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.
The Department has more than 14 client-facing advisory teams who provide legal advice on the development, design and implementation of government policies and decisions, draft secondary legislation and work with Parliamentary Counsel on primary legislation. Our cross-cutting expert service groups for Litigation, Employment and Commercial Law, provide specialist legal services to a wide range of government departments and public bodies.
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.
Our vision is to be an outstanding legal organisation, committed to the highest standards of service and professionalism and also a brilliant place to work where we can all thrive and fulfil our potential.
Costs Team sits within GLD’s Litigation Group. The Group provides litigation services to the majority of government departments and executive agencies, as well as many non-departmental public bodies, and its work is often high profile and raising questions of constitutional importance. The Group’s work encompasses litigation in public law and private law as well as supporting public inquiries and inquests. Lawyers attend hearings in a wide range of courts, including Coroners’ Courts, the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and the Supreme Court.
We are looking to fill one Grade 6 Senior Cost Lawyer/Draftsperson post in GLD’s in house costs team. GLD’s Cost team is a Centre of Excellence working in the heart of government. The team undertakes legal costs litigation and also provides advice across a wide range of HM Government departments and executive agencies. The team delivers high quality, competitive legal costs services to clients on a wide range of legal areas including Judicial review, Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence, Inquests and Inquiries, Human Rights, Employment and Land Tribunal, Commercial, and Charities matters. The work includes adverse, recovery and budgeting work. The team attends hearings at various courts including the Senior Courts Cost Office & the Supreme Court.
This post has come about as part of our commitment to grow and develop the team as a designated Centre of Excellence. The post holder will act as joint section head and technical lead for the team reporting upwards to the Deputy Director.
Litigation costs work is a specialist and ever developing area and, with the advent of costs budgeting, the costs team is often now involved in pro actively assisting and collaborating with its litigation colleagues at a much earlier stage of the litigation process. This is an exciting opportunity for a highly experienced Costs Lawyer/ Draftsperson with proven leadership, technical and management skills to help improve and drive the delivery of the team’s service in HM Government work. The post holder will be expected to:
- Provide strong strategic leadership, management and technical direction to a team of circa 20 staff and have a proven track record in driving team performance behaviours.
- Provide support to the Deputy Director, chairing regular team and management meetings, analysing trends arising from the team’s casework and MI and horizon scanning to assess the likely impact of any forthcoming changes
- Provide day to day line management and development support to circa 3- 4 direct reports and have proven ability to create a nurturing learning environment whilst also maintaining focus on quality and performance.
- Maintain a small caseload of complex/high value /high profile cost cases, including group litigation actions and provide strategic input and direction on complex cases run by junior staff.
- Foster good working relationships with key clients and internal litigation teams, providing effective and strategic advice, to further clients objectives, and provide client legal awareness training as necessary. Investigate and deal promptly with any service complaints.
- Further relationships with other external bodies as necessary, for example other public sector costs teams
- Oversee the team’s relationship with external costs suppliers
- Drive delivery of the team’s and litigation group’s corporate objectives and encourage a culture of continuous improvement
- Champion our “Centre of Excellence” status though identification of training needs and delivery of costs training and advice to both internal colleagues and clients.
- Support the Deputy Director by undertaking recruitment for the Team and Division from time to time as required.
- Ensure quality service delivery in line with Lexcel and GLD service standards and tackle under performance where found.
*interviews will take place week commencing 9th August
Essential Criteria for the post
Technical Legal Skills
- Qualified Costs Lawyer or experienced Costs Draftsperson with extensive knowledge and substantial costs experience gained in a variety of settings and areas.
- Demonstrable track record of personally handling high value and complex costs casework requiring strategic direction in adverse, recovery and budgeting work.
- Previous line management/leadership experience gained in a cost setting.
- 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.
- Seek out shared interests beyond own area of responsibility, understanding the extent of the impact actions have on the
Behaviour: Managing a Quality Service
- Successfully deliver high quality outcomes that meet the customers’ needs and gives value for money.
- Proactively manage risks and identify solutions.
- Make clear, practical and manageable plans for service delivery.
Behaviour: Communicating and Influencing
- Being able to communicate clearly, honestly and concisely both orally and in writing in a persuasive and accurate way.
- Explain complex issues in a way that is easy to understand.
- Deliver difficult messages with clarity and sensitivity, being persuasive when required.
Behaviour: Developing Self and Others
- Prioritise and role-model continuous self-learning and development.
- Identify areas individuals and teams need to develop in order to achieve future objectives.
Support colleagues to take responsibility for their own learning and development.
- Demonstrable evidence of how well our requirements and offerings match your aspirations.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the role of costs lawyers in Government work.
- Demonstrate motivation to join /progress within the Government Legal Department and how you feel you might contribute effectively to a role with GLD
We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
- Managing a Quality Service
- Communicating and Influencing
- Developing Self and Others
We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:
We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
• Learning and development tailored to your role
•An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension