Location: UK: London, Edinburgh and Leeds

Opportunity: Supported hiring into a permanent roles, full and part-time opportunities

Start date: ASAP

Apply by: ASAP, closing dates vary

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is recruiting within their General Counsel Division for a variety of roles including Head of Department, Managers and Lawyers. They welcome applications from individuals returning from a career break of 12 months or more and who have relevant experience in financial services, regulation or public law. They also invite applications from junior lawyers with an appetite to learn and an ability to get up to speed in new areas of law.

Successful candidates returning from a career break will benefit from Career Returners Coaching support provided by Women Returners. During your career break you may have worked on a small-scale or self-employed basis to fit around your other commitments, or have not done any paid work for a number of years.

This is an exciting opportunity to join an organisation that makes a difference to the lives of the millions of people who use financial services as it transforms to become more innovative, assertive and adaptive, data-led and outcomes-focused.

About the FCA and General Counsel Division (GCD)

The FCA is creating a fair and more resilient financial system. They are establishing more transparent relationships between financial services and their customers, building trust in financial markets and protecting vulnerable consumers.

They are currently on an exciting journey as they drive forward significant organisational, people, process, and technology transformation to become a more forward-thinking, proactive regulator. FCA use data more effectively to drive better regulatory decisions and build greater cohesion across their broad financial services remit. Significant improvements in digital enablement, business intelligence, market data and information management maturity will maintain their position as a world leader in financial services regulation.

The GCD provides regulatory legal advice to the FCA. GCD is responsible for the assessment of legal risk involved in FCA’s actions, reviewing and shaping policy and supervisory work, advising on changes to legislation and drafting the Handbook provisions. The Division provides advice to the executive committees and the Board. All of this is done in partnership with colleagues in the FCA and in furtherance of the FCA Strategy.

Opportunities Available

Head of Department – London, Leeds or Edinburgh
Salary: £140,000 – £165,000 pro-rata

The FCA is looking for a talented and influential Head of Department to co-lead the Markets and Prudential department in the General Counsel’s Division on a 3 day a week job share basis and play a key leadership role as they transform into a more innovative, adaptive and assertive regulator. The role has arisen due to the existing Head of Department moving from a full-time to a 3 day a week working pattern. The Markets and Prudential Redress department is made up of about 20 staff with three manager-led teams (Trading and Securitisation team, Prudential team and Markets Access and Conduct team).

This role reports to the General Counsel and is a key role within the GCD senior leadership team.

Key responsibilities:

  • Responsibility for overseeing and delivering legal support to the relevant areas of the FCA
  • Providing legal advice and judgement to the senior management of the FCA
  • Participating in and influencing policy and executive decision making
  • Management of an experienced team of lawyers (including line management of three managers and three technical specialists), providing direction, attracting and developing staff, setting and maintaining high standards
  • Representing the department and the division, and interaction across the relevant areas of the FCA and with external stakeholders
  • Setting the strategic direction for the department
  • As a member of the GCD leadership team, developing the divisional strategy and helping to inspire and encourage staff
  • Potentially, leadership of a critical divisional function

Essential Criteria:

  • Experience of leading the work of a team and/or managing staff (including delegating effectively, resolving issues, developing individuals to deliver at their best and motivating team members to achieve high standards through empowerment and trust)
  • Strategic thinking, to contribute to the strategy of GCD as a Division as well as the delivery of FCA’s objectives
  • The ability to provide high quality legal advice, tailored to the circumstances, in a complex context
  • To be an inspiring and inclusive leader, role modelling the FCA’s Values and core skills
  • The ability to adapt to change and respond quickly to a changing environment
  • The ability to build strong relationships at peer level and operate as part of an effective senior leadership team

Managers – London, Leeds or Edinburgh
: The range will be £78,300 to £125,700 (London), £70,500 to £113,100 (National)

The FCA is looking for talented lawyers to join the senior management team, they are recruiting for five manager roles in the General Counsel’s Division. Four of these are in the Governance, Investments 1, Investments 2 and Market Access and Conduct Teams. There will be a fifth vacancy for a manager in the Payments, Credit Competition and Claims Management Department as a result of the creation of a new team in that Department, the portfolio of which is under consideration.  They invite applications from senior lawyers with relevant experience with the ability to provide effective leadership.

Working in the General Counsel’s Division, you will benefit from an opportunity:

  • to manage a team working at the forefront of financial regulation and consumer protection on a range of difficult, complex and often high profile legal issues
  • to contribute to the leadership and strategic management of General Counsel’s Division
  • to build collaborative relationships with colleagues across the FCA to contribute to effective planning, prioritisation and resource allocation to deliver the FCA Strategy
  • to develop others and positively contribute to the development of their career
  • to work with government departments and bodies and other organisations engaged in financial services on exciting and pioneering projects.

The successful candidates will:

  • be a trusted source of legal advice on significant legal issues, helping the FCA deliver on its objectives
  • be expected to proactively engage with FCA colleagues and manage the resources and talents of the team to ensure the most effective delivery of legal services
  • be expected to manage the performance and career development of the associates in the team and to participate actively in departmental and divisional management
  • be a role model for the team and will be expected to manage the team in an open and inclusive way, with a strong focus on training and knowledge sharing
  • create a working environment which enables every team member to flourish and will be motivated by helping team members to develop along their chosen career path.

Lawyers – London, Leeds or Edinburgh (full and part time roles available)
Salary: See bandings below

  • Associate: £45,100 to £66,800 (London) and £43,400 to £64,300 (National)
  • Senior Associate: £64,600 to £95,800 (London) and £58,200 to £86,200 (National)
  • Lead Associate: £71,400 to £105,800 (London) and £64,300 to £95,200 (National)

They are looking for talented lawyers who are willing to learn quickly, engage openly and rise to the challenge of working in an organisation that makes a difference to the lives of the millions of people who use financial services.  They have a large number of vacancies at Associate and Senior Associate level, and a small number of vacancies at Lead Associate level.

The FCA will provide an environment where you can grow professionally in a diverse, inclusive and supportive environment. You will have the opportunity to interact with colleagues across the FCA and with other public bodies such as HM Treasury and the Bank of England.

Working in the General Counsel’s Division, you will benefit from an opportunity:

  • to work at the forefront of financial regulation and consumer protection on a range of different matters where any two days are rarely the same
  • to devise and implement creative and pragmatic solutions
  • to acquire broader experience of financial services regulation, of how a regulator works and of how law and regulation is made
  • to be fully involved in the FCA’s policy development, and to draft rules and guidance in the FCA Handbook
  • to advise on the application and effect of regulatory requirements and powers in practice, and to work with colleagues to ensure firms comply with all applicable rules, legislation and law
  • to work with government departments and bodies and other organisations engaged in financial services (such as the Bank of England) on exciting and pioneering projects
  • to develop problem-solving and project management skills
  • to have a high level of ownership and responsibility for your actions.

Key criteria and experience

  • strong analytical skills and the ability to deliver good and clear analysis of issues
  • ability to learn about new or novel legal issues quickly and with enthusiasm, with the oversight and support of colleagues
  • ability to create solutions and deliver pragmatic outcome-focused judgements
  • ability to advise in a confident and reasoned manner, and to challenge appropriately
  • ability to build and sustain positive relationships and good communication skills, and
  • at Associate level: no relevant experience is necessary
  • at Senior Associate level: some relevant experience is necessary
  • at Lead Associate level: significant relevant experience is necessary

Relevant experience includes experience in one or more of the following:

  • financial services law, in particular the law relating to:
    • markets, exchanges, trading and market conduct
    • consumer credit and mortgages
    • payment services and e-money
    • retail financial services
    • crypto assets, distributed ledger technology and custody of investments
    • insurance
    • pensions
    • redress
    • consumer investments
    • prudential regulation
  • litigation, in particular public law litigation
  • public law
  • information law (including data protection)
  • working within a legal function in a financial services context such as banking, funds, markets, insurance or advising listed companies; and/or
  • working within a legal function in a Government Department or other regulatory or public body.

How to Apply

Please click on the relevant link below for further information and to apply:

Head of Department with any questions, please contact linda.bradley@fca.org.uk Executive Resourcing Team.

To apply for a lawyer role, please submit your CV and answer to the following:

Please explain, with reference to an example or examples, how you meet the key criteria listed above. Your answer should relate to the criteria listed above, covering your relevant skills, knowledge and experience in a maximum of 300 words.  Your application will not be accepted without both your CV and your answer.

Please also indicate whether you are applying for an Associate, Senior Associate or Lead Associate position and whether you wish to be located in London, Edinburgh or Leeds.

If your CV and 300 word statement are in separate documents, you should be able to upload them together to the FCA Careers Portal when submitting your application.

Case study: if you pass an initial sift you will be invited to sit a written case study. The purpose of the case study is not to assess whether you know the relevant law but to see how you go about analysing and explaining legal issues.

Interview: if you pass the case study, we will invite you to an oral competency-based and technical interview.

Further Information for Lawyers

The FCA is an inclusive employer where everyone matters and they are committed to promoting a diverse workforce. They welcome applications from those returning from career breaks or looking for flexible working arrangements.  Various flexible working arrangements are available, for example, working 4 days a week, working 4 days a week spread over 5 days, job shares. If you would like to discuss flexible working options, please contact Michael Wood on Michael.Wood@fca.org.uk 

For more details on the associate roles and to hear from some of their lawyers:

    • visit www.fca.org.uk/careers and search for GCD jobs
    • check out their GCD Life page on LinkedIn #lifeatgcd #jobsatgcd
    • attend one of their webinars via MS Teams taking place on Thursday 23 February (12.30 – 1.15) or Monday 27 February (12.00 – 12.45), joining links below.

Date: Thursday 23 February 2023

Time: 12.30 – 13.15

Microsoft Teams meeting

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device

Click here to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 390 226 161 288
Passcode: KB4k54

Download Teams | Join on the web

Or call in (audio only)

+44 20 3321 5238, United Kingdom, London

Phone Conference ID: 404 215 689

Date: Monday 27 February 2023

Time: 12.00 – 12.45

Microsoft Teams meeting

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device

Click here to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 321 419 901 629
Passcode: omxPwW

Download Teams | Join on the web

Or call in (audio only)

+44 20 3321 5238,  United Kingdom, London

Phone Conference ID: 990 191 224

The FCA are a signatory to the Disability Confident scheme. This means that we will offer an interview to disabled candidates entering under the scheme, should they meet the minimum criteria for a role. A minimum criterion needs to be measurable when reviewing a candidate’s CV. Exceptions may apply if due to the volume of applications they are not able to interview all eligible candidates who qualify under the scheme.