Role: Child Care Solicitor
Location: Solihull, West Midland
Duration: 6 months
Rate: £40 - £45 per hour
We are looking for an experienced locum childcare lawyer to work for our local authority client for a six month temporary contract.
The successful applicant will cover a vacancy pending completion of permanent recruitment. The locum post is already part-filled, and so an applicant seeking a job-share role who would be available to work Weds-Fri (18.5hrs pw) would be ideal.
On behalf of the Council, its Partners and Clients to undertake a wide variety of legal policy and procedure work in relation to Social Care and Education.
• Advising Members and Officers of the Council, its partners and clients on legal procedural and policy matters.
• Primarily the post holder will be responsible for providing legal support to the Children’s Services and Skills Directorate. The post holder may also be required on occasion to assist with other areas of work undertaken by the Social Care and Education Team, including on behalf of our Adult Care and Support Directorate.
• Managing a full, varied and demanding caseload.
• Giving advice and drafting legal documents on a range of legal issues, including policy and procedure.
• Conducting litigation and advocacy on behalf of the Council in all levels of family, civil and criminal courts, tribunals, panels and enquiries.
• Advising clients of legal and other consequences of proposed courses of action, so as to enable them to give or modify instructions effectively and to act lawfully, and in the best interest of the Council, Partner or Client.
• Participating in the briefing and training of clients, colleagues, and wider partner authorities to ensure that they are kept up to date with the law and emerging issues.
• As and when required attending Council Committees and Sub-Committees and handling legal and advisory work connected with this.
• Accurately recording time worked.
• Conducting all work in accordance with Practice Management Standards laid down by the Law Society (Lexcel) and all other Departmental and performance standards.
• Standard hours of work, but flexibility will be needed for attendance at Court and Committee meetings beyond standard office hours. There may also occasionally be a requirement to be available to give legal advice out of office hours.
• All roles may be subject to change. The post holder may be required to undertake any other duties commensurate with the grade, work area, and requirements of the person specification as may be assigned from time to time.
Education & Qualifications:
• Qualified to practice in England or Wales as a Solicitor or Barrister, or a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
• Current Practising Certificate.
Experience & Knowledge:
• In depth technical knowledge and recent legal practice as a Solicitor, Barrister or Chartered Legal Executive in public law childcare proceedings.
• Good understanding of The Children Act 1989, Children and Families Act 2014 and other relevant legislation, case law and guidance.
• Knowledge and practical experience of Family Court protocols and procedures.
• Experience of undertaking advocacy, and an aptitude and motivation for undertaking contested advocacy.
• Experience of working within a local authority legal department.
• Understanding of or recent legal practice in Adult Social Care and/or Education law.
• Experience of undertaking advocacy in the Family Court.
Skills & Abilities:
• Excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills, and attention to detail.
• Proven ability to work both independently on own initiative, and collaboratively as part of a team.
• Proven ability to prioritise, plan and organise time to meet required deadlines.
• Proven ability to work calmly and efficiently under pressure, to deal with unforeseen and urgent situations, and to work within tight time constraints.
• Proven ability to negotiate, and influence others.
• Excellent research skills, and the ability to analyse and interpret information from a variety of sources.
• Proven ability to understand and meet client expectations.
• To be computer literate and self-sufficient in the use of IT, in particular Microsoft Outlook and Word, and using the Department’s Case Management System and any other software packages provided to assist in delivery of the service.
• The ability to maintain up to date Lexcel compliant files.
• Previous experience of utilising the Iken case management system
• Previous experience of LEXCEL Law Society Practice Management Standards
• Applicants must be able to travel around the Borough and the vicinity.
• Flexible approach to attend Committee Meetings and Court Hearings outside office hours on occasion.
Local authority experience is desirable.
Applicants must be available to start within two weeks.
Deekay contact: Michael Wilde - 0161 747 1234