States of Guernsey

LAW OFFICERS OF THE CROWN

LAWYER/ADVOCATE (CIVIL LITIGATION) 

SO4 - SO10

(ACCORDING TO QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE)


JOB DESCRIPTION

JOB SUMMARY:

The Law Officers’ Chambers are responsible for providing legal advice, assistance and representation to the States of Guernsey and Alderney, the Chief Pleas of Sark, the Crown and, from time to time, other public sector clients.

The Civil Litigation team comprises five advocates, one lawyer, one paralegal and an Executive Legal Assistant. The team now requires an excellent in-house ‘all-rounder’ civil lawyer with relevant litigation experience to provide civil/public law advice and litigation services over a wide range of matters.

The largest proportion of the workload is related to public law litigation, ranging from simple debt collection to civil forfeiture, asset recovery and mutual legal assistance; from 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. There will also be some social care work including 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. There is also an element of non-litigious advisory work (often with a view to litigation avoidance) which can be purely domestic or can have an international element.

Whilst this post is intended to be fully engaged on civil litigation matters, 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, Law Officers’ Chambers and HM Procureur and HM Receiver General.

STATUS:

The post will be permanent and full-time based in the Chambers of the Law Officers of the Crown.

RELATIONSHIPS:

The post holder will report to the Director of Civil Litigation and will be ultimately professionally responsible to HM Procureur. He or she will collaborate with other legal and support staff in Chambers and work closely with members of the Civil Litigation Team on a daily basis.  

The post holder will be required to develop and maintain effective working relationships with all clients, particularly the various governmental committees, authorities and boards and other public sector bodies within the Bailiwick.  They will also collaborate with other local lawyers and the Guernsey Bar and other relevant stakeholders including the Courts and Tribunals of each jurisdiction of the Bailiwick.

MAIN DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  1. Pre-litigation advice
    • The provision of “pre-litigation” and “litigation prevention” advice, as appropriate, to clients and assisting in their risk management.
    • In addition, and whenever necessary, the provision of legal advice concerning all domestic, constitutional, international and public law issues facing the Bailiwick governments (comprising most of the issues that would be dealt with by central and local government in the UK), and additionally matters relating to the constitutional relationship of the island with the UK.
  2. Case Management
    • Conducting litigation involving the States of Guernsey, the States of Alderney or the Chief Pleas of Sark (and some other public bodies) across the whole range of public and administrative law and also pure civil litigation and commercial litigation including government.
    • The management of cases in the civil courts in the Bailiwick.
    • Maintaining an overview of litigation handled by the States’ insurers.
    • The management of external lawyers when conducting litigation or arbitration on behalf of government.
    • The management of public law litigation cases e.g. planning, population management, Judicial Review, administrative appeals relating to licensing and international co-operation.
    • Management of asset recovery matters, including mutual legal assistance, and civil forfeiture.
  3. Advocacy
    • Advocacy in relation to all the above matters
    • Representation of clients in civil cases in the Magistrate’s Court, the Royal Court and the Court of Appeal, domestic tribunals and the Courts of Alderney and Sark, and the provision of advice in relation to the conduct of proceedings in tribunals elsewhere (e.g. the ECHR and Privy Council).
    • Representing the Crown when required to appear before the Bailiwick courts as partie publique or amicus curiae.
  4. General
  • The emphasis of this role will be on general civil, administrative and public law litigation but the post holder will be expected to assist in all areas which the Directorate covers (e.g. social care work) and take on occasional responsibilities to give out of hours advice on emergency childcare applications.

KEY CRITERIA:

ESSENTIAL

  1. A member of the Bar of England and Wales, or Northern Ireland, of the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland or a solicitor of England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and relevant post-qualification experience in litigation in excess of five  years.
  2. Either qualified as an Advocate of the Royal Court or, if not already qualified, the willingness to qualify within two years of taking up the post.
  3. A proven record of high quality advocacy across courts of all levels in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Bailiwick of Guernsey or a comparable jurisdiction.
  4. Ability to demonstrate a good understanding, or relevant practical experience, of legal issues affecting government, including public and administrative law issues.
  5. Enthusiasm and dedication, with a desire to develop a diverse client-focused civil practice.
  6. A keen analytical mind with an aptitude to undertake high quality legal research.
  7. A proven ability to assimilate rapidly unfamiliar areas of law and provide practical and decisive advice sometimes in urgent situations. .
  8. A flexible and committed approach to work including the ability to work under pressure.
  9. Excellent communication skills, oral and written, with the ability to deal with people at all levels.
  10. The ability to work as part of a team and a commitment to team working.
  11. Sound political, social and international awareness.
  12. A commitment to the highest professional, ethical and behavioral standards.
  13. Excellent IT skills.
  14. 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 focused training on legal skills and practice.
  2. Experience of advising committees, working groups and other professional groups/bodies.
  3. Experience of a legal document management system.

KEY COMPETENCIES:

  1. Identify and shape how own area fits within and supports the work of Chambers. 
  2. Ensure involvement and consultation where necessary and take decisive action when required.
  3. Actively promote Chambers reputation externally and internally.
  4. Communicate with conviction and clarity.
  5. Proactively create, maintain and promote a strong network of connections with colleagues across Chambers, wider public service and externally.
  6. Actively promote knowledge and resource sharing with peers and across functions.
  7. Role model continuous learning and self-development, evaluating own effectiveness and growth and planning next learning steps accordingly.
  8. Challenge the status quo in one’s own and related areas to achieve value-adding improvements and change.

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