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Title Commercial Lawyer
Ref HE/3633
Directorate General Counsel
Preferred Location Guildford
Salary £58,434-£67,199
Number of Positions 3
Working Pattern Full Time
Closing Date 09 Apr 2017

About Us

Highways England is the new Government company that operates, maintains and improves England’s network of motorways and major A roads. This network is around 4,300 miles long and while it represents only 2 per cent of all roads in England by length it carries a third of all traffic by mileage as well as two thirds of heavy goods traffic, making it the backbone of the country.

We have around 3,500 staff based in seven offices around the country including a uniformed Traffic Officer Service.  Highways England is held to account by two bodies who act on behalf of the public – The Office of Rail and Roads monitor the performance of our highways and Transport Focus champion the needs of road users.

Highways England in-house legal directorate is a highly regarded and friendly team of 7 lawyers and 4 support staff from a mixture of civil service and private practice backgrounds, headed by the General Counsel Tim Reardon and reporting directly to the Chief Executive.

For further information on Highways England, please visit our website: http://www.highways.gov.uk/highways-england/

Job Description

Highways England has been tasked by the Government to bring about a transformation of the strategic road network in England. The Government’s road programme has never been more ambitious and we are now delivering its first five-year Road Investment Strategy.  Highways England’s remit encompasses some huge infrastructure projects, for example rolling out the Smart Motorways programme, the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme and proposed new Lower Thames Crossing scheme, as well as working to resolve logistical traffic issues, such as Operation Stack on the M20 in Kent.  Highways England also has a suite of large commercial contracts, including  asset maintenance contracts, and is rolling out a new asset delivery strategy.  There are large and complex procurements.  In addition Highways England is working closely with other infrastructure providers such as HS2. 

Implementing this Strategy involves many diverse and exciting legal challenges. To meet these, we are looking to appoint a number of commercial lawyers to operate in one or more of the following areas:

  • Construction
  • Private Finance
  • Procurement

The successful candidates will be experienced lawyers in one or more of these areas, with excellent technical legal skills, including contract drafting and negotiating skills.  While you will be advising predominately in these fields, there will also be opportunities to advise in other areas such as planning, public law, highways law, health and safety, and some litigation.   

We are looking for highly motivated lawyers who can demonstrate strong communication skills and sound legal judgement.  You must have the ability to provide constructive advice to support the full range of the company’s activities, provide robust support with difficult decisions and defend the challenges to them.   

This is an excellent opportunity for a qualified solicitor or barrister to work on major road schemes along with large commercial organisations, Central Government Departments, Government Legal Department lawyers and external legal firms. 

Responsibilities:

  • General drafting, negotiating and advising on commercial agreements, including construction contracts.
  • Giving advice on procurement issues, litigation and disputes.
  • Working with external lawyers on the delivery of major projects.
  • Assist with general and varied legal queries affecting the Company.

Relevant Experience

  • Qualified solicitors or barristers with good commercial /procurement experience.
  • Knowledge of NEC 3 construction contracts would be an advantage
  • For one of the roles, a knowledge of PFI is required
  • Knowledge of public law or experience of working in a public law environment would also be an advantage.
  • Excellent client handling skills and experience of working under pressure in a busy environment.

As well as the autonomy and training you need to develop professionally, we provide a competitive salary, pension, good annual leave, flexible working hours and family friendly policies. 

All applications must be accompanied with a current CV which will be used to assess your suitability for the role. Please ensure all the skills, experience and qualifications requested are clearly demonstrated in your CV as explained in the body of the advert.

Please note that Highways England reserve the right to close the advert before the advertised closing date should a sufficient response have been received.  Therefore, please complete your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

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