused on our people, our culture, our clients and the communities where we operate. In 2019 we enacted ambitious new targets related to gender, racial and ethnic diversity at the Firm. These targets are viewed as a floor, not a ceiling, to advancing underrepresented groups, and they are backed by a variety of strategic initiatives aimed at achieving our goals. Our strategic vision is supported in London by six active employee led networks which champion diversity, lead on a number of internal campaigns and deliver a range of activity to celebrate differences in identity, inclusion, and key dates throughout the year including: LGBT+ History Month, International Women's Day, International Trans Day of Visibility, Mental Health Awareness Week, Pride, Black History Month, Social Mobility Week, International Day of Disabled Persons and many more!

Baker McKenzie London has been accredited by Disability Confident, joining over 18,000 organisations that have signed up to help change behaviours and cultures in businesses, networks and communities and reap the benefits of inclusive recruitment practices.