Status:          Closed. Another successful assignment for Oakleigh Resourcing.

Client:           the British Council

Role:             Senior Legal Advisor (2 vacancies)

Reports to:   Head of Legal

Location:      Spring Gardens, London SW1A

Status:          Permanent, Full Time

Remuneration:  Attractive salary (to £60k incl. London Allowance) & benefits package including pension, 32 days annual leave and a range of family friendly policies

Role Purpose: To provide comprehensive, efficient and cost effective legal advice to designated client functions and in support of organisation-wide legal issues, which identifies legal risks and informs decision-making.

Context and environment: Legal services are provided within the British Council (BC) through a small team within the Corporate HQ, supported as required by advice from external lawyers.  In addition to external lawyers overseas, there is an outsourcing arrangement with a law firm in the UK to provide legal advice on transactional issues. The CHQ team have oversight over the use of oursourcing arrangements. Direct support from the CHQ team is focussed on business-critical core legal issues, including co-creation partnerships, conflict of laws/cross border issues, legal status, oversight of major contracts and strategy for resolution of major disputes, where it is more effective to provide the advice internally.

The role provides direct support to designated Strategic Business Units (SBUs), corporate functions and the overseas network as delegated on a project by project basis.

Accountabilities, responsibilities and main duties:

  • Provide legal advice, oversight and review for client functions, including review of major bids/contracts, partnerships and disputes and ad hoc legal advice to ensure legal risks and opportunities are understood to inform the best possible decisions.
  • Review all material legal advice obtained by client functions overseas to ensure alignment with BC values, policies and corporate requirements.
  • Provide operational legal support to client functions and the legal function overall, for example in the drafting and negotiation of MoUs/Treaties with host country governments or for ancillary legal documentation such as Bonds and Guarantees, Policies, Powers of Attorney etc.
  • Lead, as delegated, on legal issues arising from set up of new subsidiaries and changes to existing subsidiaries to ensure risks are identified and mitigating actions identified to the business.
  • As required, advise on the management of legal risk in the organisation, including design and delivery of key change programmes, advising on legal implications of new business models and commercial activities.
  • As delegated, lead on initiatives to develop legal knowledge and understanding to enhance awareness and capability in legal matters.
  • As delegated, contribute to and manage the development of the Model Contracts Portal, Legal intranet pages and other tools and communications to share best legal practice. 
  • Where required deputise for the Head of Legal.

Key Relationships:

  • Client functions (SBUs, regions/countries and corporate functions)
  • Senior Colleagues in finance, HR and corporate functions.
  • External Legal Advisors
  • Senior management in Client functions

Other important features of the role: Some overseas travel may be required. In addition there may occasionally be a requirement to participate in telephone calls outside of normal working hours to accommodate time differences.

Person Specification:

Behaviours (all at most demanding level) (please see BC web site for Behaviours Key):

  • Creating shared purpose
  • Being accountable
  • Connecting with others
  • Making it happen
  • Working together
  • Shaping the future

Skills and Knowledge:

Sufficient knowledge of:

  • partnerships and joint ventures
  • corporate governance
  • legal status (UK and overseas)
  • dispute resolution
  • contracts
  • conflict of laws/cross border issues


  • Sufficent post qualification experience
  • International legal experience
  • Commercial experience


  • Barrister or Solicitor qualified in England & Wales and / or Lawyer qualified in common law jurisdiction

If you would like to discuss this role in more detail then please contact Elaine Rippon of Oakleigh Resourcing on 01477 534491. To apply please email your current CV with details of your present or most recent remuneration package to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.