Client: Spruson & Ferguson
REF: 22960

Spruson & Ferguson is one of the largest intellectual property (IP) service providers in the Asia-Pacific with more than 480 staff working from offices in Australia, China (Beijing and Hong Kong), Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand as well as direct filing capabilities in Brunei, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Spruson & Ferguson provides a comprehensive range of services for the protection, commercialisation, enforcement and management of all forms of intellectual property. Being the first IP firm in the Asia-Pacific to have a fully-integrated structure across 9 offices, Spruson & Ferguson gives real meaning to the term “One-Stop-Shop”.

The Opportunity

At Spruson & Ferguson, the Engineering & ICT (EICT) practice is a strong and highly valued team with one of the most diversely qualified group of patent attorneys and unrivalled technical knowledge in the region. The firm is now looking for an experienced Practice Group Leader to join the team in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, Australia. The Practice Group Leader for EICT will be responsible for leading the financial and operational performance of the Practice Group; delivering the Practice Group’s annual business objectives plan and, as part of the broader leadership group, contributing to the achievement of the Firm’s broader strategic objectives. In conjunction with the Managing Director, the Practice Group Leader is responsible for managing the performance and development of principals across the critical streams of client leadership, people leadership, business acumen and strategic thinking.

The key responsibilities will include the following:

  • Drive the financial and operational performance of the Practice Group in order to deliver on EBITDA and market share growth expectations;
  • In conjunction with Finance, Marketing & Business Development and HR, develop and deliver plans to achieve financial, client/business development and people key performance indicators;
  • In conjunction with the Managing Director, develop and deliver initiatives for the future growth of the Practice Group;
  • In conjunction with the Head of Operations ensure that all WIP, invoicing, and debtor management in the Practice Group is actively managed as a priority;
  • Act as a champion and leader of firmwide and group change initiatives within the practice group;
  • Oversee international travel planning in the practice group and ensure an appropriate ROI is delivered from such expenditure;
  • Provide visible and effective leadership to all staff across the Practice Group, either directly or indirectly through other People Leaders within the Practice Group, to build and maintain a highly engaged and performing team;
  • Manage labour resources within allocated budgets;
  • Act as the custodian of the Firm’s Values and brand;
  • Implement and coordinate specific marketing and business development activities designed to increase brand awareness and revenue across the Practice Group in conjunction with the Marketing and Business Development team;
  • Work with relevant stakeholders to improve client engagement and client experience;
  • Ensure the Practice Group’s adherence to the IPH Group and member firm standards, best practice processes, audit outcomes and increased compliance;
  • Working with the Managing Director and other relevant stakeholders, contribute to the monitoring and management of media stories relevant to the Practice Groups;
  • Represent the Firm on appropriate external groups and professional bodies;
  • Develop an annual Practice Group business plan with robust cost/ benefit analysis and market insight that aligns to the member firm’s two to three year strategic plan;
  • Ensure the Practice Group business plan is translated into annual Practice Group and operational outcomes that support EBITDA and market share growth;
  • Ensure internal operations and processes are set and when appropriate adjusted to meet the firm’s business plan;
  • With the Head of Operations and Managing Director regularly review the external environment for opportunities to foster growth, profitability and strategies that enhance organisational efficiencies; and
  • Manage a portfolio of client files throughout the full client life cycle (from dealing with new client enquiries through to the resolution of the matter and closure of the file).

The Candidate

This position requires an exceptional IP leader with a pragmatic, business-oriented, hands-on approach, as well as the ability to make complex decisions, support the team in the same, and provide business-focused IP advice and counselling and furthermore requires:

  • Highly effective communication skills (verbal and written);
  • Highly developed negotiation and problem-solving skills;
  • Ability to build and maintain rapport and effective relationships with internal and external key stakeholders;
  • A demonstrated commitment to delivering exceptional service levels to clients and quality outcomes for both our clients and the Firm;
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy; and
  • Analytical skills for review of process and structure.

The successful candidate will have the following expertise:

  • The ability when necessary to pivot from thinking strategically to acting operationally;
  • Registered Patent or Trade Mark Attorney or Lawyer with relevant experience;
  • Tertiary Qualifications in Business or relevant Post Graduate qualification (desirable);
  • Significant and proven experience in the management and leadership of a professional services environment;
  • Demonstrated experience in a leadership capacity;
  • An exceptional communicator with the ability to build and maintain effective relationships with external partner organisations operating within a complex environment;
  • Excellent working knowledge of current trends and initiatives;
  • Proven project management skills; and Budget/P&L Management skills.

If you would like to explore this opportunity further, please contact

Rene Chung

Partner & Practice Head - IP Licensing

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