The bank for a changing world

We are looking for

Senior Managing Counsel - Commercial and Corporate Support

Apply REF: 045046

What sets Bank of the West apart from other banks is our team members – they embody the optimistic spirit of the West. There is a spirit here that drives us to do more. Our team of more than 10,000 employees is vital to the success of our Bank. They reflect our modern western values—straightforward, entrepreneurial and optimistic. We seek to create a corporate culture that fosters and rewards excellence, encourages creative thinking and respects diversity – an environment where team members are engaged, supportive of one another and enthusiastic about serving our customers. Bank of the West offers the stability of a company that has a 135 year history and is part of BNP Paribas, a European leader in global banking and financial services and one of the 6 strongest banks in the world. We offer opportunities across our diverse business lines – Retail Banking, Commercial Banking, Personal Finance, and Wealth Management.

Position Summary

Lead and develop a diverse team of in-house lawyers, paralegals and team members who are responsible for managing a number of the Bank’s legal issues across a broad group of areas which may include commercial, litigation, human resources and other corporate support areas.  The holder of this position will be a changemaker who will serve a critical role in providing legal support in the Bank’s transformation. Duties may include counseling executives on those issues, while identifying emerging risks and proposing risk mitigation strategies; strategic direction on the Department’s delivery model and change management strategies; ensure that the Department delivers cost-effective solutions, while supporting a data-driven Department and providing greater visibility into legal work for the business; serve as stakeholder on high-profile projects; manage law firm vendors and legal spend; own and execute on Department policies, goals and budget.  As a senior legal official within a vertically integrated global legal team, work closely with colleagues in Americas Legal and Group LEGAL, and assist the General Counsel with special projects relating to Global collaboration.

Essential Job Functions

  • Leadership:  Develop, retain and lead a diverse, engaged and high performing team of in-house attorneys, paralegals and staff, with the expertise and drive to provide legal support on those areas of responsibility across the Bank.  Deliver frequent, interactive and transparent Legal Team communications.

  • Provision of legal services:  Provide clear, prompt and accurate legal counsel to internal clients.  Counsel senior executives on significant legal matters within their units, including emerging risks and risk-mitigation strategies.  Support the General Counsel, ensuring that she is timely apprised of material legal developments; ensure legal support for key initiatives at Bank of the West, BNP Paribas USA or BNP Paribas.

  • Strategic role:  Assist in developing Legal Department goals, plans, policies, organization, controls, and strategic direction.  Provide strategic direction on enabling a more data-driven Department, adapting legal team technology, providing greater visibility into legal work for the business units, and designing data strategies to support business strategies.  Participate in developing the Legal Department’s budget, and change management strategies, programs and operations to meet objectives.  Participate in planning and forecasting Bank-wide legal expenses.  Oversee management of the Department’s legal operations, working with the Department Legal Operations Manager and Business Analyst, both of whom report to this position.

  • Risk management:  Minimize the Bank’s legal risk, ensure that the Bank’s products and services are provided in accordance with legal requirements, encourage preventative measures and identify trends and emerging risks.  Strategic direction on litigation, threatened claims, regulatory enforcement actions and key Bank projects to avoid legal liability, reputational harm and monetary exposure.

  • Law firm management:  Manage the process for overseeing the Legal Department’s law firm vendors to ensure that the Bank retains highly qualified attorneys who are efficient, responsive and cost effective.  Oversee the Legal Department’s Outside Counsel Guidelines and approved counsel list.  Monitor and respond to trends in external legal spend.

  • Reporting:  Oversee clear, timely and trend-based reporting to assess and mitigate legal risk, measured by Key Risk Indicators (KRIs), litigation and commercial lending volumes, settlement expenses, litigation reserves and legal risk inventories, and consumer and HR-related claims.

  • People care/lead by example:  Acknowledge and accept workplace flexibility, urge innovation, and honor hard work.  Respect Legal Team members, promote equal opportunities, acknowledge performance, develop talents and skills, model good conduct by respecting laws and regulations, act in a socially responsible way, striving to ensure that Legal Team members do the same.

  • Performs other duties as assigned


Job Specifications 

  • Minimum of 10 years prior relevant experience in private practice or in an in-house legal department.  In-house experience a plus.

  • Ideal candidate would have broad-based corporate legal experience, including familiarity with legal issues arising from some combination of the following: commercial, human resources, litigation and/or other corporate support areas  


  • Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school

  • Candidate must be a member of the State Bar or otherwise qualified to practice law in as a registered in-house counsel in that state in which he or she is employed



  • Excellent analytical thinking and decision-making

  • Ability to drive results with  focus on customer service

  • Client service-oriented

  • Excellent and effective verbal and written communication

  • Good knowledge of corporate business and associated risks

  • Resource management

  • Knowledge of laws and regulations impacting financial institutions is preferred, but not essential

  • Team Player

  • Excellent interpersonal skills  


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed.  They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of personnel so classified.


Equal Employment Opportunity Policy 


Bank of the West is an Equal Opportunity employer and proud to provide equal employment opportunity to all job seekers without regard to any status protected by applicable law.   Bank of the West is also an Affirmative Action employer - Minority / Female / Disabled / Veteran.  Bank of the West will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance subject to the requirements of all state and federal laws and regulations.


Primary Location: United States-California-San FranciscoJob Type: Full-timeJob: Legal