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General Counsel jobs in United Kingdom

What Does a General Counsel Job Entail?

The core purpose of the General Counsel job is to advise a specific business on legal matters, to help it get through times of change in a seamless fashion and to protect the firm's integrity, all whilst being commercially aware. 

This senior position comes with its fair share of responsibility, as the General Counsel usually has a seat at the decision table alongside other business executives. Whilst the role can vary widely depending on the size of a firm or the nature of its services, most General Counsels will also have to proactively identify any potential legal and risk issues which may arise in the near future. 

The Typical General Counsel Job Description in Financial Services

General Counsels in the financial services sector are usually asked to oversee a wide array of duties, which often include compliance, ethics, risk, commerciality, legality and client engagement. 

As stated in our article Commerciality and Corporate Responsibility: the Evolution of the General Counsel, the role of General Counsel has emerged - and gained massive popularity since - within the financial services sector during the 2008 financial crisis. Appointing a senior legal practitioner has proven useful to not only increase overall business profitability but also to make a company thrive in the ever-changing regulatory environment and new legal market. 

What Are The Duties of a General Counsel in Financial Services? 

Whilst the duties of  General Counsel jobs in London may change from firm to firm, the typical General Counsel job description will encompass, but are not limited to, the below: 

  • Providing sound and expert legal advice to executives

  • Putting in place internal governance policies and managing how external factors could impact the business

  • Anticipating legal issues and estimating their risk

  • Liaising with external parties on a regular basis (this can include regulators, clients, external counsel, etc.)

  • Playing an active role in the drafting of legal documents

  • Keeping abreast of regulatory and legal changes

  • Conducting due diligence on deals such as mergers and acquisitions

Where to Find General Counsel Jobs in London

The best way to find General Counsel jobs and legal counsel jobs in London is to look at specialist legal and general counsel recruitment firms which focus on the industry you are interested in. For example, Rutherford is a general counsel recruitment firm that specialises in the financial services sector: for over a decade, we have been working with some of the most renowned firms in the finance world, helping them source some of the best legal talent in the London market. 

What Is The Difference Between General Counsel Jobs and Legal Counsel Jobs in London?

General counsel and Legal counsel positions all sit within the same in-house legal team, with General Counsels acting as the Head of the department. 

General counsels will often feed directly into the CEO of the business, representing the firm from a legal standpoint, whereas legal counsels will be carrying out the day-to-day legal requirements of the firm. 

Why are In-house Counsel Jobs Important?

In-house counsel jobs are important to businesses for a breadth of external and internal matters. 

The in-house team are there to represent the firm on external B2B or B2C legal matters. Whilst internally monitoring the functions within the business, ensuring they’re producing legally accurate work. 

In-house counsels are also involved with in-house matters or disputes from employees, depending on the severity of the issue, the afflicted employee will speak to HR and General Counsel.

For a better understanding of the state of hiring within the in-house legal sector alongside salaries read our In-house Legal Salary Survey.  

What Should You Do Once You Have Found Your Preferred General Counsel Recruitment Firm?

Once you have found general counsel recruitment agencies that are aligned with your career objectives and the industry you would want to work in, the next step would be to identify the right Consultants for your search. 

Specialist legal recruitment firms will usually have general counsel headhunters who oversee a niche market: they are the ones best suited to present you interesting and attractive in-house counsel jobs: from general counsel jobs in London or in the city where you are based.

Rutherford's General Counsel Recruitment Consultants

If you are actively looking for general counsel jobs within the financial services industry, then get in touch today with Rutherford's legal recruitment specialists. See below our expert headhunters within the financial services' legal recruitment space.

Tevia Kretzmer
Consultant
tevia@rutherfordsearch.com

Jackson Baker
Director
jackson@rutherfordsearch.com

Jonathan Skerrett
Director
jonathan@rutherfordsearch.com

United Kingdom

​The United Kingdom is the amalgam of Great Britain (which comprises England, Wales and Scotland) and the northern portion of Ireland. Its capital, London, is known as Europe's financial hub, and one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities. The United Kingdom is also known for other major cities, like Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Cardiff.

The UK has made significant contributions to the world, most of them being cultural. Literature, theatre, musicals, film, television, music - many big names in these fields are from the United Kingdom.

Financial Services Sector in the UK

The United Kingdom - and more specifically, its capital London - has always been considered a world financial hub. Its financial services sector is quite massive: in 2018, it contributed £132 billion to the overall UK economy. It is known to be London's largest sector, with 1.1. million jobs in 2018. The city is also known for its huge amount of foreign banks: in the beginning of the 20th century, London had more foreign banks that any other city in the world.

Getting around

Traveling and getting around the UK is easy for anyone, thanks to its extensive and efficient public transport system, which allows you to go anywhere in the blink of an eye. Because the country is relatively small, journey times are always reasonable: for example, getting from London to Edinburgh is a 4-hour journey if you decide to take the train.

In major cities like London or Manchester, you will also find an extensive public transport system, which includes bus, tube, train, boats, and other alternatives. Getting from one point to another is extremely easy, especially if you have a traveling application like Citymapper or Google Maps on your phone to help you find the fastest - or cheapest! - journey.

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