About the role

The Head of Legal Shared Services will be responsible for the overall management of the shared service, ensuring that the desired benefits are achieved. This will entail developing, leading and managing a responsive, cost effective and professional Legal Service providing quality legal services to St Albans District Council and Watford Borough Council.

This role will be accountable to both authorities including relevant Elected Councillors, to ensure that the shared service develops as required, monitoring and reporting on performance regularly. To lead the Legal Services Management Team and service and be responsible for the provision of high quality, solution focused legal services to clients.

Note: This role will not be the Monitoring Officer for either authority

Where requested by the shared services partners:

  • Responsible for safeguarding the interests of partners by providing strategic legal advice and support to all authorities, the senior leadership teams and councillors on sensitive and highly complex legal matters.
  • Supporting the Strategic Leadership teams in implementing the vision and core values of each council and providing a clear sense of leadership direction and purpose across Shared Legal Services and ensuring the effective delivery of the shared services business plan, assisting the Strategic Leadership teams in meeting their corporate priorities and objectives and attending such meetings as required.

The appointment to a new Head of Shared Legal Services marks a pivotal point in our Building our Future transformation programme. Your proposed approach to this work must fit in with the Council’s drive to become an adaptive council. It will also be an important milestone in the development of partnership working with Watford Borough Council. This is one of three initial services that the authorities have agreed to share in the coming months. 

St Albans will be the Lead authority for the Legal Shared Services, meaning that the team will all be employees of St Albans, including those from Watford Borough Council who will TUPE across. Currently there are anticipated to be 24 posts in the new combined service including this post which will lead our new Shared Legal Services team, providing fully integrated legal services to St Albans District and Watford Borough Councils. However, over time this may change and others may join the shared service in due course. 

The Head of Legal Shared Services will be the first post recruited to in the new shared services team. Their first priority will be the implementation of the new shared legal service partnership giving the new service a greater commercial focus. This will enable the delivery of a responsive, solution-focused quality legal service, improve resilience and provide more capacity. With greater specialist expertise there may also be an opportunity to align ways of working, improve efficiencies and generate income. 

The role will have specific areas of responsibilities, which can be flexed to suit the needs of the organisation as it adapts to changing circumstances and moves to focus of the delivery of a commercial legal service fit to face the future challenges facing all partners.