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Senior Legal Counsel Dispute Resolution

National Express
Closing date
19 Apr 2021

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Job Details

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National Express Group PLC is a British multinational public transport company headquartered in Birmingham. It operates bus, coach and rail services in the UK, North America, Germany, Ireland, Morocco, Spain, Switzerland and the Middle East. We are looking for an England and Wales law qualified solicitor and/or solicitor advocate who is confident and capable and has the requisite technical dispute resolution, as well as general commercial, legal skills to help protect and grow our business. As you will be working directly with business colleagues, it is important that your legal skills are matched by sound commercial awareness, clear and concise communications skills and pragmatism in finding solutions to business challenges. This role is a full time, permanent, position based at the Group's head office in Birmingham and will report to the Deputy Head of UK Legal.

This is a rare opportunity for a solicitor or solicitor advocate with a contentious training and contentious PQE experience to continue to undertake dispute resolution work within an in-house environment, whilst also broadening and developing their skillset by advising on non-contentious matters. This opportunity has arisen as a result of an unexpected vacancy within a busy UK legal team. The team expects to continue to be very busy going forwards as the business navigates the latter stages of the Covid-19 pandemic and continues to grow and diversify as it emerges from the pandemic. While the transport sector, alongside many others, has suffered through the pandemic, National Express is very well placed to endure the pandemic and to capitalise on opportunities emerging from it in the medium to long-term.

In the role, you will:
  • Provide legal advice and assistance to our UK bus & coach business division. This will include:
    • having primary responsibilityforadvising on and managing both small and large scale disputes and litigation, from supporting our market-leading customer contact centre with claims and disputes relating to the provision of our services through to managing large scale contractual disputes and advising on and challenging public procurement processes and outcomes;
    • playing an active role alongside other UK legal team members in drafting, reviewing and negotiating a wide range of commercial contracts, from bus & coach partner operator contracts to goods and services supply contracts, including particularly IT supply contracts, and advertising and agency contracts;
    • reviewing public tender documents for transportation contracts, including to identify and advise on and manage key risks and to assist with compliant bid submissions; and
    • providing ad hoc legal advice on all manner of legal matters, from strategies for reducing claims to technical legal competition and regulatory issues.
  • Provide legal advice and assistance to the Group functions, including finance, tax, treasury and company secretarial. The work for the Group functions includes:
    • advising on finance systems business partner agreements;
    • advising on bank facilities, leasing arrangements and guarantees; and
    • advising on and assisting with in implementing intra-group reorganisations, including to achieve tax outcomes.
  • Provide support to the Deputy Head of UK Legal in:
    • reporting significant legal matters to the UK Executive Committee and ensuring compliance with Group delegated authorities and protocols; and
    • managing the relationships with our UK legal panel of external solicitors and ensuring compliance with panel protocols.
  • Work with the UK business and Group functions to improve business standards and reduce risk, including by:
    • drafting and assisting in the roll-out of new policies and procedures; and
    • providing training on legal and practical issues.
  • As our UK business continues to grow and diversify, there is also the opportunity to support M&A activity.

Candidate's Profile

The successful candidate will be diligent and dedicated, possess high attention to detail, and thrive in a fast paced and dynamic environment.

You will have the following qualifications, experience and skills:
  • Fully England and Wales qualified solicitor with between 4 and 8 years PQE.
  • A training in, and substantial experience of working in, dispute resolution in private practice.
  • Preferably also wider experience of advising on some or all of:
    • public procurement matters;
    • competition law matters;
    • general commercial contracts;
    • IT and IP matters;
    • data protection issues; and
    • consumer issues,

which ideally would have been acquired in an in-house environment, but this is not essential.
  • Advanced written and oral communication skills, including the ability to explain legal issues to business colleagues and to influence outcomes.
  • Strong team working skills, as well as the ability to work relatively autonomously.
  • Excellent legal analytical and problem-solving skills and commercial awareness of the context in which legal advice/assistance is given/received.

What's on offer

The role offers an attractive basic salary, plus a good benefits package, including annual bonus opportunity, car allowance and pension. It represents an exceptional opportunity, either for a dispute resolution private practice lawyer looking for their first move in-house or an in-house lawyer looking for career progression.
Things to note...
National Express has a very high focus on health and safety and as a result operates a strict Drugs and Alcohol Policy which is applicable to all employees.

Drug and Alcohol testing is completed as part of the assessment process as well as random checks during employment according to the policy.
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