The Government Legal Department (GLD) is the largest provider of legal services across government, working with all the main Whitehall Departments. From roads to rivers, and health to human rights, our work touches on most aspects of public life.
We are a non-ministerial government department with more than 2,300 employees, around 1,800 of whom are solicitors or barristers. The department is based primarily in London but has teams in Bristol, Manchester, and Leeds.
GLD advisory divisions work in a fast-paced political environment where the legal team is integral to delivering Ministers’ policy and operational priorities. The legal issues are often complex, novel and politically sensitive. The legal approach may be scrutinised by Parliament, the media, courts, and other institutions - domestic, European and international. Projects are often fast moving and the issues brought to lawyers are often urgent and unpredictable. Our advisory lawyers work closely with policy officials and other professionals in Departments to find legally sound solutions to deliver Ministers’ priorities.
The actions and decisions of government are under increasing scrutiny and challenge. Military action overseas, immigration policy, welfare reform, climate change and energy policy are just a few of the issues that generate legal challenges that can hit the headlines. GLD litigation lawyers conduct a wide range of often high profile cases, frequently involving questions of constitutional importance. Our public law litigation practice covers the full range of judicial review challenges in areas such as immigration, planning and national security as well as the Government’s wide ranging reform agenda. We also have a substantial private law practice representing large Government Departments such as the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Defence in personal injury, clinical negligence, misfeasance in public office, false imprisonment, and other claims. Litigation lawyers also provide expert representation in relation to inquests and public inquiries. We regularly litigate through the higher courts to the Supreme Court and offer the opportunity to handle cases at the forefront of the developing law.
Posts are available in a number of Advisory divisions and in Litigation Group.
Grade 6 lawyers have important leadership roles across our organisation.
In our Advisory divisions, while not every Grade 6 role will always involve line management, we expect all our Grade 6s to have the skills and motivation to manage junior lawyers and provide strong professional leadership while dealing with complex and high-profile issues and projects.
Grade 6 advisory lawyers can expect to move between teams to different projects and areas of work as their division responds to changing Ministerial priorities, and as managers support them to broaden their advisory skill set.
In our Litigation group, post-holders will line manage up to 5 Grade 7s and /or lead a mini-team of up to 10 people including paralegal and litigation support staff. They will be expected to provide strong professional leadership while holding a caseload of complex and challenging cases. There are a number of posts in both private and public law teams.
Post holders will be expected to demonstrate strong personal legal and strategic analysis, judgement and pro-activity. They also will be expected to make valuable contribution to the wider team, the advisory and litigation communities in GLD, and the department as a whole through knowledge management, training, projects and other opportunities that demonstrate the GLD Values.
You must be qualified to practice as a solicitor or barrister in England and Wales. Applicants qualified in a jurisdiction outside England and Wales will be required to undertake the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme within five years of appointment or organisational start date if in a current qualified lawyer post, and employment will be conditional upon the successful completion of the QLTS within this time period. GLD offers some partial funding for the QLTS, however applicants should note that there is also a cost to the individual.