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Senior Legal Counsel - Regulatory and Compliance

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
up to £50,000 DOE
Closing date
15 Oct 2021
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Job Details

Scale 3
Job family: Business Services
Terms: Permanent
Location: Cheltenham
Reports to: Head of Legal and Governance
Direct Reports: N/A
Team: Legal
Business unit: Finance and Corporate Services

Job purpose

To support in the provision of high-quality legal advice to UCAS as a charity and its trading subsidiary, UCAS Media. You will support the UCAS business through delivery of an excellent legal service, providing high quality, timely and accurate legal advice to ensure that the Company’s obligation to comply with legislation are met. You will work as part of the Legal and Governance Teams to provide a highly professional and efficient service to the Company through pragmatic and business-friendly advice and solutions across the business. You will possess sound technical knowledge and commercial acumen with the ability to build strong and effective, trusted relationships with your internal/external customers and team members, together with excellent time-management skills.

Key accountabilities
You will be the primary contact and lead legal advisor on charity and company law on matters including but not limited to charitable objects, Articles of Association, Reserved Matters, company reporting requirements and Director’s legal responsibilities under company legislation.

You will also lead in developing and directing an effective ethics and compliance programme to protect and enhance UCAS’ reputation and values, by mitigating the risk of breaches to company policies, procedures, and relevant regulations, notably FCA and UK Bribery Act which will include but is not limited to:

Identifying and analysing risks and assess if the company’s internal compliance controls and policies are operating effectively and recommending ways to strengthen that internal risk structure.

Provide support, education and training to build risk awareness across the business.

  • Regularly review the compliance policies and procedures (including customer onboarding), ensuring compliance.
  • Raise awareness of emerging compliance issues and related policies and procedures.
  • Monitor and consider the impact of regulatory and legislative changes to identify gaps across the business in relation to compliance knowledge and address those gaps.
  • Design or implement improvements in communication, monitoring, or enforcement of compliance standards.
  • Provide input into business and strategic decisions from a compliance perspective.
  • Proactive approach to risk and compliance support to internal projects to ensure that regulatory responsibilities are met.

Where appropriate and necessary you will be required to support in the drafting of legal documents to support the Team and the business.

You will be required to build trusted partnerships with internal and external customers.

You will assist in the creation of, development and maintenance of suitable case management processes and procedures with a supportive and up to date suite of legal precedents for the effective and efficient running of the in-house legal function.

You will be expected to assist in the development and delivery of in-house legal training, as well as ways to develop and share new and up to date developments in legislative changes, emerging case law and legal best practice across the business.

You will also be required to assist and support the Head of Legal and Governance in ensuring that high quality governance advice and assistance is provided across the organisation to ensure that appropriate processes are in place to ensure compliance with Charity Commission requirements as well as compliance with company legislation.

You will also work collaboratively with the wider Finance and Corporate Services business unit to develop and maintain a strong support function to the business, key stakeholders and its customers.

Skills, qualifications, and experience

  • A qualified solicitor, ideally having worked in-house with significant experience in a range of legal areas but with specific and significant experience in regulatory and compliance matters.
  • You will have a proven ability to build confidence, respect and credibility and to maintain a high degree of confidentiality.
  • Very strong technical skills and good attention to detail are essential to delivery high quality legal and governance advice and assistance.
  • Ability to take ownership and accountability for the legal and governance affairs of the business divisions this role supports and deliver results.
  • You will have a proven track record of being able to work well with senior management and Board members and possess excellent communication and organisational skills
  • You must possess strong analytical skills with a pragmatic “problem solving approach”
  • You must be able to use your initiative and provide solutions as well as be flexible, approachable and have a diplomatic approach.

This role profile sets out the scope and main duties of the post at the date when it was drawn up. Such details may vary from time to time without changing the general character of the post or the level of responsibility entailed. Such variations are a common occurrence and cannot of themselves justify a reconsideration of the level of the post. All UCAS employees are expected to be flexible in undertaking the duties and responsibilities attached to their role and may be asked to perform other duties, which reasonably correspond to the general character of their role and their level of responsibility.


As a highly trusted, independent charity, UCAS helps over 700,000 people from more than 200 countries and territories to explore the opportunities and benefits of undergraduate higher education (HE) every year.

We are proud to enable over half a million people to change their lives by embarking on their studies at a UK university or college. You can read our strategy for 2020-2025 ‘Discover your future’ here.

Our technology capability and customer service expertise also mean that we can support individuals interested in exploring postgraduate courses, as well as degree and higher apprenticeships, and we currently run admissions services for conservatoires, postgraduate courses, and teacher training.

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