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Legal Services

MoJ Specialist (Lawyer) – 67328
£37,683 – £48,067
National

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We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.

MoJSpecialist (Lawyer) SEO – Legal and Information Assurance Directorate, Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)

The Organisation

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is an Executive Agency of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), set up in 2007 following the introduction of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) of 2005.

The OPG has a range of statutory functions under the MCA – including maintaining registers of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA), Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) and orders appointing deputies; supervising deputies; and dealing with representations about the way in which a donee of an LPA or a deputy is exercising their powers. 

The OPG registers approximately 900,000 LPAs and EPAs and supervises around 60,000 deputies per year. It has a staffing compliment of around 1800 employees.

The OPG is a fantastic, supportive and happy place to work offering a range of development opportunities.  The OPG has signed up to the ‘Time to Change’ pledge which supports mental health in the workplace, as well as recently receiving a health and wellbeing charter accreditation as we are committed to developing a supportive and inclusive environment that reflects the diverse community we serve.

The OPG is currently going through an extensive period of organisational change. This will be delivered by our transformation programme – “OPG 2025”. The ambitious plan is about changing the way we provide services – including modernising the LPA processes to make them fully digital. It will help us meet the growing needs of our users, partners and our stakeholders. It will make sure our users experience a better level of support. Overall, it will help us to respond to the changing needs of society. This is so we can better support adults at risk and create high-quality services that are accessible and affordable. 

The Legal and Information Assurance Directorate

OPG’s Legal & Information Assurance Directorate is based in both Birmingham and Nottingham and provides legal and information assurance (IA) services to all business areas in OPG.  The principal legal work of the team comprises of litigation. There is also an advisory aspect to the job, in relation to both investigation and supervision casework. As well as providing legal advice on policy matters.  The IA team deals with requests for information under freedom of information and data protection legislation and seeks to ensure that the OPG meets all of its statutory obligations under this legislation. 

The Directorate comprises 109 employees, and the successful candidate would be part of a team of 15 lawyers and would work in a mini team of three lawyers led by a Grade 7 senior lawyer.

The Role

Due to the ongoing growth of the team, and the need to cover maternity leave and secondments to Other Government Departments, the team is recruiting three lawyers.The roles are full time and permanent and can be based nationally. This would mean that the successful candidate can be based at a local Ministry of Justice office location. There may be a requirement for travel between our offices in Birmingham and Nottingham and courts throughout England and Wales.

The main activities and responsibilities of the role will include conducting litigation in the Court of Protection and providing advice to the operational teams within OPG.

The range of work will include advising all areas of the business on matters relating to the discharge of the OPG’s statutory functions; reviewing reports produced following investigations and advising on possible legal proceedings; overseeing the drafting of applications to court and supporting evidence; and conducting litigation on behalf of the OPG.  There may be a requirement to advise on other issues on occasion, including freedom of information requests and data protection matters. 

Skills and Professional Qualifications

Essential Skills:

  • Applicants must be qualified to practise as a Solicitor or Barrister in England and Wales (or expect to be qualified by 31 December 2022.)
  • Excellent technical legal skills, commensurate with post-qualification experience.
  • Ability to work at pace and meet challenging deadlines, which requires you to be flexible/adaptable, setting priorities as the workload and focus of the teams within your area change.
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work with a variety of internal and external customers and stakeholders at all levels.

Desirable:

  • Experience of dealing with issues under the Mental Capacity Act.
  • Experience of conducting litigation
  • Experience of providing legal services as part of an in-house legal team.

Technical Legal Skills:

  • Sound understanding of public law and/or mental capacity law and/or civil litigation.
  • Reliable legal judgement and appreciation of legal risk.
  • The ability to think strategically and creatively, see legal issues in their wider context and advise accordingly.
  • Sound analysis, using legal research to produce timely and fit for purpose advice.

Motivational Fit:

  • Your motivation for wishing to work with the OPG and what you might contribute effectively to the role within the OPG.

Application process

This vacancy is being advertised using the Civil Service Success Profilesprocess, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Technical Experience and Motivational Fit. Your application should emphasise what you feel you would bring to the role and we actively encourage you to describe the personal strengths and experience that you believe would make you a success.

You are invited to provide a CV (2 pages of A4 maximum) plus a supporting personal statement of no more than 1000 words. The personal statement should demonstrate how you meet the essential and desirable skills and qualifications, and also demonstrate evidence of the following criteria:

Technical Legal Skills:

  • Sound understanding of public law and/or mental capacity law and/or civil litigation.
  • Reliable legal judgment and appreciation of legal risk.
  • The ability to think strategically and creatively, see legal issues in their wider context and advise accordingly.
  • Sound analysis, using legal research to produce timely and fit for purpose advice.

Motivational Fit

  • Your motivation for wishing to work with the OPG and what you might contribute effectively to the role within the OPG.

Applications will be sifted on your evidence of relevant skills and experience and motivational fit.

Interview Process

If successful at sift, you will be invited to an interview which will follow the Civil Service Success Profilesprocess. This will consist of a written exercise and an interview.

Candidates should expect to complete a written exercise on the day of interview (further details will follow if you are invited to interview). This will be testing your Technical Legal skills.

At interview you will be expected to provide further evidence of your experience in Technical Legal skills, questions on your Motivational Fit and questions on three Civil Service Behaviours – Delivering at Pace, Working Together and Making Effective Decisions (all Level 3); and to answer strength-based questions

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview.

For further information about Civil Service recruitment processes and Success Profiles, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/success-profiles

Training

The Office of the Public Guardian is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.

Flexible working hours

This is a full-time role (37 hours). Any requests for alternative working patterns, including part time and job share, will be considered in line with business needs and accommodated where possible.

At OPG we encourage applications from all under-represented groups of people.  In order to monitor possible under-representation in our organisation, we encourage all our applicants to complete the equality questionnaire. The information contained within is completely anonymous and forms no part of the recruitment process. Your assistance in supporting us to make these positive changes is greatly appreciated.

Salary

The national salary range is £37,683 - £41,506, London salary range is £43,647 - £48,067. Your salary will be dependent on your base location

Additional Information

Working Arrangements & Further Information

The MoJ offers Hybrid Working arrangements where business need allows. This is an informal, non-contractual form of flexible working that blends working from your base location, different MoJ sites and / or from home (please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas). Some roles will not be suitable for Hybrid Working. Similarly, Hybrid Working will not suit everyone’s circumstances. Arrangements will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) and subject to regular review.

For nationally advertised roles, the successful candidate(s) will be appointed to a MoJ office location, which may include their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed on the completion of pre-employment checks.

Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Flexible working hours

The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.

Benefits

The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

Annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after five years’ service.

There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Pension

The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

Training

The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.

Networks

The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Support

  • A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
  • Access to flexible benefits such as voluntary benefits, retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
  • For moves to or from another employer or moves across the Civil Service this can have implications on your eligibility to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for alternative government childcare support schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. More information can be found on GOV.UK or Childcare Choices. You can determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As a Disability Confident employer, MoJ are committed to providing everyone with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities, by making adjustments throughout all elements of the recruitment process and in the workplace. MoJ are able to offer an interview to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns.

You will be able to request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process within the application form. If you need additional help completing the application form, please contact the SSCL Recruitment Enquiries Team.

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.