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Job Details

Vice President Legal Affairs

Company name
Commonwealth Trust Company

Wilmington, DE

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It is the responsibility of the Vice President of Legal Affairs to ensure that the company’s fiduciary responsibilities are properly discharged as they relate to the area of trust administration, that clients are served expeditiously and professionally and that the company’s business is conducted in such a way as to accomplish the clients’ goals without creating undue risk to the Company.

The Vice President of Legal Affairs is to act as lead in-house counsel for the Company. In this role, he or she will serve as the direct supervisor of a team of trust counsel. He or she will direct the management and training of this team to ensure that all trust counsel are able to provide clients with superior trust administration services. The Vice President of Legal Affairs will also be responsible for coordination of the Legal Department with other departments to ensure the effective and accurate flow of information.

Supervision of the Company’s compliance with both internal policies and external laws and regulations will also be essential. The Vice President of Legal Affairs is responsible for the on-going supervision of and review of pending litigation matters involving the Company and the trusts which it administers. Coordination with outside legal counsel and communication with in-house experts will be essential to success.

In addition, a high degree of legal ethics, excellent judgment, attention to detail, along with analytical, interpersonal, listening, oral and written communication skills are important.


Minimum JD or LLB from an accredited law school; LLM or MBA a plus.

Current admission to Bar of any state.

Minimum of ten years’ experience in the Trust & Estates group (or related area of practice) of a law firm or experience with a trust company or bank trust department. Should have familiarity with asset protection trusts and sophisticated estate planning techniques and transactional skills.

Must have excellent communications skills and be able to multi-task and work independently.


include the following. Other duties may be assigned.


Participation in quarterly Management Meetings and on-going communication amongst the management team.

Participation as a member of the Internal Trust Committee in meetings, scheduled as needed.

Participation in billing matters to ensure the accuracy of Company billing and determination of the appropriateness of “extra” billings.

Ensure the compliance of all members of the Legal Department (the “Department”) to established internal controls, policies and procedures, and external compliance requirements of the Company.

Preparation of the Departmental budget on an annual basis, as well as on-going review of the same throughout the year. As part of this function, the Vice President of Legal Affairs will also have the authority to approve/decline expense reports of direct reports.

Preparation and development of a strategic plan for the Department, including staffing needs, technological needs and ideas for professional development.

Preparation of the Department annual employee reviews as well as the provision of appropriate and timely performance feedback on an on-going basis.

Participation in the hiring, firing, promoting or other changes in the status of members of the Department, to include changes in compensation.

Motivating, leading and coaching of Department members, encouraging growth and the free-flow of ideas.

Identification of new procedures, processes streamlining, operational enhancements and efficiencies for the Department and the Company as a whole.

Review and approval of new forms and methods of utilizing relevant software to streamline processes.


Supervision and training of the Trust Counsel; specifically to ensure proper training as to all policies and procedures.

Identification of areas of growth amongst the individuals in the Department, both as a whole and individually, and on-going assistance in fostering each Department member’s potential.


Supervise Trust Counsel.

Act as a liaison between the Department and other departments within the Company to ensure the accurate flow of information.

Identify opportunities for cross training and on-going ease of inter-department communication.

Maintenance of a positive working relationship, and team building between all departments.

Coordination of time off for those in the Department to ensure appropriate coverage of work and on-going projects.

Manage and assign proposed trusts and on-going workloads to ensure the even distribution of work and the coordination of client-relationships with members of the Department.

Maintenance and oversight of the annual review process for all accounts as to the Department, to include on-going suggestions for improvements relevant to accuracy and efficiency.

General Counsel

Offer counsel on a variety of legal matters/issues involving the Company.

Identify and assess potential legal and business risks and provide guidance to senior management so as to ensure timely and appropriate response.

Research unique legal issues impacting the Company by identifying applicable statutes, judicial decisions and codes.

Keep abreast of legislative changes and trust decisions which may affect the Company and its line of business.

Coordinate litigation matters on behalf of the Company with outside counsel.

Negotiate and review contracts involving the Company.

Provide counsel and advice concerning compliance with federal and state statutes and regulations affecting the Company.

Assist in the Company audit functions.

Provide training to the Company and its personnel on substantive legal topics as needed.

Limited Trust Administration:

Review trust agreements and related documents, including partnership agreements and LLC operating agreements, with a view towards whether they are acceptable to the Company.

Work closely with clients’ attorneys and other advisors in the drafting of trusts and other legal documents, working collaboratively to assure that accounts that are to be accepted are governed by documents that adhere to the Company’s standards.

Draft releases, assignments and other documents needed in the opening, administration and closing of trust accounts.

Prepare Trust Summaries and distribute the same to the appropriate Company personnel in a timely manner.

Review discretionary requests, working with Trust Administrators to see that all information and documentation needed for an informed decision has been received and analyzed.

Adhere to all operating policies and procedures and ensure that support personnel do so, as well.


: Ability to read, analyze, and interpret requirements of trusts, wills and complex business documents. Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals.


: Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals.


Good PC skills, ability to use Microsoft Office. Past experience with trust accounting software (e.g., AccuTrust, SEI or SunGard) a plus.


: Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand and walk. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.


Job Type: Full-time

Required education:


Company info

Commonwealth Trust Company
Website :

Company Profile

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