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vacancies

CURRENT VACANCIES

Role

Legal Director

Salary

£45,000 – £50,000 p.a. depending on experience

Hours

9am – 6pm with 30 days’ holiday.  Protect is happy to talk flexible working and would consider a part time role (3-4 days pro rata) or secondment.

Location

Protect’s office in Bethnal Green.  Our staff are currently working remotely and there is scope for home-working in this role.

Closing date

30 September 2020

Reporting to

Chief Executive

Responsible for

Head of Advice and Advocacy, Legal Officer

About Protect

Protect is the UK’s whistleblowing charity. At Protect, we think whistleblowing is a good thing, and we want more people to speak up to stop harm. For over 27 years we have championed the role whistleblowing can play in anticipating and avoiding serious risks that arise in and from the workplace.

We provide free, confidential legal advice to over 3,000 whistleblowers a year though our Advice Line. We work with employers to instil best practice in their governance and whistleblowing arrangements and to help them identify and manage risk and promote the public interest. We campaign for legal and policy changes to improve the rights of whistleblowers.

Legal:  Our advice service is unique, as we do more than explain individual legal rights and how to claim them, we also help callers raise their concerns. This requires a detailed understanding of the concerns themselves, and the regulatory framework. We do not litigate or represent callers, but we have developed a Legal Support Network of solicitors and barristers who provide pro bono support. We are also involved in strategic litigation, intervening in cases of public policy interest, the most recent being the Supreme Court case of Gilham v Ministry of Justice [2019] UKSC 44

Policy: We were closely involved in drafting the original Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA), which provides a framework for the promotion and protection of public interest whistleblowing. We are now campaigning – and have produced a draft bill – to update PIDA to reflect the modern workplace, and ensure that the UK keeps pace with international best practice.  We produce regular research and reports based on our Advice Line information, for example Silence in the City 2 (July 2020) on the experiences of whistleblowers in financial services and a Better Regulators Guide.

The role

Protect is seeking a Legal Director to act as the senior legal supervisor, and to co-ordinate the work of our legal and policy teams. This is an exciting time to be taking on the role, as we campaign for legislative reform of PIDA and modernise our highly respected advice service.

You will be responsible to the Chief Executive and line manage our Head of Advice and Advocacy and Legal Officer. You will be responsible for ensuring the training of our current and future trainees meets SRA standards and provide appropriate supervision and legal oversight to the organisation’s work.

You will develop and modernise our legal services to ensure that we meet the highest possible standards for advice, are widely accessible, and continue to meet the high demand for our help.  You will supervise team members in complex and high-profile cases and help identify cases of public policy interest in which Protect can intervene in the higher Courts. You will identify opportunities for law firms to provide more litigation support for whistleblowers and, working with the Head of Advice and Advocacy, you will develop the skills and knowledge of the advice team.

Working with our Head of Policy, you will identify and influence issues that impact on the charity’s objectives, interests and activities. You will be responsible for our public education and the legal content of communications, ensuring that our website provides legally correct advice and information for potential whistleblowers.  You will establish and build successful relationships with key policy stakeholders and develop strategies for the implementation of our recommended legal reforms.

The role will include:

  • Developing strategies to modernise our advice service to ensure it is widely accessible to workers through many channels, including overseeing the legal content of our website
  • Providing appropriate supervision to the advice team to maintain high quality advice to callers and ensuring that the wider organisation is up to date with legal developments
  • Legal supervision of cases including expert input on complex or significant cases and supervising the Head of Advice and Advocacy in any strategic intervention work
  • Supervision of trainee solicitors in line with SRA requirements
  • Working with the Legal Officer to develop the legal support network
  • Working with the Head of Policy to develop strategies to improve whistleblowing legislation
  • Supporting the wider organisation needs for legal advice (eg contract negotiation, updating training materials)
  • Managing the team’s resources

The role will also require working closely with the Chief Executive to ensure she is informed of significant cases, trends and issues. From time to time, you may be required to represent the charity in the media, give talks on whistleblowing to our stakeholders and to assist the business support team with consultancy and training.

The role requires a qualified solicitor with at least 5 years PQE. Significant expertise in employment law is essential and experience of litigation and whistleblowing cases is desirable. Experience of Parliamentary or policy work would also be helpful.

The ideal candidate will have strong, supportive leadership and communication skills. You will have a good understanding of how best to advise and support those that speak up in the workplace and vulnerable clients. Knowledge of the charitable sector would be an advantage.

Please send a CV and covering letter explaining how your skills fit the job description and why you want the role to Liz Gardiner at elizabeth@protect-advice.org.uk

We welcome applications from everyone, but particularly encourage applications from disabled people and members of black and minority ethnic groups as they are currently underrepresented in our senior team.

Our impact

At Protect, we believe whistleblowing is a good thing – it protects the public interest, helps employers identify and manage risk, and holds organisations to account. We want more people to speak up, to stop harm.