We have a variety of roles available within our legal team.

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  • "The ability to work from home or another location is a great advantage and legal is very good at accommodating this."

About legal and democratic services

Who are we?

Legal and democratic services are responsible principally for ensuring the legality of the council’s operations and decision-making, providing high quality support to elected members, the council, the executive, committees, directorates and external clients, as well as supporting the all democratic processes.

It is also responsible for supporting the promotion of high ethical standards within the organisation.

Legal and democratic services lie at the heart of everything that the council thinks and does. 

We are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that the council’s operations are lawful
  • Ensuring that the decisions taken by members and officers are effective and lawful
  • Supporting the delivery of the council’s services and projects
  • Maintaining, promoting and monitoring high ethical standards for members and officers
  • Providing support to the council’s elected members
  • The conduct of elections
  • Providing high-quality legal advice and representation for the council and to some of its key partners

The constituent teams are:

The democratic services are the core source of advice and support for the democratic processes of the county council. They support the democratic decision making processes of the county council, executive, committees, individual councillors and officers, and the appeal processes related to employment matters, schools admissions and home to school transport.

Legal services are responsible principally for ensuring the legality of the council’s operations including:

  • The provision of legal advice to the council and executive, committees, directorates, and council members on all aspects of local government law
  • Representing the council in courts and tribunals
  • Undertaking the statutory duties attached to the role of monitoring officer
  • Advising members in relation to the code of conduct
  • Maintaining the members register of interests
  • The provision of a legal service to external bodies such as the North Yorkshire fire and rescue authority and other public bodies and companies
  • The maintenance of the council’s constitution and other governance frameworks
  • Monitoring and advising on legislation

Commercial contracts and procurement team

The commercial contracts and procurement team is responsible for advising on the law relating to contracts, procurement, local authority companies and general commercial issues including:

  • Providing advice on all aspects of contracts for supplies, works and services (we advise upon suppliers' terms and conditions, draft contract and project agreements and we oversee the drafting of the council’s procurement manual)
  • Advising on the law relating to contracts and procurement, especially the council’s own contract and property procedure rules and the public contract regulations 2015
  • Advising on and drafting procurement documentation
  • Involvement in project teams for complex and corporate projects
  • Advising on the issues relating to partnership working including governance and legal powers
  • Drafting and advising upon grant agreements, for example from external funding agencies such as ERDF and the lottery fund
  • Dealing with the legal aspects of insourcing and outsourcing of services
  • Advising on intellectual property rights such as copyright and trademarks
  • Advising and assisting with the legal aspects of education, joint use projects and academisation
  • Advising and assisting with traded services contracts and managed service framework agreements
  • Providing strategic advice to the council as members of the corporate procurement group
  • Attending meetings of various strategic groups such as the tactical property group and the central services procurement group
  • Providing advice in respect of the setting up of local authority controlled companies
  • Providing company law advice and state aid advice

Take a look at our current vacancies below:

Are you someone who is experienced in procurement, contractual, commercial and company matters? Are you a qualified Solicitor, Barrister or Lawyer looking to work with a forward thinking organisation? Are you looking for a position that gives you a work/life balance and flexibility?

We are looking for a solicitor, barrister or lawyer to join our successful legal department. We are a positive, ambitious and successful business team which has a strong commitment to providing high quality and cost effective legal services to the council and a number of external clients. You will deal principally with procurement, contractual, commercial and company matters. This is an exciting opportunity to advise the council and its companies on a wide variety of matters including high value procurement transactions, major corporate developments, the academisation programme and partnership agreements, as well providing more routine advice and support in respect of procurement and contracting issues.

The ideal candidate will be a confident team player who is able to 'hit the ground running'. You will have a fine eye for detail and thrive in a fast-paced environment with a dynamic and varied work load.

If you are interested in playing a key part in our legal team and would like to have an informal conversation please contact Catriona Gatrell on 01609 532211 or email catriona.gatrell@northyorks.gov.uk

To apply for this position please click the “apply” button below or alternatively send your CV to resourcingsolutions@northyorks.gov.uk quoting SOLCCP by midnight on 23 June 2019.

It is important that your CV includes: your full contact details (telephone, email, address), full employment history (name of employer, job titles, dates of employment and salary), full education history (qualification, grade, dates and place of study), explanation of any gaps in employment. Your personal statement should outline your motivation for applying and how you meet the criteria for the role as detailed in the person specification.

Key dates

  • Closing date: midnight on Sunday 23 June 2019
  • Interview date: week commencing Monday 1 July 2019

Application pack

We do not accept applications from agencies.

Business and environment legal team

The business and environment team in legal and democratic services advise members and officers of the council on its functions relating to planning, highways and public rights or regulatory controls over land in its administrative area. The business and environment team also provide legal advice to members and officers of Selby District Council on planning matters. Selby is the fastest growing district in the county with exciting opportunities to get involved in high quality planning work across both housing and employment led developments.

Our main areas of work are: 

  • Planning
  • Highways - maintenance and improvement
  • Adoption of roads
  • Traffic and transport
  • Compulsory purchase
  • Public right of way
  • Town and village greens
  • Waste management
  • Environmental law and regulation
  • Flooding and drainage

Take a look at our current legal vacancies below:

Why work here?

North Yorkshire County Council is the largest and one of the best local authorities in the country. A recent local government association peer challenge found that our council is a good place to work, with strong leadership and a loyal and committed workforce who have access to well-regarded training and development.

We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice, offering a range of training and development opportunities and career progression allowing you to manage your own development journey and empowering you to control your career. We positively encourage flexible working and we provide you with the technology you need to work from a wide variety of locations. 

In addition to your salary we offer a range of great benefits to help you financially make life a bit easier. From childcare vouchers, travel loans, shopping and gym discounts to name but a few. You can find more information on the range of benefits we offer within our  total rewards brochure (pdf / 1 MB).

North Yorkshire is a beautiful place to live and work, and the council is proud of its high calibre staff and services.

North Yorkshire really is a stunning, vibrant county with safe communities and excellent education. Over the past two years the new national crime figures have revealed North Yorkshire to be the safest place in England. It is rich in heritage and culture, in a back drop of outstanding natural beauty, vibrant cities, market towns, quaint villages, stunning rural and coast landscapes.

If you are considering relocating to North Yorkshire we provide a comprehensive  relocation benefits (pdf / 179 KB) package (subject to eligibility) and as a whole North Yorkshire offers some great employment opportunities for your family members along with a substantial number of good to outstanding performing schools. A simply stunning location to live and work, we really do have it all!

The county benefits from excellent road and rail links, with easy access via the east coast mainline, the A1(M) and A19. Leeds, York, Newcastle, Durham and Teesside are all easily commutable, and London just 2 hours by train. North Yorkshire borders the Lake District, Lancashire, County Durham, and Yorkshire & Humber regions with all they have to offer.

Lexcel accredited.

Apprentice of the year (CILEX) 2018 - shortlisted

LLG Young lawyer of the year award 2016

We are an innovative forward-thinking council. Read about our latest achievement, 'First Law North':

First North Law launched in March this year, becoming the first local authority in the north to trade its legal service.

Our newly formed company has the ability to trade more widely in a range of specialist legal services to other public sector bodies as well as the private sector. The creation of the company supports the council’s commercial growth with its expanding portfolio of services offered to external markets, including initiatives in education, waste disposal, broadband, information governance and auditing and in property. These commercial ambitions are driven by the council’s determination to protect as well as transform frontline services.

We offer services across a wide range of fields including: education and schools law; adult and children’s social care; employment law; debt recovery; information law; governance; commercial and procurement services; business and environmental services such as advice on minerals and waste planning; highways maintenance and improvement and flooding (the council is the lead flood authority). We also offer training across all of these specialisms.

We are a highly professional body and as we work for a local authority with an outstanding record in areas like children’s services, and in transforming services and organisational delivery, people can be confident that we work to the highest standards and with great integrity.

With holding the lexcel accreditation for almost two decades, we have an enviable background and reputation and we pride ourselves in achieving excellent customer satisfaction.

What is it like working within the legal team?

"Although we specialise in different areas of the law, you feel as though you are one big team and you can always rely on your colleagues for help, guidance and support."

"It’s busy but very interesting and a lot of team work."

"I love working in the legal team and find the work interesting and varied. There are opportunities to move around between the different teams within LDS which is great for experience and allows you to find an area that suits you.

"I really enjoy working within the legal team, everyone is so friendly and approachable and willing to help you. You can ask people from different areas any questions and they will answer them for you."

What do you think of our flexible working opportunities?

"The flexible working policy is great as it means you can still do your required hours but not necessarily at a specified time, such as starting the day later or finishing the day earlier. The ability to work from home or another suitable location as and when the need arises is a great advantage and Legal is very good at accommodating this."

"The flexible working is very good."

"Flexi working is really handy and helps to strike a good work-life balance."

"I sometimes use flexi, when I need to leave early etc. and I really like the fact I can work flexibly as it makes it so much easier."

What training and development is available to you?

"I have been able to obtain a post-graduate diploma whilst continuing to work part-time as part of my career progression. Legal were more than happy to accommodate this and by learning on the job, I have been able to incorporate my training and development into my everyday work."

"CPD training very accessible."

"There are definitely progression opportunities available and I have been able to gain support with my studying as well as a wealth of experience which will really assist my career going forward. Staff are very supportive and promote career development."