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Senior Leadership

Second Private Secretary to the Senior Presiding Judge – 44493
£52,845 - £63,500


We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit:

Job Description

Private Secretary Senior Presiding Judge

Grade: Grade 7

Location: Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL


The Senior Presiding Judge’s Private Office is looking for an enthusiastic, motivated, high performing Grade 7 to join the team. The successful candidate will be based in the Royal Courts of Justice and will be working at the heart of the Judicial Office in this varied role which offers significant scope for personal development. This is an exciting opportunity to help lead a busy Private Office, the successful candidate will report directly to the Senior Private Secretary and will be working with a number of the most senior members of the judiciary.

The Senior Presiding Judge (‘SPJ’)

The SPJ’s responsibilities and remit include:

  • providing support, leadership and guidance for courts judiciary and magistrates, particularly to leadership judges;
  • acting as ‘Chief of Staff’ for the Lord Chief Justice, dealing with the day–to–day issues affecting the judiciary, across a wide-ranging field including diversity, HR casework, and appointments
  • representing the Lord Chief Justice on the HMCTS Board and attending a number of other high profile boards;
  • the effective and efficient operation of the courts, including regular meetings with HMCTS, working with judges to understand and improve performance.
  • Providing support, leadership, and guidance for courts judiciary, in particular to leadership judges;
  • the effective and efficient operation of the courts, including regular meetings with those involved in the work of the courts, and working with judges to understand and improve performance;

Job Description

The successful candidate will take active leadership of the SPJ’s Private Office supporting the Senior Private Secretary with management of the team of 8 and will be required to independently manage conflicting priorities daily as well as advise the SPJ.

They will be expected to build strong relationships with the SPJ and other senior members of the judiciary, gaining their trust, respecting their confidence and providing appropriate challenge. The post-holder will need to work closely with colleagues in other parts of the Judicial Office and in HMCTS, investing time to develop good relationships to ensure the SPJ has all the information needed to reach decisions and address the concerns of the judiciary.

A key aspect of this role will be to help lead the Private Office, although the SPJ Private Office has a cross jurisdictional role the post-holder will support on issues relating the Criminal Justice System (‘CJS’). This will require collaborative working with the Judicial Office’s Criminal Justice Team, HMCTS, MoJ and the CPS identifying and drawing links where necessary.

Main Responsibilities

The role will also undertake the following duties and responsibilities (the list is not exhaustive):

  • Report to and support the Senior Private Secretary, particularly with the leadership of the Private Office; this will include direct line management of the Deputy Private Secretary’s.
  • Ensure that the SPJ receives periodic updates as to live issues within the CJS, providing advice, briefing and support at meetings where required;
  • Support the SPJ on specific projects including supporting key CJS working groups which will include working with the wider judiciary and senior contacts in the CPS, Police, Defence, HMPPS and HMCTS.
  • Ensure the Private Office and wider Judicial Office are aware as necessary of emerging issues within the CJS especially those with cross jurisdictional impacts;
  • Act as an ambassador for the SPJ, communicating with senior stakeholders with accuracy and sensitivity towards views/concerns/questions as required;
  • Undertake ad-hoc requests as required to support the SPJ and Senior Private Secretary, managing conflicting priorities often with tight deadlines;

These duties are subject to change depending on the SPJ’s priorities.

Private Office roles are unpredictable and can require working long hours and, very occasionally, at weekends. It may be necessary to support the SPJ on visits across the county therefore some travel will likely be required. This role is not suitable for job-share or reduced hours working.

Person Specification

The successful candidate must be able to influence and manage upwards and speak with authority when dealing with senior officials or judiciary. Excellent communication and leadership skills are required. Line management experience is desirable as is the ability to work collaboratively, through building and maintaining a network of colleagues and contacts across various teams both within your own department and in external organisations.

Desirable Skills

Operational experience, specifically within the criminal justice system is desirable.

Experience of working with the judiciary would be an advantage.

You will be assessed against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Communicating and influencing
  • Working together
  • Delivering at pace
  • Seeing the big picture

The Judicial Office

“Strengthening the rule of law and improving the administration of justice by supporting the leadership and governance of our independent judiciary.”

The Judicial Office was established in 2006 following the implementation of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 which made the Lord Chief Justice (LCJ) the Head of the Judiciary.

The Judicial Office is an arm’s length body of the Ministry of Justice based at the Royal Courts of Justice. We are a unique branch of the civil service, dedicated to supporting the judiciary and promoting judicial independence, to maintain confidence in the rule of law. We help the Lord Chief Justice and the Senior President of Tribunals fulfil their responsibilities to the judiciary, in an ever-evolving justice system. We provide operational support, policy, legal and handling advice through a number of specialist teams.

We have consistently high staff engagement scores and can offer frequent opportunities to get involved in the management and running of the department.

Additional Information

Working Arrangements & Further Information

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.


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.


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


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


  • 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 any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.


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.

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

1-     To Shared Service Connected Ltd (0845 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm) or e mail;

2-     To Ministry of Justice Resourcing (;

3-     To the Civil Service Commission (details available here)

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity.

There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Grading Structure Review

The Ministry of Justice is currently undergoing a review of posts which are currently graded at Band A to realign our grading structure with the majority of the wider Civil Service.

Posts advertised at Band A may be graded at either Grade 6 or Grade 7 once the review has taken place.