Deputy Departmental Solicitor

Job description

This a critical role operating across all of Northern Ireland government. The postholder will be counsellor to the most senior clients in government. You will also be a leader of delivery, excellence and improvement in one of Northern Ireland’s largest and busiest legal practices..


  • Supporting the Departmental Solicitor in leading and managing DSO to achieving its vision and secure its objectives;
  • Supporting the Departmental Solicitor in enhancing the capability of the senior teams to provide leadership and direction to DSO;
  • Strategic lead on the development and capability of professional legal staff, supported by NICSHR and People and Organisational Development;
  • Representing DSO on the Management Boards of Department of Finance (DoF) and the Government Legal Service for Northern Ireland (GLSNI).
  • Personally providing authoritative legal advice and services at the most senior levels (SCS/Ministerial) on complex matters;
  • Engage and have positive influence with a diverse range of stakeholders including the Attorney General, Ministers, Judiciary, Crown Solicitor, the professional bodies, Permanent Secretaries, Crown Counsel, NIO and others;
  • Providing engaged line-management to the Divisional Directors in delivery of DSO objectives and supporting them as required in providing handling and legal advice in complex and important issues.
  • Overseeing and co-ordinating the activities of the DSO Legal Divisions;
  • Promoting a strong culture of performance, subsidiarity, quality and pace;
  • Representing DSO or deputising for the Departmental Solicitor as required;
  • Strategic cross-DSO responsibility in relation to developing and delivering EU Exit response and Legislative Drafting response;
  • Contributing and collaborating in wider government outside DSO as part of the SCS as a shared resource;
  • Lead on internal and external communications, quality standards, employee relations, engagement and TUS issues inside DSO.
  • Assist the Departmental Solicitor and DoF in advice to Minister of Finance including Civil Law Reform and other policy briefing, Assembly Questions and correspondence;
  • Such other work as may be required from time to time, including leading for DSO in any specific professional legal specialism of the post holder, supported as necessary by lawyers in relevant Divisions.

Skills and Qualifications

Essential Skills

  • Have at least seven years' post qualification experience, in the successful delivery of legal advice in at least one of the following areas: Constitutional/Public/Administrative law. EU/EU Exit law. Litigation. Commercial/property law.
  • Have a minimum of five years' senior management experience of successfully leading a team of lawyers in delivering high quality professional legal services, and of leading and governing a team.
  • Demonstrable evidence at a senior management level of successfully improving the delivery of legal services.
  • Be a solicitor or barrister entitled to practise in Northern Ireland.

Further Information

NICS Application form only, Vacancy closing date Friday 27th January 2023 at 12 noon. Applications from Protestants, men, young people (people under the age of 35), people with a disability and people from minority ethnic communities are particularly welcomed for this post. The Northern Ireland Civil Service is an Equal Opportunities Employer. All applications for employment are considered strictly on the basis of merit. Work time - Monday to Friday, hours to be confirmed.

Application Information

Visit the recruitment service website (Please quote reference number: IRC281925)

Vacancy ID
Job ref.
Job Sector
Public Sector
£96,170 - £107,566 per annum (under review)
No. vacancies
Contract Type
Weekly hours
Published date
Closing date
Monday to Friday.

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