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Head of legal

Job reference: 216

Head of legal

As head of legal you will be responsible for providing legal advice in relation to all areas of our work, but with a particular focus on implementing amendments to the Social Workers Regulations 2018 and our rules that are due to come into force in December 2022. 

The role

This is a fixed-term role for up to 12 months (maternity cover).

Open to secondment, subject to agreement with current employer.

Working with the other head of legal and the executive director of regulation you will lead our legal team, with a particular focus on managing the implementation of amendments to the Social Worker's Regulations 2018 and our rules. This will require confidence in managing legislative change and familiarity with professional regulation, as the majority of the changes relate to our fitness to practise process

Our small in-house legal team provide legal advice across our organisation, particularly to our fitness to practise, registration, and education quality assurance teams. The lawyers in the team are responsible for providing advice in all these areas and on a range of other legal areas that an organisation of this size will encounter, including contracts, data protection and employment law, with the supervision and support of the 2 heads of legal, who co-lead the team.  

As a head of legal you will be responsible for providing legal advice in relation to our legislation, rules and policies. You will play a key role in advising and supporting teams on the quality assurance of registration procedures and as part of fitness to practise investigations. You will also lead and develop our small legal team, including lawyers. 


£54,467 per year, rising to £56,523 per year after successful completion of a 6-month probationary period.


Our offices are in Sheffield. We offer a hybrid model of working subject to business needs, so a mix of office working and working from home.

What you will do

  • Provide timely, accurate and high-quality legal advice in relation to our regulatory remit and statutory framework
  • Ensure that the decisions we take are legally robust by identifying legal risks early and work with other teams to ensure that these are managed appropriately
  • Provide timely and accurate legal advice and expertise to our fitness to practise and registration and quality assurance directorates
  • Provide advice on our internal policies and procedures and ensure operational processes are legally compliant
  • Provide advice on the correct provision of the statutory regime, and any legal challenges made relating to the same
  • Manage the relationship with our contracted legal services that provide advice on fitness to practise cases, or who are otherwise involved in the prosecution of cases
  • Liaise with external stakeholders and legal representatives
  • Keep up to date with legal and policy developments within regulation to inform your advice. This will include keeping up to date with relevant policy and strategy developments, case law and outcomes from fitness to practise cases
  • Assist in the drafting of policy and operational guidance for decision makers
  • Arrange legal training for fitness to practise staff, as required
  • Advise on high-risk matters, including applications for judicial review

Your skills, knowledge and experience

  • Significant experience as a qualified solicitor, barrister or Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
  • Substantial experience advising in relation to regulation (preferable) or criminal enforcement or prosecution matters
  • Proven experience of complex decision making and providing appropriate legal advice on complex issues
  • Experience of managing a large caseload including dealing simultaneously with a high number of requests for legal advice
  • Experience managing and developing teams
  • Excellent legal analytical skills and the ability to work in a politically sensitive environment, dealing with high profile sensitive issues
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with an ability to work and communicate effectively within a busy multidisciplinary team
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines, be calm under pressure and flexibly manage competing priorities
  • Excellent written communication skills, with the ability to draft clear, concise and comprehensive correspondence for a range of stakeholders
  • Excellent organisation and time management skills and the ability to manage different tasks with a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail
  • Ability to work with others and responding positively, creatively and supportively to a variety of colleagues while maintaining high and consistent standards
  • A track record of respectful, open and honest behaviour including a demonstrable commitment to inclusion and diversity


If you have any queries about the appointment process or if you need any information or forms in an alternative format, please contact [email protected].

How to apply

To apply, complete the application form by midday on 12 June 2022. Please also complete our equality and diversity monitoring form.


Interview date: TBC

At interview we will seek to further understand your skills, knowledge, experience and motivation and test the key competencies of the role. If you are successful, we will undertake routine security checks.

Find out more about our application and interview process.

Want to know more about the role?

If you would like to discuss the role, please contact Jane Marr: [email protected]

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