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Senior Legal Advisor

  • Job
    Full-time
    Senior & Expert Level
  • Legal
  • London, +4
  • 13d left

Requirements

  • Solicitor or Barrister of at least 8 years call
  • Essential Knowledge, Experience and skills :
  • Experience of working in legal aid private practice as a qualified solicitor or barrister.
  • In depth knowledge of criminal law and of the workings of the criminal justice system
  • In depth knowledge of primary and secondary legislation governing the criminal legal aid system, the wider legal aid system, and the framework of contractual authority and established relevant case law which provides the relevant and applicable framework
  • Ability to work automously across multiple workstreams ensuring that work is delivered on time
  • Experience of working with operational staff, including training and upskilling them on legal matters.
  • Ability to understand and interpret complex legal and financial information and communicate its key messages clearly across wide audiences whilst maintaining engagement
  • Desirable Knowledge, Experience and skills:
  • Experience of Line management of staff
  • Experience of advocacy
  • Experience of briefing senior staff
  • Person Specification:
  • The role holder is someone who enjoys working in a fast-changing environment

Responsibilities

  • Act as the lead for Case Management in dispute resolution for criminal legally aided cases across all fee schemes. The role holder is lead operational advocate and advisor for funding disputes with both a judicial and quasi-judicial element. They will advise and advocate for a team of 354 staff, dealing with a total of approximately 270,000 legally aided cases a year, with an annual spend of in the region of £834 million. The case load includes all criminally legally aided Crown Court cases including Very High-Cost Cases; legally aided court of appeal work; and Central Funds dispute resolution.
  • Provide leadership and guidance for staff across Case Management at all grades and, with the involvement of senior external stakeholders, ensure that operational and policy objectives are aligned, and that all work together collaboratively and strategically to achieve the optimum balance between the interests of justice and of the public purse, ensuring criminal cases proceed as smoothly as possible with the necessary and appropriate funding.
  • Provide specialist legal advice to the Head of Case Management with particular reference to the highest cost and most complex criminal cases which may command significant media and political attention. The role holder also has sole responsibility for determining applications in the most niche and precedent-setting areas such as criminal legal aid for legal persons, providing making decisions autonomously and reporting directly to the Principal Legal Advisor. The role holder will ensure that sign off for spend on these cases is thorough, compliant with regulations and resilient to scrutiny – whether it be high level ministerial questioning or external legal challenge.
  • Provide the lead link between the operational function of Crime Case Management and the advisory function of Central Legal Team /Government Legal Department, working closely with the head of criminal litigation, and senior members of the commercial drafting team. They will be the lead and occasional sole drafter of revisions and amendments to contracts, arrangements and guidance governing criminal fee schemes.
  • Take the lead within Crime Case Management for the oversight of internal and external costs disputes. The role holder will advise colleagues and oversee processes ensuring they are up to date and compliant with existing regulation and general public law responsibility; and will advocate on behalf of the Lord Chancellor and LAA, on paper and in person, at applicable tribunals both internal and external. The role holder will be expected to identify emerging trends relating to SCCO decision making and implement a strategy for managing these in collaboration with wider Case Management teams.
  • Represent Crime Case Management and the wider LAA in discussions across the MoJ developing amending and updating fee schemes in consultation with external stakeholders, including senior practitioners, the representative bodies and members of the judiciary.
  • Act as the lead advisor and advocate for dispute resolution for all criminal legally aided cases in particular taking lead responsibility for areas of written work with legal or quasi legal dimension such as complaint handling which may escalate to court challenge or ombudsman, as well as providing a deeper understanding of the specific legal role of Director of Legal Aid Casework.
  • Oversee all cases where there is a dispute to an internal appeals mechanism, or to an external Costs Judge, advising colleagues in processes leading up to that dispute. Where matters proceed to appeal the role holder will lead on providing instructions to the central legal team and in turn to external counsel. The role holder should also be prepared to advocate at hearings before the Senior Courts Costs Office where counsel is not instructed.
  • Work closely with other Senior Legal Advisor to ensure optimum coordination and consistency of approach to contractual and policy issues, the relationships with providers in specialist areas, and the understanding of DLAC responsibilities.

Application Process

  • To apply please submit a CV and statement of suitability showing how you meet the essential criteria in no more than 1250 words.
  • Your statement should demonstrate your ability to do all of the essential criteria listed, using examples can help strengthen your application.

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