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In-house Legal Counsel

UK Biobank
Closing date
29 Oct 2021

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Contract Type
Full Time
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In-house Legal Counsel

Stockport, Cheshire

£Competitive + generous pension

The Organisation

UK Biobank is a major national and international health resource, and a registered charity, undertaking a medical research project with the aim of improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of serious and life-threatening illnesses, from cancer, heart diseases and stroke, to depression and dementia.

Between 2006 and 2010 UK Biobank recruited 500,000 volunteer participants aged between 40 and 69 from across Great Britain to participate in the largest research project of its kind anywhere in the world. During the recruitment phase the UK Biobank participants provided medical samples and other detailed information about themselves for future analysis and agreed to have their health followed through linkage to their healthcare records held by GPs and national records (such as those relating to cancer). Since the recruitment phase there have been a number of ongoing projects to enhance the data in the UK Biobank resource. Brain, heart and bone scans on 100,000 participants are under way, and genetic data is being generated. Scientists undertaking health-related research in the public good can apply to access the data in the resource (which is de-identified). Over time the resource is helping scientists to discover why some people develop particular diseases whilst others do not.

UK Biobank was established with a grant for £62 million for its recruitment phase by the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, Department of Health, Scottish Government and the Northwest Regional Development Agency. Since then, it has also had funding from, amongst others, the Welsh Government, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), through the government's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Funding to date is in excess of £280 million.

UK Biobank is making a valuable contribution in helping to tackle the global crisis of COVID-19. Data from participants' electronic health records (diagnostic test data, death, hospitalisations and GP records) is being made available to researchers alongside the existing data in the resource to enable a better understanding of the genetic and lifestyle determinants of COVID-19. All participants have been invited to take part in antibody testing to enable UK Biobank to understand which participants have previously been infected with the virus to help researchers understand the longer-term health consequences of infection. A number of participants with positive antibodies from infection are being invited to attend a second imaging visit to understand the impact of the virus on internal organs.

The Opportunity

A further role has been created in the legal team for a lawyer to contribute to a range of legal and compliance responsibilities. These include commercial contract drafting, data protection, procurement, technology matters and employment law.

UK Biobank's work is unique and interesting and will provide you with opportunities to learn and grow, diversify your skills and be part of something transformational on an international platform.

Applications are invited from a diverse range of legal backgrounds, which include both private practice and commerce and industry. Currently you may be a lawyer specialising in corporate law, finance, commercial contracts, commercial litigation, technology or data protection. Or you may be a generalist with experience in more than one these fields. You can come from any industry, provided you bring with you a strong blend of legal, business and people skills.

To succeed in the role, you must be able to draft clearly and precisely, think commercially, evaluate risk and offer sound business judgement.

At UK Biobank you will see yourself working alongside a dedicated, highly-skilled group of people who are continuing to build a powerful new tool for health research. You will help to improve the lives of millions of people, as UK Biobank allows researchers anywhere in the world to tackle a wide range of painful, debilitating and life-threatening illnesses.

In return for your commitment, UK Biobank offers a salary competitive with other in-house legal teams in the North West of England and a generous pension scheme.

For a confidential discussion about this role please get in touch with Andy Balmer at Florit Legal.

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This recruitment assignment is being handled exclusively by our retained consultants, Florit Legal, and all direct or third-party applications will be forwarded to them for consideration.

Where Florit Legal advertisements make reference to PQE this is purely as a guide. All candidates will be considered on merit. By submitting a job application to Florit Legal, you consent to us storing your personal data, whether it is provided by you direct or collected by us from publicly available sources. In order for us to carry out ongoing recruitment services on your behalf, you consent to your data being retained after this application process has ended in accordance with our Privacy Notice. You may withdraw your consent at any time.
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