30 May 2022

Legal Adviser

Applications are invited for the post of Legal Adviser (International Lead), responsible for the provision of clear and authoritative legal advice to House of Lords Select Committees.

Main objective
The postholder\'s main objective is to provide clear, accurate, timely and high quality legal advice on a wide range of complex and topical issues to the House of Lords Committees including in particular the International Agreements Committee, International Relations and Defence Committee, Industry and Regulators Committee, Environment and Climate Change Committee and non-EU-UK aspects of the Justice and Home Affairs Committee. The postholder may also be called upon, as need arises, to advise other committees on legal issues arising in other policy areas.

Key internal and external relationships
 The Legal Adviser (European Lead), who provides legal advice to the European Affairs Committee, Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol Committee and EU-UK aspects of the Justice and Home Affairs Committee.
 The Principal Clerk of Select Committees (who is the line manager for the post) and the staff teams and members of the International Agreements, Industry and Regulators, Justice and Home Affairs and International Relations and Defence Committees.
 The staff of the House of Lords Committee Office (c.80 people), headed by the Clerk of Committees
 The small community of legal advisers beyond the Lords Committee Office, including Counsel to the Chairman of Committees and his team and Counsel to the Speaker of the House of Commons and her team

Main responsibilities

Line management and budgetary responsibilities

It is likely that the post-holder will  not line manage other staff, at least initially,  or to have budgetary responsibilities.
Other responsibilities of the post

The postholder will provide legal advice to five policy-focused committees:
 The International Agreements Committee, initially appointed in 2020 as an EU Sub-Committee, which scrutinises and reports on all international agreements laid before Parliament under the terms of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010;
 The Justice and Home Affairs Committee, which considers matters relating to justice and home affairs, including the domestic criminal justice system, and international cooperation in respect of criminal justice, civil justice, migration and asylum;
 The Industry and Regulators Committee, which considers matters relating to industry, and also to scrutinise the work of the UK\'s regulators;
 The International Relations and Defence Committee, which considers the UKs international relations and defence policy, and is charged with considering whether there exist credible reports of genocide in the territory of a counter-party to a free trade agreement with the UK (under section 3 of the Trade Act 2021).
 The Environment and Climate Change Committee, which considers environment and climate change.

This role will include reviewing draft reports for legal accuracy and responding to requests from the committees and their teams, for example with ad hoc legal advice, briefing committees orally and in writing on legal developments relevant to their work, and research on legal frameworks. The postholder may be required to provide advice to other committees. 

Person specification

The qualifications required for the post are:
Qualified solicitor, barrister or advocate in a UK jurisdiction with substantial post-qualification experience.
The knowledge, skills and experience required for the post are outlined below. Each element will be assessed in the examples you provide in your application form. Should you be shortlisted these areas will be assessed in more depth at interview.

Our Values
The House of Lords Administration has four values: respect, inclusivity, professionalism and responsibility. Our behaviours sit alongside our values, translating them into day-to-day actions and demonstrating how we bring our values to life. They outline what we can expect from each other at work and ensure we all play our part in building an inclusive and respectful workplace culture.

The values and behaviours are applicable to everyone who works for the House of Lords. As colleagues and representatives of the Administration, everything we do and say counts. 

The post holder will be expected to operate in line with the House of Lords workplace values which are:

Respect - We treat people with respect and expect to be treated with respect.
Inclusivity - We embrace and value difference and diversity –whether from a person\'s race, gender, other characteristics, background or experience.
Professionalism - We aim for and value a high level of skills and expertise. We act with integrity and openness, putting public service first.
Responsibility - We take ownership of our work and actions. We hold each other to account, take appropriate risks and continue learning.


 Excellent general knowledge of the law of England and Wales, with a particular understanding of constitutional and administrative law.
 First hand knowledge and experience of the law and practice of international agreements, including in particular trade agreements, and the international regulatory environment.
 A high level of political awareness and knowledge of, or experience of working with, the many international fora of which the UK is a member and the machinery of government in the UK
 High-level analytical, research and writing skills
 High-level communications skills, written and oral and experience of influencing at senior levels
 Diplomacy, tact and record of working well in a team, setting expectations and supporting staff development

Terms and conditions

Salary and allowances
The post is paid in accordance with House of Lords grade SB1 (£76,000 per annum). Pay increases usually depend on performance as assessed in annual performance reviews, up to the current band maximum of £95,964.

Salary is paid monthly by bank transfer.

There is a probationary period of six months.

Term and hours
The post is permanent and is for 41 hours per week (including break-time).

Consideration will be given to candidates expressing a wish to perform the role on a flexible working arrangement such as those set out below:
 Part-time working 
 Compressed hours 
 Home working (3-4 days a week) 
 Remote (other than home)/Mobile working 
 Parliamentary Term-time  working

If you are selected for interview, please inform the panel of the days/hours you are available to work.

As an employee of the House, you will be entitled to our benefits such as a season ticket loan, a Parliamentary Health and Wellbeing Service, including access to a dedicated Employee Assistance Programme and many more. Full details can be found on our Employee Benefits page.

The House of Lords participates in the Civil Service Pension Schemes. As an employee of the House, you will be entitled to join one of these highly competitive pension scheme arrangements.

Annual leave
Annual leave entitlement is 30 days (increasing to 35 days after one year's service) plus public and bank holidays. In most offices annual leave may be taken only during periods when the House is in recess and must always be agreed in advance with the line manager and Head of Office.

Inclusion and Diversity
The House of Lords Administration is committed to increasing diversity and maintaining an inclusive workplace culture. We welcome applications from all candidates regardless of their age, caring responsibilities, disability, gender/sex, gender reassignment/trans status, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation and socio-economic status The Administration will also consider flexible working arrangements and reasonable adjustments.

We welcome and encourage job applications from people of all backgrounds. For this role we particularly welcome applications from groups which are currently underrepresented within the team, including applications from Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates, candidates with disabilities and candidates who identify as women.

Pre-appointment checks
For external candidates, appointment depends on satisfactory references, health and security checks and where necessary proof of qualifications.

Successful candidates\' publicly open social media profiles will also be checked under this stage of the process and information obtained may be used to review suitability for the job role.

Baseline Security Standard
The House of Lords (along with all government departments) has to comply with a Baseline Security Standard. The standard requires that we ascertain the identity of the applicant, their right to work in the UK, their employment or academic history over the last three years, and their address history over the last three years.

Successful candidates will be required to complete pre-employment checks. This includes security vetting to Counter Terrorist Check (CTC) level unless otherwise specified. All successful candidates are required to pass these checks before an offer can be confirmed. 

Applicants should be aware that if they have resided outside of the UK for a total of more than two of the last five years, they are not eligible for vetting. Please see the National Security Vetting booklet for further information.  In addition, applicants are required to give a reasonable account of any significant recent periods of time (more than six months) spent abroad. Applicants who have been unemployed or self-employed for over six months in the last three years (whose last three years\' employment/academic history are not covered by references) will be asked to provide further documentation to prove their history.

Returning your completed application
Please complete your online application by 10am on Monday 30 May 2022.

If you require any reasonable adjustments during the application process, please contact or call 020 7219 3185.

Telephone enquiries
If you wish to find out more information about this post, please contact Duncan Sagar on 020 7219 5458.
No recruitment agencies please.


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