Head of Legal
Country / Territory
Corporate Headquarters
Job Category
Pay Band
Senior Leadership Band
Vacancy Description
Pay Band: Leaders of Major Functions & Geographies Location: London Contract: 18 month FTC Requirements: Applicants must have pre-existing right to work in the UK

About us:

Please note that in December 2020, the British Council will relocate to its new global headquarters: International Quarter, Stratford, and London E20.

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.

About the Role
Reporting to the Director of Corporate Affairs, the Head of Legal is responsible for providing strategic oversight of global risk by ensuring a comprehensive, efficient and cost effective legal advisory service. 

Advising the CEO, Executive, Chair and Board on risks and advised mitigations, this is a highly influential, commercial and change orientated senior leadership role. 

Your reach will be truly global, operating across a global matrix structure the British Council work with over 100 countries worldwide. 

As such, you will have significant interaction with the Global Leadership Team and a wide range of colleagues across the British Council’s global network, external stakeholders and UK & international partners.  As a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body,  you will also interact with the Chair of the Board of Trustees. 


In terms of people management, you will lead a small London based team focusing on business-critical core legal issues globally including, which are various in nature.  

Importantly, you will also lead the ongoing implementation of our Legal Change programme, which is a 4 pillar programme aimed at better preparing the legal function to respond to challenges it faces.

About You 

You will be a Qualified Lawyer (Barrister or Solicitor) in England & Wales with significant in-house experience leading a legal function in an organisation of similar scale and complexity. From the private, public or not for profit sectors you will have led a globally dispersed function within a matrix structure and possess strong international corporate and commercial legal experience including deep knowledge of:

  • Partnerships, Mergers and Joint Ventures
  • Corporate Law and Governance
  • Legal Status (UK and Overseas)
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Contracts
  • Conflict of laws/cross border issues


Public/NDPB; charity and/or professional service sector experience is beneficial but not essential.  An inspirational leader with excellent communication, interpersonal and relationship building skills you will have empathy with the vision and purpose of British Council.


In return we offer a competitive salary and benefits package including pension, 32 days annual leave plus an impressive range of family friendly policies. 

Further Information

Please see the following:

Role Profile - Head of Legal.doc
British Council Behaviours.pdf
British Council Core Skills.doc

To apply, please submit your application by 24th February 2019 (23:59 UK Time).

Equality Commitment

Valuing diversity is essential to the British Council’s work. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to try and avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies. A registered charity: 209131 (England and Wales) SC037733 (Scotland)