Location: UK: London

Start Date: Variable

Programme: Supported hire into permanent role with flexible working

Closing date: 2 March

*Applications have now closed*

The Bank of England’s Legal Directorate is partnering with Women Returners to seek a qualified and experienced barrister or solicitor who would be interested in a permanent opportunity with the Bank for a Junior Legal Counsel role in the Financial Stability Division of the Legal Directorate.

The Bank of England welcomes professionals who have taken an extended career break to apply for these roles. Successful hires who have taken a career break of 2+ years will receive coaching support through the transition period from Women Returners. You may have been working on a small-scale basis to fit around your other commitments or have not done any paid work for a number of years. The Bank is absolutely committed to having an inclusive environment. Improving the diversity and depth of experience of staff is something that the Bank is passionate about. Flexible working options are available, including part-time working.

The Bank has hired a large number of legal returners over the last few years. Read Melissa’s story of returning to law at the Bank here.

About the Legal Directorate

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 here 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 their legal team, please follow this link on the Bank’s legal career page

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.
  • EU & International, 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 in-house legal wiki.

The Financial Stability Division directly supports the Bank’s mission to promote the good of the people of the United Kingdom by maintaining financial stability. They provide legal advice to the Financial Markets and Infrastructure Directorate, the Resolution Directorate and the Financial Policy Committee (FPC) across a wide range of issues, including:

  • Regulation, supervision and development of policy in relation to Financial Market Infrastructure (such as payment systems, central counterparties, and securities settlement systems), including exciting, innovative and fast paced work to shape and deliver the future of payments and regulation of digital assets and stablecoins;
  • Macro-prudential policy, regulation and the associated legal framework for the Bank’s FPC. The FPC seeks to ensure the UK financial system is prepared for and resilient to the wide range of risks it could face – such as, climate change, cryptoassets, cyber risk, resilience of liability-driven investment funds, and the capacity of the financial sector to support the real economic through any disruptions to the financial markets – so the system can serve UK households and businesses in bad times as well as good; and
  • Policy and execution issues related to the Bank’s role as the UK’s resolution authority and its responsibilities for handling failing financial institutions and ensuring that such institutions are resolvable (ending “too big to fail”), including crucial contingency planning for any potential failures of financial services firms.

About the Role

They are looking for a qualified barrister or solicitor with up to 4 years’ PQE (whether in the UK or gained overseas) but can be longer, for example if returning after a career break. They are also open to applications from current trainees, pupils or apprentices who will qualify by September 2023. With experience gained as a practising lawyer in a law firm, or in-house at a financial institution, public body, or other private company.

Essential Criteria

  • Ability to use appropriate and developing technical knowledge to provide advice which consistently and clearly identifies, manages and mitigates legal risk
  • Sound legal analytical, drafting skills and project management skills
  • Developing legal risk awareness, including an ability to build solutions and deliver pragmatic outcome-focused judgments that take account of the business environment
  • Ability to adapt your style and build effective working relationships with internal and external stakeholders
  • Ability, over time, to develop networks across the Legal Directorate and the wider Bank
  • Ability to put forward ideas credibly at senior levels
  • Ability to work flexibly and to challenging deadlines across multiple matters
  • Curiosity and problem-solving skills, with a desire to develop expertise in new technical areas, and to do so quickly, seamlessly, and to a consistent high standard
  • An approachable, personable and professional manner, able to work collaboratively as part of a team or autonomously (with support), as required
  • Strong levels of ethical behaviour and self-awareness, with a willingness to accept and learn from feedback and proactively identify areas for personal development

Responsibilities for a Legal Counsel include:

  • With support from senior lawyers, developing and applying technical knowledge, understanding and judgment to provide legal advice and support to all areas of the Bank on legal issues, with a focus on outcomes which help the Bank to achieve its objectives.
  • Advising a range of colleagues across the Bank, including liaising with colleagues who do not work with lawyers on a regular basis.
  • Working in multi-disciplinary teams to scope and deliver against agreed timescales, ensuring that legal risk is adequately identified, managed and mitigated.
  • Working openly and collaboratively in teams internally and with external bodies.
  • Investing time in developing your own technical knowledge to develop expertise in the relevant practice areas.
  • Contributing willingly to the implementation of strategic initiatives and demonstrating Our Bank Behaviours at all times.

The Financial Stability Division is also advertising for a ‘Mid-Level Counsel, Legal’ role (with at least 4 years PQE or equivalent) in parallel to this role (reference number 008433). They expect to hold a combined interview process across both these roles for shortlisted candidates as long as you have applied for both vacancies, so they would welcome and encourage interested eligible applicants to apply for both positions where they consider this appropriate.

Salary and Benefits

The Bank of England is a distinctive institution and their rewards are one of the things that set them apart. As well as enjoying a competitive salary you will work in a collaborative, inclusive environment, with a subsidised restaurant, flexible working opportunities and plenty of wellbeing initiatives.

The salary range for this vacancy is approximately up to £65,250, dependent on relevant skills and experience. In addition, the total reward package also includes:

  • 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 our 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. (Note: effective from April 2023)
  • Private medical insurance and income protection.

Employment in this role will be subject to National Security Vetting clearance and the passing of additional Bank security checks in accordance with Bank policy from time to time. Further information of vetting and security clearance requirements for the role will be provided to the successful applicant. Further information about how the Bank processes personal data for these purposes, is set out in the Bank’s Privacy Notice at Privacy and the Bank of England

About the Bank of England

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.

The Bank values diversity and inclusion – they want to reflect the society they serve better, they want the best people to work for them and they want their workplace to be inclusive. They value all forms of diversity, including but not limited to age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, religion and sexual orientation. One way they support diversity and inclusion is through their staff-run networks, which are summarised here

They are fully committed to having a diverse and inclusive working environment, and are open to considering how the role might be carried out with flexible working. This role is therefore open to flexible working patterns. 

Where a role can be carried out from home, they are working towards colleagues spending at least half of their time in the office, so that they can all benefit from working together in person, while maintaining the flexibility offered by home working.

From 6 June 2022, they expect colleagues to spend a minimum of 40% of their working time in the office per month. Subject to that minimum requirement, individuals and managers should work together to find what works best for them and their team.

Thet are also committed to making workplace adjustments for all of their employees as needed, and also for candidates throughout all stages of the selection process. They are a member of the Disability Confident scheme, summarised here, and people who wish to apply under this scheme should check the box in the ‘Candidate Personal Information’ under the ‘Disability Confident Scheme’ section of the application.

They anonymise applications so hiring managers will not be able to see your personal information when reviewing your submission, including your CV. Please fully complete the application form questions as requested, as any incomplete submissions may not be reviewed.

Read more about the Bank in this Returner Champion Employer profile

How to Apply

For more information about the role and to apply, please access the link below:

Legal Counsel

Application deadline is 2 March 2023