Legal and Democratic Services Job Vacancies

Cumbria House

Cumbria County Council has an efficient and high quality legal service; we are at the forefront of the Councils reshaping programme, delivering services in a new way due to unprecedented change in Local Government.  We are an innovative department with a good base of experienced legal staff who have come to Cumbria from all over the Country, and we welcome new ideas and inventive approaches to service delivery.

Cumbria County Council is a modern employer; our Lawyers have access to technology that enables them to work remotely and flexibly, and we can offer a friendly and supportive working environment, an experienced management team with flexible working, access to training and development, and a Local Government Pension scheme. We have an effective case management system and access to excellent online research facilities. Our team is based in the newly built Cumbria House offices, and we have a sub office in South Cumbria Barrow-in-Furness.    

For post holders working in contentious areas of law including but not limited to Adults, Education, Child Care, Employment and Litigation you will have the opportunity to undertake advocacy at civil and criminal courts and at tribunals.

Our team works closely with the Education services within Cumbria County Council, including advising the Council on school organisation, any issues concerning schools and SEND (Special Education Needs and Disabilities).  We regularly deal with a SEND caseload, including advocacy at tribunals.  We arrange and clerk admission appeals and independent review panels for the majority of Cumbrian Schools.  Together with our SLA with Cumbrian Schools and the myriad of queries that it brings makes this an interesting and demanding area.
We have been integral to major corporate projects including significant changes to employee's terms and conditions, mass litigation spreading over a number of years, major policy changes as well as some ground-breaking tribunal cases.  We advise schools on employment issues as well as undertake advocacy in the tribunal for core council and school claims.
We represent the County Council in all inquests where the deceased is a service user, employee or looked after child or where the Council otherwise has an interest.  We have had a number of high profile inquests in recent years.
We undertake prosecutions for trading standards on a wide range of issues; from animal welfare and doorstep selling, to ensuring school attendance and on highway obstructions.
We bring and defend claims that fall outside of the Council's insurance scheme which are wide ranging and varied - including judicial review and multiple litigation.
The Council is the Local Planning Authority for Waste, Minerals and its own applications in its area. It is also the Surveying Authority for Public Rights of Way in its area. We advise the Council's planning and rights of way officers and provide advice to the Council's Development Control and Regulation Committee, which determines minerals and waste related planning applications, applications by the Council for development on its own land, rights of way and common land applications. We negotiate s106 and other planning agreements, represent the Council at public enquiries and defend any judicial review claims that are brought against particular planning decisions and public rights of way decisions of the Council.
The Council has a substantial property portfolio held in relation to all of the Council's business areas, and we provide Legal Services to support the Council in managing that portfolio.  We provide a range of advice to Council officers on a variety of commercial property matters and work closely with project teams such as the Council's Infrastructure Recovery Programme and the Carlisle Southern Link Road Scheme.

The Children and Adult Team is a newly merged as from October 2019, to provide a dynamic and responsive team to meet the needs of the People Directorate.

Together the team benefits from over 150 years of expertise in local government across Legal Assistants, Legal Officers, Lawyers, Lead Lawyers, In house Advocates, Senior Lawyers and the Group Lawyer/Manager.

Our adults team deal with a myriad of issues relating to over 18's, including applications to the Court of Protection, Mental Health, Ordinary Residence, adult safeguarding, challenges to service provision and funding, development of policy work and advice on all areas.  We do our own advocacy for the majority of our cases. 

Our Children's team deal with all aspects of Children's Social Care work delivering high quality and practical legal services to support the Council.  The team deal with a wide variety of cases involving some complex casework in the High Court.  When working in this team, you will give guidance on the implications of legislation, case law and other emerging developments in the children social care area. Legal Tradecraft Sessions held monthly ensure all the team maintain high standards of legal expertise to maintain and develop legal knowledge.  The team has its own in-house advocates and all lawyers are encouraged to develop their advocacy skills.   Cumbria County Council is committed to the development of the individual, and this is apparent within the Children and Adult Team where there are four Lawyer apprentices and two Business Administration apprentices.

There are many areas in which your legal expertise can be enhanced through involvement in Adoption, fostering, attendance at panels, contribution to the work of the Social Work Academy, pre proceedings, permanence etc.

We also work closely with our colleagues in Children's Services, providing advice and training wherever possible to drive improvements and ensure we protect and support the families of Cumbria.  The Team provides key service delivery in Adults and Child Protection across the County: West District teams in Whitehaven and Workington, North District Teams in Carlisle and Penrith as well as South District teams in Barrow and Kendal.  The team adapts to the needs of the service across a large geographical area through the use of video conferencing and skype.  Many court hearings are conducted through use of video links.

We work together with the client departments to protect vulnerable people and deliver the best results for the people of Cumbria.  A duty rota ensures the team is available to the Directorate to provide a reactive response when needed.

We support the Council as a commissioner of services by advising on high value public procurement and public contracts.  As part of this service, we draft and negotiate complex contracts and other agreements on behalf of the Council and provide advice on contract management, including contract dispute resolution and insolvency.  We support the Council's commercialisation objectives, providing legal support on a range of commercial matters, including commercial trading and charging, company law and practice and joint ventures.

We support the Council to maintain high standards of governance by providing expert advice on local authority law and practice, including decision-making, committee governance, access to information, member conduct, members' allowances, elections, company law and practice, and charities. We take the lead on maintaining and developing the Council's Constitution, its governing document, and work with the Monitoring Officer on a wide range of planned and ad hoc work to support the corporate governance of the Council.  

Our governance work also includes information governance and investigation of complaints.

We support the Council to maintain high standards of governance by making sure that agendas, reports and minutes for Council meetings are published on time, to a high standard, and that meetings are conducted lawfully.  We provide end to end support for the cycle of Council meetings, providing advice on a range of issues from agenda planning, through public participation and meeting procedures. We lead on projects that improve and modernise the Council's meeting administration and undertake an annual programme of work to support the Council's democratic processes.

Senior Manager - apply online

Closing date for applications: Sunday 12th January 2020

Interviews: Friday 24th January 2020

Senior Lawyer Governance - apply online

Closing date for applications: Sunday 12th January 2020

Interviews: Thursday 23rd January 2020

Senior Lawyer Property - apply online

Closing date for applications: Sunday 19th January 2020

Interviews: Thursday 30th January 2020

We don't currently have any Lead Lawyer vacancies in the team.

Lawyer Children - apply online

We have three full time positions available.

Closing date for applications: Friday 10th January 2020

Interviews: Wednesday 22nd January 2020

We don't currently have any Investigations Officer vacancies in the team.
We don't currently have any Practice Manager vacancies in the team.