In a professional services environment, company secretaries provide a secretariat service to client organisations both in the UK and overseas. This usually includes the usual statutory compliance work such as Companies House filings, board and committee servicing, board reviews and providing advice on best practice.
Client Organisations are likely to vary but could include SMEs, Not-For-Profits and very occasionally some PLCs and AIM listed companies, although where this may be the case, it is most often smaller PLCs that outsource their company secretarial work to professional services firms.
Most professional services firms will look to add qualified company secretaries to their team at a more senior level such as Manager or Assistant Manager level whilst ensuring that more junior members are supported in their studies in order to be fully quickly within the first few years of them joining the team.
Often, governance professionals in this environment gain excellent exposure to the technical work is can be well utilised within in-house environments. Companies often seek to outsource specific projects to professional services teams which can also provide experience in niche areas such as rationalisation, liquidations or M&A projects. Trainee roles in professional services firms are particularly sought after due the variety of work and exposure for those forging their company secretarial career.
Most company secretaries in practice will cater to a portfolio of clients and often provide the secretariat to the firm itself although some firms have a separate internal Co-Sec team, depending on their size. In some cases, company secretaries will go on secondment to client businesses which be a useful way to broaden experience and retain a variety of work.