Job Code: 30119/SH
Practice Area: Litigation
Recruitment Partner: Sam Houghton
Office: Leeds/ Manchester
There has never been a more exciting time to work in regulatory law. The Sentencing Guidelines mean that the focus on safety, food safety and environmental issues has never been greater and compliance has never been more important.
Our nationally recognised Regulatory Compliance and Investigations team is looking for an experienced H&S Inspector / Environmental Health Officer / Practitioner to work as a Senior Paralegal.
As an experienced H&S/EH specialist you will have a diverse skill set. Our practice is equally diverse and will give you a new platform to use these skills. The team has national coverage across the UK and handles the largest Health and Safety cases for the largest clients, regularly advising following major incidents, fatalities and/or very serious injuries. We act for clients in both contentious and non-contentious regulatory work.
The national team is led by Steffan Groch (Chair of Health and Safety Lawyers Association) and deals with nationally high profile and technically challenging cases. The team is recognised as a leading specialist in the defence of corporate manslaughter. In addition to its core H&S expertise the team also supports clients on a broad range of regulatory matters including Food, Retail, Fire Safety, Road Transport, Product Liability, Health/Social Care and Environmental (amongst others). Any experience of these areas would be beneficial.
This role will involve supporting the senior fee earners who advise and represent clients across the full regulatory compliance spectrum. The team represents clients faced with investigations and prosecutions involving the Health & Safety Executive, Environment Agency, local authorities (trading standards and environmental health) Police and Office of Fair Trading across the full spectrum of regulatory specialisms including corporate manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter, health and safety, fire safety, environmental, food safety, trading standards, consumer protection, professional and disciplinary, bribery and corruption and proceeds of crime.
Clients are supported through all of the legal issues that arise within the context of regulatory compliance including advising on regulatory inspections and challenging the actions of regulators, requests for interviews under caution or statements, compliance with and appeals against statutory enforcement notices, prosecutions and court proceedings including coroner's inquests, crisis management, product recall and managing disputes or incidents with a regulatory dimension. They assist organisations with internal investigations associated with regulatory challenges and interventions. Advice is also given on regulatory risk and strategic legal compliance issues in order to avoid an investigation or prosecution, including risk management support, director's duties, crisis management, accident impact and response, audit, training, and due diligence.
All of our team work on an agile basis wherever they are needed and this work would involve travel to wherever the issue or client is. Accordingly, this role would (at times) be field based with an office base in either our Manchester or Leeds office, though some remote and home-working is also possible.
We require an officer who will thrive and meet the challenge of working within a highly motivated area, specialising in health and safety. You will be a qualified Health and Safety Inspector or Environmental Health Officer or able to demonstrate competency in Health and Safety as a minimum, additional qualifications (CIEH, IOSH, NEBOSH, Crisis Management etc.,) would be an advantage. Current knowledge of Health and Safety legislation is a pre-requisite.
Candidates should be able to demonstrate a keen interest in handling a wide variety of interesting and challenging regulatory work and be willing to travel across the UK. We are looking for a team player with strong communication skills and attention to detail as well as commercial acumen. It is important for candidates to appreciate the transition from their previous prosecution role to that of working in a team focusing purely on defence work.
Main function of job:
The work will comprise:
- providing advice to our client base covering primarily health and safety issues; and
- working as part of the defence team in regulatory litigation from crisis to Court.
In many cases you will be one of the first people on the ground and will be conducting the defence investigation to provide the basis for being able to advise the client with an ongoing strategy moving forward.
You will be required to advise clients and deliver results within tight deadlines during a "crisis" period. You will provide the highest service level to external clients, and provide and maintain management information under the terms of client service level agreements.
a. Responsible to: Line manager/Partners
b. Liaison with: Employees at all levels within DWF and Clients
- Understand client requirements and manage cases / non contentious advice in line with service level agreements and best practice.
- Deal with a caseload of H&S regulatory matters as well as assisting the team.
- Analyse risk and further develop sound judgement enabling the justification of decisions to clients internally and externally.
- Prioritise work effectively and maximise efficiency and ensure client service level agreements and court deadlines are met.
- Achieve time recording targets split between chargeable and investment time in any one financial year.
- Understand the individual role in the context of the wider business and pro-actively seek to contribute to increased efficiency in developing a workload appropriate to your level of technical and legal knowledge.
- Build working relationships internally and externally in order to develop business networks and create a solid understanding of the Firm’s direction and client needs.
- To ensure that client relationships are maintained at all times and develop, where possible, client development initiatives / events as appropriate. This could include writing articles, delivering presentations and facilitating seminars.
- Develop increased levels of technical and commercial knowledge via training or supervised working practices.
- Use of the Case Management system and use of standard documentation wherever appropriate.
- Record all time accurately.
- Follow all the Firm's policies and procedures.
- Ensure confidentiality is maintained at all times.
The above is not an exhaustive list of duties and you will be expected to perform different tasks as necessitated by your changing role within the organisation and the overall business objectives of the organisation.
Diversity, Equality and Inclusion at DWF
Nurturing talent is very important to us. We are committed to equal opportunities in all areas of work and business. We want people to achieve their best, which will positively impact on our clients and communities in which we live and work. At DWF we empower people to be themselves within an inclusive and supportive environment, enabling everyone to achieve their full potential in line with their abilities and career aspirations.
As an inclusive employer, DWF wants to see every candidate performing at their best. Please log in to Clear Talents at http://www.cleartalents.com/apply/allroles/ to tell us what reasonable adjustments you may need and to discover how we might improve your recruitment experience, examples of reasonable adjustments could include: additional time for exercises, a hearing induction loop, a request for information in an alternative format. DWF are committed to an ongoing programme of improvements to provide access to all.