Legal Counsel & Company Secretary

Job Expired
Salary: circa £80,000 per annum
Location: Hybrid Working (Remote/Office-based) – you will be required to travel between the Charity’s offices, primarily the Leeds and London offices for trustee meetings
Shift Pattern: Monday – Friday, 9.00am – 5.00pm
Contract Type: Permanent
Hours of Work per Week: 35
Closing Date: 15/11/2023
Ref No: 2144


We are currently recruiting for a Legal Counsel and Company Secretary to join StepChange Debt Charity within our Risk and Compliance team. Reporting to the Chief Risk Officer and the Chair of the Board, this role will play an important part in the provision of legal and corporate governance guidance to the Board of Trustees, the Charity, and its subsidiaries.

This is a key role where you will be responsible for the Charity’s Legal and Company Secretariat function and provide subject matter expert advice and guidance in relation to legal matters and corporate governance.

StepChange are the UK’s largest and most comprehensive provider of free debt advice. Hundreds of thousands of people come to us for help every year. Some are at crisis point and many don’t see a way out. We help them to find a way out of their debt problems. We don’t judge people; we provide the support, guidance and solutions that are needed. Whatever the situation we’ll look for practical solutions that make our clients’ lives better.

With this role you will enjoy a hybrid working model, combining working from home with some days in the office. You will be required to travel between the Charity’s offices, primarily the Leeds and London offices for trustee meetings.

What you will be doing

  • Act as Legal Counsel and Company Secretary for the Charity and its subsidiaries, providing legal and governance advice.
  • Direct and oversee of all aspects of the Legal and Company Secretariat function, including management of the Assistant Company Secretary.
  • Be responsible for legal affairs and provide legal advice on contracts, partnership agreements, grant agreements, service level agreements, litigation, client / creditor complaints where legal advice is required, and the management of other legal risks.
  • Engage and work with the charity’s external legal advisors for more complex matters and manage the budget for external legal advice.
  • Ensure the fulfilment of statutory reporting and filings.
  • Ensure compliance with relevant corporate governance requirements and alignment with good practice, including the recommendations set out in the Charity Governance Code.
  • Ensure the effective functioning of governance committees, including oversight of the board and committee meetings planning process.
  • Oversee the coordination of materials for board and committees, ensuring consistent high quality, including wider governance related documentation and procedures.
  • Maintaining an up-to-date view of the governance and legal landscape, identifying threats and opportunities.

What we want from you

  • Demonstrable experience as a Lawyer and/or Company Secretary, preferably with experience in the charity / not-for-profit sector and/or financial services sector.
  • Experience of corporate governance work including board support
  • Understanding of the role and responsibilities of trustees / non-executive directors and experience providing support and advice to trustees / non-executives directors on governance and other legal matters.
  • Broad experience across a range of legal areas, which may include charity and fundraising laws, corporate governance, commercial contracts, intellectual property, litigation.
  • Interpersonal and communications skills, including a level of tact and diplomacy.
  • Integrity and discretion when handling confidential and sensitive information.
  • Confident and articulate with the ability to effectively influence and gain buy in from colleagues, senior managers and trustees.
  • Build and maintain positive and productive relationships with colleagues at all levels across multiple functions.
  • Resilience and flexibility in a demanding environment.
  • Attention to detail, with excellent planning and organisational skills.
  • Deal with competing demands, manage time effectively and ensure the completion of tasks within deadlines.
  • Highly literate and numerate.
  • Ability to manage and develop others.

What we offer you:

  • 24 days annual leave (this increases by one day per year up to a maximum of 29), plus bank holidays
  • The opportunity to buy and sell annual leave
  • Hybrid working– with IT equipment provided when you’re working from home
  • A personal career plan and ongoing training and development and support with role-related professional subscriptions and qualifications
  • Travel season ticket loans
  • Cycle-to-work scheme
  • Group pension scheme
  • Group Company Life Assurance
  • Westfield Health cash plan with employee discounts in high street shops
  • Vitality at Work health and wellbeing
  • Employee assistance programme
  • Access to financial planning and advice
  • 2 days paid volunteering leave per year
  • Long service awards
  • Free hot drinks (tea, coffee, hot chocolate) in the office

Equality, diversity, and inclusion:

Equality, diversity, and inclusion are incredibly important to us; we have a culture of belonging. We’re always looking to increase the diversity of our workforce to ensure we can provide the best service possible for everyone. It’s not just about the professional experience you bring – we’re interested in who you are and your potential. If there’s an adjustment to our recruitment process that would help you to be your best, speak to our team and they’ll be happy to help.

The successful applicant will be required to provide a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prior to employment with StepChange Debt Charity.

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