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Title Planning Lawyer
Ref HE/3632
Directorate General Counsel
Preferred Location Guildford or Birmingham
Salary Competitive Salary
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 6 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:

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 A303 Stonehenge Expressway scheme, as well as working to resolve logistical traffic issues, such as Operation Stack on the M20 in Kent. 

Implementing this Strategy involves many diverse and exciting legal challenges. To meet these, we are looking to appoint three lawyers with sound experience in planning, highways or property law, to advise predominately in these fields, although there will also be opportunities to advise in other areas such as public law, procurement, commercial and contract law, state aid, 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.  We are particularly interested to hear from candidates with a background and experience in public law.

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. 


  • General drafting, negotiating and advising on highways and planning agreements.
  • Giving strategic advice on planning and highways applications and considering the implications of planning applications for the Strategic Road Network.
  • Providing advice on compulsory purchase, highways law, permitted development, planning conditions and requirements, judicial review, consultation and High Court challenges.
  • Working with external lawyers on the delivery of the Road Investment Strategy including advising on Development Consent Orders.
  • Advising on statutory nuisance, obstruction of the highway, land drainage and all land related issues affecting the Strategic Road Network.
  • Drafting easements, wayleave agreements, advising on landlord and tenant and property issues arising with motorway service areas and our property portfolio. 
  • Assist with general and varied legal queries affecting the Company.

Relevant Experience

  • Qualified solicitor or barrister with good planning/highways or property experience.
  • 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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