Solicitor - Legal Services

United Kingdom
£30,942.00 - £42,792.00
Jan 11, 2021
Feb 10, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Position Details Area: Legal Services Salary: Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,942 to £40,322, with potential progression once in post to £42,792 Hours: Full Time Duration: Permanent Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK Closing date - January 4, 2021

Job Summary

Are you looking to develop your career with an in-house role at a prestigious organisation? The University of Birmingham is one of the most ambitious higher education institutions in the UK, determined to be placed in the global top 50. Legal Services is a vital professional service which supports the University in reaching those ambitions. Our in-house solicitors' office provides high quality legal advice for a complete range of the University's activities. This includes international projects, groundbreaking research, supporting an excellent experience for our students, and a whole host of community, alumni, and sector-based initiatives underpinning the University's strategic aims.

The volume and complexity of the University's research and teaching continues to grow. The University has extended its volume of research applications and awards significantly over the last five years and has ambitious targets. It continues to conduct world-class research in a range of specialities; notably contributing to the global effort to beat Covid-19. International collaborations remain a significant target for the University's Strategic Plan, enhancing our existing provision in Dubai, China, Brazil, and India. The University undertakes significant procurement activity to support teaching and research, has recently announced the development of Birmingham Health Innovation Campus, and is an Official Partner of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

This exciting in-house role encompasses a broad range of matters across a full range of the University's activities which may include contractual matters, charity law, regulatory issues, data protection/GDPR, academic-related matters, safeguarding, equality, and student-related matters etc. We handle cases which have considerable financial and reputational impact on the University, and therefore the applicant should have experience of dealing with complex matters through to completion, appreciating the relevant external environment, and have the ability to take on a variety of work with varying degrees of complexity. Legal Services advises both Academic Units and Professional Services and liaises with external bodies and solicitors as required. If appropriate the post-holder may be able to provide advice and assistance in connection with other legal issues within the office, assuming time is available.

The post-holder will report directly to the Director of Legal Services, who is also the University's Data Protection Officer and Safeguarding Officer. The University has arrangements with external solicitors under which matters are referred to them where specific expertise is required.

Main Duties

The post holder will be required:
  • To organise an active caseload, which will include drafting ab initio;
  • To give clear and concise explanations of legal issues to non-qualified members of the University at all levels;
  • To negotiate and draft contracts within the required timescale, incorporating where necessary, ancillary agreements in consultation with colleagues across the Colleges or Professional Services, to fully support the teaching and research undertaken by the University;
  • To join and contribute to University committees and/or larger, cross-discipline project groups, providing legal and practical advice where appropriate;
  • To identify and solve both legal and practical problems associated with the activities of the University of Birmingham, and to be proactive in identifying methods to reduce potential risk or liability to the University. As indicated the nature of these can vary tremendously, from a query on gambling, to the requirements of the Human Tissue Act;
  • To carry out a substantial amount of drafting, using PLC and web-based resources where appropriate; acknowledging that the nature of the University's work is such that drafting ab initio is frequently required;
  • To prepare and issue Instructions to External Solicitors or Counsel;
  • To facilitate the Protocol which ensures that all instructions to external legal advisers are issued and managed via Legal Services;
  • To be willing to cover for other members of the team as appropriate;
  • To produce their own documents, emails, and letters;
  • To ensure that priorities are balanced and schedule work accordingly, taking appropriate action to keep things on track;
  • To be willing to acquire new skills and to cover for other members of the team;
  • To work closely with and provide training to Schools, Colleges and Professional Services on existing and new legal initiatives and statutory compliance;
  • To produce their own documents emails and letters and be sufficiently computer literate to produce their own presentations using PowerPoint; and
  • To manage their own time and workload.

Person Specification

The successful candidate should have:
  • Qualification as a solicitor or barrister to practice within the UK, with current unrestricted practising certificate or licence to practice;
  • Demonstrable experience of working as a solicitor/barrister in private practice/chambers or in-house;
  • Demonstrable experience in commercial contract law-related matters including experience in negotiating, drafting and advising on various types of commercial contracts and the related issues.
  • A willingness to acquire new skills and areas of expertise and learn about statutory compliance within the University. Additional training, if necessary, will be provided although the ability to carry out extensive independent study will also be essential.
  • Demonstrable interpersonal skills with a proven ability to build effective and trusting partnerships, and work in a collaborative way;
  • Evidence of strong planning and time management skills;
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience of managing complex matters, including the ability to prioritise workloads, working accurately to timescales and budget;
  • Demonstrable confidence in negotiating agreements, and strong influencing skills to gain commitment and engagement from all types of individuals;
  • Demonstrable confidence and presence in senior meetings;
  • Demonstrable excellent oral communication and presentation skills;
  • Demonstrable cultural sensitivity, tact and diplomacy;
  • Demonstrates a positive response and adaptability to change;
  • Demonstrates resilience, with an ability to work effectively under pressure and deliver to targets;
  • Demonstrable ability to work flexibly and take pragmatic decisions;
  • Knowledge of the Higher Education Sector and the University; and
  • Some experience of delivering training.

interviews will take place the week commencing 11 January

We value diversity at The University of Birmingham and wlcome applications from all sections of the community'

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