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Legal Advisers

Government Legal Department (GLD)
Leeds, West Yorkshire
£48,985 - £58,000
Closing date
27 May 2022
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Job Details

Legal Advisers

The Government Legal Department

Location: Leeds

Salary £48,985 - £58,000

Tackle the most fascinating trade challenges.

Who we are

With a wealth of talent within our teams, and the chance to get involved in nationally important projects, The Government Legal Department (GLD) is possibly the most unique place in which you could further your legal expertise. Our work impacts on every community, as we support the development and implementation of policies and decisions across nearly every Whitehall department, and we provide legal advice to numerous public bodies. As the largest provider of legal services across government, we also handle the drafting of secondary legislation and we work alongside the Parliamentary Counsel to deliver legally-sound primary legislation, so it is imperative that our collaborative team remain at the cutting-edge of legal knowledge. Many of our Lawyers find that they need to acquire knowledge that is not required in private practice, so we provide exceptional training and development opportunities in-house. With flexible working options and a truly supportive working environment, we provide a fascinating backdrop against which to pursue your interests.

The roles

We now have a number of fascinating opportunities for Lawyers or Legal Advisers with an interest in trade to join a number of key Government Legal Divisions. Regardless of the department that you join, you will be faced with a broad range of interesting projects – many of which will be high profile – so you will excel in our team if you are capable of balancing multiple challenges, while always seeing the bigger picture. The teams that you could join include:

  • Department for International Trade (DIT)

As a DIT Lawyer, you will tackle international trade and investment strategy and policy projects. With oversight of both public and international law (including trade and investment law), you will handle anything from trade negotiations and free trade agreements through to trade disputes. As such, you could be tasked with projects relating to goods and services, government procurement, intellectual property or sustainable development. If you join our Export Controls and Sanctions team, you will be tasked with issues relating to the export of goods from the UK, plus those that are affected by the UK's sanctions regime.

  • Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

As a Legal Advisor in BEIS, you will play an exciting role in helping us make the UK an even better place in which to work and do business. With a broad remit that extends from tackling coronavirus and climate change through to promoting innovation, our projects include anything from space travel to oil rigs. More recently we have played an instrumental role in COP26, while our Service, Investment and Trade Team provides centralised expertise on trade, professional qualifications and investment issues. Join us in this work, and you could handle ambitious trade projects relating to the trade of non-industrial goods and intellectual property, or even challenges relating to net zero issues or the Energy Charter.

  • The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

As a member of Defra’s legal team, you will support the department’s goals of safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our food and farming sectors and sustaining a thriving rural economy. Specifically, you will handle international trade issues such as agri-food trade, market access and technical barriers to trade. You will also be tasked with projects relating to sanitary and phytosanitary matters, geographical indications and the environment, and you will support colleagues across Whitehall in negotiating free trade agreements and the UK’s position at the WTO.

  • The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)

As a member of The Trade and International team within the DCMS, you will help us promote Britain as a great place to visit and do business, while driving growth and enriching the lives of those who live here. Digital trade is a priority area for us, so it is essential that we are able to formulate new and innovative trading opportunities. Getting involved in a fascinating array of projects, you will therefore offer legal advice on anything from data, telecoms and digital, through to platform liability and audio-visual. Collaborating with our colleagues in the DIT, you could also get involved in negotiating the UK’s existing trade agreements, including the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU.

  • The Treasury

As a legal adviser in The Treasury's Trade and Negotiations division, you will join either The Services Sub-Team or The Goods Sub-Team. The Services Sub-Team provides advice on issues around the UK’s autonomous regimes for granting market access to third country financial service providers. The team also specialise in financial services issues in trade negotiations, so you will have the chance to negotiate financial service chapters in UK bilateral trade agreements, plus mutual recognition agreements.  

Alternatively, you will join The Goods Sub-Team which is responsible for the ongoing challenges relating to Northern Ireland Protocol, where you will handle issues such as the operation of the UK tariff regime. Working in partnership with HMRC plus other Whitehall departments, you will get involved in litigation, some SI drafting and general advisory work as you tackle projects impacting on climate change, border control issues and some flagship policies such as the implementation of the Government’s freeport policy.

About you

With comprehensive intellectual and analytical skills, you will thrive in our ambitious team if you are a qualified Lawyer or Legal Adviser with Legal Professional Skills at Grade 7, and a minimum of a 2:1 degree in your first degree (in any subject). Good verbal and written communication skills are essential, and you will be a self-starter who is capable of managing your own workload – yet always willing to work collaboratively. From a practical viewpoint, you will have a good knowledge of international law, international trade law or EU law, and you will have a comprehensive understanding of public law. As a creative and strategic thinker, you have sound judgement and a keen awareness of legal risk. With a determination to deliver a high-quality service, you will either have experience in, or be keen to develop your knowledge of the following areas: international negotiations, international dispute settlement procedures, trade in services, border administration, intellectual property, international development, export control or sanctions law issues.


To find out more about any of these roles, please contact or call

0845 3000 793 or 0117 923 4417.





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. 

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