In-House Legal Counsel

Ashurst is a leading global law firm with a history spanning almost 200 years, and clear strategy for our future growth. Our in-depth understanding of our clients and commitment to providing exceptional standards of service have seen us become a trusted adviser to local and global corporates, financial institutions and governments in all areas of commercial law

Department/ Role Overview:

The Office of General Counsel is a global team made up of the General Counsel (London), two Deputy General Counsel (Glasgow and Brisbane) and one Counsel (Brisbane).  We are looking to add two new Counsel roles, based in Brisbane and Glasgow, to the team.  This role description is for the new Glasgow-based role.

The Office of General Counsel is the in-house team for the Ashurst Group globally.  It is responsible for advising the firm on constitutional, legal and regulatory issues as well as the management of risk and governance issues, development of policies and preparation and negotiation of contracts with third parties.  The Office of General Counsel also works closely with the Risk and Compliance team (which also reports in to the General Counsel).  The Office of General Counsel is the point of escalation from the Risk and Compliance team for a range of legal and regulatory questions, including in relation to client terms of engagement, ethics queries, data protection, anti-money laundering, bribery and corruption, tax evasion and conflicts issues.

The role will involve working with the partners and lawyers at all levels of seniority across the business as well as with members of the business support functions.  An important part of the role is the ability to be able to analyse complex questions and provide clear and accurate guidance for practical use.  The Office of General Counsel also works closely at times with fee-earning lawyers in the firm and external law firms to provide specialist advice when specific subject matter expertise is required.

Main responsibilities:

  • Assisting the General Counsel and two Deputy General Counsel with a variety of matters
  • Providing high quality and commercially sound research and advice on firm legal matters. 
  • Drafting, negotiating and advising on a wide range of contracts and agreements entered in to by the firm, both supply- and client-side. 
  • Assisting with regulatory compliance matters, primarily in EMEA.
  • Liaising where needed with primarily UK and other EMEA regulators.
  • Providing support to the Human Resources team (for example in relation to secondments, consultancy agreements, practising certificates), the Finance team (for example, in relation to trust account issues) the Pro Bono and Corporate Responsibility Team and other business support teams.
  • Providing advice to partners and lawyers on a variety of issues, for example, ethics and privilege queries, escrow agreements, reliance letters, NDAs for the firm and the use of our brand.
  • Advising on legal, regulatory and practical aspects of a wide range of operational and compliance issues, in particular in relation to:
  • The strategy of the firm. 
  • The development of relationships with law firms in other jurisdictions, as required.
  • Group structuring matters, including new group entities.
  • The implementation of new technologies.
  • The development of innovative ways of delivering legal services, and legal-adjacent services, including through legal tech and alternative resourcing models
  • Issues arising from the operation of a law firm in multiple jurisdictions and multiple business lines.
  • Developments in the business environment and geopolitical environment.
  • Acting as a point of escalation for the Risk and Compliance Team, including in relation to client engagements, Ashurst’s liabilities to third parties, client pitches, audits and similar.
  • Helping prepare advice in relation to any complaints and claims, subpoenas and notices to produce.
  • Helping advise in relation to risk management issues across the business, drafting firm policies and assisting with the review and maintenance of the firm’s Risk Register.
  • Developing and delivering regulatory and ethical training across the business.
  • Participating in incident response planning and management.
  • Working with various Ashurst committees including the Risk Committee, where required. 

Essential skills and experience:

  • Qualified lawyer eligible for a current unrestricted England and Wales or Scottish (or ideally both) practising certificate.
  • Minimum 6 years’ experience, ideally gained in both in-house and law firm roles.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • In-depth experience drafting and negotiating commercial agreements, including IT contracts.
  • Experience with privacy / data protection matters highly desirable.
  • A commercial approach and an ability to negotiate effectively and with confidence.
  • Strong attention to detail with well-developed analytical skills.
  • The ability to be adaptable, collaborative and team-focused and also work independently in an international organisation.
  • A proactive, positive and energetic approach with a commitment to providing excellent service. 
  • Ability to manage a high-volume work load in a fast paced environment.
  • Excellent organisational, legal and technical skills.
  • Confidence to develop strong working relationships with Partners, lawyers and business support staff across the firm and to manage relationships with external parties as required.
  • Flexibility in mindset and approach to work.
  • An ability to understand and support the culture and values of Ashurst.

For a confidential discussion about this position, to request the full job description or to apply, please contact:


David Thomson, Director

Glasgow: 0141 244 0260

Email: david@thomsonlrc.com

David Thomson

Founder and Director of Thomson Legal Recruitment Company- award-winning legal consultant and a veteran of the legal recruitment market.