The ideal candidate will have in-house experience in an SME and understand the challenges involved in such businesses. The role, reporting to a Board Director, will be to develop, grow and have overall responsibility for the legal function within the business, including all contract related matters, product regulatory/liability matters, intellectual property matters including management of the patents, trademarks and designs portfolio, and any other matters that should arise within the company requiring legal support. This will, at least initially, be a standalone role to build the legal function within the group of companies with promotion opportunity to Legal Director level.
The role will include, but not limited to:
- Provide general legal guidance and support across the group companies and liaising with external counsel where required.
- Support the company’s growing customer and supplier base with appropriate commercial contracts (e.g. supplier agreements, distributor agreements, sales contracts, etc.).
- Setting up a legal database, template agreements, and so forth.
- Provide legal support for international growth, entry to new markets, setting up of new capabilities, such as manufacturing, formation of joint ventures, etc.
- Provide guidance relating to various regulatory matters (e.g. product liability, data protection, etc.)
- Liaising with external patent/trademark attorneys to protect/develop and effectively manage the company’s growing IP portfolio, including instructing freedom-to-operate searches and analysis, infringement and validity opinions, etc.
- Dealing with contentious matters as and when required, including but not limited to drafting letters before action, settlement agreements, attending court or tribunal hearings, issuing takedown requests and so forth.
What we’re looking for:
- Qualified solicitor with a law degree
- Extensive post qualification experience, ideally with some in-house experience.
- Experience of working in a dynamic, fast-paced, commercial environment with constantly changing challenges.
- Proven track record of managing a demanding workload and of delivering robust and commercial legal advice
- Be a team player with a can-do approach and a willingness to embrace new legal challenges with an open mind.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, highly articulate and persuasive.
- Ability to adapt style for different audiences, summarise and simplify highly complex issues for non-specialists.
- Ability to think strategically and creatively, identify and resolve legal risks in the areas of, at least, IP, tax and compliance.
- High level of integrity and professionalism.
- Highly-developed organisational skills; ability to prioritise and detail-oriented.