Deputy General Counsel

  • Location:

    Remote (UK) but with occasional visits to BIOTA HQ in London

  • Sector:


  • Job type:

    Civil Service Loan/ secondment or permanent. Role is offered on a part-time basis only.

  • Salary:

    On average it is expected that you will provide one paid days' work per week at the rate of: £60ph

  • Contact email:


  • Published:

    36 days ago

  • Expiry date:

    12 May 2024

The British Indian Ocean Territory Administration is delighted to advertise the role of Assistant/Deputy General Counsel.

The British Indian Ocean Territory Chagos Archipelago an archipelago of 58 islands covering some 640,000 sq. km of ocean. The islands have a land area of only 60 sq. km and 698km of coastline. Diego Garcia, the largest and most southerly island, is 44 sq. km. The climate is hot and humid. The terrain is flat and low, and most areas do not exceed 2 metres in elevation.

There is no permanent population in BIOT, but Diego Garcia, the largest of the 58 islands hosts a joint UK-US military facility.

Job Summary

The British Indian Ocean Territory Administration is delighted to advertise the role of Assistant/Deputy General Counsel.

The Territory team of Law Officers currently comprises the General Counsel (GC) and the Principal Legal Adviser.

In this responsible role you will assist General Counsel in providing legal advice to the Commissioner and members of the Administration (including the Commissioners Representative in BIOT). Your effective and professional service in the conduct of civil proceedings will include dealing with pre-action correspondence, taking instructions from clients, drafting documents and advising on a variety of government contracts. 

You will also assist in:

  • Providing legal advice to the Magistrate and Coroner in the interpretation of the law for purposes of the execution of their duties;
  • Drafting and controlling the quality of legislation;
  • Ensuring that legislation is kept updated, and that the BIOT Gazette contains all relevant information.
  • Acting as General Counsel as and when necessary.
  • You will visit BIOT atleast once during the contract period, and maybe required to do so once per year.

The post holder will play a critical role in the delivery of the British Indian Ocean Territory Administration core business. Your role will generate and inform operational development, business assurance, legal and operational delivery of the day-to-day work.

You will have approximately two weeks training and familiarisation at the start of the contract period with the General Counsel.


BIOT/Chagos Archipelago is governed by the British Indian Ocean Territory Administration with staff predominantly based in London. 

You will be expected to routinely engage with local stakeholders and London based colleagues, feeding back local challenges, issues, and other BIOT community matters. 

You will be line managed by the Administrator with input from the General Counsel.

Key Accountabilities
  • To provide the General Counsel, Administration, HM Commissioner and relevant legal bodies with timely advice on relevant developments in law, policy and practice, with a specific focus upon legal and casework quality assurance.
  • To consult and provide detailed and informed responses and specialist casework advice as appropriate.
  • To prepare drafts in response to correspondence, and other legal documents
  • To undertake legal research and provide timely, high quality legal advice and guidance on the most serious and sensitive casework
  • To develop and maintain a network of relationships with key stakeholders both internally and externally.


  • Expert knowledge of Government structure, policies and procedures
  • Ability to master and interpret legislation
  • [Desirable] draft legislation as appropriate
    • Expert legal research skills
    • Expert analytical, negotiating, interpersonal and organisational skills
    • Sound knowledge of the use of standard office equipment and computer applications
    • Expert oral and written communication skills
    • Ability to work well under pressure
    • Have the ability to act decisively and make robust, unbiased legal decisions.
    • Be adept at stakeholder management, both internal and external.

      Qualifications and Experience

      Candidate will need to hold:

      • An upper second-class honours degree
      • Fully qualified barrister or solicitor in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, or advocate or solicitor in Scotland. 
      • Must have at least 7 years post qualification experience
      • Pay

        On average it is expected that you will provide one paid days' work per week at the rate of: £60ph

        Selection & Interview Process

        • Submit a CV of no more than 2 pages.  
        • 1,000-word Personal Statement which must include:
          1. Your suitability for the role with specific examples
          2. Your motivations for applying,
          3. Your current level of security clearance (if any) and
          4. Your most recent 12 months of appraisal evidence. 


            Applications received will be subject to a paper sift assessing candidates written evidence, essential experience, and qualifications. Successful candidates will then be invited to interview.

            Please submit applications to: BIOTAdmin@fcdo.gov.uk  



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