Legal Services Oversight Commisioner

£35,000 per annum
06 Oct 2016
20 Oct 2016
Contract Type
Part Time

The Legal Services Oversight Commisioner for Northern Ireland - IRC211946

As set out in the Legal Complaints and Regulation Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 (the Act), the Department of Finance, in consultation with the Lord Chief Justice, is seeking to identify a person for appointment as Legal Services Oversight Commissioner (the Commissioner).

The role of Legal Services Oversight Commissioner is a newly created position. The Commissioner will have a strategic role in that they will be responsible for oversight of the complaints handling systems of the Law Society and the Council of the Bar. However, they will not have operational responsibility for dealing with individual complaints.

The Commissioner's powers will include the power to investigate how complaints are handled by the relevant professional body, the power to set targets in relation to complaints handling, the power to require a professional body to submit plans relating to complaints handling, and the power to penalise the professional body in certain circumstances.

Please note that under the terms of the Act, the appointee must not be, and must never have been, a solicitor or barrister.

The Legal Services Oversight Commissioner will be appointed for a 3-year term. This is a part-time post, with a time commitment envisaged to be 2-3 days per week. By applying for the post it is assumed that you can meet this time commitment. The overall remuneration package will equate to £35,000 per annum, plus eligible expenses.

The Department of Finance will make provision for suitable office accommodation and support staff, as appropriate. It is envisaged that the office accommodation and the majority of the Commissioner's meetings will be located in the greater Belfast area.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate:
* Experience of overseeing a successful complaints handling system and a working knowledge of current best practice in the area.
* Ability to assimilate and analyse complex information and make evidence-based conclusions and prepare resulting reports.
* The ability to engage and negotiate effectively with stakeholders, provide a challenge function and promote understanding via an agreed solution or determination.
* Strong leadership skills and the ability to manage a small team effectively and efficiently to deliver corporate objectives.

After the eligibility sift, if it is necessary to shortlist applicants, this will be done via an additional section on the application form, where you will be asked to provide:

* An example of engaging with the legal profession in Northern Ireland that has informed your understanding of the workings, complexities and rigour of the legal system in Northern Ireland.

How to Apply
A candidate information booklet and application form containing more detailed information on the role and person specification are available as follows:
Please go to

Alternatively, an application pack can be requested by contacting:
HRConnect, PO Box 1089, The Metro Building, 6-9 Donegall Square South, Belfast, BT1 9EW.
Telephone: 0800 1 300 330.

All requests must include your name, address and reference number IRC211946

The material will also be made available, on request, in alternative formats such as Braille, large print, audio etc. All reasonable adjustments will be made to accommodate the needs of applicants/candidates with a disability.

Completed application forms must be returned to arrive not later than 12:00 noon (UK time) on Monday 17th October 2016.

Applicants invited for interview are eligible for reimbursement of reasonable travelling expenses incurred within Northern Ireland. It is anticipated that interviews will be held in Belfast.

Equality of Opportunity: The Department is committed to the principle of public appointments within a merit based process, with independent assessment, openness and transparency of process. The Department is also
committed to equality of opportunity and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified applicants irrespective of religious belief, gender, race, political opinion, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation,
or whether or not they have dependants.