Hillingdon Council: Putting our Residents first.
Hillingdon is London's second largest borough. Our staff live across Hillingdon and beyond, with our main council offices at the Civic Centre in the heart of vibrant Uxbridge town centre. Putting our residents first is at the heart of everything we do, and we are embarking on an ambitious plan to modernise our service offering, while sustaining the high-quality delivery.
We operate a busy, innovative and dynamic Legal Department, which is committed to providing high-quality, client focused legal services. The team works in close collaboration with our service areas providing a comprehensive support service across a wide range of Council areas including adult and children's care, planning, housing and litigation.
About the role
This is a great opportunity for an experienced lawyer to join an exceptional Housing and Property legal team. This is an extremely varied role where you will have the opportunity to work on a wide range of housing litigation matters including claims for possession, disrepair, anti-social behaviour, homelessness, and judicial review. This is an excellent opportunity to make a real different to the residents living within the Borough.
Key responsibilities of the role will include;
- Appearing personally on the Council's behalf in all Civil and Criminal Courts and before Tribunals and Inquiries - plus Injunction proceedings in the County Court or High Court to secure compliance with Conditions of Tenancy
- Advising on the Council's duties towards Asylum Seekers and Social Security Tribunals
- Possession Proceedings on the grounds of rent arrears, anti-social behaviour and other breaches of tenancy conditions
- Possession Proceedings against squatters (including travellers)
- Debt recovery work including service charge arrears, care home charges, housing benefit overpayments and former tenants' arrears
- Prosecution work in the Magistrates' Court for housing and environmental health offences and applying for removal orders for unauthorised encampments of gypsies
- Drafting of documents, attending council and committee meetings in relation to work undertaken by the Team.
- To give legal advice to the departments served by the Team as and when required.
- You will have the chance to undertake regular advocacy and to provide written advice as required.
You will be a qualified Solicitor (or equivalent) preferably with Higher Rights of Audience or Barrister with excellent technical knowledge and practical experience of the law and practice relating to housing, ideally gained within a Local Authority legal team.
You will have excellent drafting skills and be confident undertaking your own advocacy as well as instructing counsel and providing advice as required.
This role will suit a highly organised and enthusiastic lawyer who enjoys managing their own caseload, working to tight deadlines and assisting senior colleagues on more complex matters.
We are looking for a team player who is keen to build successful relationships with clients and use their own initiative to ensure that the Council's interests are protected at all times.
You will be responsible for providing guidance and direction to your colleagues and clients, identifying areas for improvement and providing innovative solutions.
Other important skills would include:
- Passion for learning
- Problem solving
- Exceptional customer service
- Teamwork and relationship building
You must be motivated to deliver results, and will be expected to take ownership of your personal development and the development of your work streams. We strive to ensure that we continuously improve our service, and you will play an essential part in supporting this.
What we offer
We offer a range of Company benefits. These vary according to the business area and role but may include:
- local government average salary pension scheme
- free parking (4 days a week) if based at the Civic Centre
- a 36-hour week for all full-time staff
- generous holiday entitlement: a minimum 25 days a year (plus bank holidays), rising to 28 days after five years' service. For more senior positions holiday entitlements can rise to a maximum of 36 days
- career breaks
- flexible working hours
- Hybrid working arrangements
- season ticket loan
- access to a Credit Union
- access to a wide range of training and courses
- discount on a variety of Adult Education courses run by the Council
- payment of professional fees where these are required
- discounts at council-owned leisure centres and swimming pools at Hillingdon (Uxbridge), Queensmead (South Ruislip), Highgrove (Ruislip) and Botwell Green (Hayes)
- cycle purchase scheme
- car sharing scheme
- 30% discount on green fees at council-owned golf courses
Please upload your CV and a covering letter explaining clearly why you consider yourself to be an excellent fit for the role.
We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. Applicants should be aware that the post will only be offered to successful candidates subject to an Enhanced DBS check as well as other employment clearances.