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Senior Counsel

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Maidenhead, Berkshire
£54,880 per annum
Closing date
11 Nov 2021

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Location: Maidenhead, Head Office based with some international travel

Contract Type: Two Years, Fixed Term

Salary: From £54,880 per annum, depending upon experience

Hours: Full Time, 37 hours per week

About the CWGC and CWGF

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) honours and cares for the men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the First and Second World Wars, ensuring they will never be forgotten. Funded by six Member Governments, our work began with building, and now maintaining, cemeteries at 23,000 locations all over the world.

Today, over a century after we first began, our work continues through our staff, supporters and volunteers who preserve our unique cultural, horticultural, and architectural heritage and ensure that the stories of those who died are told. Indeed, the work of the CWGC continues to evolve and pose new challenges.

The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation (CWGF) is the charitable arm of the CWGC. The CWGF highlights the work of the CWGC by engaging people, especially the young, raising funds to deliver a diverse range of projects, events and public engagement programmes which tell the inspiring stories of the men and women who died across the globe while fighting in the two world wars and by showcasing the history and work of the CWGC today. 

About this Role and You

This is an important role at the centre of our unique Organisation. As our Senior Counsel you will be relied upon to provide top quality, pragmatic and practical legal services to our Organisation, and Executive Leadership Team. You will work alongside our experienced central Legal team whose workload stretches the globe and you can expect to be challenged with new and interesting legal matters. You will need to be a versatile thinker with a high professional integrity when advising on varied and unusual legal issues. This role will bring enjoyment to those who seek a broad and challenging workload in a global organisation.

This exciting role offers the opportunity to get involved with the developing charitable arm of the CWGC, the CWGF. You will be at the heart of advising on its constitution, governance and activities, including tax, charity law and international governmental arrangements.

To be successful in this role, you will have significant post qualification experience as a solicitor with a proven background of versatility when monitoring, advising and interpreting legal developments and legislation. You will be adept at identifying and assessing legal and corporate risks with the ability to work collaboratively and innovatively with external legal providers, parliamentary and governmental bodies. You will also have experience of standardisation, governance and compliance, including development and implementation of policies and procedures.  

Key Responsibilities

Reporting to the General Counsel, this is a senior role, with the ability to act autonomously, leading and acting as the source of knowledge and guidance, focussing on providing first class advice across a broad range of challenging legal issues. Particular focus will be on contracts (negotiation and process), governance and compliance, employment, property, media and events, data protection, intellectual property and legal issues associated with charities.

This is an excellent opportunity for a motivated and confident individual to join our dedicated and friendly in-house legal team. You will be building key relationships across all internal departments and with our overseas leadership teams. A broad understanding and awareness for differing cultures, legal and economic environments is essential and is helping the legal team to set up processes, policies and procedures to ensure the legal team's resource is best directed.

The CWGC operates in over 150 countries and territories across the world. Due to this, international experience working with lawyers in foreign legal jurisdictions would be an advantage, as would working in the public or not-for-profit sectors.  There will be opportunities for travel, so you must have the flexibility and ability to travel both nationally and internationally, as needed

You will be able to demonstrate:

  • Qualification as a lawyer with outstanding broad legal knowledge
  • Significant and impressive post qualification experience as a solicitor at a senior level (including in-house)
  • Excellent team leadership, management and mentoring skills
  • Versatility and creativeness when advising on legal problems in the UK and globally
  • Ability to identify and assess legal and corporate risks
  • Analytical and pragmatic approach to finding solutions to complex and demanding situations
  • Unwavering professional and personal integrity
  • Excellent communication skills, especially when addressing audiences from different cultural backgrounds
  • Excellent negotiation and persuasion skills
  • Ability to deliver coaching, mentoring and training to junior team members
  • Wide reaching network skills
  • Experience with ecclesiastical law, is desirable

In addition, we are looking for applicants who share our Values of Respect, Excellence, Teamwork, Communication, Professionalism and Commitment.

What We Offer:

  • A generous holiday allocation, with 25 days annual leave, rising by 1 day per year up to a maximum of 30
  • Paid public holidays
  • Paid office closure between Christmas and New Year
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Generous Pension Scheme, with CWGC contributing up to 15%
  • Up to six times salary Life Assurance cover
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • We offer piece of mind for our employees travelling on business via International SOS

How to Apply

Please send your cover letter, CV and completed application form to

We are unable to consider applications if all the required documents are not submitted.

We value the differences that a diverse workforce brings and are committed to creating a respectful work environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect and where any unlawful and/or unfair discrimination is eliminated. We will not unlawfully discriminate directly or indirectly in recruitment or employment on grounds of sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, age, sexual orientation or marital status, religion or belief.

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