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Director of Financial Operations

Job ID: 6988

Updated: Jan 19, 2023

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Category: Finance/Accounting


About Kirkland & Ellis

At Kirkland & Ellis, we are united in our ambition and drive to move forward. We share core values that help us achieve excellence: collaboration, talent empowerment, service, inclusion, respect and gratitude. Our people are our greatest asset, and we invest in the brightest talent and encourage a diversity of perspectives and strengths to create dynamic teams that operate at the pinnacle of their field. Our talented professionals show up every day knowing they will engage in meaningful work, continuous learning and professional development.
As one of the world’s leading law firms, we serve a broad range of clients with market-leading practices in private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions; investment fund formation and management; restructurings; high-stakes litigation and trials; and government, regulatory and internal investigations. We handle the most complicated and sophisticated legal matters because we don’t just meet industry standards, we create them. We bring innovation and entrepreneurialism to every engagement and, as a result, have long-standing client relationships with leading global corporations and financial sponsors. With 6,500 employees (including 3,500+ lawyers) operating from 19 offices across the United States, Europe and Asia, we are one of the largest law firms in the world and a top financial performer.

Essential Job Functions

The Director of Financial Operations will lead all aspects of the Finance team's disbursement functions with particular focus maintaining timely operations, providing the highest level of service and operating with the necessary internal controls and fraud prevention controls required in today’s high-risk environment.  This role will also be heavily involved in identifying operational inefficiencies and designing and implementing improvements. This individual will serve as a trusted business advisor to Senior leadership. Given the growth and increasing complexity of the Firm, the addition of this role is critical in order for the Finance team to continue to meet the needs of the Firm.

Essential Functions: (This list is not exhaustive and may be supplemented and changed as necessary.)

  • Oversee the disbursement operations of the finance department, including accounts payable and payroll, with the focus on a high level of customer service.
  • Work cross-functionally with other Firm departments to address accounting matters and issues, as well as deliver white glove service.
  • Align accounting processes with strategic initiatives of the Firm; provide strategic direction and oversight for the disbursement functions.
  • Evaluate, design, propose, implement, and communicate disbursement strategy, programs, policies and initiatives that align with the goals and values of the department and Firm.
  • Lead with a mindset of continuous improvement in subject areas including development of proposals for improvement of internal controls, processes and possible update of policies; provide recommendations to improve results and drive decisions.
  • Create and monitor benchmarks to measure operational performance.
  • Establish, implement, and monitor financial controls and guidelines to reduce costs and maximize profitability.
  • Involvement in other complex accounting projects and initiatives with other members of the Finance team as needed.
  • Maintain a strong knowledge of Firm policies and procedures.

Qualifications & Requirements

  • The Director of Financial Operations will have a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting or Finance, as well as ten to fifteen years of relevant work experience. CPA designation preferred. 
  • At least five years of experience in leading and managing people; demonstrated ability to work in cross-functional teams is critical.
  • Prior tenure in public accounting or at a law firm or other professional services company is highly valued.
  • This individual should be proactive, results oriented, and possess written and oral communication skills to clearly and concisely summarize conclusions and observations. Attention to detail and the eagerness to learn and to progress within a dynamic and growing environment are imperative.
  • The candidate must be able to work through ambiguity and push to deliver continual impact. Individuals are expected to exhibit positive customer service skills and a commitment to excellence. The individual should be an ambitious self-starter who is curious and resourceful while focusing on creating positive impact and lasting change.
  • This candidate should be self-confident with strong communication skills and a professional demeanor.
  • Possess outstanding interpersonal skills in order to work effectively within a team environment, as well as independently.
  • Opportunities to expand responsibilities and progress within the Finance function are available for individuals based on strong performance and the desire to grow.


  • MS Office with emphasis on advanced Excel skills is required
  • Chrome River, OneStream, AppZen, PeopleSoft Payroll or Elite 3E experience is helpful

Work Environment: 

  • This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, and filing cabinets.

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in Kirkland & Ellis LLP.  To complete an application and submit your resume, please click "Apply Now."

Equal Employment Opportunity

All employment decisions, including the recruiting, hiring, placement, training availability, promotion, compensation, evaluation, disciplinary actions, and termination of employment (if necessary) are made without regard to the employee’s race, color, creed, religion, sex, pregnancy or childbirth, personal appearance, family responsibilities, sexual orientation or preference, gender identity, political affiliation, source of income, place of residence, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, marital status, military veteran status, unfavorable discharge from military service, physical or mental disability, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Closing Statement

The job postings and recruiting mailbox are for candidates only. If you are a recruiter, search firm or employment agency, and do not have a signed contract with Kirkland & Ellis LLP ("K&E") and have not been asked specifically to submit candidates, you will not be compensated in any way for your referral of a candidate even if K&E hires the candidate. Direct contact with K&E employees in an attempt to present candidates is inappropriate and will be a factor in determining any future professional relationship with the Firm. #LI-Hybrid #LI-KP1