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Principal Lawyer – Planning

Job Introduction

We have a brilliant opportunity for an ambitious individual with significant experience in Planning Law to join our Legal Services team.

You’ll be able to deal with complex legal issues and provide legal advice at both strategic and operational levels as well as the ability to manage a team of lawyers and support staff who deal with Planning, Highways, and varied area of the Council’s regulatory regime.

You’ll be a confident communicator, able to manage and provide expert advice at all levels. You’ll be able to provide advice to councillors who sit on the city council’s Planning Committee, and colleagues in our award-winning Planning team and beyond.

Milton Keynes has significant plans for regeneration, which will offer you high quality planning work within a well-resourced team. You’ll be part of the Legal Management Team alongside four other Principals, supporting the corporate work of the service and assisting the Head of Legal to shape and deliver excellence within the service.

Milton Keynes City Council's Legal Services team is a fast-paced and innovative place to work. We advise teams across the city council, from contracts and procurement to child protection, from major development projects to criminal prosecution. This post is a fantastic opportunity to develop your legal career and expertise in a dynamic setting.

Main Responsibility

  • Provide legal advice and support to the city council on complex Planning Law and related areas at both strategic and operational levels.
  • Own caseload, especially the more complex and high profile cases.
  • Lead a team delivering Planning and related regulatory legal work.
  • Manage the relevant budget – both internal and external legal spend.
  • Lead, establish, manage and maintain excellent relationships with client and external stakeholders.
  • Manage direct reports and to ensure sustainable levels of case supervision across the team.
  • Engage as a key part of the legal services management team with the aim of ensuring a sustainable and appropriately resourced legal services.

The Ideal Candidate

  • Admitted Solicitor, Solicitor/Advocate, Barrister, Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives or equivalent qualification.
  • Expert knowledge, specialism and experience in the field of Planning Law is essential.
  • Ability to manage a team of lawyers who specialise in a mix of legal fields is essential; with experience of managing people with a positive and inclusive approach, focussed on development and productivity.
  • Experience in Regulatory work is desirable, but not necessary.

Package Description

In addition to your salary, we offer a range of benefits including:

  • Great holiday benefits - most roles include 28 days annual leave every year on top of public (bank) holidays, increasing to 32 days after five years.  In addition, there is a holiday purchase scheme allowing staff to purchase up to 5 additional days of leave each year.
  • Excellent pension – everyone who works for us can join the national Local Government Pension Scheme, widely regarded as one of the best available.
  • A full range of family friendly policies including enhanced maternity, adoption and paternity support and a childcare subsidy.
  • Access to an award-winning employee benefits programme that includes a health cash plan, a low-cost bike purchase scheme as well as high street discounts and money off entertainment and travel.
  • Blue Light Card - employees working within social care can qualify for an additional range of discounts from national retailers and local businesses.

Our roles are either designated ‘site based’ or ‘home based’. ‘Site based’ roles can include up to two days a week working from home whilst ‘home based’ roles are based at home four days a week.  Of course, managers designate which category roles are in based on the needs of the service and the circumstances.

About The Organisation

Milton Keynes City Council is a large, modern and financially stable employer with around 2,500 people working across our eight areas. Together we provide local residents and businesses with a wide range of important round-the-clock services and aim to make our city a better place to live.

We work hard because of the demands placed on us, like protecting children from harm or preventing homelessness. However, working for the city is always rewarding and everyone has the opportunity to make a real difference. 

We’re very proud of our diversity and are committed to having a workforce that reflects the community we serve. Whatever your background, you will be welcome here if you share our values of being dedicated, respectful and collaborative.

We offer great training and support and because of the size and scale of the organisation there are always new opportunities to explore when it’s time for a new role.

If you’d like to know more about how we do things and what matters to us, take a look at our short booklet What makes us Milton Keynes City Council.


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