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London, UK
Practice manager
at David Kohn Architects

David Kohn Architects is looking for a practice manager to join its team in London.

Role: practice manager
Contract type: ongoing and full-time
Salary: competitive, plus benefits
Responsible to: director
Location: Camden town, north London
Advertised from: 15 April 2019
Applications by: 17 May 2019
Interviews: 20 – 31 May 2019
Start date: 22 July 2019


David Kohn Architects is an award-winning practice based in Camden, working internationally on arts, education and residential projects. We collaborate with our clients, consultant teams and end users to deliver bold designs that are highly tailored and exceed expectations. We have ambitious plans and are seeking a practice manager to help us to achieve our goals.

You will be responsible for leading the practice of 17 staff in respect of office culture, HR, new business and office admin whilst having a team of three to five direct reports. As the most senior member of staff consistently on site and working across all aspects of the business, you will be uniquely placed to bring the whole practice team together and promote a collaborative and upbeat atmosphere. You will maintain close working relationships with all staff, taking care of their individual needs and career paths whilst motivating the group to excel. You will help to maintain a culture that promotes creativity whilst ensuring state-of-the-art systems allow efficient and sustainable working practices. As part of the senior management team, you will help to set the long-term strategic objectives for the business and have hands on involvement in their delivery.

You will be involved in winning new work through overseeing our social media and press strategies whilst providing our new business team with client-tailored marketing material. You will communicate with confidence both internally and externally and will be a champion for the business that inspires clients and colleagues alike.

Leadership responsibilities

Practice culture: provide leadership and counsel to the wider practice team, sharing the practice values and maintaining its creative culture. Create an upbeat and positive atmosphere where staff can deliver their best work whilst actively maintaining standards and holding colleagues accountable

Management team: be an active member of the senior management team, willing to develop and test new approaches to practice management in particular in the areas of HR, new business and office administration. Help set and achieve long term strategic goals for the business

Line management: line manage key individuals including the new business and finance managers and the creative support team. Maintain all our relationships with external consultants such as accountants, HR specialists and press agency

New business responsibilities

Sales pipeline: line manage the new business manager and oversee all aspects of the new business acquisition process, from spotting opportunities to coordinating the delivery of outstanding bids in line with our pipeline goals

R&D strategy: identify opportunities for in-house research and development to attract new clients and marketing opportunities through publications, talks, exhibitions and collaborations

Press strategy: manage the relationship with our external press team, ensuring that there is consistent coverage in journals that are read by our target audiences

Marketing strategy: ensure that all marketing materials are up to date and that we are visible at relevant events and exhibitions where we can network effectively. Keep the sales team informed of all activity so that they can react in a timely fashion and maximise any opportunities

Networking: act as an ambassador for the business at all times. Reasonable out of hours mingling with clients, collaborators and prospects may be required

HR responsibilities

Best practice: liaise with our external HR consultants to support colleagues with expertise in all areas related to people management

Recruitment: oversee recruitment so that we always find, recruit and retain the best candidates, ranging from leading the interview process, to maintaining a successful on and off-boarding strategies

Staff well-being: develop and maintain an employee well-being strategy that promotes healthier, more sustainable working practices at all stages in each individual’s career

Records: maintaining staff records, highlighting achievements and spotting any problems early.

Office administration responsibilities

Budget and finances: line manage the finance director and oversee the annual practice budget and make regular budgetary recommendations to the management team. Liaise with our accountants and finance director to manage day-to-day practice finances

Premises: manage office property including libraries, archives, office equipment and supply of consumables and line manage the practice archivist

Systems: liaise with our external IT and archive consultants and internal QA team to ensure our systems are up-to-date and working efficiently. Ensure all legal, insurance, regulatory and accreditation requirements are met and are up to date, and that our records are accurate

Previous experience:

  • you will have experience of a senior leadership role in a creative business with more than ten employees such as in architecture, design, crafts, IT, publishing or museums
  • you will have experience of line managing teams of at least three people
  • you will be familiar with using MSOffice and Adobe Creative Suite to manage business affairs and prepare marketing material

Personal attributes:

  • passionate about design and able to advocate for the practice
  • a leader able to motivate and support a young team whilst working
    closely with senior managers. Be generous with praise whilst holding colleagues to account
  • business-minded, able to see the bigger strategic picture and align short-term practice management with wider goals
  • excellent communicator, able to liaise confidently with both colleagues and clients
  • highly organised, with great attention to detail and able to prioritise effectively and work to tight deadlines
  • a change leader, pro-active in driving improvements and willing to develop and test new approaches and strategies


  • competitive salary and performance related bonus
  • profit share bonus scheme
  • competitive workplace pension
  • training (formal and informal)
  • annual office trip
  • tickets to evening lectures
  • Friday lunches and evening drinks

How to apply

Applications should be made through the practice’s online job board and requires:

  • a cover letter explaining how you meet all the criteria for the post,
    and why you want to work for DKA
  • CV detailing previous experience and qualifications
  • deadline for applications is 17 May 2019
  • we will only be able to enter into correspondence with shortlisted
  • direct applications, no recruiters

Please click here to apply.

David Kohn Architects is an equal opportunities employer.

  • Applications have closed.