The PA’s guide to managing increased legislation

Written by: Caroline Rhodes, DMJ Legal
Published on: 29 Nov 2012

Caroline Rhodes

Caroline is a consultant at DMJ Legal, part of DMJ Recruitment.

She began her career at DMJ Legal in 2010 and her team focuses on placing legal secretaries and other support candidates into some of the top UK and US law firms. Prior to joining DMJ Recruitment, Caroline spent four years working in both financial and legal recruitment.   


Legal professionals working within financial services say the uncertainty surrounding regulatory changes and the instability of the euro are their biggest challenges today.

But what can PAs do to ensure that their company adheres to the constantly changing legal framework? 

The relative ambiguity of ongoing legislative amendments, such as the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), Know Your Customer (KYC) and the associated Anti Money Laundering (AML) guidelines may seem overwhelming. But it is essential that PAs have a grasp of current and incoming legislation to be able to fulfill their function of organising back office operations.  

Support staff’s role in assisting legal and financial professionals in managing increased legislation is vital. Without efficient PAs, businesses would grind to a standstill and it is your responsibility to ease the burden on your employer. Your boss should feel safe in the knowledge that you are up to the challenge of managing any additional administrate support that incoming regulations create.

For this reason, it is essential that you have the ability to understand new terminology and have a good understanding of today’s legislative procedures. This may require a little extra-curricular reading. But regulatory bodies publish proposals online, and by taking the initiative to study any recently published papers you can keep one step ahead of the game. This will not only instil confidence in your superiors, but also make your job easier long-term.

By fully understanding what is expected of your organisation you can put sound systems in place to guarantee that your company adheres to the rules. PAs are on the frontline of managing the implementation of organisational systems. And by keeping records up to date, you can safeguard your team from any future fallout from missing documentation. For example, you should be nothing less than meticulous when filling KYC identification, as errors in this area could have serious financial implications for investors, your organisation and you further down the line. You are in a position of trust and your value lies in your efficiency.

It sometimes seems like working as a PA becomes more demanding all the time. But taking responsibility for your team can elevate your position within the company and prove highly rewarding. 

The sustainability and growth of any successful city firm relies on a strong backbone of senior support staff to navigate administrative challenges. By maintaining a high level of knowledge and organisation you can ensure that ongoing regulatory changes have little impact on your business.

Having a clear and thorough understanding of industry legalities will help to cement your role as a vital cog within the wheel of your team. And managing difficult assignments with ease will help you to prove your worth as you climb the career ladder.

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