Commercial Lawyer

1 Kemble Street, London, WC2B 4TS
£42,844 (less than 3 years PQE), G7: £48,800 – £61,000
04 Jan 2019
04 Apr 2019
Full Time
Experience Level
Not Disclosed

Commercial Lawyer

Location: London

Salary: Legal Officer: £42,844 (less than 3 years PQE), G7: £48,800 – £61,000

Contract: Part time, Full time and Job share will be considered

Apply by: 20/02/2019


The Government Legal Department (GLD) is the largest provider of legal services across government, working with all the main Whitehall Departments.   From roads to rivers, and health to human rights, our work touches on most aspects of public life.

If successful you can expect to be involved in some of the most high profile, complex and far reaching commercial issues in government.

Role responsibilities

We’re looking for both Commercial Lawyers and Commercial Dispute Resolution Lawyers.

Much of the work is on the boundaries of commercial and public law, often at the forefront of major government initiatives. The government draws continuously upon the skills of commercial lawyers to bring to life policies pledged in their election manifestos and elsewhere. 

Commercial Dispute Resolution Lawyers will actively utilise all methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution, with a particular focus on reaching commercial settlements through negotiation and mediation. 

Commercial Lawyers will, given the nature of our client base and the type of matters you’ll often need to advise on important questions of policy and to handle sensitive information belonging to both the Government and third parties.

Effective contract and supplier management is essential to extract maximum value and so the commercial lawyers are called upon to advise on handling performance issues and disputes before they reach a formal dispute resolution procedure. You’ll draft and advise on every part of the commercial process, from the commercial law implications of a policy, through to designing the appropriate commercial construct, ensuring that projects appropriately manage legal risk, that contracts are managed effectively, and that any disputes are resolved as effectively as possible.

Risk management of all types is a very large element of the role of all our lawyers. If a dispute resolution procedure is commenced then commercial lawyers often work alongside litigation lawyers and counsel.

You’ll often work closely with our legal colleagues in the advisory law teams in Government Legal Department which advise the same departments helping to implement policies and advise on commercial legal issues raised.

You’ll also play a key role in instructing, working alongside and managing external law firms and counsel where additional and/or specialist advice is required.

Minimum Academic requirements
You should have a minimum of a 2:1 honours degree in their first degree (in any subject).

If you hold an overseas degree qualification this should be equivalent to a 2.1 degree.

We will consider applicants who do not have a 2.1 degree but only where satisfactory evidence of equivalent high level academic and/or professional achievement can be provided (e.g. via relevant experience and results achieved for the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)/CPE, Legal Practice Course (LPC), Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)).

Minimum Professional requirements

Applicants must be qualified to practise as a Solicitor, Barrister or Chartered Legal Executive in England and Wales (or will be qualified 3 months from application date).

You must have completed a training contract/pupillage/qualifying employment, or have been exempted from this by the Law Society, the Bar Council or CILEx.

Applicants qualified in a jurisdiction outside England and Wales will be required to undertake the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme within 5 years of appointment, and employment will be conditional upon the successful completion of the QLTS within this time period.

We offer some partial funding for the QLTS, however applicants should note that there is also a cost to the individual.

Professional entry criteria for Chartered Legal Executives (i.e. Fellows): Chartered Legal Executives are eligible to apply where (i) a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD) is held; or (ii) the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)/CPE has been completed; or (iii) where exams have been passed (i.e. a score of 50% or above achieved), at CILEx Level 6*,   in all of the following seven foundation subjects in law:

  1. Contract Law
  2. Criminal Law
  3. Equity and Trusts Law
  4. European Union Law
  5. Land Law
  6. Public Law
  7. Law of Tort

* Note: There are specific requirements relating to academic achievement in the CILEx Level 6 exams where these are being used to demonstrate 2.1 degree equivalence as set out below.

Chartered Legal Executives should note that GLD will be willing to accept an, overall, average score of 65% or above across exams passed in the seven foundation subjects in law (where studied at CILEx Level 6) as demonstrating 2.1 degree equivalence (where a 2.1 degree is not held). 

As a minimum you’ll need to have the following Legal Skills for whichever role you are interested in:

Technical – Commercial Law Team Legal Professional Skills

  • Excellent powers of analysis of legal commercial problems and sound commercial legal judgement.
  • A constructive approach to solving problems and the ability to provide legally sound, risk-based advice
  • The ability to communicate advice effectively both in writing and orally. 
  • An ability to negotiate effectively and to draft commercial contracts.
  • Good commercial and contract law experience is essential and an understanding of the wider public sector context is desirable.
  • A good working knowledge of and experience of public procurement issues is desirable but not essential.


Technical – Commercial Dispute Resolution Team Legal Professional Skills

  • Experience of working in a commercial litigation environment.
  • Good commercial and contract law experience is essential and an understanding of the wider public sector context is desirable.
  • A good working knowledge of High Court/TCC litigation.
  • A good working knowledge of Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures.
  • Reliable legal judgement and appreciation of legal risk. 
  • The ability to think strategically and creatively, see legal issues in their wider context and advise accordingly. 
  • Sound analysis, using secure legal research to produce timely and fit for purpose advice.
  • The ability to communicate advice effectively both in writing and orally. 

Please refer to the Vacancy Notice for all other essential criteria we will require of you.


  • Flexible working and family-friendly policies
  • Generous pension contributions from employer
  • Career progression and development opportunities – we have a thriving CPD-accredited in-house training programme
  • 25 days’ annual leave, then 30 days after 5 years’ total service


The GLD is part of the wider Civil Service and therefore the Civil Service nationality rules apply. If a post is described as ‘reserved’, then only UK nationals will be eligible to be able to apply. If a post is advertised as a 'non-reserved' post, as our posts generally are, those listed below will be eligible to apply:

  • UK Nationals (and British Protected Persons);
  • Commonwealth citizens and nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA);
  • Individuals with dual nationality where one part is British; and
  • Certain family members of EEA, Swiss and Turkish nationals (as set out in the Civil Service nationality rules).

Full details of the Civil Service nationality requirements may be found at Civil Service website.

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