OEP – Principal Environmental Lawyer – Interim Office for Environmental Protection

Grade: Grade 7

Reference: 122474

Location: Worcester

Salary: £47,549 to £54,728

Closing Date: 21 Jun 2021

Job description

The OEP will be the cornerstone of our environmental governance system now we have left the EU. It will have a unique role in tackling some of the most pressing issues of our time, from climate change to biodiversity loss. Its legal team will be at the heart of its operations, working on high profile, complex legal issues at the cutting edge of environmental public law. This is an unrivalled opportunity to join the OEP as it is established and help build its legal function from the ground up, influencing how the OEP will operate in its crucial early years of existence.

In the Interim OEP the legal team will be responsible for creating the legal framework for the OEP ready for its legal establishment. This will include working on the draft OEP Strategy and with the OEP Complaints and Enforcement Team on the draft OEP Enforcement Policy. They will also support the Interim OEP Complaints team with the validation of complaints received.

Once the OEP is legally established, the legal team will provide legal and governance support to all OEP functions and decision making. The team will work in a flexible and agile way, both to advise on a wide variety of legal matters but also to provide input to strategic decisions on how and when OEP will use its different powers. This means each of our lawyers can anticipate opportunities to work on matters such as: the OEP’s input into proposed changes to environmental law, OEP reports on environmental law, environmental protection and enhancement and other matters, and the OEP’s investigations and enforcement casework. This will include leading on bringing judicial reviews and ‘environmental reviews’ when they arise. The legal team will also provide support across the OEP’s other business activities, such as on corporate and governance issues.

The team will act as the legal centre of excellence in the organisation creating and maintaining the organisation’s legal framework and providing training and guidance to non-technical staff to develop the wider legal capability of the organisation as a whole.

The OEP will be working on a wide variety of issues at any given time and we are looking for people who will be able to work flexibly across multiple work areas, when needed. For example, in addition to your standard duties you may called to support a specific high-profile investigation or piece of thematic analysis and be comfortable working in an environment where priorities and objectives may shift.

We are looking for individuals, from any background, who have the enthusiasm and flexibility to help us grow and develop this exciting new organisation. If this sounds like
something you would be interested in; we would love you to get in touch.