Bristol, Leeds, London, ManchesterAbout The Job
About The Government Legal Department
From energy to security, health to human rights, we help the Government deliver life changing law for citizens.
The Government Legal Department is the largest provider of legal services across government, working on high profile matters that are frequently scrutinised in Parliament and the media. Our work includes:
- Developing and drafting legislation
- Providing legal advice on policies
- Securing our economic and trade relationships
- Ensuring value from commercial contracts worth billions of pounds
- Providing the Civil Service’s employment law advice
We are at the heart of delivering the Government’s priorities and our success depends on our people.
GLD is a non-ministerial government department, sponsored by the Attorney General. We are headed by the Treasury Solicitor, our Permanent Secretary and employ nearly 3000 people, including over 2000 legal professionals. Our offices include London, Leeds, Bristol, Croydon and Manchester as well as overseas. We provide specialist legal services including Litigation, Employment and Commercial Law as well as advising most Government Departments on the policies and services they deliver.
GLD also depends on a range of vital corporate services. These are essential to the smooth and efficient running of the Department and provide the foundation to enable GLD to deliver outstanding legal services. Our corporate functions include Strategy, HR, Finance, Digital, Data and Technology, Communications, Security, Commercial and Project delivery.
Our vision is to be an outstanding legal organisation and a brilliant place to work where everyone can thrive and fulfil their potential. This is an exciting time for GLD, with cutting edge legal work on global issues and a transformation agenda which is ensuring the Department exemplifies the Modern Civil Service.
To find out more about what we do visit the Government Legal Department’s webpage or have a look at this short film which showcases the breadth of work government lawyers and legal trainees are involved in.About The Data, Inquiries, Fraud And Maternity Team
The Data, Inquiries, Fraud and Maternity Team (“DIFM”) is one of five legal teams making up DWP Legal Advisers.
DWP Legal Advisers provide legal support to Ministers and officials in the Department for Work and Pensions. We provide advice on policy
development, new primary legislation, drafting statutory instruments (working with colleagues in GLD’s SI Hub), as well as advising on
inquiries and supporting our litigation colleagues in relation to significant claims. Our work frequently engages with issues related to public
law equalities and discrimination, data protection and freedom of information, human rights and international obligations.
The DIFM Team advises on:
- all data matters including data sharing between DWP and other bodies
- criminal law issues relating to fraud in policy work such as fraud prevention and detection measures
- legal issues relating to maternity pay which includes Statutory Maternity Pay and Maternity Allowance
- Public Inquiries such as the Post Office Horizon and COVID-19 Inquiries
DIFM is a cross-cutting team and often works with other legal teams on issues such as data sharing.
The team advises on cutting edge legal issues, including the use of artificial intelligence and automation and plays a leading role on the
All lawyers are also expected to make a corporate contribution to running and continuous improvement of the Division.Job Description
The successful candidate will already have an established data law or wider information law practice. They will use this expertise to (jointly) lead a mini-team of 2/3 qualified lawyers advising on policy and operational aspects of data law and related matters.
Data is at the heart of everything our client department does. As a result, this role is cross-cutting and hugely varied. In addition to advising the department’s Data Protection Officer, Chief Data Officer, and digital group, you will work with clients from all over the department and with lawyers elsewhere in the division and across government. It requires the ability to work independently, engaging directly with senior policy and operational colleagues and Ministers, taking charge of service delivery in this area of the division’s legal service provision. It provides an excellent opportunity to develop and demonstrate leadership and stakeholder relationship management skills in this fast-paced environment.
The post-holder will advise on all legal aspects of data processing, data protection and data privacy matters, including:
- Digital service design, data risk and governance.
- Data-related policy formulation (including legislation).
- Automation and Artificial Intelligence.
- Data breaches, emergencies, and cyber incident response.
- All aspects of data protection compliance, UKGDPR, Data Protection Act 2018 and related matters.
- Dealings with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
- Litigation support to our GLD litigators on private law actions by data subjects, public law challenges and regulatory enforcement matters.
- Data subject rights (including human rights).
- Data sharing.
- International transfer agreements.
- Cross-government co-operation to improve provision of public services through data sharing and integration.
Government handling of citizens’ data can be high-profile and attract media attention. It can also provide the foundation for better and more efficient public services. You and your mini-team will provide solution-focused advice of the highest quality to our clients to help them accurately identify, assess, and mitigate risk and find practical solutions.
As the team’s work is carried out within a government context, public and administrative law is integral to everything we do. You must be willing also to develop public and administrative law skills (for which training will be provided) alongside data law specialism.Person specification
- Specialist data law or information law experience.
- Strong client care skills.
- Ability to manage own practice and take charge of legal service delivery for a defined area of service provision.
- Management and leadership experience.
- Experience of working in a fast-paced environment handling urgent matters and emergencies to hard deadlines.
- Interest in/willingness to develop skills in public law in the government context.
- Experience in or exposure to public and administrative law.
Below are details of the Success Profile that make up this role.
You will be expected to provide evidence to show how you meet the criteria at interview stage.
We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:Delivering at Pace
- Ensure everyone clearly understands and owns their roles and responsibilities, prioritise effectively.
- Give honest, motivating, and enthusiastic messages about priorities, objectives, and expectations to get the best out of people.
- Ensure delivery of timely high-quality risk-based advice, through using the right resources to do the job, reviewing and adjusting performance expectations and rewarding success.
- Maintain own levels of performance in challenging circumstances and encourage others to do the same.
Changing and Improving
- Promote diversity, inclusion, and equality of opportunity, respecting difference and external experience.
- Welcome and respond to views and challenges from others, despite any conflicting pressures to ignore or give in to them.
- Stand by, promote, or defend own and team’s actions and decisions where needed.
- Seek out shared interests beyond own area of responsibility, understanding the extent of the impact actions have on the organisation.
- Inspire and motivate others to be fully engaged in their work and dedicated to their role.
Managing a Quality Service
- Encourage, recognise, and share innovative ideas.
- Make changes which add value and clearly articulate how changes will benefit the business.
- Understand the role of technology in public service delivery and policy implementation.
- Identify early signs that things are going wrong and respond promptly.
- Provide constructive challenge to senior management.
- Demonstrate positive customer service by understanding the complexity and diversity of customer needs and expectations.
- Deliver a high quality, efficient and cost-effective service.
- Make clear, practical, and manageable plans for service delivery.
- Proactively manage risks and identify solutions.
- Create regular opportunities for colleagues, stakeholders, delivery partners and customers to help improve the quality of service.
Technical Legal Skills
- Experience of leading and managing others.
For further information about Civil Service recruitment processes and Success profiles, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/success-profiles
- Specialist knowledge of data law or wider information law.
- Reliable legal judgement and appreciation of legal risk.
- The ability to think strategically and creatively, see legal issues in their wider context and advise accordingly. The ability to conduct sound analysis and use secure legal research to produce timely and fit for purpose advice.
- The ability to communicate advice effectively both in writing and orally.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the role of lawyers in government.
Qualifications – Minimum Eligibility Criteria
Academic and Professional
have a minimum of a 2:1 honours degree in their first degree (in any subject). Where an applicant holds an overseas degree qualification this should be equivalent to a 2.1 degree. GLD will consider applicants who do not have a 2.1 degree but only where satisfactory evidence of equivalent high level academic and/or professional achievement can be provided (e.g. via relevant experience and results achieved for the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)/CPE, Legal Practice Course (LPC), Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)).
Applicants must be qualified to practise as a Solicitor, Barrister or Chartered Legal Executive in England and Wales however, we also accept applications from overseas qualified candidates. You must have completed a training contract/pupillage/qualifying employment or have been exempted from this by the Law Society, the Bar Council or CILEx.
Please note that candidates cannot apply more than 3 months before their qualification date.
Professional entry criteria for Chartered Legal Executives (i.e. Fellows): Chartered Legal Executives are eligible to apply where (i) a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD) is held; or (ii) the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)/CPE has been completed; or (iii) where exams have been passed (i.e. a score of 50% or above achieved), at CILEx Level 6*, in all of the following seven foundation subjects in law:
- Contract Law
- Criminal Law
- Equity and Trusts Law
- European Union Law
- Land Law
- Public Law
- Law of Tort
- Note: There are specific requirements relating to academic achievement in the CILEx Level 6 exams where these are being used to demonstrate 2.1 degree equivalence as set out
Chartered Legal Executives should note that GLD will be willing to accept an, overall, average score of 65% or above across exams passed in the seven foundation subjects in law (where studied at CILEx Level 6) as demonstrating 2.1 degree equivalence (where a 2.1 degree is not held).Civil Service Code
The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of you and other civil servants. These are based on the core values which are set out in legislation. As a civil servant, you are expected to carry out your role with dedication and a commitment to the Civil Service and its core values of:
- ‘integrity’ is putting the obligations of public service above your own personal interests
- ‘honesty’ is being truthful and open
- objectivity’ is basing your advice and decisions on rigorous analysis of the evidence
- ‘impartiality’ is acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving equally well governments of different political persuasions
These core values support good government and ensures the achievement of the highest possible standards in all that the Civil Service does.Benefits
Alongside your salary of £68,000, Government Legal Department contributes £18,360 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.
Things you need to know
- Learning and development tailored to your role
- An environment with flexible working options
- A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
- A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%
Selection process details
Your application will be assessed to select those demonstrating the best fit with the role by considering the evidence you have provided in your CV and personal statement against the criteria set out in the “person specification” section. Failure to address any or all of these may affect your application. You will be assessed on the following criteria:
- Technical Legal Skills
- Behaviour: Delivering at Pace
- Behaviour: Leadership
- Behaviour: Changing and Improving
- Behaviour: Managing a Quality Service
After the closing date, sifted candidates will be required to undertake a written technical test at an online assessment centre. Should candidates meet the standard in the test, a panel shall assess candidates’ suitability for the role based on evidence provided in their application against the behaviours and experience outlined in the person specification (see above).Interview
Should you be successful in being invited to interview, you will be assessed on your performance in all essential criteria as listed in the Person Specification, alongside scenario-based exercises and strength-based questions. Candidates invited to interview will be given further information.
At interview we will assess on:
- Technical Legal Skills
- Behaviour: Leadership
- Behaviour: Managing a quality service
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview.
Interviews will take place remotely via video conference, full details of the interview format will be provided to shortlisted candidates prior to interview. The timeline later in this pack indicates the date by which decisions are expected to be made, and all shortlisted candidates will be advised of the outcome as soon as possible thereafter.Offer
Regardless of the outcome, we will notify all candidates as soon as possible after the final interview.
We appoint in strict order of merit. If you meet the minimum criteria for this position but are not successful for a post, you will be placed on the reserve list for up to 12 months. We then may contact you to see if you are interested in a post at the same, or a lower grade, in GLD should one arise.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.Security
Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.Nationality Requirements
This job is broadly open to the following groups:
- UK nationals
- nationals of the Republic of Ireland
- nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
- nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
- nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
- individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
- Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service
Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.
We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (opens in a new window) .
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.Apply and further information
This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.
Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.Contact point for applicants
Job contact :
- Name : Alice Carter
- Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone : 0117 923 4417
- Email : email@example.com
If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with these Principles and you wish to make a complaint, please contact Caroline Anerville on 0207 210 3436 or at Caroline.Anerville@governmentlegal.gov.uk in the first instance. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission.