Location: UK: London

Opportunity: Supported Hiring

Start Date: ASAP

Apply by: 3 April 2024

*Applications have now closed*

The Bank of England is partnering with Career Returners (previously Women Returners) to offer supported hiring in their Legal Directorate. They are looking for a Scale E commercial-focused Legal Counsel in CBL (6-12 month FTC) and permanent Scale E commercial-focused Legal Counsel in CBL.

A successful returner candidate, who has had a career break of 2 years or more, will receive coaching support through the transition period from Career Returners. Your career break may have been for childcare, eldercare, relocation or other reasons. You may have been working on a small-scale basis to fit around other commitments or not done any paid work for a number of years.

Department Overview

Alongside the General Counsel’s Office, the Legal Directorate is split into five main teams:

  • Central Banking, which provides legal advice on the Bank’s constitution and governance; Markets and Banking operations; commercial contracts, procurement and intellectual property; notes procurement, production and distribution; data and information management; employment policy and employee relations matters; and the Bank’s financial and funding arrangements.
  • International and Domestic Reform, which provides legal advice on a range of trade and financial regulatory matters affecting the Bank including in connection with the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. Practice areas include:
    • Advising policymakers on the reform of the UK’s financial regulatory framework.
    • Contributing to the Bank’s role in negotiating trade agreements with international partners.
    • Providing advice on EU and Brexit legal issues.
  • Enforcement & Litigation, which leads investigations and the imposition of any enforcement sanction within the PRA. It runs the investigative process from inception to recommendations concerning the appropriate sanction. It also runs any settlement process, and any litigation should a matter be contested.
  • Financial Stability, which provides legal advice on the regulation and supervision of Financial Market Infrastructure (such as central counterparties, payment systems and securities settlement systems), on macro-prudential policy and regulation and associated legal framework for the Bank’s Financial Policy Committee and on the Bank’s role as the UK’s resolution authority.
  • Insurance and Deposit Takers, providing legal advice to supervisors in relation to supervisory decision-making, and to policymakers in the PRA on capital, liquidity and other prudential requirements of banks, insurers and investment firms.

They are also supported by a Strategy and Operations team, who work with Champions across the Legal Directorate to organise a rich and regular programme of legal training and ensure that they share their knowhow through their bespoke inhouse legal wiki.

Opportunities Available 

Commercial Focused Legal Counsel 6-12 month FTC CBL & Permanent Legal Counsel CBL (Commercial)

CBL is made up of around 50 lawyers, plus trainees and support staff. It has a broad remit which covers the Bank’s day-to-day operations as well as many of its unique functions as the UK’s central bank.

Both roles involve working primarily on commercial, procurement, IT, and outsourcing matters. They are seeking individuals with previous experience of working on some or all of these matters and are highly competent lawyers with good commercial awareness and excellent drafting, negotiation, and communication skills.

Within CBL, their commercial lawyers advise all areas of the Bank on the following:

  • Public procurement, including EU Procurement Directives and UK Regulations and procurement requirements more generally when the Bank is choosing its suppliers
  • Contractual issues concerning the Bank’s relationships with third party suppliers including standard terms for the supply of any goods and services, custom contracts for large projects (e.g. IT, infrastructure, banknotes), licence agreements and consultancy and outsourced contracts, along with protection of confidential information, including non-disclosure agreements (NDAs)
  • Intellectual property (copyright, trademarks, patents and domain names, licensing), both when protecting the Bank’s IP rights and where the Bank or staff members are using another’s IP

Other areas of work in CBL include:

  • Markets, Banking and Payments: this includes operations to implement monetary policy, provide liquidity insurance to the financial system, manage the UK’s foreign exchange reserves, settle payments across the Bank’s real-time gross settlement (RTGS) infrastructure, operate the CHAPS high-value payment system, and provide banking services to the government, market infrastructures and other central banks. This area includes innovative work to ready the Bank’s monetary policy toolkit and balance sheet for the future. It also helps to craft and deliver the future of payments, including the potential development of a Central Bank Digital Currency and renewal of the RTGS system
  • Central Services: this includes support to business areas across the Bank on: (i) the Bank’s constitution, governance, funding arrangements and reporting; (ii) information management, which includes freedom of information, data protection and matters relating to the Bank’s use of data and information; and (iii) employment policies and employee relations matters
  • Banknotes: providing advice in respect of banknote distribution and banknote issuance

You will provide legal advice and support, often in close liaison with the Bank’s in-house procurement function, Technology Directorate and Notes Directorate, on commercial contracts and tenders ranging from critical, complex large-scale projects at the heart of the Bank’s functions through to more routine contracts and IP and IT licences – generally as the day-to-day lead on those workstreams. You will report to a Senior Legal Counsel & Manager within CBL.

These roles involve working closely with the Bank’s suppliers and, as appropriate, their external legal advisers drafting, handling and advising on contractual relationships.

You will advise at all levels of seniority within the Bank, writing notes for, and attending, project boards as well as advising staff members who are not used to working with lawyers.

You will work openly and in multi-disciplinary teams to scope and deliver against agreed timescales, ensuring that legal risk is adequately identified, managed, and mitigated. You will mentor and coach more junior colleagues.

You will routinely observe the Bank’s document and record management protocols. You will invest time in developing your own technical knowledge to develop expertise in the relevant practice areas. You will contribute willingly to the implementation of central initiatives and demonstrate Their Bank Behaviours at all times.

Role Requirements

Minimum Criteria

  • Legal qualification: Applicants will typically be qualified to practise as a Solicitor, Barrister or Chartered Legal Executive in England and Wales, or equivalent in Scotland or Northern Ireland. However, they will also accept applications from candidates qualified to practise as a lawyer overseas where the candidate can demonstrate that they have legal experience that is directly relevant to the legal work described in this job description
  • Approximately 4 years or more post-qualification experience working on commercial, procurement, IT and/or outsourcing matters. There is some flexibility where candidates can demonstrate the necessary experience in other ways (e.g., through pre-qualification or non-legal roles)
  • Ability to carry out technically challenging legal analysis and to provide pragmatic advice which clearly identifies and manages legal risk
  • Good written communication skills, including the ability to express ideas clearly and concisely in writing
  • Ability to build effective working relationships internally and externally
  • Flexibility to work collaboratively or autonomously, with limited supervision and to lead projects with challenging deadlines across multiple matters

Essential Criteria

  • An inclusive, ethical and professional approach to legal practice
  • Willingness to accept and learn from feedback and proactively identify areas for personal and professional development

Desirable Criteria

  • A good understanding of and interest in the Bank’s mission, responsibilities, priorities and wider public profile
  • Experience of advising on public law
  • Track record of contributing towards encouraging a diverse, equitable and inclusive working environment

About The Bank

The Bank of England is the UK’s central bank. Their mission is to deliver monetary and financial stability for the British people.

The Bank of England is a diverse organisation. Each of its 4,000 plus people are committed to public service and dedicated to promoting the good of the people of the United Kingdom by maintaining monetary and financial stability.

Join their award-winning legal team and work at the frontier of financial services to help maintain monetary and financial stability in the UK! They are looking for new colleagues who are willing to learn quickly, engage openly and rise to the challenge. They share information and insights freely. The work they do is challenging and sometimes demanding, but always rewarding! This – together with the commitment of their lawyers, paralegals and dedicated support staff – is why The Lawyer and LexisNexis both named their Legal Directorate the In-House Legal Team of the Year 2022!

For more information on the legal team, please follow this link on the Bank’s Legal Careers Page

The Bank’s Approach to Inclusion

The Bank values diversity, equity and inclusion. They play a key role in maintaining monetary and financial stability, and to do that effectively, they believe they need a workforce that reflects the society they serve.

At the Bank of England they want all colleagues to feel valued and respected, so they’re working hard to build an inclusive culture which supports people from all backgrounds and communities to be at their best at work. They celebrate all forms of diversity, including (but not limited to) age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. They believe that it’s by drawing on different perspectives and experiences that they’ll continue to make the best decisions for the public.

They welcome applications from individuals who work flexibly, including job shares and part time working patterns. They’ve also partnered with external organisations to support them in making adjustments for candidates and employees in the recruitment process where they’re needed.

For most roles where work can be carried out at home, they aim for colleagues to spend half of their time in the office, with a minimum of 40% per month. Subject to that minimum requirement, individuals and managers should work together to find what works best for them, their team and stakeholders.

Finally, they are proud to be a member of the Disability Confident Scheme If you wish to apply under this scheme, you should check the box in the ‘Candidate Personal Information’ under the ‘Disability Confident Scheme’ section of the application.

Salary and Benefits Information

These roles offer a base salary of circa £75,970 – £87,660 per annum (depending on skills and experience) on a full-time basis. They encourage flexible working, part time working and job share arrangements.  Part time salary and benefits will be on a pro-rated basis as appropriate.

In addition, they also offer a comprehensive benefits package as detailed below:

  • A non-contributory, career average pension giving you a guaranteed retirement benefit of 1/95th of your annual salary for every year worked. There is the option to increase your pension (to 1/50th) or decrease (to 1/120th) in exchange for salary through their flexible benefits programme each year.
  • A discretionary performance award based on a current award pool.
  • A 7% benefits allowance with the option to take as salary or purchase a wide range of flexible benefits.  (Note that from April 2023 and for the Benefits year 2023/24, this will increase to 8%)
  • 26 days’ annual leave with option to buy up to 12 additional days through flexible benefits.
  • Private medical insurance and income protection.

National Security Vetting Process

Employment in these roles will be subject to the National Security Vetting clearance process (and typically can take between 6 to 12 weeks post offer) and the passing of additional Bank security checks in accordance with the Bank policy. Further information regarding the vetting and security clearance requirements for the role will be provided to the successful applicant, and information about how the Bank processes personal data for these purposes, is set out in the Bank’s Privacy Notice

The Application Process

Please click on the relevant role below to apply:

Legal Counsel  6-12 month FTC CBL 

Permanent Legal Counsel CBL (Commercial)

Important: Please ensure that you complete the ‘work history’ section and answer ALL the application questions fully. All candidate applications are anonymised to ensure that hiring managers will not be able to see your personal information, including your CV, when reviewing your application details at the screening stage. It’s therefore really important that you fill out the work history and application form questions, as your answers will form a critical part of the initial selection process.

The closing date for applications is 3 April 2024. 

The assessment process will comprise of two interview stages.

Please apply online, ensuring that you complete your work history and answer ALL the application questions fully and in detail as your application will not be considered if all mandatory questions are not fully completed.