Vacancy -- Assistant Commercial Property Lawyer

Working for the Civil Service

The Welsh Government's recruitment processes are underpinned by the principle of selection for appointment on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles.

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

Vacancy Details

Economy, Treasury and Constitution Group
Legal Services
SEO - £40,100 - £47,470
£40,100
Full time (applications are welcome from people who work part time, as part of a job share or who work full time)
Permanent
Pan Wales
'Pan Wales' means that the location in which the vacancy can be based is flexible, subject to the needs of the business. Please note it may not always be possible to accommodate a preference for a specific office location, but requests will be taken into consideration.
TBC

Purpose of Post:

The Legal Services Department within the Welsh Government is seeking a number of highly talented lawyers to strengthen its capacity at a critical time in UK and Welsh affairs.  If you are attracted by working at the forefront of the law, the Welsh Government would welcome your interest. You could be a lawyer at the start of your career, an experienced lawyer seeking to apply your skills in a new and different context, or attracted by an environment which offers and embraces flexible working arrangements.

With more than 100 lawyers and support staff, organised across a wide variety of subject areas, the Legal Services Department is the largest public sector legal department in Wales. It is responsible for the delivery of all legal services to the Welsh Ministers. The Department’s lawyers are at the heart of devolved government, playing a central role in the development of Welsh primary and secondary legislation and Welsh provision in UK legislation and advising on complex matters of public law, projects of national significance and major constitutional developments. The Welsh Government is in the midst of a period of unprecedented change and challenge and the Legal Services Department needs to, in addition to providing the legal support necessary to deliver the Programme for Government, undertake critical work on the response to, and recovery from, the COVID-19 pandemic.

The post advertised is within the Property Team which sits within the Business, Infrastructure and Treasury Division.

If you have experience in one or more of the areas listed below and are attracted by the prospect of contributing to our response to the economic development challenges that we face at this critical time, whilst working within a supportive and flexible environment with ample opportunity to further develop your professional skills and experience, then the Welsh Government would welcome your interest.

The work of the Property Team is varied and wide ranging. We are therefore interested in hearing from lawyers who have skills and experience in at least one of the following areas:

  • Acquisition and disposal of land and buildings.
  • Leases and associated landlord and tenant matters.
  • Easements and statutory infrastructure agreements.
  • Grant agreements and legal charges. 

Key tasks:

The work of the Division is varied and wide ranging and can sometimes involve working alongside or overseeing the work of external legal advisers.  Specific responsibilities will therefore be determined by reference to the particular skills and experience of the lawyers appointed to these roles.  However, successful candidates can expect to be responsible for undertaking work in several of the following areas:

  • Advising and supporting in-house clients in connection with the acquisition and disposal of land and buildings by agreement or compulsory purchase;
  • Assisting with the drafting and negotiating of development agreements joint venture agreements and options;
  • Advising on, drafting and negotiating a wide variety of landlord and tenant documentation including leases, licences, tenancies at will, section 25 notices and both residential and agricultural tenancies;
  • Advising on grant agreements, carrying out due diligence on title in addition to drafting and negotiating legal charges and deeds of priority;

Drafting, negotiating and advising on easements and deeds of covenant;

  • Drafting and negotiating statutory infrastructure agreements , including s278, s38 and s104 Agreements
  • Assisting with the drafting and negotiating of planning agreements;
  • Advising on the interpretation of property documentation generally, including documentation entered into by registered social landlords;
  • Advising on the historic environment portfolio;
  • Advising on agricultural tenancies and licences;
  • Participation in governance and working groups across the Welsh Government;
  • Such other duties, responsibilities, tasks or projects as are specified by the Senior Lawyer, Deputy Director or Director of Legal Services which are commensurate with the level of responsibility for the post;
  • Support and cover for colleagues within the department as directed by the Senior Lawyer, Deputy Director or Director of Legal Services;
  • Provide training in areas of expertise to client departments and the property team.

For further details of the Legal Services Department, please read the Candidate information pack: https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/inline-documents/2022-09/legal-services-information-pack-2022.pdf

Development opportunities:

As a government lawyer you will be part of the Civil Service and the Government Legal Profession. Your experience will give you a unique understanding of the devolution settlement in Wales and you will be involved with high profile commercial property transactions. This role offers lawyers an opportunity to work within a dynamic environment that places them at the heart of devolved government, at the forefront of the policy and law making process and at the cutting edge of major constitutional developments.

Closing Date:

28/10/2022, 16:00

Eligibility

Posts recruited to as part of this recruitment campaign are broadly open to UK nationals, those with right to remain and work in the UK and those that meet the Civil Service Nationality Rules only. Check your eligibility here:

Prior to appointment, all successful applicants will be required to produce original, acceptable documents as part of the pre-employment checks. If it becomes apparent at a later stage in the process that you aren’t eligible to apply, your application will be withdrawn, or offer retracted.

Equality and Diversity

The Welsh Government is committed to providing services which embrace diversity and which promote equality of opportunity. This is underpinned by the Equality Act 2010 and will be adhered to at each stage of the recruitment process. Our goal is to ensure that these commitments are also embedded in our day-to-day working practices with all our customers, colleagues and partners.

We are committed to being an anti-racist organisation and increasing diversity in the Welsh Government by removing barriers and supporting all our staff to reach their potential. We are committed to recruiting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people and disabled people who are currently under-represented in Welsh Government.

We welcome applications from everyone regardless of age, marriage and civil partnership (both same sex and opposite sex), impairment or health condition, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender identity or gender expression.

We are a Stonewall Diversity Champion and a Disability Confident Level 3 (Leader) organisation. Key to supporting this work and providing peer support are five Board sponsored Staff Networks (Disability Awareness and Support (DAAS); Minority Ethnic Support Network (MESN); Mind Matters (Mental health and well-being); PRISM (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex +) and Women Together.

Disability Confident

The Welsh Government has adopted the social definition of disability, in which it is recognised that barriers in society act to disable people who have impairments or health conditions, who are neurodivergent or who use British Sign Language. We are committed to removing barriers so that all (or potential new) staff can perform at their best.

We guarantee to interview any disabled person who meets the minimum criteria for the post. By ‘minimum criteria’ we mean that you must provide us with evidence, at each stage of the assessment process before interview, which demonstrates you generally meet the job description requirements. We are committed to the employment and career development of disabled people.

If you have an impairment or health condition, if you are neurodivergent or use British Sign Language and need to discuss reasonable adjustments for any part of this recruitment process, or wish to discuss how we will put in place any adjustments if you were to be successful, please email sharedservicehelpdesk@gov.wales as soon as possible and a member of the team will contact you to discuss requirements and any questions you may have.

A Great Place to Work for Veterans

This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative.

Welsh Language Requirements

The Welsh Government is a bilingual organisation and Welsh language skills are considered an asset to the organisation. We encourage and support staff to learn, develop and use their Welsh language skills in the workplace. 

The following list of language requirements represents an objective assessment by the line manager on behalf of the Welsh Government of the Welsh language skills required to undertake the duties of this particular post.

Desirable
Can read some basic words and phrases with understanding
Can hold a basic conversation in Welsh
Can understand parts of a basic conversation
Can write basic messages on everyday topics

Social Partnership

In Welsh Government, the relationship between the employer and trade unions is based on social partnership. We believe our goals can best be achieved by management and trade unions working together.

Our 3 recognised trade unions are:
•         PCS
•         Prospect
•         FDA

This relationship is underpinned by a partnership agreement. This sets out how our unions work with Welsh Government on issues such as:
•         pay
•         terms and conditions
•         policies and procedures
•         organisational change.

Our Welsh Government trade union colleagues work together to give their members a real say in the workplace. They make sure that the interests of their members are promoted and protected. They also help reduce inequalities and improve terms and conditions.

The Welsh Government has an excellent track record of working in partnership with its trade unions. We encourage staff to get involved. We support you to join a recognised trade union, to ensure your voice is heard in the workplace. and to learn more about trade unions and partnership working.

Competencies / Job Specific Criteria

Competencies: 

  • Setting Direction – Making Effective Decisions – Invite challenge and where appropriate involve others in decision making to help build engagement and present robust recommendations.
  • Engaging People – Leading & Communicating – Role model enthusiasm and energy about their work and encourage others to do the same.
  • Engaging People – Collaborating & Partnering – Deal with conflict in a prompt, calm and constructive manner.
  • Delivering Results – Delivering at Pace -  Regularly monitor own and team’s work against milestones or targets and act promptly to keep work on track and maintain performance. 

Job Specific Criteria: 

  • Experience of acquiring and disposing of land and buildings.
  • A sound understanding of commercial property law and advising on title in particular.
  • Experience of advising on and dealing with leases and associated landlord and tenant matters.

Assessment Process

Application stage

  • A completed on-line application form. 
  • An up to date CV setting out your career history with key responsibilities and achievements, including the necessary professional qualifications. We recommend paying particular attention to the “purpose of the post” and “key tasks” to ensure your CV reflects the skills and experience we are looking for.
  • A personal statement of no longer than 2,100 words. Anything over this will be discounted. This should explain how your professional qualifications, skills, qualities and experience match both:
    • the four competency behaviours and
    • the three job specific criteria.

We recommend aiming for around 200-300 words for each of the 7 categories. 

  • Completed Equality and Diversity monitoring information

We recommend reading the guidance at the attached links to assist you in applying for this post. They explain how to evidence your suitability for the post.

Recruitment Guidance for External Candidates (link)

Civil Service Competency Framework (link)

An initial sift will be undertaken on job specific responses, only those applicants who meet the minimum requirement will proceed to the next stage. A second sift will then assess the competences, only those applicants who meet the minimum requirement will be invited to interview.

Only those applicants who meet the minimum requirement will be invited to the next stage.

Interview stage (if successful at application stage sift)

Candidates successful at the sift stage will be invited for interview.

The job specific criteria and competencies will also be assessed at this stage.

Feedback

Feedback for the sift stage will only be provided once the scheme has been completed. 

As part of the pre-employment checks successful candidates will be required to provide evidence that they are qualified lawyers.


Other Information

  • Unless stated otherwise in ‘actual starting salary’, all candidates will start at the minimum of the pay scale being appointed to (this includes existing civil servants).This is not negotiable.
  • Unless stated otherwise in ‘type of opportunity’, this recruitment advert is not open on a Loan or Secondment basis.
  • For more information on the eligibility criteria and terms and conditions for Loan and Secondment positions in Welsh Government, please see external recruitment candidate guidance.
  • Unless stated otherwise in ‘Location of Post’ the role/s recruited to via this campaign can only be worked in the UK, not overseas.

Professional Qualification:

Applicants must be qualified to practice as a Solicitor, Barrister or Chartered Legal Executive (meeting the professional entry criteria below, or equivalent) in England and Wales. Trainee solicitors, pupil barristers and those training to be Chartered Legal Executives may also apply but appointment will be conditional on qualification having been obtained by the end of 2022.

Professional entry for Chartered Legal Executives (i.e. Fellows): Chartered Legal Executives are eligible to apply where (i) a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD) is held; or (ii) the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)/CPE has been completed; or (iii) where exams have been passed (i.e. a score of 50% or above achieved), at CILEx Level 6, in all of the following seven foundation subjects in law:

  1. Contract Law
  2. Criminal Law
  3. Equity and Trusts Law
  4. European Union Law
  5. Land Law
  6. Public Law
  7. Law of Tort

Chartered Legal Executives should note that the Welsh Government will be willing to accept an, overall, average score of 65% or above across exams in the seven foundation subjects in law (where studied at CILEx Level 6).

The CILEx Level 6 Diploma in Law and Practice is set and assessed at level 6, honours degree level. For those already holding a qualifying law degree, CILEx also offers a new Graduate Fast-track diploma which can be used instead of the LPC or BPTC to complete your legal studies. Once you have completed the Level 6 Diploma in Law and Practice you will need to complete a period of qualifying employment and then you will be able to apply to become a Fellow of CILEx and use the designation CILEx.

Where an applicant who is a Chartered Legal Executive has not achieved a Level 6 qualification for all seven foundation subjects, the Welsh Government will be willing to accept applicants who have studied those subjects at Level 3 provided that they have also achieved Level 6 in either Land Law, Landlord and Tenant Law or Conveyancing and can demonstrate Commercial Property experience.

Mair Hughes - LegalRecruitment.WG.Legal@gov.wales

How to apply

All applications for this vacancy should be made online via the Welsh Government's online application system.  If you have an impairment which would prevent you from applying on-line, please e-mail SharedServiceHelpdesk@gov.wales to request an application pack in an alternative format, or to request a reasonable adjustment related to an impairment in order to submit your application.

To apply, you'll need to have an account on our online application system.  Click the 'Apply' button below, and you'll be asked to 'Log in' if you already have an account, or 'Register' if you don't yet have an account.  Registration takes just a few minutes to complete.  You'll need an e-mail address to be able to register.  Once you've registered for an account and logged in, you'll be taken to the online application form, which you'll need to fully complete and submit before the deadline on the closing date.  

If you’d like to apply for this vacancy in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.

For further information regarding the Welsh Government recruitment process, please see the Recruitment Guidance for External Candidates (link).

When evidencing your suitability for the post, it is recommended that you refer to the Civil Service Competency Framework (link)

Grievance and Complaints

Anyone who believes they have been treated unfairly, or has a grievance or complaint, about how the process was conducted should either write to the Head of Resourcing, Welsh Government, Cathays Park 2, Cardiff CF10 3NQ or email SharedServiceHelpdesk@gov.wales.  If you are unhappy with the outcome of the complaint raised with the Welsh Government and feel that the principles of appointment on merit through fair and open competition have not been met you have the right to pursue your grievance with the Civil Service Commission.

This vacancy is closed to applications.