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General Counsel

Office for Environmental Protection
Worcester, with options for flexible working
Closing date
20 Aug 2021
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General Counsel


Location: Worcester, with options for flexible working

Executive Leadership Opportunity in a new Regulator

“OEP will be its people. To be the best it can be, to make the most difference, to deliver to the full, it needs the best people – talented, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and from all backgrounds…” Dame Glenys Stacey” Chair

The Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) is a new public body, being established with the principal objective of contributing to environmental protection, delivering proportionate regulation and working with a broad range of organisations to ensure that our legacy is an improved environmental landscape. The OEP will be the cornerstone of our environmental governance system now we have left the EU and will have a unique role in relation to some of the most pressing issues of our time, such as air quality, water quality, and biodiversity loss.  

The Interim OEP is a division within Defra and will provide independent oversight of the government’s environmental progress on a non statutory basis, in advance of the full OEP being legally established in Autumn 2021 once the Environment Bill receives Royal Assent. The Interim OEP came into existence in July 2021 and is led by the designate OEP board, chaired by Dame Glenys Stacey, with Natalie Prosser as Interim CEO-designate.

We are now seeking to appoint to four critical executive roles, including General Counsel. Together with the Interim Chief Executive, these individuals will form the executive team – the backbone of the organisation as it develops from the ground up and will play a significant role in shaping and influencing how the OEP operates in its crucial early years of existence. As General Counsel, you will be an Executive Director and a member of the OEP’s Executive Committee. You will be responsible for providing strategic legal support, to ensure the effective delivery of the OEP’s functions, will secure the provision of legal services to OEP and will oversee the conduct of OEP’s enforcement cases through the Courts.

We are looking for an experienced senior leader, a qualified solicitor, barrister or chartered legal executive with experience gained in a complex organisation. You will bring a track record of leading and developing teams, of working and influencing with high level stakeholders and be able to operate and influence in a complex political environment. A knowledge of public law is required and an understanding of environmental law would be advantageous. The OEP is a small organisation, so team work and pragmatism will align with professional expertise and the establishment of an infrastructure and regulatory framework that will lead to a better environmental future.

The natural environment is important for everyone and we aim for our teams to reflect the diversity of our society. Your personal qualities will be as important as your professional experience and applications are welcomed from all backgrounds.

If you are excited by these unique opportunities, please click on the Apply button to have a look at our website. For a confidential discussion please contact Anna Scaife or Katrina Paget at our advising consultants, GatenbySanderson on 0113 416 6772.

Closing Date: Friday 20th August.

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