States of Guernsey

LAW OFFICERS OF THE CROWN

LAWYER (CIVIL LITIGATION & SOCIAL CARE)

SO2 – SO4


JOB DESCRIPTION

JOB SUMMARY:

The Law Officers’ Chambers are responsible for providing legal advice and assistance, including representation, to the governments of Guernsey, Alderney and Sark and other public sector clients as well as to the Crown.

The Civil Litigation Team handles a wide and interesting variety of litigation and litigation-prevention work often arising from the statutory and customary responsibilities and duties of different branches of government.

The day to day civil litigation case load of the team ranges from simple debt collection to civil forfeiture, asset recovery and mutual legal assistance; from public law litigation including judicial review and dispute resolution work through to the various specific statutory appeals from administrative decisions (for example population management matters) and cases involving Human Rights aspects. The social care work includes the full range of court applications under the Children (Guernsey and Alderney) Law, 2008 as well as adoption cases and also adult social care and capacity issues.

The Team requires an excellent in house “all-rounder” civil litigation and social care lawyer with relevant experience to assist in the provision of legal advice on the whole range of civil litigation and social care issues that impact on government.

The post holder will not be expected to undertake the advocacy in their cases, but will, on occasion, need to attend court to assist and there may be opportunities for representing clients in the Bailiwick’s tribunals and in some adoption matters. 

Whilst this post is intended to be principally engaged on civil litigation and children and social care cases, there may be occasions, where urgent or necessary, when the post holder will be expected to assist with the provision of other duties falling to the team and Law Officers’ Chambers.

STATUS:

The post will be full time. The post holder will be principally based at the Law Officers Chambers with the occasional need to attend meetings at other offices. Remote working at client offices and elsewhere is supported when appropriate.

RELATIONSHIPS:

The post holder will report to the Director of Civil Litigation and will be ultimately professionally responsible to HM Procureur. They will collaborate with other legal and support staff in Chambers on a daily basis.  

The post holder will be required to develop and maintain effective working relationships with all clients, particularly civil servants within the States of Guernsey and States of Alderney, including social work teams and managers within the relevant service areas of the The Committee for Health and Social Care.  They will also collaborate with relevant stakeholders, including the Courts and Tribunals of each jurisdiction of the Bailiwick, the Office of the Children’s Convenor, the Family Proceedings Advisory Service and the Bar.

MAIN DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  1. The provision of pre-litigation and litigation advice as appropriate in writing and in meetings.
  2. To prepare and assist in the preparation of pre-proceedings work and cases for hearing, including preparation/drafting or review/approval of affidavits, pleadings, submissions, civil forfeiture applications, child’s plans, threshold documents, case summaries, skeleton arguments and authorities for court, preparation of court bundles and assisting in discovery/disclosure exercises and the preparation of witness statements.
  3. To provide advice in all matters relating to the instruction of experts, including support in the drafting of letters of instruction.
  4. Communicating and corresponding with Advocates in private practice.
  5. Handling a varied caseload of files and/or assisting team members with specific tasks on their own files.
  6. Attending court to assist the Advocate and clients.
  7. Undertaking legal research as required over a wide range of civil/public law issues.
  8. To act as the legal advisor to such bodies or Committees as appropriate e.g. the Islands Safeguarding Children Partnership.
  9. Subject to the post holder’s qualifications, representing clients in the Bailiwick’s tribunals.
  10. To represent the Law Officers of the Crown, Committees and other client bodies at appropriate meetings and events with external bodies.

KEY CRITERIA:

ESSENTIAL

  1. A solicitor of England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland or a member of the Bar of England and Wales, or Northern Ireland, or the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland (or an equivalent qualification) with a minimum of 3 years PQE [but candidates of exceptional ability and motivation with less than 3 years PQE will also be considered].
  2. An excellent understanding or relevant practice experience of legal issues affecting government including public law, civil litigation and/or children law, in the Bailiwick or elsewhere in the British Isles and a willingness to learn and contribute to less familiar areas of the team’s work.
  3. Extensive experience of the mechanics of civil litigation and/or family proceedings to include the drafting of statements, reports, pleadings/applications, skeleton arguments and the instruction of experts.
  4. Sound analytical, assessment and risk management skills.
  5. Proven ability to organise and prioritise own work, to work unsupervised and a flexible approach to work so as to adapt to a range of tasks to meet the needs of the clients.
  6. A proven ability to assimilate rapidly unfamiliar areas of law and provide practical and decisive advice sometimes in urgent situations.
  7. Enthusiasm and dedication, with a desire to develop a specialist, client focussed legal practice.
  8. Proven legal research skills.
  9. Proven negotiating skills regarding legal matters.
  10. Excellent communication skills, oral and written, with the ability to deal with people at all levels.
  11. The ability to work as part of a team and a commitment to team working.
  12. Experience in working with sensitive and confidential information with the utmost respect and integrity and with empathy for the subject area.
  13. Strong IT skills including experience of time recording, document management systems and agile working.
  14. A commitment to the highest professional, ethical and behavioural standards.
  15. To perform the above in co-operation and conjunction with the Law Officers, Director of Legal Services, Director of Civil Litigation and other members of Chambers and to collaborate and ensure effective communication with them on matters of common interest and in areas of work relating to or overlapping with their areas of expertise.

DESIRABLE

  1. Proven ability to devise and deliver effective client focussed training on legal skills and practice.
  2. Experience of advising committees, working groups and other professional groups/bodies.
  3. An understanding or relevant practice experience of social care law and practice in the Bailiwick or elsewhere in the British Isles

KEY COMPETENCIES:

  1. Ensure involvement and consultation where necessary and take decisive action when required.
  2. Actively promote Chambers’ reputation externally and internally.
  3. Communicate with confidence and clarity.
  4. Proactively create, maintain and promote a strong network of connections with colleagues across Chambers, wider public service and externally.
  5. Actively promote knowledge and resource sharing with peers and across functions.
  6. Role model continuous learning and self-development, evaluating own effectiveness and growth and planning next learning steps accordingly.

Please Note: Confirmation of employment in this role is also dependent upon the following additional requirements:

  • A Satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Check. Convictions likely to be considered relevant to this post include all criminal offences with the exception of minor traffic violations.
  • Satisfactory references, which must include one from the candidate’s current or most recent employer.
  • Confirmation of required qualifications / registrations.
  • Possession of a valid Right to Work document.

Should the successful applicant not meet the requirements sufficiently he/she may be appointed at a lower grade than stated. The successful applicant would then have the opportunity to progress to the grade advertised once the necessary skills and knowledge have been developed and the post holder has demonstrated the ability to undertake the duties at the higher level.

Apply here: https://www.gov.gg/careers

Closing Date: 14th February 2020