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Senior Lawyer (Planning)

52428.00 - 55420.00 GBP Annual + (including GBP8K Market Supplement) pro rata
Closing date
25 Apr 2024

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Torbay is breathtaking, captivating, and welcoming, occupying a prime position on the south coast of Devon. Currently experiencing unprecedented levels of investment and the council's own ambitious transformation programme have given Torbay the opportunity to capitalise on the area's profile and many assets.

As a small unitary authority, you'll discover Torbay is a place where you can make things happen quickly. We have real momentum building, fuelled by a shared sense of purpose and ambition - which is clearly evident by our recent success in being awarded the 'Most Improved Council' at LGC Awards in 2023. We want Torbay and its residents to thrive and are committed to making a difference in our community, delivering high quality services to local people.

To complement this journey, we are seeking a Senior Lawyer (Planning), to join our Legal Services Team to handle a case load primarily within the specialist area of planning and highways, in order to support the wider property team.

Undertaking the role of a Senior Lawyer (Planning), you will have had experience of working within the specialist area of planning and highways, with the provision of legal advice and have extensive experience in negotiating planning and highways agreements, attending planning committee, advising on planning enforcement notices and assisting with the Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plan procedures and Compulsory Purchase Orders. You will also have experience of attending and preparing for matters at the Magistrates' Court, Crown Court, County Court and High Court and in all other tribunals or hearings of whatever description and if possible, experience in advocacy or instructing counsel on prosecutions appeals and other court/inquiry work. You will also admitted and be practicing as a Solicitor, Barrister or Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives (or equivalent), with at least 3 years post qualification experience.

The ideal candidate will be excited by a fast-paced and varied caseload, conscientious, professionally curious and a role model to other team members. In return, you will join a supportive and rewarding organisation and team, whereby your talent will be valued and actively developed. At Torbay Council, we know that our biggest strength comes from our people, and we are excited for you to join us.

We also prioritise wellbeing and have a flexible approach to work life balance. We know that life doesn't revolve around work. We have a set of family friendly policies to support you that all provide more than the statutory minimum. We offer hybrid working which is managed effectively around the need to attend essential meetings and/or make court appearances in line with the remit of the role.

This role offers an exciting opportunity to work for an employer that is in a great period of change and sees legal services as not simply a support function, but an enabler in the pursuit of their ambitious transformation journey.

In return we offer:
  • A generous salary (to include market supplement).
  • 26 days annual leave plus bank holidays, increasing with length of service (pro rata in the case of part time employees).
  • A Career Average Re-Valued Earnings (CARE) pension scheme through Peninsula Pensions.
  • Flexible working.
  • Paid professional subscription.
  • Learning and development opportunities.
  • A supportive management and team structure.
  • Family friendly policies.
  • Key skills relocation package.
  • Golden Hello opportunity.
  • A wide range of lifestyle discounts and health and wellbeing benefits.
We would welcome applications from suitably qualified and experienced candidates.

For an informal chat please contact Claire Kitchener on or , or Philip Taylor on .

1. Key purpose of job
  • To provide specialist legal advice, representation and assistance to the Council's planning and highways functions, in a format and within a timescale which assists them in conducting their business in the most efficient and effective matter.
2. Anticipated outcomes of post
  • The delivery of high quality efficient and effective legal advice and services to the highest standards of professional conduct and ethics, in a way that furthers and promotes good customer care within Legal Services.
  • To undertake all legal work as required, with minimal supervision and professional support.
3. List key duties and accountabilities of the post
  • To undertake case work, and provide advice within the specialist areas of law (Planning and Highways).
  • To provide legal advice and services in relation to other areas of local government law, as required by the Team Leader or Head of Legal Services.
  • To consider, prepare and conduct (including advocacy) matters in the Magistrates' Court, Crown Court, County Court and High Court and in all other tribunals or hearings of whatever description, on behalf of the Council.
  • To attend quasi-judicial bodies as legal advisor, including Council Committee meetings.
  • To provide training as required to client departments.
  • To be knowledgeable and up to date on the law, practice, and current issues within the specialist areas of law upon which the post holder advises on.
  • To be knowledgeable and up to date on the general law relating to local government, including freedom of information and data protection.
4. Budgetary/Financial Responsibilities of the post
  • None.
5. Supervision/Line Management Responsibilities of the post
  • The post-holder is required to provide informal support and supervision to junior members of the team and its business support officers.
  • The post holder may allocate work to legal officers and assist the team leader in quality assuring the work of these officers.
6. Working environment and conditions of the post
  • The post holder operates in an environment governed by the need to meet deadlines (including those externally imposed) in a context of continually changing priorities and where the work is usually of a complex and/or sensitive nature.
  • The post holder is required to be able to travel to site visits, Court hearings and meetings.
  • The post-holder may occasionally experience verbal abuse and aggression during the course of their duties. Policies are in place to mitigate the frequency and extent to which these will affect the post-holder.
7. Physical demands of the post
  • The post holder may occasionally be required to handle heavy documentation e.g. deed parcels, Court bundles and public enquiry files offsite with appropriate manual handling equipment provided to enable safe working.
8. Specific resources used by the post
  • The post holder will have access to a laptop computer and other agile working equipment.
  • The post holder is required to ensure the security of confidential and sensitive information when transporting and using files and laptops when homeworking, travelling and working away from the office.
9. Key contacts and relationships
  • External - Contact with service users, other local authorities, partners and external bodies, Government Departments, other professionals (legal and others), courts and tribunals. Contact with members of the public.
  • Internal - Contact with officers at all levels within the Council. Frequent contacts with Senior Officers. Contact with Members on specific case matters, including giving advice on courses of action and their legal risks and ramifications.
  • The post holder will represent the Council and be responsible for influencing and negotiating with others on contentious matters in circumstances where the relationships between contacts and the matters in question will usually be complex and may involve difficult situations requiring tact and sensitivity. The post holder will be responsible for advocating on behalf of the Council generally including, where appropriate, formal advocacy before Courts and Tribunals.
10. Other duties
  • To undertake additional duties as required, commensurate with the level of the job.
Other Information
  • All staff must commit to Equal Opportunities and Anti-Discriminatory Practice.
  • The Council operates a Smoke-Free Policy and the post-holder is prohibited from smoking in any of the Council's buildings (including Council owned and Council leased buildings, but excluding designated areas in residential schemes), enclosed spaces within the curtilage of buildings, and Council vehicles. The Council does not permit smoking breaks within work time, however, in services where the flexi-scheme is in operation, employees may take reasonable break times outside of core hours, in accordance with flexi-time arrangements. Employees should follow the flexi-scheme procedure for agreeing time away from their duties in the normal manner with their immediate colleagues and line manager, with break start and finish times being recorded, as with any other break-time arrangement.
  • The post-holder is expected to familiarise themselves with and adhere to all relevant Council Policies and Procedures.
  • The post-holder must comply with the Council's Health and Safety requirements as outlined in the H&S policy appropriate to the role.
  • The post is eligible for both hybrid and permanent home working.
  • The post-holder must be committed to the Council's Core Values for employees - "Torbay Council employees are committed to being forward thinking, people orientated and adaptable - always with integrity" . click apply for full job details

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