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Senior Legal Adviser or Legal Adviser

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Senior Legal Adviser or Legal Adviser • London • Bristol The Office for Students (OfS) is the independent regulator for higher education in England. We aim to ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers. This role is an exciting opportunity to bring that vision to life by taking on significant responsibility and tackling novel legal scenarios in a supportive environment. Legal advisers lead on the provision of legal advice and support for a broad range of legal matters relevant to the functions of the OfS and its internal corporate activities. The role would suit someone with good prior experience of advising in a public law context, but also offers a rare opportunity to have a portfolio of work spanning different legal topics, including the potential to work on advisory, investigatory and litigation matters. We are recruiting for two positions, one of which could be appointed as a Senior Legal Adviser for an exceptional candidate with substantial relevant experience. Both are fixed term for two years. Legal Adviser £48,402 – £51,044 Senior Legal Adviser £59,463 – £62,708 Plus London weighting £3,496 and generous civil service defined benefit pension. The legal team forms part of OfS’s Resources & Finance Directorate, which provides critical services to the OfS to enable the organisation to deliver its strategy. The Directorate ensures that the OfS complies with statutory and other public sector requirements, identifies and manages risks and opportunities and co-ordinates efforts across the organisation to be efficient and effective. Key responsibilities for this role include assisting the Head of Legal Services and Deputy Head of Legal Services in tasks relating to the operation of the legal function within the OfS and leadership of specific initiatives. Legal Advisers engage with internal and external stakeholders to provide advice and support on a wide variety of topics, including: • legislation applying to the higher education sector, including the Higher Education and Research Act 2017; • the OfS’s regulatory framework and registration conditions that apply to higher education providers. • legal matters relevant to decision making and supporting processes, such as public law principles, statutory duties and considerations, the delegation of functions and equalities legislation; • the conduct of litigation activities, including judicial review proceedings and statutory appeals; • the use of the OfS’s enforcement and information gathering powers; · • data protection and information law; • human rights law; • charity law; and • consumer protection law. About you The key person attributes required to fulfil this role include: • legal experience dealing with public law matters, gained either in-house at another regulator, public body or in private practice, as well as (preferably) legal experience of other key specialisms relevant to the role- for example experience of handling litigation or advising in a higher education context; • a proven track-record of taking a proactive and hands-on approach to the delivery of complex legal tasks, including a creative and innovative approach to legal issues; • the ability to understand the needs of, and a willingness to work collaboratively with stakeholders, including a sensitivity to politics; and • excellent verbal, written communication and presentation skills, including an ability to influence and negotiate. Professional/external qualifications required: Qualified Solicitor or Barrister (or similar qualification from a jurisdiction recognised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority) Enablers The Office for Students currently uses enablers to evaluate your strengths and ask that your application describes what you’ve done and how you’ve done it. The enablers for this role are: Knowledge and Learning • Understanding of context in which OfS operates, including relationships with the sector and government • To have an eye for detail and be able to see the bigger picture and awareness of the political and wider context in which a regulator such as the OfS operates. • An ongoing commitment to learning and developing new knowledge and skills, demonstrated through an ability to take responsibility for identifying and managing own development needs. • Knowledge and understanding of judicial review proceedings and statutory appeals in a regulated sector. • Knowledge of public law issues relevant to a regulatory body, including principles relating to consultation. Planning • Able to manage own workload, operate proactively and plan ahead for anticipated tasks, resolve competing demands, and cope with changing priorities in a flexible and proactive way ensuring that key priorities are delivering to time and quality • Effective case and upwards management, providing clear briefs to senior legal colleagues and delivering the required outputs to time and quality to both internal and external stakeholders. Communications • Excellent communication skills, oral and written • An ability to develop and present persuasive arguments, negotiate with and influence people in a constructive manner to ensure the best outcome. • Proven ability to provide clear, pragmatic and risk-based legal advice. • Ability to chair meetings, giving presentations and facilitate discussions to an agreed outcome. • Be able to build and maintain constructive relationships with colleagues within the OfS, other government departments and internal and external auditors Relationships • Proven team player with strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to debate complex legal and regulatory issues in a constructive and professional manner. • Able to establish and maintain constructive working relationships within OfS and with key external stakeholders Working for us The OfS regulates the higher education sector on behalf of all students. We value diversity and the wealth of perspectives, experience and ideas that it brings to our work, and we strive to embed equality of opportunity in everything we do. We recruit based on fair and open competition and welcome applications from candidates regardless of age, disability, race and ethnicity, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation and socio-economic background. To attract the widest possible field of qualified applicants, flexible working, for example job share and part time working, apply to this role. Closing date for applications: 12th July Interviews: 28th July

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