Director, Legal Services Team

American Express
United Kingdom
09 Mar 2018
17 Mar 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

American Express is a global service company, providing customers with exceptional access to products and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Each day, we make it easier, safer and more rewarding for consumers and businesses to purchase the things they need and for merchants to sell their goods and services, enabling them to do and achieve more.


The General Counsel's Organisation (GCO) is American Express' in-house global legal team providing support to its business partners.

The Legal Services Team (LST) is a subset of the GCO - based in London and comprised of approximately 15 permanent and non-permanent team members. LST members include legal advisors and company secretarial staff from diverse backgrounds at a range of levels. The LST provides English language support to all business areas across International (Non-US) business.

The LST was formed to increase capacity, create efficiencies, optimise knowledge management, free up the time of the broader (non-LST) GCO and save on outside counsel expense. Roles in the LST's legal workflow team are unique because of the exposure to a broad range of business areas. LST members are energised and engaged - together actively working towards progressing the team to the next stage of development.

Further, the LST acts as a hub for innovation to promote thinking and initiatives around legal technology and new ways of working for lawyers.

The Director of the Legal Services Team reports to Peter Drunkenmoelle who sits on the International Leadership Team and reports to Tim Ehinger, Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel - International who is based in London. Tim reports to Laureen Seeger in New York who is General Counsel and Executive Vice President of American Express Company

Principal Accountabilities

This leadership role entails:

  • Leading the managers of the legal workflow, company secretarial/ regulatory development monitoring team members
  • Recruiting new permanent and non-permanent legal staff as required
  • Leading the LST through next stage of evolution including continuing development of the LST's 'vision'; proactively pursuing the goal of the LST - to preserve, foster and improve efficiency and effectiveness; assessing, planning and rolling-out the LST's international footprint
  • Strategically working with colleagues locally and in other countries to enhance integration with the LST
  • Supporting the team in delivering quality and timely legal support across all lines of business - in broad terms, responsibility includes helping the business to ensure its business activities are conducted in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, and identification and effective management of legal risks arising from these activities. Including:
  • the full range of commercial contracts including leading drafting and negotiating outsourcing, co-brand, distribution, procurement, sponsorship and services agreements, drafting and improving contract templates and advising on interpretation of existing agreements;
  • supporting business projects and initiatives at UK, EMEA and International level, including new product development, business re-engineering initiatives, marketing and digital initiatives;
  • partnering and aligning with local market, EMEA and International GCO, compliance and operational risk teams as necessary in support of business, GCO, compliance and operational risk initiatives;
  • effective partnering with other relevant support functions in management and resolution of projects and initiatives (eg risk, government affairs, finance, etc);
  • carrying out legal research.
  • This position will be supported by an Executive Assistant shared by other London-based leaders. In addition, GCO resources are in place to assist in managing budgets.

Offer of employment with American Express is conditioned upon the successful completion of a background verification check, subject to applicable laws and regulations.

Ideal Candidate Skills and Expertise:

  • Experience leading and developing a team (ideally a team of legally qualified personnel
  • Desirable but not essential: English Law - or equivalent - legal qualification
  • Significant post qualification experience including in-house experience, or equivalent seniority if not legally qualified (We would envisage the successful candidate having at least 10 years post qualified experience or equivalent
  • Fluent in English
  • Familiarity with commercial legal environment
  • Experience in managing budgets, both internal such as travel and expense related as well as external such as external counsel related

Ideal Personal Attributes

  • An experienced and strong people leader who embraces innovation and change, someone who can think outside the box.
  • Energised team leader
  • Genuine desire to nurture and develop talent
  • Demonstrated interest and ability to do things in a different way
  • Excellent drafting and budget management skills
  • Attention to detail and quality of work product
  • Good prioritisation skills and effective multi-tasking of a heavy workload
  • Balanced approach to risk management
  • Ability to seamlessly work in a matrix structure and the flexibility and willingness to add new subject areas to portfolio
  • Strategic thinker (creative, flexible, open minded) with good business understanding and excellent analytical skills
  • Strong relationship skills (ability to influence and positively challenge demanding client base while forging strong relationships) with proven ability to take business orientated approach and to "get things done"
  • Good team player and self-starter
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Able to communicate clearly, concisely, effectively and persuasively with clients, senior business and GCO management and external parties, both orally and in writing
  • Ability to adapt communication style to a broad mix of people and personalities
  • Confident presentation skills
  • Ability to stand his or her ground in difficult and challenging situations and able at times to handle pressure from business clients
  • High levels of engagement and autonomy
  • Able and willing to work both as part of a team and independently with minimal supervision

Why American Express?

Talk to our people and you'll find out what we're really all about. Open, creative, risk-taking, collaborative and innovative are just some of the expressions you'll hear. It's our culture that makes American Express an outstanding place to work, and a big part of why we regularly win best workplace awards all over the world including recognition amongst the World's Best Multinational Workplaces by Great Place to Work and Glassdoor's 2017 Best Places to Work. If you're ready to take on a challenge

To complete your application please click on the links below. However, if you require any assistance with the completion of this process - or need any reasonable adjustments to be made - then please contact the Recruitment Team on or (for Russia based candidates ).

Schedule (Full-Time/Part-Time): Full-time

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