Job title: Head of Legal & Compliance
Salary: £84,000 p.a.
Location: Swindon
Contract Type:  Permanent


We are now recruiting for ‘Head of Legal & Compliance’ to join our ‘Legal Services’ team, in a permanent capacity, working full time at our Swindon office located on key transport links in the town centre.

About the role

This is a pivotal role supporting both the strategic and operational aspects of The British Computer Society (BCS) which uses the business name ‘BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT’, contributing to and undertaking the commercial, legal and regulatory elements of its activities and business. The scope includes key activities within BCS, which consists of the parent charity and Royal Charter company and it’s group subsidiary companies, principally its main trading company, BCS, Learning & Development Limited.

An internal legal specialist within BCS, managing and providing legal & compliance services, guidance on legal matters and advice to all sections of BCS including general commercial matters, ata protection and intellectual property (IP). Drafting, amending and negotiating commercial contracts and other legal documents, managing potential litigation and liaising with external parties including its retained firm of lawyers, currently Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.

Key responsibilities:

  • Actively participate as a member of the senior leadership team, to provide a proactive, efficient and robust legal support service by providing specialist advice on the commercial, legal and regulatory elements of the business.
  • Give competent and timely advice that is also business-minded to business managers and colleagues. Taking responsibility for decisions in conjunction with the senior leadership team in respect of all legal issues and matters.
  • Ensure, through the provision of a competent Compliance team, BCS is provided specialist management advice and guidance to ensure that the company and its officers act lawfully and in compliance with legal, regulatory and statutory obligations – including Data Protection, IP, Trademark and Bribery Act regulations. Ensuring BCS is legally compliant with current regulations and adequately prepared for changes in legislation.
  • Formulate and implement strategies as internal legal function to protect BCS internal interest and achieve business advantage in external markets.
  • Advise on complex and/or unusual legal and compliance issues and participate in negotiations with customers, suppliers, regulators and third parties (to the extent required), where relevant. To interact closely with BCS colleagues, work within short timelines and participate in business contract negotiations to develop and present remedies to a wide range of stakeholders in the best interest for BCS.
  • With the support of the Compliance Manager, update BCS department managers across BCS on legal and compliance risks and improving the effectiveness of risk management processes and controls.
  • Supports the Information Security agenda and helping to develop a strong security awareness & culture.
  • A member of the BCS Crisis Management Team.
  • Be responsible for Companies House and Charity Commission filings for BCS and its subsidiary companies.
  • Develop and maintain the contract policy and procedures for BCS and provide advice and support to BCS departments within the agreed delegated authorities.
  • Assist BCS departments in prioritising the scope of developing and /or introducing enhanced contract arrangements with customers and suppliers to match requirements of BCS and both internal resources and use of external lawyers.
  • Prepare a wide range of legal documents including general commercial contracts, company secretarial documents, licensing agreements, sales contracts, involving consultancy and training services, royalties, accreditations, IP and examinations. This involves working with senior BCS managers, volunteers, third parties and external advisors.
  • Exercise control over the financial risk and exposure arising from contractual and litigious matters.
  • To ensure that BCS’s name, reputation and IP rights are protected.
  • To manage any litigious matters and legal and regulatory proceedings to ensure that such matters are prosecuted or defended in accordance with the strategy and objectives agreed with BCS senior management.
  • Provide input into the management and, when required, the selection of outside counsel in liaison with the BCS core leadership team.
  • To instruct, liaise with and manage, including budgetary control over legal costs, and monitor external firms. Co-ordinate the use of external legal advisors on contractual matters.
  • To assist with product development and the integration of new businesses. To work alongside the business to assess, evaluate and undertake potential acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures and other business developments.
  • Monitor data protection and Bribery Act compliance issues and process all data subject access requests in line with current legislation.
  • Support IP and trademark registrations as required (with day-to-day management and monitoring being carried out by Charles Russell Speechlys).
  • Organise training requirements on legal and related matters.
  • Advise BCS in relation to any contentious complaints.
  • Assist the Finance team with the recovery of bad debt.
  • Advise and support the Registrar team in relation to BCS member disciplinary issues and appeals.
  • To be responsible for BCS’s insurance policies and to manage the relationship with its’s insurance broker.
  • Lead, coach and motivate the Legal & Compliance team, including line management and the ongoing development of the team’s skills and capabilities.
  • Flexibility is required of all job holders to adjust responsibilities as required from time to time by their Line Manager/Divisional Director.
  • The content and reporting lines detailed in this job description may be reviewed and changed from time to time to reflect organisational requirements.
  • All employees will live BCS’ values and support our purpose.
  • Continually looking at ways to make improvements to systems, processes and procedures.

Who are we looking for?

Education and qualifications
  • Qualified lawyer in England and Wales with demonstrable PQE
  • Demonstrable experience of working as a lawyer in-house and using specialist advice from external practices
  • Significant experience of working within a regulatory framework
  • Proven experience in managing and coaching a small professional team
  • Proven compliance audit (ISO) experience
  • Demonstrable experience of the following:
    • Managing litigation
    • Commercial and company law
    • Corporate law and secretariat requirements
    • Commercial contracting
    • Preparing a wide range of legal documentation, especially service contracts, business negotiation
    • Data protection, intellectual property (IP), litigation and dispute resolution issues
    • Lawyer to non-lawyer interaction
    • Working with sales teams for deals and purchases.
    • Developing and implementing policies and procedures
Competencies and skills
  • Ability to manage conflicting priorities and meet deadlines
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Effective communication skills reflecting the confidential and sensitive nature of the legal work involved
  • Ability to present to a wide range of audiences
  • Ability to identify value-added services and the ways these can be delivered to BCS members and staff management
  • Excellent standard of written English, including drafting skills
  • Ability to write procedural documentation
  • Ability to build rapport and handle a wide variety of working relationships with diplomacy, interpersonal and influencing skills.
  • Able to explain legal principles effectively to non-legal people
  • Self-motivated with good time management, ability to control workflow on multiple projects and structure work to meet deadlines
  • Able to provide high level legal advice on contract precedents
  • Ability to identify areas for improvement within your department

BCS is dedicated to providing training and development to help all staff realise their potential, and also offer a generous benefit package.

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT are committed to promoting equality at every opportunity as an employer. This statement and our policies are designed to ensure our recruitment and employment practices and procedures actively promote equality of opportunity and value diversity.

All applicants must be eligible to work in the UK upon application.

PLEASE NOTE: This vacancy may be removed before any listed closing date once a sufficient amount of applications have been received.

In the event that we receive a high number of applications for this vacancy, we may be unable to provide an individual response to every candidate, therefore if you haven’t heard back from us within 4 weeks of the closing date, please consider your application unsuccessful on this occasion.

What BCS offers in return


£84,000 per annum

Benefits and perks

From day one

  • 23 days holiday per year increasing to a maximum of 27 days with length of service
  • An extra day off on your birthday or during the month of your birthday
  • Up to 3 extra paid days given for shutdown between Christmas and New Year
  • Refer a Friend – If you ‘refer a friend’ for a role at BCS and they are successful, you would receive £750 after 6 months and further £750 after 12 months (conditions apply)
  • Life Insurance paid at four times base salary from day one
  • Group Income Protection Insurance – an insurance which will pay a percentage of your salary for up to 3 years in the event of a long-term illness preventing you from working. This benefit is subject to a claim assessment and only payable if certain conditions are met
  • Opportunity to work a 9 day fortnight – a non-contractual benefit where by hours can be condensed from 10 working days into 9 to gain the 10th day off
    Personal days for (role dependant) – one personal day off per month
  • BCS Stars – the internal recognition scheme based on the company values. Employees can be nominated across the business and successful nominations receive a Love2shop voucher to spend as they wish
  • Unum Help@hand wellbeing app which includes access to:
    • 24/7 EAP – Employee Assistance Programme (counselling, financial and legal advice)
    • remote GP appointments
    • physiotherapy
    • 121 lifestyle coaching
    • retail savings and discounts

Post introduction period

  • Holiday buying scheme: There are two buying periods; January and July. Up to 5 days FTE can be bought each time and paid back via a salary sacrifice arrangement subject to manager discretion
  • Private Medical Insurance – a taxable benefit but family members can be added at a cost, plus £100 contribution deducted monthly via payroll at £8.33 per month. £100 excess payable for most claims
  • Health Cash plan provided by HSF – taxed at source accordingly. Option to increase cover, additional premium payable deducted monthly via payroll

Please note: BCS will only fund the 'benefit in kind' for one health scheme. You may join both schemes if you wish to, with BCS funding the 'benefit in kind' for the PMI scheme only.

  • Pension: Pension contributions matched up to 6% on a direct deduction and salary sacrifice arrangement
  • Travel loans available for rail season tickets
  • Cycle to work scheme available on salary sacrifice arrangement
  • Discretionary company sick pay entitlement

0-3 months - SSP Only (during introduction)
3-12 months - ½ month full pay, ½ month half pay
12-24 months - 1 month full pay, 1 month half pay
24-36 months - 2 months full pay, 2 months half pay
36 months+ - 6 months full pay

  • Personal Financial Coaching: We’ve partnered with Octopus MoneyCoach to offer all BCS employees access to their own financial coach
  • Payroll Giving: We’ve partnered with GoodPAYE to empower you to change the world while you work through Payroll Giving.
How to apply

Please send your CV with a covering letter to