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Lawyer

Lawyer

JOB PURPOSE:

To provide a high quality efficient and effective legal service to the Council and its officers within identified subject areas and to assist and support the County Council’s Monitoring Officer and Legal Management Team in discharging their duties and responsibilities.

To supervise, support and mentor more junior colleagues such as trainee solicitors and legal officers and / or other colleagues as appropriate.

To undertake legal work to which s/he is recruited; within at least one of the following teams by advising and representing the Council and various related bodies in relation to: –

  • Child Care e.g. work for Children’ Services on any issue arising from the care of children and young persons.
  • Adult Care e.g. work for Adult Services on any issue arising from the care of adults
  • Corporate & Governance e.g. a wide range of issues involving Data Protection, Education, Employment, Governance, Information Governance, Procurement,

Property, and Common Land & village greens, pensions, and other matters.

  • Regulation e.g. a range of work in relation to civil and criminal litigation, planning and highways, licensing, housing and environmental health and enforcement and other matters

 

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES, TASKS AND DUTIES (inc KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS):

  1. a) Provision of Legal Advice and Services including:
  1. i)  Ensuring that the Council receives legal advice and assistance which is, timely and accurate, responsive to the Council’s needs.
  2. ii)  Advising senior officers and Members.
  3. iii)  An understanding of the provision of legal advice in a politically sensitive environment.
  4. iv)  An awareness and understanding there will be considerable contact with members of the public with a grievance against the council and / or a history or criminal and / or anti-social behaviour, leading to aggressive and abusive presentation on occasion.
  5. v) Regular exposure to situations and material that are likely to cause distress.

Undertaking all legal services work, whether advice or casework, or special projects with minimal supervision and professional support, Undertake complex litigation and providing advocacy in respect of complex cases at court, inquiries and tribunals,
Ensuring the collection, collation and maintenance of data including contributing to Benchmarking and Special Interest Groups .

  1. b)  Providing support to the Legal Management Team, including assisting in the investigation of code of conduct complaints.
  2. c)  To assist in ensuring that Legal Services is appropriately resourced and managed and demonstrates compliance with Corporate p olicies and standards adopted by the Council from time to time.
  3. d)  To attend and advise at Executive, Council, Cabinet and Committees (including Local Area Councils or equivalent) as directed by the Legal Management Team.
  4. e)  To participate fully in any personal and professional development requirements and opportunities and to assist in the arrangement and facilitation and conduct of team training events
  5. f)  To assist in the identification and exploration of ways in which Legal Services can be provided to external organisations including the Northumberland National Park Authority and Social Housing Providers for appropriate remuneration. To maximise all means and opportunities of raising external revenue within the remit of the post.
  6. g)  To represent, where necessary, the Council and/or the Legal Services Management Team at meetings of relevant internal Boards and groups (both statutory and non- statutory) and outside bodies, such as the Regional Management Board of the Fire Service and multidisciplinary meetings with partner agencies such as the Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board and Safeguarding Adults Board.
  7. h)  To provide advice, where necessary, to a range of Panels and any other similar bodies, within the Council. Such advice to include dealing with Ombudsman complaints and / or clerking of statutory appeals processes where appropriate.
  8. i)  To support the training and development of junior members of staff and other colleagues as appropriate.
  9. j)  To assist in the development of strong and effective links with client officers and external stakeholders
  10. k)  Todeviseinnovativelegalsolutionstohighlycomplexlegalandfactualproblemsinsituationswheretherearenoprecedents.Todealwithissueseitherwithinaspecified area of legal practice or which cut across more than one area of legal practice. To provide advice outside their area of specialisation or to make connections with other specialist lawyers to provide co-ordinated support of wider projects. To have an understanding of the wider policy context. To evaluate alternative solutions.
  11. l)  Ability to meet deadlines including deadlines externally imposed by Courts, Tribunals and clients in a context of continually changing priorities. Work is carried out in a demand-led environment where the workflows cannot be controlled and work plans can be interrupted by urgent demands.
  12. m)  Need to assess priorities between the work of different parts of the Council, all of it considered by the client to be of hig h importance and/or urgency.
  13. n)  Responsible for the timely input of legal expertise from others including external lawyers.
  • The post holder is required to demonstrate the level of skill, knowledge and expertise in the law. The post holder shall hold an appropriate professional legal qualification as set out in the Person Specification and this Job Description and experience in working in the law post qualification.
  • The post holder shall have the ability to adapt and take on and provide advice in relation to new areas of law with efficiency and competence.
  • the post holder shall have excellent decision making and communication skills, flexibility and to support the Legal Management Team in promoting and implementing the Councils strategic objectives.

The candidates must have:

  • Qualified Solicitor or Barrister or Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives holding a current practicing certificate.
  • Experience of giving advice on a range of legal topics.
  • Experience in using office and on-line applications on a personal computer, including legal reference texts.
  • Experience of advocacy personally and through Counsel, at a range of Courts and tribunals.
  • Experience of drafting legal documents, contracts and preparing case files for litigation.
  • Ability to analyse issues and provide clear advice to ensure that the County Council complies with its legal obligations whilst enabling solutions to problems to be found.
  • Knowledge of current legislation and common law as they affect local government. Excellent interpersonal, communication, persuasive and negotiating skills.
    Problem solving ability.
  • Able to establish and maintain a high level of personal and professional credibility within the Service and with clients.
  • Able to support clients and witnesses particularly where required to give evidence at Court.
  • Politically aware
  • Able and willing to adapt to new areas of work, takes the initiative and relishes the challenge of doing so and is able take on tasks/duties outside his/her field of expertise competently recognising when he/she lacks the requisite knowledge and requires professional support and supervision
  • Advocacy skills
  • Ability to manage a full, substantial and varied workload with minimal supervision and / or support.
  • Experience in drafting legal documents Able to devise, prepare and deliver training
  • Usually works in a seated position. Some standing, walking, stretching, lifting or driving.
  • The role may require heavy lifting of case papers to and from court.
  • Frequent use of a PC
  • Ability to sustain prolonged periods of intense concentration, often for periods in excess of 3 hours when undertaking complex case work.
  • Willing to be flexible and adopt new ways of working to manage a varied workload.
  • Able to take own initiative to be proactive and work independently to ensure tasks are completed on time and to the required standard.
  • Adapts to change by adopting a flexible and cooperative attitude.
  • Ability to meet the transport requirements of the post.

 

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Job Overview
Category
Offered Salary
£32.97 p/hr
Consultant

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