- The General Counsel is a high-profile leadership role that provides strategic legal advice of the highest standard to the Chief Executive (Accounting Officer), Board and Executive Directors.
- Acting as a critical friend to the Executive and Board ensuring market leading commercial strategic advice is married with sound legal know how as the Agency shifts to a “place based” focus
- Homes England operates at the intersection between public law and private law so the General Counsel will command the confidence and engage with senior stakeholders in government and business.
- Using eclectic legal expertise and knowledge deliver effective advice on a broad range of activities in Help to Buy, building safety, and diversifying the housing market with a key focus on infrastructure real estate finance, corporate joint ventures, and other innovative commercial solutions.
- Provide strategic legal leadership on all aspects of operational issues including governance, corporate and decision making within Homes England’s mission.
- Provide contemporary and future focused management through coaching and role modelling behaviours, ensuring the Agency has the right talent and resilience to successfully deliver its objectives, championing the culture and values of the organisation, of which diversity and inclusion are at its heart.
Key accountabilities and responsibilities of General Counsel
- Provide strategically minded and business focused advice to the Board and Executive on the regulatory, commercial, and public law risks to enhance decision making and delivery.
- Partner with development and investment teams to ensure we structure our contractual relations with our development partners in a way that protects and optimises Agency commercial interests and deliverables.
- Lead external advisers on delivering the best commercial deal but also balance our strategic objectives through the formation of excellent working relationships, astute challenge, and guidance.
- On behalf of the Agency advise on public, regulatory, and commercial law issues affecting programmes and projects.
- Provide senior strategic leadership to an experienced team of high calibre in house services providing advice to the Agency, ensuring that the team have the skills, knowledge, and experience to support the Agency’s dynamic priorities in the future.
- Establish effective and best practice governance processes for the Board and its committees and ensure the efficient administration of the Executive meetings.
- Provide commercially focused strategic and legal advice to the Executive and Board Committees in regard to joint ventures, investment structures, consumer and structured finance within real estate infrastructure and regeneration
- Ensure compliance in governance and legal matters and take a senior leadership role in ensuring that policies and processes in this area are modern and fit for purpose.
- Promote collaborative working across teams. Work with the Executive Leadership Team on strategic objectives of the Agency and commercial delivery within our commissioning structure and IPA/HMT approval process ensuring compliance with public subsidy regulations.
- Have oversight of all processes and systems for the execution of contracts and other legal documents by authorised signatories and that copies of contracts are kept securely.
- Drive a culture of professional excellence and agility as well as providing visible and effective leadership of the team through a period of exciting yet challenging change.
- Mentor, coach and support the team, developing capabilities and role model expected behaviours.
- Manage the Financial Crime Compliance team including Customer Due Diligence and Money Laundering Officer.
- In collaboration with the development and investment teams play a key role in building new external partnerships, emergence of new sectors, and commercial opportunities within HomesEngland strategic objectives.
- Ensure robust systems are in place and embedded to ensure that high standards of corporate governance are adhered to including registers of Board and staff interests, gifts and hospitality, legal risk management and business continuity.
- Take ownership for coordinating the Agency’s response to litigation or any potential legal challenges.
- Ensure legal compliance across all Agency functions, Investment, Development, Affordable Housing, Help to Buy and Corporate functions. Provide assurance of strong corporate governance and regulatory compliance.
- Oversight and management of external legal panel, ensuring effective delivery and use of approved precedents or bespoke documents as appropriate whilst ensuring value for money.
The Agency operates in a context which is more complex than is usual for financial institutions given the application of public and state aid law to its activities which require a proactive and versatile approach to providing innovative commercial solutions.
Homes England Employees are expected to be flexible in undertaking duties and responsibilities commensurate with the general character of the role and level of responsibility.
Key skills and knowledge
- A strong legal leader who has experience in leading a complex legal function and managing change and a track record in building strong corporate governance
- Demonstrated commercial skills in joint ventures, investment structures, consumer and structured finance ideally within a real estate infrastructure and regeneration context.
- Qualified Solicitor with significant relevant post-qualification experience with knowledge of corporate governance, financial services, public and regulatory law acquired in private practice, government or in house.
- Strong business acumen, able to support and advise on innovative solutions in regard to lending and partnerships
- Experience in working with internal and external legal to structure and document various investment vehicles for private investment capital.
- Experience in providing authoritative risk-based advice.
- Ability to comprehend, analyse and interpret complex legal transactions with a demonstrated ability to drive projects, direct others and advise directors on implementation of the Homes England Strategic Plan and the ability to exercise sound judgement and decision making to tight timeframes.
- Continuously seek to innovate and improve current practices. Thinks strategically to anticipate future trends and changing client needs.
- Advanced analytical and problem-solving skills to define problems, establish facts and draw valid conclusions and decision making to reflect quality services; creating VFM policies and compliance guidelines.
- Develop effective internal and external partnerships and collaborative working to achieve new policy outcomes in the development and delivery of Homes England’s strategic objectives and delivery plans.
- Provide strong and inspirational leadership, promoting an inclusive culture with ambition, risk awareness, high performance, continuous improvement, innovation, creativity, and customer focus to improve current practice.
- Understand Risk Management methodologies and ensure appropriate budgetary controls and management to add value.
- Experience of acting as a positive ambassador and promoting an excellent reputation nationally and regionally in their field of expertise.
Key performance measures
- Delivery of timely and effective legal advice to the Accounting Officer, Board and Executive Directors across the business
- Successful delivery of large scale projects, ensuring that value for money, transparency, and learning and appropriate governance is maintained and is effective.
- Develop and ensure that teams and support staff are effectively developed.
- Strong working relationships with external stakeholders, in particular DLUHC and other industry bodies.
- Set and communicate contribution expectations, metrics and outcomes.
- Empower and inspire team members to take stretch assignments.
- Delegate appropriately -monitor progress and provide support, resources and upward cover.
Values and key behaviours Homes England values
Role model and live our values and behaviours in everything you do and celebrate successes through others
Ambitious - We always strive for more and believe in better.
Collaborative - We work together to get things done.
Commercial - We are professionals who achieve value for money.
Creative - We’re always thinking up new ideas and disrupting the status quo.
Diverse - We value everybody as an individual, and in their thoughts and ideas.
Learning - We can always do better, share what we know, and admit our mistakes.