Location: UK: London

Opportunity: Supported Hiring into permanent roles

Start Date: ASAP

Apply by: 17 March 2024 (extended)

*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 Legal Counsel with experience in international trade law and Legal Counsel in the Insurance and Deposit Takers Division.

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 

Legal Counsel with experience in international trade law, International and Domestic Reform Division (IDR)

IDR provides a central resource on international trade law for the Legal Directorate. They support HM Government on trade negotiations in financial services and assist with other external relationships, including with the European Union. They advise on the implementation of trade agreements, and they provide advice on trade issues arising within subject specific projects across the Bank’s functions.

They are at the forefront of the post-Brexit legislative reform programme being implemented through the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023, providing a lead role on the implementation of accountability measures and legal co-ordination of the Legal Directorate contributions in other areas, including in relation to the transfer of financial services legislation from assimilated law and domestic legislation to regulator rules.

They provide a centre of excellence for the Legal Directorate on climate and environmental matters. Climate is a strategic priority for the Bank and it affects functions and aspects of its work. IDR leads the LD Climate Practitioners Group: a group of lawyers with specialist knowledge of climate and environmental matters embedded within each Legal Directorate Division. They also manage the legal external relationships relevant to climate, including the global central banks Network for Greening the Financial System.

IDR lawyers collaborate with colleagues from across Legal Directorate and the wider Bank, as well as counterparts in HM Government, other regulators and bodies outside the UK.

As a scale E Legal Counsel with experience in international trade law, you will provide advice and support on complex legal issues to all areas of the Bank at all levels of seniority, with a focus on outcomes which help the Bank to achieve its objectives.

You will lead on projects and act as a subject matter specialist on international trade law with limited supervision from senior lawyers, managing client relationships and mentoring and coaching more junior colleagues.

You will work openly and collaboratively in multi-disciplinary teams to deliver against agreed timescales, ensuring that legal risk is adequately identified, managed and mitigated.

You will represent the Bank and the Legal Directorate credibly in discussions with external bodies such as HM Treasury and the FCA, building effective relationships with legal counterparts in those organisations.

You will contribute to the implementation of strategic initiatives, observe document and record management protocols, and display the Bank behaviours. You will invest time in developing your own technical knowledge and expertise.

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 four years or more post-qualification experience as a practising lawyer, including with experience of advising on the negotiation, implementation or interpretation of international trade agreements.
  • 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 manage 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 and priorities.
  • Experience of advising on the regulation of UK financial services or a similar sector.
  • Experience of advising on public law.
  • A track record of contributing towards fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive working environment.
  • Ability to adapt communication style to achieve impact for different audiences

Legal Counsel in the Insurance and Deposit Takers Division (IDT)

IDT is the largest of the Legal Directorate’s divisions with over 50 lawyers and operates across the PRA’s full remit.

IDT works with policy-makers to develop new prudential policy.  This is an exciting time as the PRA seeks to maximise the opportunity provided by Brexit; to adapt to market changes in areas such as climate change and FinTech; to change how they make rules and supervise; and to build a fit for purpose UK regulatory regime, grounded in international standards, which underpins a resilient and dynamic financial sector that is safely open to the rest of the world.  Their lawyers work on these projects from inception to implementation, including drafting the PRA rules that ultimately put these policies into effect.

IDT also supports supervisors of around 1,500 banks, building societies, investment firms and insurers. They focus their legal resource on the issues and firms that pose the greatest risk to the stability of the UK financial system and policyholders.  Their lawyers help supervisors to understand and deploy the PRA’s powers to address issues at PRA-regulated firms and play a particularly prominent role in shaping the PRA’s response to firms in distress.

IDT lawyers collaborate with colleagues from across Legal Directorate and the wider Bank, as well as counterparts in Whitehall, other regulators and international bodies.

As a scale E legal counsel in IDT you will provide legal advice and support to all areas of the Bank on complex legal issues, with a focus on outcomes which help the Bank to achieve its objectives.

You will provide day-to-day leadership of projects and subject matter specialist teams within IDT, with limited supervision from senior lawyers. You will manage client relationships in connection with those projects and subject matter areas.

You will represent the Bank and the Legal Directorate credibly in discussions with external bodies such as HM Treasury and the FCA, building effective relationships with legal counterparts in those organisations.

You will work openly and collaboratively 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 strategic initiatives and demonstrating the Bank’s values 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 four years or more post-qualification experience as a practising lawyer.
  • 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 manage 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 and priorities.
  • Experience of advising on the regulation of UK financial services or a similar sector.
  • Experience of advising on public law.
  • Track record of contributing towards fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive working environment.
  • Ability to adapt communication style to achieve impact for different audiences.

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 with experience in international trade law, International and Domestic Reform Division (IDR) 

Legal Counsel in the Insurance and Deposit Takers Division (IDT)

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 17 March 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.