About the job
We’re looking for a confident Litigation Lawyer to handle criminal and civil litigation relating to food safety and standards in the UK. You will be part of a legal team committed to helping to ensure that consumers in the UK enjoy safe food, and are able to make informed choices about the food they eat.
The FSA’s legal team is small, and its lawyers need to be agile and able to handle a wide range of different areas. A key part of this role will be to act as one of the two litigation lawyers within the team. The work covers the provision of advice and conduct of cases relating to the FSA’s enforcement and prosecution role in approved meat premises and other food businesses in England and Wales. The team also provides advice and support for other food law enforcement authorities, and coordinating and providing that advice forms an important part of this post-holder’s role
The Food Standards Agency is a non-ministerial department of 1200 people, with a big vision – to drive change in the food system so that it delivers “food we can trust”.
The ability to deliver this vision requires input from specialists in a wide range of disciplines, including scientific, economic, consumer relations and legal, and the FSA prides itself on being a source of independent, reliable and scientifically sound information for consumers.
The Legal Team is based in central London, but we have embraced agile working practices, and lawyers and staff are able to work from home or Government Office Hubs to fit in with the needs of their clients and the lawyer's home circumstances and commitments. We make use of modern IT systems and infrastructure to ensure that the Team is well connected, and we have regular face to face meetings to keep up to date with each others’ work priorities and objectives.
Our main London office is shortly to move from Holborn to Clive House, near Westminster, and the move is currently planned for early 2018.
Want to find out more? Then please take a look at the attached job description which details the key responsibilities.
Our ideal candidate will be an experienced litigator, with experience of criminal litigation, particularly in regulatory matters such as food, health and safety, environmental or financial matters. Some knowledge of civil litigation, particularly in public law matters such as claims for Judicial Review is highly desirable.
Knowledge of information law, particularly in the areas of freedom of information and data protection, would be advantageous, as the FSA is a key advocate of open data and strives to make creative use of data in order to help achieve regulatory outcomes in a way which minimises the use of direct regulatory sanctions against food businesses.
You must be entitled to practise in England and Wales under the rules of the Law Society or Bar Council. You must have successfully completed all stages of your training contract (solicitors) or one year of pupillage (barristers).
We'll assess you against these competencies during the selection process:
- Delivering at pace
- Making effective decisions
- Leading and communicating
- Collaborating and partnering
- Seeing the big picture
- Government Legal Service Competencies for qualified lawyers:
• Experience of preparing and running criminal prosecutions.
• Understanding the main features of public law – able to identify and apply public law principles (i.e. judicial review, human rights, EU Law, devolution, data protection).
• Sound legal judgement and appreciation of legal risk – interpret, explain and communicate key issues, ensuring all factors (such as political or media sensitivities) are considered when providing advice.
• Providing risk based analysis, explaining possible consequences, the likelihood of those consequences, and ways to mitigate or eliminate risk.
• Understanding the context in which legal advice is sought – know and appreciate the business priorities and how they fit in with departmental and wider Government priorities.
• Ensuring legal advice is given according to the business drivers and practices – operational, policy or corporate services.
• Understanding the wider Government context of the work – know when to escalate to senior colleagues, and when and how to involve the Attorney General.
• Identifying cross-cutting issues that affect other government departments and cultivating the appropriate legal contacts.
Civil Service Competency Framework
Things you need to know
Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Candidates will be subject to UK immigration
requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules
If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.
Selection process details
Subject to the volume of responses we may conduct a preliminary sift based on the lead competences of:
• Delivering at pace
• Making effective decisions.
The selection process will consist of a competency based interview, an Occupational Personality Questionnaire and a presentation.
We actively review the deployment of talent on a periodic basis in the interests of optimising personal development and the achievement of business plans.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.
Candidates in their probationary period are eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.
Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code
sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.
We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
Apply and further information
Contact point for applicants
Sift/interview dates and location
A sift of potential candidates for interview is expected to take place W/C 2nd October
Interviews, which will take place in London, are expected to take place W/C 23 October
Candidates can claim travel costs if they attend an interview/selection stage for the vacancy.