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JOBS! Head of legal excellence and legal ops roles up for grabs

LinkedIn has over the past 24 hours seen two powerhouses advertise roles within their organisations and beyond, as Ruth Ward looks for a head of legal excellence in the Government Legal Department in England and Wales, and Mary O’Carroll, head of CLOC highlights a raft of available legal ops roles as well as pricing and engineering roles at Google.

Ward, who joined GLD in 2019 after 21 years at Allen & Overy, says: “Thrilled to promote this new senior level Head of Legal Excellence opportunity. It’s a new pivotal role responsible for legal knowledge and legal learning strategy and content, and leading our specialist knowledge advisory and systems teams. I have never regretted for an instant joining GLD. Like to join me?”

You can see the full job description below.

Meanwhile, O’Carroll says: “Legal Ops Jobs! Two wonderful Alphabet companies (Wing and GV (Google Ventures)) are looking for legal ops hires. Also hiring: Coca-cola, Chewy, Levis, Twilio, Ferring Pharma, a couple financial services companies who haven’t publicly posted yet… and so many more. I can’t even keep track. Legal Operations is HOT HOT HOT! #legalops #legaltech #cloc #legaloperations

She adds: “I should have mentioned we have a few openings on my own team at Google too! … Pricing professional, technical solutions consultants, engineers, team connect program managers, etc.”

Responding to her post, Sheila Dusseau, head of global legal operations at Ferring Pharmaceuticals said: “I’m also hiring soon as well. Legal ops is the way to go these days!”

Also hiring is Susan Packal at Twilio.

I’m also hiring soon as well….Legal Ops is the way to go these days! 😎

I’m hiring as well – thanks, Mary O’Carroll !

HEAD OF LEGAL EXCELLENCE

Summary

THE ORGANISATION
Government Legal Department (GLD)’s Vision is to be an outstanding legal organisation, committed to the highest standards of service and professionalism, a brilliant place to work where we can all thrive and fulfil our potential. Our Purpose is to help the government to govern well, within the rule of law.

We are the largest provider of legal services across government, working with all the main ministerial departments. From roads to rivers, and health to human rights, our work touches on most aspects of public life.

GLD has more than 14 client-facing advisory teams who provide legal advice on the development, design and implementation of government policies and decisions, draft secondary legislation and work with Parliamentary Counsel on primary legislation. Our cross-cutting expert service groups for Litigation, Employment and Commercial Law provide specialist legal services to a wide range of government departments and public bodies.

We are a non-ministerial government department with more than 2,500 employees, around 1,800 of whom are solicitors or barristers. The department is based in London with teams in Bristol, Manchester, and Leeds.

GLD sees effective knowledge management as critically important to achieving its Vision for the next decade and beyond.

Job description

THE DIVISION
Building on firm foundations, the Knowledge & Innovation (K&I) Group is undertaking an exciting period of development following the appointment of a new Director of Knowledge and the creation of our first integrated Legal Knowledge, Capability and Innovation Strategy (KCI Strategy).

We are seeking to make a step change in this area – to further professionalise and integrate our legal knowledge and legal learning activity across GLD and to develop innovative and flexible approaches to meeting our client needs – in support of our overarching departmental strategy and Purpose.

THE POST
The Head of Legal Excellence is a pivotal new senior role at Deputy Director level responsible for knowledge and for legal learning strategy and content. The role reports to Ruth Ward, the Director of Knowledge. The post holder will also be able to draw on the guidance and support of our nominated Legal Director champions for knowledge and learning, Daniel Denman and Cathy Adams, as well as our Head of People Development.

The post holder will work closely with the Director of Knowledge and lead the specialist knowledge advisory and knowledge systems teams within the K&I Group. They will work alongside the legal information and practice innovation teams and in close partnership with colleagues from the People Development Team: a part of the HR Department, whose responsibilities include facilitating legal learning. They will support and facilitate the work of our growing cadre of professional support lawyers (PSLs) and other lawyers responsible for knowledge and learning activities within their home departments and as part of our cross-cutting Centres of Excellence.

The Head of Legal Excellence will benefit from the support of the K&I Group’s dedicated engagement and administration resources.

The successful candidate is expected to come into post just as we begin to deliver the second phase of our KCI Strategy and they will therefore be responsible for a number of new strategic initiatives as well as continuing to drive improvements in the quality and efficiency of our legal knowledge and legal learning activities across GLD.

As a member of the Legal Excellence sub-group of the Legal Delivery Committee, the post holder will forge strong relationships with senior colleagues and supporting communities across GLD as well as government departments, external stakeholders and providers.

This new role will suit an aspiring and strongly motivated candidate with significant experience in a senior legal knowledge role.

Responsibilities

Responsibilities will include:
• Directing strategic legal excellence initiatives designed to support the delivery of legal services of the highest standard by our lawyers and clients.
• Establishing a clear mission and priorities for the knowledge advisory and systems teams.
• Setting performance and project objectives for members of the teams.
• Refreshing the operating model for the knowledge advisory and systems teams to achieve: Clarity around roles and responsibilities
– Effective communication of services provided by the teams
– Efficient processes within the teams and with users of and contributors to knowledge and learning services
– Regular measurement of progress against objectives and response to user feedback.
• Ensuring that technology systems and processes are in place to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and to enable members of GLD and relevant government departments easily to access relevant knowledge and expertise.
• Being accountable for the legal content development strategy for our GLD legal learning framework and for particular programmes (including our Introductory Course for Lawyers and our Government Legal Training Programme), working in close partnership with our People Development Team and training committees.
• Having oversight of the annual business plans and future development of our GLD centres of excellence programme.
• Developing and enhancing communities and relationships throughout GLD and across government in order to drive legal excellence initiatives and deliver the legal knowledge and learning elements of the KCI strategy.
• Liaising with panel law firms and other external providers and developing knowledge and legal learning activities to mutual benefit.
• Developing a cross-division PSL network in order to share best practice and promote consistency in knowledge related activities across GLD
• Ensuring that all activities are aligned to GLD’s priorities and foster an inclusive and dynamic knowledge sharing and learning culture.
• Participating in the Legal Excellence sub-group of the Legal Delivery Committee.
• Representing Legal Excellence services and initiatives to senior management and internal governance bodies.
• Contributing to the assembly of the annual K&I Group budget and ensuring on-going monitoring of expenditure in their area of responsibility.
• Keeping up to date with developments in knowledge management and applying them to legal excellence initiatives introduced to the organisation.


SKILLS & QUALITIES

ESSENTIAL CRITERIA
Experience
• Strong previous experience in one or more senior knowledge/learning roles in private or public sector legal, professional services, information technology, education, research, healthcare, financial services or other sectors.
• Experience of electronic knowledge and learning systems, processes and content.
• Understanding and application of effective knowledge management concepts.
• Understanding and application of effective legal training approaches.
• Experience of culture and change management ideas and approaches to influence stakeholders and cultivate dynamic knowledge sharing behaviours.

Technical
• Qualified to practice as a solicitor or barrister.
• A high level of IT literacy, particularly in relation to document management and other collaborative tools, knowledge systems and enterprise search, database functionality, intranet, extranet and website technology.
• An interest in, and knowledge of, technological advances and their potential impact on knowledge systems.

Candidates will demonstrate the following behaviours and related strengths:


Leadership – Display passion and enthusiasm for the work, helping to inspire colleagues and stakeholders to fully engage with the aims and long-term vision; work to influence the strategy, direction and culture to increase effectiveness; embed a culture of inclusion and equal opportunity for all, where diverse backgrounds and experiences are valued and respected.

Communicating and Influencing – Communicate in a straightforward, honest and truthful way with consideration of the impact of the method used; communicate with conviction and clarity in the face of tough negotiations or problems.

Changing and Improving – Champion change, seeking innovative new approaches, policies and systems that add value to the organisation.

Working together – Create, maintain and promote a strong network of contacts across the organisation and externally; encourage teams to engage with a variety of delivery partners and stakeholders, listen to and act on their feedback.

Behaviours

We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Leadership
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Changing and Improving
  • Working Together

Benefits

• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

You will be paid monthly in arrears. Your starting salary will be £75,000 (FTE) per annum.

You will have the option of joining the Civil Service Alpha Pension Scheme, a defined benefit (DB) pension scheme. The employer contribution rate for this salary level is currently 27.9% of salary as explained at https://www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk/members/contribution-rates/

Internal candidates already on SCS PB1 will retain their current salary. On promotion there will be an increase of 10% or an increase to the SCS PB1 minimum, whichever is the highest.

Any move to Government Legal Department from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax-Free Childcare. Ascertain your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.

Things you need to know

SECURITY
Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.
See our vetting charter.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours.

HOW TO APPLY:

To apply, please email the following, combined into a single PDF attachment:

• CV
• Personal Statement which:
– Provides evidence of how you meet the above criteria. Please provide specific examples that make reference to each criterion. (Please do not to simply reiterate the criteria and make unsupported assertions that you meet them).
– Explains your motivation for applying i.e. for what reasons do you want this role, other than thinking you’d be good at it (Please do not simply repeat how you meet the above criteria);
– Is no longer than two side of A4, using a font no smaller than 11 point

Please also provide the following forms (which can be downloaded at the bottom of the job advert on CS Jobs) as separate attachments:
• Diversity Monitoring Form
• Guaranteed Interview Scheme Form (if you have a disability – please see below)

NB – If you use a scanner to create the documents, please scan at no greater than 150dpi.

COMPLETED APPLICATIONS: Applicants should be sent to scsrecruitment@governmentlegal.gov.uk Hard copy applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. Please note, emails marked as private will not arrive in this shared inbox.