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General Legal Counsel – Corporate and Commercial

North Yorkshire County Council
Northallerton, North Yorkshire
£39,880 to £43,857
Closing date
21 Oct 2021

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Corporate Services, Legal, Member Services, Policy
Job role
Salary Band
£30,000 - £39,999, £40,000 - £49,999
Contract Type
Full time
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Job Details

The Role

Are you looking for a legal career which is rewarding and offers the perfect blend of public and private sector working?  Come and join our expanding legal team at First North Law, a firm wholly owned by North Yorkshire County Council, and work within one of the few legal teams in the UK offering access to public and private sector clients.  

As our General Legal Counsel, you will sit within our First North Law corporate and commercial team whilst being employed by North Yorkshire County Council and enjoying all the benefits that accompany that status.  Our client base is ever going and offers a wide variety of opportunities in the following areas:

  • Construction: drafting, negotiating and supporting a wide range of contracts required for the construction, operation and maintenance of new homes, including advising on contracting strategies, commercial models, performance securities, insolvency risk and the management of disputes. 
  • Governance: managing complex governance arrangements across client projects for Teckal and non-Teckal clients.
  • Mergers, acquisitions and organisation restructures: Advising and facilitating on merger projects, formation of new companies and associated legal documents
  • Regulatory and planning: supporting the businesses with regulatory compliance and development/compliance with planning requirements. 
  • Compliance: supporting the business in understanding regulatory compliance obligations and demonstrating best practice in all aspects including GDPR, health & safety and environmental matters

Day to Day

  • Working on unique, stimulating and complex matters;
  • Working closely with Local Authority lawyers on joint projects between clients and the Authority
  • Collaborating and working with external lawyers on complex matters as appropriate;
  • Reviewing, drafting and participating in the negotiation of contracts, leading the negotiation process were appropriate;
  • Participating in the management of contracts, dispute avoidance and dispute resolution processes including instructing counsel, legal panel firms and experts; and
  • Working closely with clients within to understand their objectives and business needs and to identify current and future legal requirements.

This is a role where work is varied and challenges arise regularly as clients look to push at boundaries and develop their own service offering.

The Person

What does being a General Legal Counsel at First North Law involve?

  • Team Player: As a growing firm it is imperative that you are willing to work with the existing team
  • Communication: You should have excellent communication and presentation skills including the ability to communicate complex legal concepts to a range of audiences both verbally and in writing.
    support to other teams.
  • Self-motivated: As this role involves home working as required, you should be able to work independently, planning and managing matters as required.
  • Organised: Able to work under pressure to meet deadlines and manage work priorities accordingly, often working on several matters concurrently.
  • Commercially astute: Strong commercial acumen that can identify risk, risk mitigations and present suitable options to the business balancing risk and reward.
  • Attention to detail: Able to demonstrate both attention to detail and the ability to provide highly pragmatic legal advice in the context of an established, commercial, operational business.
  • Flexible: Flexible approach with a willingness to develop knowledge and skills in different areas of law and provide advice to clients as necessary

The Skills


  • You must be a solicitor admitted in England and Wales or a fully qualified Legal Executive.


  • You should be able to demonstrates commercial acumen and experience preferably (though not necessarily) in the public and private sectors
  • Experience of Teckal company arrangements is beneficial as our client base contains Teckal companies
  • Able to use Case Management Systems, MS Word, MS Excel and MS PowerPoint to an intermediate level.

Benefits for Working for us.

In return for your hard work and dedication to our service, we can offer you the chance to be part of a strong and supportive team. We offer exceptional company benefits such as salary sacrifice schemes in technology, professional qualifications and green car schemes.

You will also benefit from a variety of competitive employee rewards such as generous leave entitlement and local government pension scheme. We also offer discounted retail offers and health schemes to name but a few. More information is found in our Total Rewards Brochure.

Our job description is generic covering a broad range of services we provide, you will not be expected to complete all of these as part of your role. We would encourage you to discuss this and our flexible working options with Catriona Gatrell Head of Legal Corporate at or Senior Solicitor Sarah Morton at

Key dates

Closing date: Sunday 31st October

Interview date: Early November


The County of North Yorkshire is the largest County in England and Wales. Within the county are 598 square miles of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and 530 square miles of the North York Moors National Park. The county is included in the Yorkshire and Humberside Region.

Whilst the economy of the County has traditionally been dependent on agriculture and tourism, there is a fast growing high technology base and this, together with other forms of light manufacturing industry, is of increasing importance. The County Council has an active policy of economic development and the predominantly rural character of the County is highly attractive to high technology businesses as well as the traditional industries of farming, food production and tourism. The County contains several centres of great historic interest, market towns that invite light industrial development, the modern coalfield area in the South, scenic, lightly populated upland areas and the extensive lowland area in the Vale of York.

Find Us
0845 872 7374
County Hall
North Yorkshire
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